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Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Why Aren't Our Doctors Talking About This?

Posted Sep 06 2010 10:09am
 
Sub-clinical hypothyroidism means that your blood work appears to indicate that you have no thyroid-related issues. Your doctor has assured you that all is well. But you don't necessarily feel well, or you feel you have unexplained symptoms that no one is paying much attention to. There is controversy about this subject in the field of medicine simply because traditional doctors go by blood tests and appear to refuse to want to look at the research, some of it from as early as the 1800's with many clinical studies, and all of the years between then and now (see sources below), that indicates that the blood work is not enough. It may be necessary to delve deeper and make a diagnosis based on symptoms and other methods.
 
Here are some sample symptoms for you to think about, although there are many more:
  • dry skin
  • hoarse voice
  • brittle hair and/or nails
  • vitiligo (white spots on the skin that don't tan. Sometimes they are progressive, i.e., they spread, sometimes they do not)
  • unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • puffy eyes or eyelids, puffy face
  • blepharitis (eye condition)
  • thinning of the eyebrows on the upper outer edge
  • headache, migraine
  • TMJ
  • teeth clenching
  • poor teeth and/or gums
  • bleed or bruise easily
  • vertigo
  • tinnitus
  • insomnia
  • sleep apnea
  • depression
  • some psychiatric disorders, bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis
  • myxedema (try this to see if you have it: pinch a bit of the skin on the back of your hand and lift it away from the hand...easy, right? Now try to do the same with the skin on the upper outer arm. If you find that you have to grab a whole bunch of arm - fat and muscle - in order to get the skin, even if you are thin, then you have may have myxedema). The word myxedema was, in fact, once the term for hypothyroidism
  • PMS, profuse bleeding, irregular menses
  • miscarriage
  • fertility issues ... the Starr book (see below) refers to numerous cases of infertility (male or female) successfully resolved once the underlying hypothyroidism issue had been tackled!
  • fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts
  • hysterectomy
  • melanoma
  • breast cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • constipation
  • acid reflux
  • eating disorders
  • umbilical hernia
  • pneumonia
  • hypoglycemia (reacting poorly to lack of sugary or sweet foods over time)
  • hypthermia (chilliness of the hands and feet ... you never really feel warm, even in bed)
  • arrested growth
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • atherosclerosis
  • congestive heart failure
  • clumsiness resulting in falls
  • gall bladder problems
  • bladder and/or kidney infections
  • auto-immune diseases

 
OK, so let's say you've read through this list and identified a number of symptoms that apply to you or someone you know. But your blood work says you are fine. Here is a simple test you can do at home, according to the work of Mark Starr, M.D . in his magnificent book  and Broda Barnes in his book  whose work is carried on via his foundation . Another endocrinologist, author of  and researcher who is highly acclaimed in this field is Dr. Thierry Hertoghe  in Brussels.
 
Using an old-fashioned glass thermometer (not digital), take your rising temperature under the arm before leaving your bed in the morning for about five days. Leave the thermometer in place for ten minutes. Do not adjust the reading for it not being oral. If it is lower than 97.8 - 98.2 F or 36.6 - 36.8 C, you might like to look for an endocrinologist in your area who is interested in treating this even if your blood work says you are fine. The least you should do under those circumstances is get more information.
 
Interestingly, it appears this tends to pass from the mother to the children and not from the father, even when the father himself has inherited it from his own mother and in all likelihood needs to be treated.
 
SOURCES:

  • Most of the information in this post derives from the book by Dr. Mark Starr:
  • the book by Broda Barnes:
  • Other indirect sources have been two books by Suzanne Somers:
  •  

  • the Broda Barnes and Thierry Hertoghe websites (see above)
  • on this NICABM blog written by Ruth Buczynski, a mouth-watering recipe by Dr.  for Artichoke Hearts with Caramelized Onions and Herb Dressing 
  • a recent article in Essential Magazine  about Functional Medicine

 
I cannot stress enough how eye-opening the Starr book is (it was the first one I read about hypothyroidism). Whatever your gender, if you happen to know that your mother had any kind of thyroid condition at all, you owe it to yourself to check this out, whether by buying the book or getting as much information as possible. If you don't know whether she had a thyroid condtion and can't ask anyone but feel that you have some of these symptoms, simply take the temperature test.
 
For anyone wishing to venture even further, you might wish to google some of these terms:

  • kefir
  • oil pulling
  • lysine
  • horse tail

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for purely educational purposes and should not substitute professional advice from your physician.
 
Photo Credit: Marc Aert
 
 
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