Alternative Medicine - - Con­di­tion Spot­light -

If you have been di­ag­nosed with low thy­roid, chances are you were pre­scribed Syn­throid or an­other T4-only med­i­ca­tion. It’s a sim­ple fact, how­ever, that T4 may not work, and is of­ten in­suf­fi­cient to re­store health.

re­cent ar­ti­cle in the Wall Street Jour­nal high­lighted the huge chasm between stan­dard pro­to­cols for hy­pothy­roidism and the fail­ure of these meth­ods to work for a large per­cent­age of pa­tients.

Nearly two decades ago, it be­came clear to me that these meth­ods are in­ef­fec­tive for peo­ple more of­ten than not. Pa­tient af­ter pa­tient de­scribed symp­tom af­ter symp­tom, all of which ap­peared to be hy­pothy­roidism, yet the rou­tine thy­roid-stim­u­lat­ing hor­mone (TSH) test came back “nor­mal.” Ad­di­tion­ally, the stan­dard treat­ments left many pa­tients suf­fer­ing. It didn’t take long to fig­ure out some­thing wasn’t work­ing, so why is much of the med­i­cal com­mu­nity still so far be­hind? The fail­ures of cur­rent test­ing and in­cludes oth­ers with un­di­ag­nosed low thy­roid, thus skew­ing the “nor­mal” range. Fur­ther­more, this model ig­nores pa­tient in­di­vid­u­al­ity. A nor­mal range for some may not be op­ti­mal for oth­ers. We must con­sider how pa­tients ac­tu­ally feel as part of a proper as­sess­ment.

Some doc­tors also mea­sure the level of T4. While this is the vast ma­jor­ity of thy­roid hor­mone re­leased, it is mainly in­ac­tive and needs to be con­verted to its ac­tive coun­ter­part, T3, to be use­ful. T4 lev­els may be nor­mal on test­ing, how­ever, since T3 is the hor­mone needed to ac­ti­vate cell pro­cesses, T4 mea­sures don’t al­ways mean nor­mal T3 lev­els.

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