Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thyroid Answer

I haven't written for quite some time because I have received the blessing of physical custody of four of my dear grandchildren. They have taken most of my extra time, so these blogs may be less often for a while. However, I received a question that I thought may be useful for everyone to read the answer to:

"I have some concerns about my low temperature in the AM and my tiredness, foggy brain, joint and pain muscles, my swollen body and the fact that no matter what I do I do not loose weight. My symptoms point to hypothyroidism...

I am curious to learn what is your approach to this health challenge, some of your recommendations and the best supplements and strategies to use to mnage/cure this situation. Thanks in advance."

First I would recommend getting tested. I have a much more narrow range than most doctors for test results, based on both studies and my own experience with patient symptoms.

Get the following tests: TSH, Free T3, Free T4, and thyroid antibodies.

My range for normal TSH is between 0.5 and 1.5. If it is between 1.0 and 2.0 and there are symptoms I normally recommend a trial of iodine. Over 2.0 I usually treat, most commonly with Armour Thyroid, though a small number of patients do better with Synthroid, or levothyroxine.

If any of the thyroid antibodies are positive, this is a diagnosis of Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis. About 60% of people with Hashimoto's have a gluten intolerance, so I would encourage anyone with this diagnosis to do a three month trial of a gluten free diet.

For further comments on thyroid imbalances, see my blog of Nov. 30, 2008.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi