Dr Whiting on Thyroid




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Under-active thyroid or hypothyroid has become a very common occurrence in society. It is estimated that as many as 5% of the population have a hypothyroid condition and as many as another 5% may be borderline low thyroid. Of all of these people, 80% or 8 out of 10 are women. While we dont know exactly why this is completely, but we do know that hypothyroid is both genetic and hereditary, meaning that it is often passed from one generation to the other, mostly on the maternal side of the bloodlines. In fact, if you are female, and have other females in your family line such as mother, sisters, aunts, grandmother, etc., who have had hypothyroid; your chances are much higher that you too, will develop this condition some time in your life. Hypothyroid or low thyroid can produce a wide variety of symptoms. The most common include Depression, Poor Circulation, Poor Stamina, Low Energy, Dry Hair, Dry Skin, High Cholesterol, Brain Fog, Digestive Disorders, Weight Gain and many others. Since the symptoms of hypothyroid can also be those of other disorders, diagnosing hypothyroid can be elusive.
Since the thyroid gland is linked with many other glands and glandular systems within the body, when the thyroid is not functioning properly it can affect other glands and their function as well. One of the main functions of the thyroid is to produce thyroxin or thyroid hormone. This chemical, while performing many functions, is primarily the regulator of the metabolism. A sluggish or under-active thyroid will almost always produce a low body temperature and weight gain. It will also be very difficult for these individuals to lose excess weight once they have gained it. Even a slight reduction in resting metabolic rate of say, 3%, can, over time, make weight loss difficult.
If you have several or all of the symptoms of low thyroid such as Depression, Poor Circulation, Poor Stamina, Low Energy, Dry Hair, Dry Skin, High Cholesterol, Brain Fog, Digestive Disorders, and Weight Gain, you may wish to take the Barnes Temperature Test for hypothyroid. Begin by placing a fever thermometer by your bedside before going to bed at night. When you awaken in the morning do not move about or get out of bed, but simply stay still and place the thermometer under your arm for 10 minutes. Remove the thermometer and read & record your temperature. Do this for a week and average your temperature. If your average reading on the temperature test for hypothyroid is 97.5 degrees you have a chance of having at least a sluggish thyroid. If however, the temperature test for hypothyroid averages 97 degrees or less, it is almost assured that you have a low thyroid condition. You should then see your doctor for a blood test. But beware, you must ask for the right blood test to be really sure.

When you go to the doctor with symptoms of hypothyroid such as Depression, Poor Circulation, Poor Stamina, Low Energy, Dry Hair, Dry Skin, High Cholesterol, Brain Fog, Digestive Disorders, and Weight Gain, he will likely perform a blood test to measure what is called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH. This test alone is not enough to tell the whole story of your thyroid function. Testing for thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH can be very deceiving and many people with normal thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH levels still have an under-active thyroid and because the test is normal, go untreated and are forced to live with a long list of symptoms that can impact the quality of their lives. You want to be sure and ask for a full panel thyroid test that also measures T3 and T4 hormones. If your test does come back low, your doctor will likely prescribe thyroid hormone. Almost without fail you will receive a synthetic version of the hormone instead of a natural thyroid medication. Natural thyroid treatments are not often considered by physicians and this is sad as many people do much better with natural thyroid medicines.

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