2 Common Hypothyroidism Myths Dispelled

Author: Bryana Gregory, PharmD., R.Ph.

2 Common Hypothyroidism Myths Dispelled

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. A properly functioning thyroid gland is crucial to your overall health. When you have low thyroid function, you can have many negative health symptoms and feel fatigued and sick. You need to be able to get the right help. We want to make you aware of some important information that will help you get the right diagnosis and treatment when you are being evaluated for hypothyroidism.

First, let us ask you a question: Do you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism because you are suffering from any or all of the following symptoms?

• Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
• Difficulty losing weight
• Weight gain
• Fluid retention
• Enlarged tongue with teeth indentations
• Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
• Cold intolerance
• Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
• Muscle pain and cramps
• Joint pain
• Tiredness after a full night’s sleep
• Recurrent and chronic infections
• Decreased mental sharpness, “brain fog”
• Hair loss
• Dry skin
• Brittle fingernails with ridging
• Low basal body temperature
• Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
• Depression or mood swings
• Constipation
• Menstrual irregularities
• Headaches
• Enlarged thyroid gland

You’ve probably done your research and you are sure that low thyroid function is the culprit. 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?

Well, unfortunately it’s not always that easy. Did your doctor tell you that your blood work is “normal” and then proceed to prescribe sleep and anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants? If you were diagnosed with hypothyroidism, did your doctor prescribe Synthroid, but you are still not feeling well and having all the symptoms? Unfortunately, this is where a very frustrating journey begins for most people in their quest to get a proper hypothyroidism diagnosis and treatment.

2 Common Hypothyroidism Myths Dispelled

Myth #1: The TSH blood test is the best way to diagnose hypothyroidism.

Just because your lab tests come back in the normal range does not mean that you couldn’t have hypothyroidism, especially if you have many of the symptoms of low thyroid function listed above.

The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. It tells your thyroid to make and release the thyroid hormones into your blood. Basically, it stimulates the production of two main hormones, T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine).

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 and need treatment. This lab range is so wide that most patients fall within its normal limits.

Myth # 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).

If you have been suffering from hypothyroidism, then supplementing with bioidentical compounded T3/T4 or natural desiccated thyroid can help support your thyroid function and improve your symptoms. To find out more or to order a refill of your thyroid, contact Physicians Preference Pharmacy today at 281-828-9088. It will be our privilege to serve you!