I see hypothyroid patients every clinic shift. It should not be unsuspected.
Hypothyroidism is rampant.
I thought colds, diarrhea, coughs were supposed to be quite common in a day's work at clinic.
Seems my perception of what a doc sees day in and day out is changing.
Being hypothyroid is not as simple as just taking Synthroid or Armour thyroid. There is a cause behind it.
As a naturopathic clinician, we are supposed to determine the cause yet I am finding that half of my supervisors simply fall into to prescribing pills for it without looking for a true cause.
Yes they look for antibodies against the thyroid and yes they discover hypothyroidism much better than many other physicians. Yet they are falling into the prescribe mode too quickly.
For example - today, I saw a young woman, 31 yo, about 11 months post-partum with Hashimoto's disease. This means that she is a fairly new mom with an 11 month old and has antibodies attacking her own thyroid - an autoimmune induced thyroid disease.
That means her own body has created an immune reaction to it's own thyroid - thereby attempting to destroy it. I find that odd. I find that there must be some major imbalance behind that.
So instead of finding that imbalance, we prescribed seleniomethionine and thyroid to try and shut it down for a bit. Suppression. Not good in my book.
Here is the body telling us that something is up and we simply begin by telling it to shut up and go to sleep?
My guess is that there is some environmental cause behind it - or a nutritional issue.
Am I nuts? Do I think there is an environmental or nutritional cause behind everything now?
Am I right?
Research says I may be right in this patient's case:
Thyroid Hormones in Pregnancy in Relation to Environmental Exposure to Organochlorine Compounds and Mercury
Calcium, magnesium, and zinc status in experimental hypothyroidism.
So then why do we tell her thyroid to shut up and go to sleep? Why do we suppress it? Yes it is making way too much Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. But why is it doing that?
It is being attacked by her immune system.
Ok - but why?
Because her immune system is hyperactive so we need to quiet it.
Ok - but why?
Because she possibly has elevated mercury or other toxins floating around her tissues. Or she may have an altered zinc status.
Ok - now we're getting somewhere.
Why though? Well perhaps she ate a ton of the most toxic fruits and veggies while younger. Perhaps her mom was riddled with toxic compounds while she was pregnant with her -thereby passing them onto her.
Ok - but why is she getting symptoms now and not before.
Because mercury and these other compounds are stored away nicely typically in fat, bone and at times muscle. Now she is breastfeeding. Now she is inducing lipolysis which means she is breaking down fat and muscle in order to provide enough fuel to create breast milk. So this means while she her body is breaking down fat to create her breast milk, she is also increasing her toxic load in her blood. Meaning that she is creating a hyperactive immune system due to increased levels of circulating mercury and other environmental toxins.
Simple mechanism but missed all the damn time.
What to do?
Test her for heavy metal and other environmental toxins - after she is done breastfeeding - or now. The sad part of all this is she is dumping a lot of her toxic load right into her baby via her breast milk. So in the future, her own baby will likely have thyroid issues down the line.
The patient reported that her whole family is taking thyroid meds as they all have Hashimoto's disease. Ding Ding Ding.
Doesn't that tell you that likely there is something going on in this family line causing the issue?
Look deep folks. Don't simply settle for taking pills for a symptom. The body knows better and deals with things by creating symptoms in order to alert us.
It is up to us to listen to those symptoms - not make them go away by suppressing them.
You're asking then - why didn't you say something to the supervising physician if you think that the patient is toxic?
I will. Today I couldn't due to lack of time and also because I am what they call - a secondary clinician. Meaning that I am a peon who fetches papers, preps the room with equipment and takes blood pressure. It is not my place to take an active role in the case history. I can provide some feedback but I cannot run the patient visit.
It drives me nuts as I see this shit over and over and I do not have the uumph to get supervisors to listen.
That's ok. They can practice their medicine and I will practice my medicine down the road. Perhaps I may too fall into the trap of simply prescribing Armor thryoid or Synthroid for my own patients.
If I do - then I damn well have at least looked for the root cause of the disease.
Ask your doc questions. You are in charge. It is your health. It is up to you to tell your full story to the doctor.
Doctors are busy. Doctors can be lazy. Doctors are human. Give all your health history no matter how dumb it may seem. Put it all together before you visit the doc. Then hopefully you will get a successful visit and outcome.
Symptoms are warnings. Listen to them. Don't simply take a pill next time you have a headache.
Hell - it can be a simple sign telling you to drink a cup of water and cut down on coffee.
Will anyone read this blog post? Long as hell and not too exciting. But if you made it this far then I guess you found it relevant and useful.
I'm glad. Because it is relevant and useful and there is absolutely no way to condense this information. It must be explained point by point.
I wish you well.