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The problem with thyroid medication

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My wife didn’t always have the energy she needed to keep going during the day, nor did her metabolism always run well enough to ward off weight gain. This is classic hypothyroidism, but it was only fully diagnosed by a doctor who was perceptive enough to give her a full thyroid panel, not just a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test.

She’s full of energy now, and she shares her story as often as possible so that others in her situation can make sure they don’t have a hidden thyroid issue. But she was recently reminded that even when you find a doctor that listens to you and runs the right tests, your problems still might not end.

A friend confided in my wife that her thyroid was “acting up” again. Although she’d been on thyroid medication for years, nothing had stopped the fatigue and brain fog she lived with on a daily basis. Nothing even put a dent in the weight gain she was experiencing.

Once or twice every year, like clockwork, her doctor would increase her dosage of medicine… but the constant symptoms have left her beyond frustrated. And she isn’t alone.

About 15 percent of patients with hypothyroidism continue to feel sick despite following the standard of care recommended by the American Thyroid Association.

Doctors routinely prescribe levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, adjusting the dose until blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stabilize.

Yet, despite normal TSH tests, these patients still have many nagging symptoms of hypothyroidism — symptoms like depression, a slow foggy mind and, of course, weight gain.

While their doctors tell them that they’re getting the right amount of medication, that their TSH is normal and that they should feel fine, their persistent symptoms are not just in their heads.

Individuals on levothyroxine who had normal TSH levels were:

• Significantly more likely to be taking antidepressants than people with normal thyroid function

• Less physically active, suggesting lower energy levels

• Overweight compared to their peers by approximately 10 pounds even though they consumed fewer calories, after adjustments for body weight

• More likely to be using beta blockers, a drug frequently prescribed to lower blood pressure and statins that reduce cholesterol levels

In other words, despite the fact that they were taking thyroid medication that supposedly fixed the problem, they were more tired, depressed, overweight and unhealthy than a person with normal thyroid function.

So, if even taking prescription thyroid medication may not solve the problem, what can you do?

The answer lies in boosting your thyroid health naturally. My wife encouraged our daughter to follow the following, more holistic path to thyroid health.

#1 Repair your gut Poor gut health has been linked to autoimmune issues, including thyroid problems, so start repairing your gut today by taking a good quality probiotic.

#2 Reduce inflammation — As with many disease processes, your thyroid health is affected by the inflammation levels in your body. To reduce inflammation, avoid processed foods and sugar, take a high quality omega-3 supplement and eat a diet high in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.

#3 Supplement —
Boost your thyroid health by supplementing for any hidden deficiencies. Ones to include are iodine, selenium, zinc, copper and L-Tyrosine. The one I recommend that offers all five is Peak Thyroid Support.


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