Do you have common symptoms of thyroid disease, but your lab tests are normal? You won’t want to miss today’s post by my holistic doctor, Dr. Rob.
You met Dr. Rob here on the blog a few weeks ago, and last week, he blew my mind with his insight on the REAL causes of adrenal fatigue. You can read about my recovery and experience of working with Dr. Rob on the adrenal fatigue post. This week, he’s back to talk about another VERY common and VERY perplexing health condition: thyroid dysfunction.
I’m going to let him do all of the talking this week. Please stick around to comment with questions at the end, and if you love this post, pin or share it!
Full disclosure: I’m not being compensated for sharing this great info with you guys- I just want you to have access to it, and to be able to learn from and ask Dr. Rob questions like I’ve been able to. Photos shared compliments of Dr. Rob and thanks to Dr. Eric Berg for the use of the Thyroid Body Type Photo.
Over to you, Dr. Rob…what do we need to understand about the common symptoms of thyroid disease?
The Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction
Are you feeling tired, depressed or experiencing mood swings? Are you struggling to lose weight? Are your periods heavy or irregular? Having trouble starting tasks or completing tasks? Can you not remember the last time you just plain felt great?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might have low thyroid function, also known as hypothyroidism. In just a little bit I’ll cover some of the MAIN SIGNS that you have a thyroid problem EVEN if your labs are normal. Believe it or not, this condition is not rare. In fact, it’s the most common hormonal problem in the world, affecting more than 20 million Americans.
So you’d think everyone suffering from hypothyroidism would know all about it, right? Wrong! Many people don’t even realize that thyroid dysfunction is what’s causing their unpleasant symptoms, so they continue to suffer unnecessarily with a condition that CAN BE HELPED.
Melanie’s Thyroid Story
Melanie had some of the below thyroid symptoms and was eventually diagnosed with and underactive thyroid by her Medical Doctor. Luckily we found that she had a particular toxin interfering with her thyroid function. Once we got her on the correct detox and thyroid support program her body healed her thyroid gland and she never needed to go on the meds. I’ve included a few more before and after cases below.
What if Your Thyroid Tests are “Normal”?
You might have even had your thyroid hormone levels tested, and your doctor has said nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, standard medical blood testing of thyroid hormone levels only tells us part of the story and often fails to identify the problem. This leads to a few classic statements (or some version of them) that we hear so many times in our practice: “My thyroid lab work is normal, but I always feel tired,” or “I am on thyroid medication but I still feel bad,” or “My doctor put me on thyroid medication, and supposedly my labs are normal but I still can’t lose weight
That is why it’s extremely important to find a practitioner who doesn’t just look at basic lab work and use conventional drug therapies to help a person with low thyroid function. A thyroid problem isn’t just a thyroid problem – it’s an entire body problem.
So What’s Causing These Symptoms?
When we say it’s an “entire body problem” we simply mean there are many things that can go wrong in the body that can cause the thyroid gland to malfunction. Below is a video covering only one of over 40 different things that can go wrong and cause stress to your thyroid gland.
Here’s just ONE cause of thyroid malfunction that holistic practitioners have discovered. It started with changes in America’s bakeries in the 1970’s. Bromine, a natural mineral, was added to flour and thus to all commercially produced baked goods and even most brands of flour since that time. You can also find brominated vegetable oils in drinks like Mountain Dew.
The problem with this is, that bromine is chemically similar to iodine. In fact, they’re so similar, they’re right next to one another here on the periodic table of the elements.
Iodine is a necessary mineral that the thyroid needs to function- in fact, the thyroid gland is covered with iodine receptors. The iodine plugs into these receptors and helps the thyroid to function properly. Much like a key opens a lock in a door.
When a person has a lot of bromine in their system, the bromine plugs these receptors similar to using the wrong key in a lock- and blocks the iodine from reaching the thyroid. Because the thyroid is unable to get the iodine it needs, you begin to see symptoms of low thyroid function.
The Amazing Thyroid
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It makes thyroid hormone, which is carried throughout your body in the bloodstream. Thyroid hormone controls metabolic activities, including how fast you burn calories, lose weight and your heart rate. So, it stands to reason that when your thyroid is underactive, you feel tired, sluggish, gain weight and experience other unpleasant symptoms. And, hypothyroidism affects more women than men. It can cause women to gain weight, experience menstrual problems, and symptoms that can even be mistaken for menopause.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Disease
(Even if your labs are normal.)
If any of the following symptoms are affecting you – even if you are on thyroid medication or your blood tests are “normal” – you may be suffering from low thyroid function or underactive thyroid:
- Weight gain despite healthy diet and exercise.
Did you know that exercise itself doesn’t cause weight loss? Instead, exercise triggers hormones that cause you to lose weight by boosting your metabolism and helping you to lose fat instead of storing it. The thyroid hormone thyroxine is one of those that help us lose fat. If you are having trouble losing weight despite putting in an effort, it may very well be a sign of an underactive thyroid.
- Being tired and/or not sleeping well. Thyroid imbalances, along with adrenal gland imbalances, are a major cause of fatigue. The thyroid gland and adrenal gland (a gland located on top of your kidneys) work hand-in-hand to support your energy levels. Therefore, it’s important to understand exactly how they are functioning. In our clinic, we help many patients who are suffering from thyroid and adrenal problems that are at the root of their ongoing fatigue.
- Depression, mood swings, brain fog, and lack of motivation. An underactive thyroid reduces the speed at which your body functions. Basically, low thyroid hormones = low energy. This often leads to inactivity, weight gain, depression, a feeling that you can’t think clearly and lack of motivation to start or complete tasks. When you do not have adequate levels of thyroid hormones, oftentimes you stop feeling alive.
