Your Mind-Boggling Thyroid
What can I say about the too-often down-and-out thyroid? Or the too-high and on-fire thyroid, for that matter.
I guess the best thing to say is it has a knack of getting into trouble-or being pushed into trouble. About half of us have a wonky gland struggling to get through the day with any level of style and grace.
It doesn’t help that medicine has nothing that actually helps its problems. They say they do, but they really don’t.
A complete discussion of it and its many woes would take an encyclopedia-a very large encyclopedia-so let me hit some highlights for a quick overview. (This article is a tad long; you might want to grab a cup of coffee to tide you over.)
What Causes Thyroid Problems
Why don’t they Ever Get Fixed?
What can go wrong?
It can produce lots of symptoms. In fact, there are thousands of possible symptoms, so there’s no quick little list to cover them all, but let’s consider just a few:
• Fatigue is a big-time symptom of it being low; feeling like your hair is on fire suggests it is high. You need more information, of course, but fatigue is a clue.
• Then there’s the all-time unfavorite, a brain that doesn’t work. Words that are usually on the tip of your tongue seem to have moved to the next county. Memory gets really iffy, too.
• Dry-as-dust skin and itchy ears can provide more hints of woe.
• With low thyroid, puffy, beady eyes show up, especially, it seems, on days when you need to look your best. Too-high thyroid produces wide-open, possibly protruding, eyes.
• Headaches, including migraines, frequently dampen your enthusiasm.
• Catching every virus that happens your way is another clue.
• Low thyroid makes you feel cold. When it’s high you feel warm. Autoimmune thyroid problems lets you sample a variety of temperatures.
Thyroid tests are a bad joke. First, they’re unreliable like you can’t believe. And they may not even test the right thing.
The hypothalamus monitors it’s action; when you need more thyroid hormone, the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland to tell the gland to shoot out a little juice. The same sequence tells it when to back off. On/off, on/off. All day; all night.
Although three major endocrine glands are involved in this process, these tests assume irregular results are only about the thyroid. It’s well known, at least in research centers, that your hypothalamus can falter in its duties, as can your pituitary-but doctors aren’t allowed to check if those glands actually work. At best, then, test results are guesses.
Ingesting aspartame and/or monosodium damages your hypothalamus, which may become too weak to ever signal the pituitary to do its thing. But they don’t test the hypothalamus.
Meanwhile, the big kahuna of thyroid tests, the TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test, checks the pituitary, on the assumption the pituitary works perfectly, and any out-of-order results are caused by the thyroid. Huh?
Neither pituitary or hypothalamus damage is rare.
Thyroid tests frequently fail to catch problems, but they may “catch” other problems that you don’t have.
If you have low thyroid, tests often show that you have high cholesterol. Cholesterol is never the problem it’s claimed to be, but you’ll get a prescription for a statin drug anyway, Bunky, and it will make your problem worse. Just say “no.”
And a test may also say you’re anemic when you’re not. Taking iron supplements is a mistake.
As with many maladies, medicine has a “Standard of care” treatment for these problems. Which doesn’t work.
Here’s the problem: Our body’s natural thyroid hormone has five parts: T4, T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin. Back in the 1960s, medicine concluded only T4 mattered and set about to make their own version of it. They needed to tweak it quite a bit to get a patent, a source of big, big bucks. And so Synthroid was born, followed shortly by generic look-alikes.
But T4 medicines don’t perform as they were expected to, especially what with all the tweaking that went on, so low thyroid people are still thin of scalp and slow of brain as they drag through life.
And if your thyroid’s off to the races, doctors will want to kill it or take it out, which will leave you with lower-than-low thyroid. (Read above for what that means.) Think nutrition instead.
Finally, your body needs calcitonin to make new bones, so T4-only Synthroid (et al) pretty much invites osteoporosis to move in.
What’s a body to do?
An irregular test may just mean it’s starving for nutrition and can’t make enough hormone. For instance, a low fat diet is really hard on the thyroid. The right diet and nutritional supplements play a huge role in its health.
And did you know that fluoride, soy, and estrogen stomp all over your thyroid? Among other toxins.
A lot of what the thyroid does, it does in your liver, which needs to be in good shape to get the job done.
Finally, if your digestion’s in an uproar, your thyroid’s taking a beating, too.
Many body parts get involved in thyroid miseries.
Most doctors, who get their information from pharmaceutical representatives, don’t know any of this. I only know it because I had to know to have any chance at good health. And now you know it, too.
Whatcha gonna do about it?
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.