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Low thyroid: What to do?

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:10am
I've gotten a number of requests for solutions on how to solve the low thyroid issue if either 1) your doctor refuses to discuss the issue or denies it is present, or 2) there are government mandates against thyroid correction unless certain (outdated) targets are met.

Oh, boy.

While I'm not encouraging anyone to break the laws or regulations of their country (and it's impossible to generalize, with readers of this blog originating from over 30 countries), here are some simple steps to consider that might help you in your quest to correct hypothyroidism:

--Measure your body temperature--First thing in the morning either while lying in bed or go to the bathroom and measure your oral temp. Record it and, if it is consistently lower than 97.0 degrees (Fahrenheit), show it to your doctor. This may help persuade him/her.(You can still be hypothyroid with higher temperatures, but if low temperatures are present, it is simply more persuasive evidence in favor of treatment).

--Supplement with iodine 150 mcg per day to be sure you are not iodine deficient. This is becoming more common in the U.S. as people avoid iodized salt. It is quite common outside the U.S. An easy, inexpensive preparation is kelp tablets.

--Show your doctor a recent crucial study: The HUNT Study that suggests that cardiovascular mortality begins to increase at a TSH of only 1.5 or greater, not the 5.5 mIU usually used by laboratories and doctors.

--Ask people around you whether they are aware of a health practitioner who might be willing to work with you, or at least have an open mind (sadly, an uncommon commodity).

Also, see thyroid advocate and prolific author, Mary Shomon's advice on how to find a doctor willing to work with you. Yes, they are out there, but you may have to ask a lot of friends and acquaintances, or meet and fire a lot of docs. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. It will change through public pressure and education, but not by next week.

Another helpful discussion from Mary Shomon: The TSH Normal Range: Why is there still controversy? You will read that even the endocrinologists (a peculiarly contentious group) seethingly debate what constitutes normal vs. low thyroid function.

Also, you might remind a resistant health practitioner that guidelines are guidelines --they are not laws that restrain anyone. They are simply meant to represent broad population guidelines that do not take your personal health situation into consideration.
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