I received a gift, from a patient, of a book about thyroid dysfunction and its treatment. It was written not by a physician or specialist but by a woman who suffered from hypothyroidism and took it upon herself to learn from other patients suffering from this disorder. She was angry and critical of the bulk of physicians who treat the disorder because she felt most physicians are wrong and that we were taught incorrectly.
The message of this author is important and I feel a compulsion to share this message with you. Basically:
Treat the patient, not the laboratory test numbers.
Most physicians are doing the wrong blood tests and don’t know how to interpret them.
Most hypothyroid patients are not being given enough Thyroid to turn off their signs and symptoms. The average hypothyroid patient will require 3 to 5 grains of dessicated thyroid, and most are being under-dosed.
Patients should never be treated with pure T4 synthetic hormone. All patients should be given natural dessicated thyroid that contains T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. Pure T4 Thyroid is devoid of the active form of Thyroid which is T3. T4 is our bodies’ storage form and patients must be given also the active T3 if they are to recover.
Critical to patients suffering hypothyroidism is that half of them are also suffering from adrenal fatigue. You will never recover unless you treat adrenal fatigue first.
The goals of treating hypothyroidism are:
Raise body temperature to 98.6 degrees in mid-afternoons.
Turn off all the signs and symptoms of low thyroid.
Raise the T3 level to upper third of normal range.
Treat patients who have autoimmune thyroiditis, one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism, with Thyroid.
Iron as measured by a ferritin level should be tested and supplemented if low.
The trace mineral Selenium is essential in the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3. Be sure the patient has some source of supplemental Selenium.
In general, I am happy to say, we at the Center have practiced most of these principles. What we may want to do is try to raise afternoon body temperature to 98.6, try to turn off most of the signs and symptoms and elevate the T3 level to the upper one-third of normal as measured in the blood.
Many of you are on Thyroid for hypothyroidism. If we have not achieved the established goals of therapy, you may want to review your current status and see if we can improve your condition.
I think this book, Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment by Janie A. Bowthorpe, is a worthwhile read. I encourage you to get a copy. It is written to be understood by the average non-medical person.
To your health,
Allan Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.
The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine