The Pitfalls Of Thyroid Treatment
Excessive fatigue… unexplained weight gain… hair loss…
These are all the stereotypical symptoms a medical doctor will use to diagnose thyroid dysfunction. Once problems with the thyroid are officially determined, a prescription medication to counteract the under or over production of thyroid stimulating hormone is used to bring test results back to normal levels. Seems simple enough, right?
Thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can be frustrating for patients who continue to experience symptoms despite taking thyroid medication. The traditional medical system often misses silent pitfalls that can contribute to ongoing thyroid dysfunction. In order to advocate for your own health, it’s important to know the common pitfalls in thyroid treatment and how to address them.
One of the most common pitfalls in thyroid treatment is relying solely on TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) testing. TSH is the hormone that regulates the production of thyroid hormones, and it is often used as the main marker for thyroid function. However, TSH levels can appear normal on paper, even when a patient continues to experience symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. This is because the TSH test only measures one aspect of thyroid function, and it does not take into account other important thyroid markers such as T3 and T4.
Another pitfall in thyroid treatment is ignoring other organs and bodily systems that can negatively impact the thyroid. For example, the gut is closely connected to the thyroid, and when the gut is not performing properly, it can negatively impact the thyroid. Similarly, the adrenal glands are also closely connected to the thyroid, and when they are negatively impacted by stress, they can mimic thyroid dysfunction and lead to a misdiagnosis.
To address these pitfalls, it is important to work with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about thyroid conditions and willing to run a comprehensive panel of tests that include T3, T4, TSH, reverse T3, free T3, free T4, TPO, TGAB, and Vitamin D, B12, and Iron. This will help identify the root cause of the thyroid dysfunction and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
It is also important to address other organs and systems that can negatively affect the thyroid, such as the gut and the adrenal glands. This can be done by incorporating lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and addressing any underlying gut issues.
Thyroid conditions can be frustrating for patients who continue to experience symptoms despite taking thyroid medication. The traditional medical system often misses silent pitfalls that can contribute to ongoing thyroid dysfunction. To address these pitfalls, it is important to work with a functional medicine doctor who is knowledgeable about the complexity of thyroid conditions and will run a comprehensive panel of tests (instead of simply a TSH panel). It is also important to address other organs and systems that can negatively affect the thyroid, such as the gut and the adrenal glands, by incorporating lifestyle changes that promote overall health and wellness.
Not satisfied with the results of your current thyroid protocol? Contact our clinic for a consultation today!