Could it be your thyroid?
By Dr. Tim Holcomb -
July 5, 2012 at 2:05 a.m.
In the U.S., 27 million people suffer from a thyroid condition. Of those, half have not been diagnosed and don't know what's wrong.
Thyroid disease predisposes you to many degenerative diseases, including obesity, heart attack, depression, seizures, dementia, mood changes, psychosis and symptoms associated with menopause.
Many symptoms start long before a blood test comes back positive, such as weight loss resistance, sleep problems, fatigue, hot flashes, cold hands and feet or cold in general, depression, thinning of hair, brain fog, dry skin, brittle nails, infertility, constipation.
The standard treatment is to take thyroid hormone. The sad part is most people still have symptoms. Thyroid hormone replacement may not be the only answer.
At least 80 percent of the time, thyroid hormone does nothing to relieve your symptoms.
If it is auto-immune related, this will not respond to thyroid hormone. Most doctors do not check for auto-immunity of the thyroid gland, and if they do, the treatment is usually the same: thyroid hormone.
My blood work is normal, so why don't I feel well?
Today, unfortunately, many doctors are "treating the lab results" more than the patient. By the time your blood work shows a positive test, you have most likely been having symptoms for 10-20 years.
That is why 50 percent of the 27 million sufferers go undiagnosed, making this the most undiagnosed condition there is. If tests for auto-immunity are not run, the blood tests will come back as normal.
Another problem that can be overlooked is thyroid hormone resistance, similar to insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes. This means the cells of the body are not getting the signal from the hormone. Therefore, like Type 2 diabetes, you can have normal blood levels of the hormone but the cell can't use it because the receptors for the hormone on the cells are damaged.
It may not be the thyroid's fault. If your liver is not functioning optimally, it may not be converting T4 thyroid hormone into its active form, T3. Even replacement thyroid hormone needs this conversion for it to become active.
Typical blood work will look normal here also, and you would still feel horrible. Even poor digestion plays a role. Food intolerances can cause proteins to bind to the thyroid receptors, blocking or damaging the hormone receptors.
Iodine deficiency is the cause of 20 percent of hypothyroid cases, and is linked to cancers of the stomach, breast, ovaries, uterus and prostate.
The World Health Organization says that iodine deficiency is the No. 1 cause of low IQ and mental retardation. More than 68 percent of children from iodine deficient areas were diagnosed with ADHD.
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormone, but if an iodine supplement is given to the Hashimoto's auto-immune type of hypothyroidism, it can cause a worsening of the condition. However, you won't get well without iodine, even with Hashimoto's. The key is to administered iodine correctly. It is important to do the proper testing.
The most common causes of auto-immunity are toxins. They trigger a gene that sparks your immune system to attack the thyroid gland and cells of the body that receive thyroid hormone.
Toxins are everywhere in our environment, water and food. If anyone needs more information on these toxins, how to avoid them and remove them from your body for better health, contact me through drtimholcomb.com for free information that I have available as a public service.
Dr. Tim Holcomb is a natural pharmacist and nutritional consultant in Victoria. He runs Dr. Holcomb's Natural Health and Chiropractic Care in Victoria. He can be reached at 361-485-0449 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.