The Massive Under Utilization of Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy Part I of a Mini Series

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By Michael Gerber, MD, HMD Epidemic Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) its causes, diagnosis and treatment is an extremely multifactorial business.  Misleading and misunderstood thyroid laboratory measures (TSH, T4) overshadow many important signs and symptoms of the physical examination such as coldness, dryness, obesity, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, heavy periods, infertility, hair loss, digestive disorders, constipation and many more.  Environmental and genetic inhibitory factors are legion at every level of central and tissue thyroid receptors.  Untreated thyroid (gland in the throat that is in charge of metabolism at every cell in the body) dysfunction is responsible for untold misery such as unnecessary hysterectomies from menorrhagia (heavy periods), needless antidepressant drug administration and pain medication.  Quality of life issues such as chronic fatigue, obesity, infertility and up to 300 different health issues could be solved with proper thyroid support and lifestyle changes. Although none of this information is particularly new, there are many recent citations I will review which, I hope, will embolden the reader with this information to resist the standard, allopathic (regular doctors) only line that unless thyroid blood test parameters are grossly abnormal they don’t need natural thyroid pill support. In my 41 years of medical practice we have had not just monthly but daily and weekly miracles related to sensitive thyroid replacement therapy.  All of medical prescribing is an art as well as science and particularly so for thyroid.  Balancing adrenal (super gland on top of the kidneys) support is critical to avoid overstimulation during gentle titration of the thyroid hormone.  I do like to repeat my “cup of coffee” rule of thumb.  Patients who can drink a pot of coffee and go right to bed and sleep well can usually replace thyroid at a more vigorous rate than the patient who smells some coffee and is up for two days.  Those who can’t stand any stimulation need to be started from 1/16th grain or less of my favorite thyroid, NatureThroid (Westhroid) and the new even cleaner (fewer additives and excipients) NatureThyroid P especially for the more allergically sensitive patient. Many good books and treatises have been written on hypothyroidism.  The first that I read was  Hypothyroidism The Unsuspected Illness, by Broda Barnes, MD.  Stephen Langer, MD wrote Solved the Riddle of Illness.  More Lately Mark Starr, MD wrote  Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic.  Also Stop The Thyroid Madness by Janie A Bowthorpe, M.Ed.  Older endocrinology texts such as Wilson’s Endocrinology remind us that a high cholesterol level was the poor man’s measure of hypothyroidism. What’s Wrong with Thyroid Blood Tests? After a review of 118 peer reviewed, medical articles The National Academy of Hypothyroidism documents convincing opinions and data about the unreliability of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary, master gland in the head) as a reflection of thyroid status.  Hang in there with me on this. “The TSH is thought to be the most sensitive marker of peripheral tissue levels of thyroid, and it is erroneously assumed by most endocrinologists and other physicians that, except for unique situations, a normal TSH is a clear indication that the person’s tissue thyroid levels are adequate.  A more thorough understanding of the physiology of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis and tissue regulation of thyroid hormones demonstrates that the widely held belief that the TSH is an accurate marker of the body’s overall thyroid status is clearly erroneous.” The TSH test is rendered inaccurate by a plethora of coexisting symptoms.  Physiologic stress, depression, insulin resistance and diabetes, aging, calorie deprivation (dieting), PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, obesity and numerous other conditions.  Thus, with physiologic or emotional stress the TSH is not a reliable or sensitive marker of an individual’s true thyroid status.” TSH is the only screening blood test that some physicians are using to determine thyroid status.  It misses many people who desperately need thyroid. References. • •    National Academy of Hypothyroidism

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Dr. Michael Gerber, MD, HMD – Practitioner of Homeopathic Medicine

Natural approaches to medicine have always been of vital interest to Dr. Gerber. Since 1976 Dr. Gerber has been a chelating physician and Diplomat of the American Board of Chelation Therapy since 1984. He is a Diplomat of the International College of Anti-Aging Medicine and is a graduate of the UCLA Medical Acupuncture Training Program. He is President of the Nevada Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association, a Past President of the Orthomolecular Medical Association. Dr. Gerber was also a medical advisor and featured columnist for Alternative Medicine Magazine. He is a diplomat of ABCMT (American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology) since 1984. Currently Dr. Gerber is a monthly contributor to Healthy Beginnings and The Townsend Newsletter.
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