Part 2 – The Complete Guide to Thyroid Health: Common Symptoms and Treatment
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism or related thyroid conditions include weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, hair loss, brain fog, and constipation. You may experience some or all of these symptoms, but they aren’t the only indicators of a thyroid problem.
Inflammation is part of our maintenance and repair system. When something becomes inflamed, it is the result of our body’s natural response to a problem, therefore inflammation of the thyroid indicates a thyroid problem. According to Time Magazine, “When inflammation becomes chronic rather than transitory, the body turns on itself with after effects that seem to underlie a wide variety of diseases.”
Another potential indicator of hypothyroidism is depression. It is estimated that 50% of depression cases are linked to thyroid dysfunction and many of these are being treated improperly with prescribed anti-depressants which can cause other damaging side effects. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism including fatigue and depression to ensure a proper diagnosis and take proper steps toward a happy, healthy future.
Testing for Hypothyroidism
If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms mentioned above and suspect that the cause may be a thyroid issue, contact your healthcare provider to schedule a blood test. In many cases, however, the results come back in a “normal” range, and thyroid issues are misdiagnosed. The problem with this is that the “normal” range reflects values that simply sustain life. They don’t necessarily reflect wellness, so while your blood work may come back in a healthy range, you may still be experiencing symptoms such as weight gain, inflammation, and depression.
Information surrounding thyroid disorders can be difficult to dissect. The truth is, there is a lot of conflicting information out there as new research is constantly changing the consensus on diagnosis and treatment of thyroid-related issues. However, there are two myths that continue to permeate the conversation over thyroid health and wellness:
Myth 1: Conventional Treatment for Thyroid problems like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Armour are the only answer.
80% of hypothyroid cases are auto-immune related, and these types of cases don’t respond to pharmaceuticals. Doctors don’t check for auto-immune diseases because their treatment is the same no matter the outcome.
Myth 2: Your blood work is fine, and so are you.
Truth: Most doctors evaluate your condition only on “gold standard” TSH blood markers using a “normal” range of 0.5 – 5.5. However, no studies have been published demonstrating that you have healthy thyroid function when your TSH is within normal range. Published studies actually say levels over 2 can indicate problem, even auto-immune disease.
Common treatments for thyroid related conditions vary based on type , severity and professional opinions of healthcare providers. Unfortunately, not much research has been done in recent years on the development of new treatment options. As for now, there are two main ways to approach thyroid conditions:
If you want to get healthy and get your life back, drugs may not be the solution. The truth is, commonly prescribed medications used for treating thyroid conditions such as hormone replacement therapy may actually cause further damager to your thyroid as they are treating the symptoms of your condition and not the cause.
Prolonged use of thyroid treatment drugs can cause the body to decrease hormone production over time, eventually leading to full-blown hypothyroidism. This effect is commonly referred to as a “negative feedback loop”. This is due in part to lack of research and development in thyroid treatment. In fact, the current treatment model has not changed in over 50 years! With the knowledge and resources available to us today, this is unacceptable. Therefore, at least for now, prescribed medications should be a last resort for treating thyroid conditions.
The Human Body
The human body is a powerful thing with an innate ability to heal itself. You can unlock its full healing potential and improve your health and wellness without the interference of prescription drugs. Following a regimented diet and exercise program can help optimize your body’s natural ability to heal by supporting it with the nutrients it needs to function at its highest level.
Think of your body as a vehicle. Without proper fuel and maintenance, it breaks down. You have to put in the time and effort to take care of your vehicle if you want it to perform on the road.
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