January is Thyroid Awareness Month. Are you wondering if you might have hypothyroidism? Are you finding yourself tired all the time? Is it difficult to concentrate at work or remember people’s names? Do you also have symptoms such as unexplained weight gain, trouble sleeping, constipation, muscle and joint pain, depressed moods and more?
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition when your thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough thyroid hormones for your body’s needs. It can also occur when you are making enough thyroid hormones, as can be indicated by the TSH blood test, but they are not being properly used by the cells of your body, also resulting in low thyroid function.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
Difficulty losing weight
Enlarged tongue with teeth indentations
Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
Muscle pain and cramps
Tiredness after a full night’s sleep
Recurrent and chronic infections
Decreased mental sharpness, “brain fog”
Brittle fingernails with ridging
Low basal body temperature
Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
Depression or mood swings
Enlarged thyroid gland
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you may have done your research and concluded that you most likely do have hypothyroidism. What a relief. You feel a sense of accomplishment now that you have finally identified what is wrong. The next step is to get officially diagnosed and treated by your doctor. Sounds easy enough, right?
Unfortunately, this is where a very frustrating journey begins for most people in their quest to get a proper hypothyroidism diagnosis. In addition, once that diagnosis is obtained, there’s another battle to get the right treatment.
If you are confused or frustrated about the best way to find out if you have hypothyroidism, let us help shed some light on this issue. Here are 5 thyroid myths you need to know to help you get the right answers.
5 Hypothyroidism Myths You Need to Know
1. The TSH blood test is the best way to diagnose hypothyroidism.
“My doctor said my blood work is normal.” We can’t tell you how many times we have heard that statement. Just because your lab tests come back in the normal range does not mean that you don’t have hypothyroidism.
The TSH blood test is not the most accurate way to diagnose hypothyroidism. While your thyroid gland may be producing enough thyroid hormones so that the TSH blood test falls within the normal lab range, your cells may not be able to use those hormones efficiently, which is why you would still have symptoms of hypothyroidism. It’s as simple as that.
Watch Dr. Hotze as he explains why lab tests are not accurate.
2. Synthroid is the gold standard treatment for hypothyroidism.
Unfortunately, conventional doctors are taught that Synthroid is the treatment of choice for hypothyroidism. Synthetic thyroid medications, such as Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and Levothyroxine, contain only a synthetic version of T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone.
Your cells must be able to convert T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, in order to produce energy. For this reason, many people still experience all the symptoms of hypothyroidism even though they are taking these medications. We recommend compounded T3/T4, which contains both the inactive thyroid hormone (T4) and the active thyroid hormone (T3).
3. An endocrinologist is the best type of doctor to see for hypothyroidism.
Endocrinologists are taught to take the conventional route to both diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism, a route that fails many of thousands of patients. This means that not only will you most likely be denied a proper diagnosis due to the limitations of the TSH blood test, but also if you are fortunate enough to be diagnosed, you will be treated with Synthroid.
4. If you have hypothyroidism, then you will gain weight.
While it is common to gain weight with hypothyroidism, not everyone does, so don’t let that fool you if you have other symptoms of low thyroid function. It could still be possible that you have hypothyroidism.
5. Hypothyroidism only occurs in women.
While hypothyroidism tends to occur more often in women, men can have hypothyroidism, too. Even children can have hypothyroidism. Anyone can have it. At birth, newborn babies are checked for hypothyroidism since it could severely hinder their growth and development. If symptoms of hypothyroidism are present, then it is definitely worth getting evaluated, no matter what your gender or age.
Finally, watch as our doctors explain four ways to diagnose hypothyroidism so that you can get the correct diagnosis.
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Patients Don’t Lie. Thyriod Lab Tests Do.