Millions of Americans struggle with symptoms of an under-active thyroid. In fact, approximately 27 million Americans (mostly women) are estimated to currently suffer from the condition and the number is growing; only diabetes surpasses hypothyroidism as the fastest-growing chronic illness in America.
While medical tests are getting better at diagnosing the condition, often times the prescribed treatment is found to be wanting. Treatment most often includes a prescription by the doctor’s office to take medication (often synthetic T4 -Synthroid) and return in three months. This treatment usually results in one of two outcomes:
- Either the patient’s blood levels have improved, but they are still experiencing the symptoms of an under-active thyroid.
- Or nothing has improved in the bloodwork and the patient is still experiencing symptoms.
Either way, this leads to extreme frustration and feelings of hopelessness. Welcome to the standard model of care.
If you are reading this and saying “This is me!”, no doubt you are frustrated and tired of living with life-altering symptoms like fatigue, depression, anxiety, hair loss, weight gain and skin problems. You may even be asking questions like “is there any hope?”, or “will I ever feel normal again?”. Thankfully, there is hope outside of the standard model of care.
Thyroid medication normally comes in the form of a synthetic T4 thyroid hormone. T4 is the main thyroid hormone that your body produces naturally, but it needs to be converted into T3 for it to be used actively in the body. You see, T3 is the ACTIVE form of the thyroid hormone; meaning it’s what gives you energy, happiness and the metabolism required to burn fat! The reason why so many people normalize their T4 blood levels through medication, yet still experience typical hypothyroid symptoms is because the REAL PROBLEM is not the production of T4, but the conversion of T4 into active T3! This conversion process takes place primarily in the liver, which is why toxicity issues (overburdening the liver) are often involved in hypothyroid cases. This MUST be addressed if a return to normal function is to occur.
As if this scenario wasn’t already complex enough, there are still other culprits behind hypothyroid disease.
Often you will see me write about cellular inflammation when discussing the many chronic diseases affecting the American population today. I will not go into detail at length in this article but you can read more about this topic in the Autoimmune section of this site. The overwhelming majority of people struggling with low thyroid symptoms are also typically experiencing an autoimmune response. This means that their immune system mistakes the thyroid as an enemy and attacks it. This immune dysregulation (known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) can cause systemic inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a normal response to an injury, however, when the source of the inflammation isn’t addressed, the vicious cycle of systemic inflammation is never broken.
The autoimmune response is stopped when the inflammation is stopped; the inflammation is stopped when the inflammatory CAUSEis removed. It’s only when you deal with the underlying issues that you can allow the thyroid to return to normal function, and health be restored.
To learn more about how we can help you, schedule your evaluation with Dr. Ryan today!