July 17, 2019
Could It Be My Thyroid? By Terri DeNeui, DNP, ACNP, APRN-BC
Tired all of the time? Keep gaining weight for no apparent reason? Hands cold all of the time? Eyebrow and hair thinning? Dry skin, dry hair, brittle nails? You have asked your practitioner about these symptoms because you are SURE it’s your thyroid, but alas your thyroid blood tests come back “NORMAL”!
These are complaints I hear time and time again in my practice. Most practitioners understand traditional hypothyroidism, where we look at ONE thyroid lab test (the TSH) and forget the most important one (the free T3).
Or worse yet, we ONLY look at the labs, and never look or listen to the patient! Historically practitioners have been taught if the TSH is normal, then your thyroid is working just fine. According to Dr. Mark Starr, thyroid guru, “Centuries ago, before thyroid tests were available, the ultimate test of whether or not a patient was hypothyroid was the patient’s response to a trial of thyroid hormones. Confirmation depended upon improvement or resolution of their symptoms”.
Now IMAGINE THAT FOLKS! Actually treating PATIENTS and not LAB tests! Dr. Starr also states, since the advent of thyroid blood testing, of which there is no scientific data, there have been scores of patients left erroneously untreated.
This brings me to my next topic: Type 2 hypothyroidism, a phenomenon whereby the thyroid gland produces “normal” amounts of thyroid hormone, but the cells are unable to utilize the hormone properly. Other medical experts call this “thyroid hormone resistance” very similar to Type 2 Diabetes, also known as insulin resistance. Symptoms are identical to hypothyroidism: sluggish metabolism, cold hands, thinning hair, extreme fatigue and so forth. MOST people suffer from Type 2, rather than Type 1 hypothyroidism, and because Type 2 is so widely misunderstood and misdiagnosed, hundreds of thousands of people are living with this miserable state day in and day out.
How do we acquire Type 2 hypothyroidism, or thyroid resistance? Number one on the list: environmental toxins. These toxins interfere with every aspect of thyroid metabolism and include: petroleum and petroleum byproducts; pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; heavy metals, among them mercury, arsenic, lead, aluminum, barium and cadmium; organic solvents, and numerous other synthetic chemicals that are present in our food and other aspects of our every day lives. Another HUGE factor in thyroid resistance is IODINE deficiency! A few others worthy of mention: the lack of mineralized soil for growing our produce, and UNDER utilizing salt! Real salt is our friend, folks! And I am not talking Morton’s, I mean unrefined SEA salt.
According to the literature, a host of other disease states my be attributed to thyroid resistance: heart disease, digestive disorders, liver malfunction, lupus, muscular pain, neurological impairment, sinusitis, TMJ and sleep apnea.
So how will my practitioner know if I am thyroid resistant, you ask? besides simply listening to the patient’s symptoms, hypothyroidism can be OBSERVED by the astute practitioner: puffy face and lips, thinning or lack of hair, missing the outer third of the eyebrows, swollen skin, lack of alertness, slowed speech, hoarseness, cold extremities, weight gain and the tendency toward chronic infections.
How is Type 2 hypothyroid treated? Very simply, by replacing thyroid hormone, specifically with compounded t4t3 or desiccated thyroid, also known as Armour Thyroid and a few other brands. Moreover, checking iodine levels and ensuring adequate levels of vitamin C, B vitamins and nutritional support. Oh yes, and of course making sure you are working with a practitioner who is well versed in all things thyroid, and not just conventional approaches.
Terri DeNeui is the Founder and CEO of EVEXIAS Medical Centers (formerly Hormonal Health, Wellness and Aesthetic Centers). To discuss your unique situation and concerns about thyroid please call to schedule a consultation with our practitioners in Southlake or Rockwall, TX.