Why Am I Tired, Fat and Moody?

by Dr. Dave Peterson, DC, DCCN

Thyroid Statistics

• 27 million people in the US have a thyroid disorder.

• Half of those people are undiagnosed.

• 80% of all thyroid disease cases are diagnosed as Hypothyroidism.

• Females are five times more likely to develop hypothyroid conditions than males.

• 20% of people with Diabetes will experience a thyroid disorder.

• 50% of children with parents having a thyroid disorder may develop a thyroid disorder by age 40.

Thyroid disease is an epidemic. Here is an alarming statistic: More than 50% of thyroid disorders remain undiagnosed. Hypothyroidism remains undiagnosed and misdiagnosed because the symptoms vary from person to person and are non-specific. Practitioners and the patients themselves mistake the symptoms of hypothyroidism for depression, obesity or menopause.

Typically, once the symptoms of Hypothyroidism (weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, and mood fluctuations) seem significant, patients will seek medical treatment and their TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level will be measured. The TSH may be elevated and the patient will be diagnosed as Hypothyroid and placed on thyroid hormone replacement. Be aware: Doctors simplify this disease and make statements that Hypothyroidism is controlled through testing the TSH and prescribing a correlating thyroid hormone replacement medication. This indicates that the practitioner has a very poor understanding of thyroid function and the problems associated with the illness. All Hypothyroid patients must be tested for Hashimoto’s.

Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism in the United States. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system inappropriately attacks your thyroid gland. The inflammation caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis leads to an underactive thyroid gland. If the issue of the autoimmune attack in Hashimoto’s is not addressed, the underlying condition causing the thyroid loss will continue to progress. Over time more thyroid cells are lost and the thyroid hormone replacement dosage will need to be continually increased. The sad reality for Hashimoto’s patients is that all the symptoms of Hypothyroidism continue despite the fact that the TSH level appears managed and within normal ranges. Hashimoto’s patients become frustrated because their overall health is declining and their symptoms continue.

Thyroid function affects all the other hormones in the body. Proper thyroid regulation is essential for optimal hormonal balance and health. You are your best advocate. If you suspect you have a thyroid disorder, ask for this blood test. We suggest an annual Comprehensive Thyroid Wellness Profile, which includes thyroid hormones and thyroid antibodies. The test results will provide an accurate analysis of T3 Uptake, T4 and their ratios to each other. These tests can either diagnose Hashimoto’s or identify symptoms mimicking or contributing to Hypothyroidism. For example, if the results indicate the patient’s conversion of T4 to T3 level is too low then you will be evaluated for metabolic disturbances, which have symptoms similar to Hypothyroidism. Another example would be women on progesterone or estrogen (natural or synthetic) therapy experiencing hypothyroid symptoms because those hormones impair thyroid function. Discontinuing hormone replacement and promoting clearance of the body may correct thyroid issues without the need for prescriptions.

Getting the correct diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems has made a significant improvement in the quality of life of many patients and it could do the same for you!

Get your Wellness Thyroid Screening done today. Call for 636 227 4949 for more information or an appointment. www.stlwa.com.