More Common Symptoms of Thyroid Disease
There are many other symptoms which could indicate an underactive thyroid. They include:
- Carbohydrate and bread cravings
- Cold Hands and Feet
- Fat or Flab Under the Arms
- Hair thinking or Falling Out
- Loss of the Outer Eyebrow
- Indents on the side of the tongue
- Vertical Ridges in the nails
- And MORE…even poor digestion/constipation, sinus or allergy problems, heavy menstrual periods, headaches/migraines, low body temperature, decreased libido, heart palpitations, blood sugar spikes, aches/pains, and even thinning hair, dry skin, cold hands/feet and brittle nails.
It’s a long list, we know! That’s why it’s so important to get to the root of what’s ailing you. After all, you can’t fix a problem until you find out what’s causing it, which brings us to our next point …
The Problem with Standard Thyroid Lab Testing
Mainstream medical lab testing normally assesses thyroid function by testing levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which is actually a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. While it can sometimes detect some problems with the thyroid, it is not really looking at the thyroid function at all, but at a pituitary hormone that triggers the thyroid.
However, there are some big problems with what’s considered “normal” lab results. For one, the standard normal lab range for TSH is .45-4.5 mIU/L, a range that is simply too large. We find there is a big difference from how a patient who tests at 4.2 mIU/L feels when compared to a patient who tests at 2.4 mIU/L.
If you happen to get a practitioner who is more aware of thyroid hormones, you may get testing for a few of the thyroid hormone markers: T4, Free T4, T3, Free T3 as well as TSH. This looks at the actual thyroid hormones in the active stage, as well as pre-activation and post-activation. So this gives a better picture, but it’s just not enough.
Most primary care physicians look at T4 levels because they treat low thyroid function with this form of the hormone. The problem is T4 is not very active and needs to be converted to the more active form of thyroid hormone called T3 to have a meaningful effect on your metabolism and the way your body feels.
Did you know that 95 percent of prescription thyroid medications (including Levothyroxine, Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc.) are made of synthetic T4? There are many things that can block the conversion of T4 to T3 in the body and more importantly, there are problems in the body that can prevent T3 from working properly–like the bromine I mentioned above.
You might have great TSH, T3 and T4 levels in the blood but if the hormones can’t work properly in the body you are still going to have thyroid symptoms. It’s like having a car that looks beautiful with a polished exterior and beautiful interior but doesn’t work right. Just because it is there and you can see it doesn’t mean it’s going to function. You can have beautiful levels of thyroid hormone but if the hormones don’t work right in the body then you are probably going to have trouble losing weight and not feeling well.
There are many things that can go wrong in the body that can stop the thyroid from working properly. The Online Health Evaluation that we offer here at Alternacare can help to determine where you should begin looking to help your body heal and find the cause to the thyroid problem.
What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hashimoto’s Disease
Finally, I want to discuss Hashimoto’s disease. Most experts agree that Hashimoto’s is the No. 1 cause of hypothyroidism in this country. Hashimoto’s is actually an autoimmune disorder, where the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid, preventing it from making enough hormones.
The typical treatment for Hashimoto’s is prescribing the patient a synthetic thyroid hormone (Levothyroxine, Synthroid, etc.). When you add synthetic thyroid hormone to the body the thyroid could stop the production of its natural hormones, and as a result, the thyroid gland will shut down its own hormone production. The problem is this treatment does NOTHING to address the cause. Instead, the autoimmune disease continues to progress and leads to more and more health problems. The reason why we have such great success with Thyroid conditions is because the holistic lab testing that we’ve developed helps to identify the underlying cause to the thyroid problem.
The Path to Total Wellness
As you can see, there are some very big problems with the current standard medical approaches to both testing for and treating hypothyroidism. But there’s hope with a holistic approach to thyroid health!
Here are several of the patients that I’ve seen who have successfully recovered their health after significant thyroid problems.
I lost 60 pounds and 3 sizes!!! I also avoided going on thyroid medication. Anxiety and depression are MUCH improved! ~Melanie
I’m off medication for hypothyroidism! I lost 42 pounds, my energy has returned, and I sleep better!!! ~Cindy C.
I lost 40 pounds! I’m off my thyroid medication and I have my energy back!!! ~Amy R.
What to Expect with Holistic Care through Alternacare
Many people ask what they can do, because they have these common symptoms of thyroid disease, but their doctor dismisses it, or doesn’t know how to help. I’m a little biased, but I believe a doctor that understands the traditional and holistic lab procedures and most importantly understand the 40+ different causes to thyroid problems is the right place to start.
I have patients that live in 30+ other states and 14 other countries. The way it works is this: we do a very, very comprehensive consultation with a patient and they fill out a health survey as well. That gives us a pretty good clue as to which one of the 40+ things that can cause thyroid dysfunction the person is dealing with.
We then will recommend labs that will help to confirm our suspicions and narrow in on the potential underlying cause to the thyroid stress. A simple lab kit is sent to their home and they follow the simple instructions and complete the lab from the comfort of their own home.
Once they send the lab kit in and their samples get analyzed, we have more of an understanding as to what is wrong with their body and where their symptoms are coming from. We review the lab findings with them and then create a customized, one of a kind health care program for each patient. They then start the first step on their program that will often have a few nutritional supplements and an eating program in it.
We will follow up with them in a few weeks and then discuss their progress and the next step to their program which may contain an entirely different eating program. Since each person is unique it is their own personalized program.
Are you searching for help with frustrating health and thyroid symptoms? I’d love to help. I work with many patients all over the world long distance (to learn more on that, click here).
My Very Best,
Do You Have More Questions?
Thank you SO much Dr. Rob for sharing your insights with us, and for your passion for helping others to achieve their best health.
Want to know more about the thyroid? Feel free to ask Dr. Rob below in the comments.
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