Friday, February 13, 2015

Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Thyroid Problem


As most of you know I was diagnosed in October 2013 with Graves Disease.   I immediately began to work with my healthcare “team” to heal myself naturally.  I did NOT opt for any modern medical treatments because I knew what was causing me to get sick {YEARS OF NON STOP STRESS} and I knew how to rebuild my health.  Which began a beautiful time of daily devotion to hours of prayer and laying myself down at the mercy of God.   The miracle that happened one day in prayer is for another blog post.  I promise to share it soon.  Because I truly believe He is THE reason I continue to heal at a much deeper level than anything I could ever do each day to remain healthy {eating an organic paleo diet, drinking 32 ounces of raw organic juice, drinking 1.5 liters of purified water, using herbs and supplements specifically for adrenal and gut health} .  I also used essential oils every single day over my thyroid and still do this a few times a week.

I share my healing journey and what I did to heal naturally in these posts:
Please if you have any serious health challenges, take time to read through the posts I highlighted above.  I truly believe they will help unlock some keys to you reclaiming your own health as well. 
Last week I received an email that I believe will be very helpful for each of you reading this to know if the health challenges you are dealing with stem from a thyroid problem.  I was misdiagnosed for years because of the tests being done and when my adrenals finally stopped working I became extremely sick and had every symptom of Grave’s Disease.   I’m so thankful that I chose to do all that I shared in the posts above because once you remove an organ or stop it from working…well you know, you can’t get it back!   So today, I pray this information helps you to look for a healthcare team that will not just try to fix a symptom with a drug or procedure, but will will help you rid your body of the inflammation behind all that is challenging you each day to live your life to the fullest!

Thyroid Problems Becoming More Common and 3 Blood Tests to Take

By Dr. J.E. Williams
There’s a lot of concern about thyroid health. There should be! It’s a problem that’s getting worse.
Doctors used to think that for every eight low thyroid cases, one was of overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), and the other seven were of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

That’s changed. Now, general practitioners see one hyperthyroid case in about every four hypothyroid cases. 

And, hypothyroidism is becoming more common. The same goes for autoimmune thyroid disease.
When I first started practicing about thirty years ago, autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was uncommon. Now this condition is not only more common, but more complicated, and there’s a gender difference: it’s 15-20 times more common in women than in men.

The Beginnings of Thyroid Treatment
One of my first mentors in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy was Dr. Thierry Hertoghe from Belgium. 

We spent time together in the mid-1990s in San Diego and I later visited his clinic in Brussels. One of the many things that made Dr. Hertoghe a leader in hormone therapy was his family background. His lineage spans more than four generations of endocrinologists, including his great-grandfather who was the first doctor in Europe to give patients thyroid hormone. 

At that time, desiccated pig thyroid gland preparations were used. It was not until 1958 that the first synthetic levothyroxine tablets were marketed in the US.

I saw the original photos of patients before diagnosis and after three months of treatment. A thirty-year-old man with a few strands of thin white hair, dropping facial muscles, puffy eyes, and a blank stare was transformed into a young man with thick dark hair, erect posture, and a clear gaze. The results were so dramatic, patients and doctors believed it was like a miracle.

We’ve learned a lot about the thyroid gland since the time of Dr. Hertoghe’s great-grandfather. 

Doctors and patients now regularly perform blood tests to evaluate thyroid health.
In our times, there is no reason for people with thyroid disease to go undiagnosed.

What Tests to Take? Because thyroid gland disease and hormone imbalance has become so common, I routinely screen all new patients using three basic blood tests. You no longer need a doctor to check your thyroid health markers, though. You can order your own blood tests through online personal lab testing services.
To see if your thyroid is functioning correctly, order these three tests: Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free Thyroxine (free T4), and Free Triiodothyronine (free T3).

Basic Thyroid Screening Panel

I find these three tests more useful for my patients than the standard thyroid panel that includes T3 uptake and total T4, because results are relatively easy to interpret.
If your TSH is high, your thyroid gland is under functioning. TSH is a hormone made in the pituitary gland, which regulates the function of the thyroid gland. When the body needs more thyroid hormone, the pituitary secrets TSH, which signals the thyroid gland to increase hormone production.
A low TSH level means your thyroid gland is on overdrive, so the pituitary gland doesn’t need to secrete TSH. Low TSH suggests hyperthyroidism.

If you are not on thyroid hormone replacement therapy, results within the desirable range suggest a normal functioning thyroid gland. However, if you have hypothyroidism and are taking thyroid hormone replacement, you may not feel well until your TSH is in the optimal range level.

The same goes for Free Thyroxine and Free Triiodothyronine. To feel well and more energetic, you may need to achieve FT4 and FT3 levels in the upper limits of the normal range
Your FT4 is the form of thyroxine that circulates in the blood unattached—“free” or unbound to proteins that help shuttle hormones around the body. Too much is associated with hyperthyroidism. Too little means an underactive thyroid and is associated with metabolic syndrome.
Free T3 is a form of bioavailable thyroid hormone and the most metabolically active of thyroid hormones. Too little is associated with hypothyroidism and too much with hyperthyroidism. Some thyroid experts call FT3 the metabolic throttle that fuels cellular function. Low levels are also associated with coronary artery disease and other states of chronic inflammation in the body.

Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

Severe chronic fatigue is the main symptom linked to an under functioning thyroid gland. But there are many other symptoms, including dry rough skin and hair loss, that make up the complete symptom picture of hypothyroidism.

Top 10 Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Slow thinking
  • Depression
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands
  • Goiter (an enlargement of the thyroid gland in your neck)
  • Constipation
  • Heavy menstrual periods
Top 10 Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling shaky, overly nervous
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Thin skin
  • Intolerance to heat and excessive sweating
  • Goiter
  • Bulging of the eyes
If you have any of these symptoms, get tested for TSH, FT4, and FT3. If you find abnormal results, see your doctor or endocrinologist for an assessment and to figure out if other tests are necessary.

What’s Causing It?

Hypothyroidism is a relatively common condition. Hyperthyroidism and autoimmune forms of thyroid disease are becoming more common than ever before. We don’t know all the reasons for rising thyroid gland imbalance, but stress, indoor air pollution, chemicals in our water and food supply, and modern diet—including iodine deficiency—are just some of the potential causes.
Increased levels of radiation exposure, including overuse of dental x-rays, and long-term exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) found in plastic water bottles are two other potential triggers.
One common thread in the mystery is inflammation. Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid) is a known medical condition. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an example of a type of autoimmune hypothyroidism.

Chronic, low-grade inflammation may have a role in other forms of thyroid disease as well. For example, gluten and gliadin associated with allergy to wheat are known to trigger inflammation. If you have celiac disease, you are four times more likely to develop an autoimmune thyroid condition.
Some experts claim we are in the midst of an epidemic of undiagnosed thyroid disease. All the statistics are not in yet, but from a clinical perspective, doctors are seeing more thyroid cases than before. One thing we do know is that all autoimmune diseases are becoming more common, including autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Given that all types of thyroid diseases have become common, including thyroid cancer, it’s wise to consider testing your thyroid gland.

I would love to hear your success stories on how anything I have shared here has helped you in any way to reclaim your health.   I truly pray each day that we will all choose to take care of our holy vessels with the utmost compassion and tenderness.  Your body needs you to love it fully and completely in order to heal.  Forgive yourself, others, and your past so that you can be set free to soar with such joy each day. 


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