Hypothyroidism – The Low Thyroid Symptoms You Should Know About
Hypothyroidism is a condition that effects millions across the globe
and yet there are still so many people that have symptoms
and have yet to be diagnosed. You become Hypothyroid when your thyroid
does not produce an adequate amount of hormones. These hormones course
through your body and are responsible for many functions within your
body especially your metabolism.
This disease can be a
result of iodine deficiency, from surgical removal of your thyroid known
as a Thyroidectomy or even from stress. In fact, stress can be a
common cause of this under diagnosed disease.
Why is this disease under diagnosed?
The list of symptoms of Hypothyroidism can appear to be unrelated to
many patients and doctors. These symptoms can often be misdiagnosed as
fibromylagia, although there is a link between Fibromylagia and Hypothyroidism, or even as depression and patients can go on for years being
undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism are:
Although this is not a
complete list of symptoms
it gives you an idea of what many Hypothyroid patients feel.
When I was originally diagnosed with Hypothyroidism I had all of the above and more. I
was exhausted even after 8 or 10 hours of sleep. I was constipated for
years… Sorry I know…… way too much information!
doctor after doctor never checked my thyroid levels and I didn’t have
enough information at that time to ask the right questions. I just kept
changing my primary care doctor until I found one that would listen to
I knew all those symptoms meant something……
What causes Hypothyroidism?
In a word stress….. Well I guess that’s not entirely true! The
causes of this disease can be from stress however this disease can also be caused by
a virus such as the flu, can be a result of Postpartum Thyroiditis or
can be the result of having your thyroid gland
removed also known as a Thyroidectomy. Hypothyroidism is fairly common
in families as well. A great example of this is my family. My mother and
maternal grandmother both suffer from Hypothyroidism.
What are the tests to determine Hypothyroidism?
The main test
that most doctors perform is the TSH (thyroid
stimulating hormone) test. This is a blood test that will be performed
in your doctors office or at a lab. Although this is the most universal
is not the end all be all test. There is quite a bit of controversy
regarding the “normal levels” that are being used by various labs.
To be honest any doctor that tells you that you are in range according to
the lab and is unwilling to listen to how you feel may not be the right doctor for you or anyone else for that matter.
The lab that I use (their name is left out to protect the guilty)
is still using a range of 0.5 to 5.0 for TSH. In 2002 and 2003, that
range was recommended to be changed by the American Association of
Clinical Endocrinologists to be 0.3 to 3.0. These new lab levels
however have not been changed by most labs.
My current doctor knows the new lab values and takes that
into consideration in readjusting my medication and he also asks me how I
am feeling. But most doctors are unaware of the new values and feel
that if your TSH level is within that 0.5 to 5.0 you are within range
and will not treat you with medication. As a result, there are
millions of women and men suffering with symptoms of this disease and
are being refused treatment and a diagnosis.
Keep in mind that there is not a perfect TSH number.
current TSH level hovers around the .9 to 1.1 range and that is the
level that I feel good at most of the time. Your level may be higher or
lower than that and each person has a different tolerance level of what
I’ve heard hypothyroidism patients complain that their doctor
tries to keep them in the middle of the range. That may be great for one
person but too high or low for another.
I guess my point is the perfect TSH level for you is what you feel good at not just being in the middle of the range.
There are many
schools of thought related to what medication to take for
My doctor prescribes a natural dessicated medication. He believes that
this medication is as close to your bodies own production of
hormones and most of his patients feel better and do well on this type
Currently I am taking Nature Throid. Most doctors
prefer to prescribe synthetic medication such as levothyroxine.
You may know this type of medication by the name of Synthroid.This
tends to be the most commonly prescribed medication by doctors.
own experience, taking levothyroxine years ago helped some however once my symptoms of Hashimotos Disease starting rearing
their ugly head the synthroid was useless.
I think many doctors are not
fully aware and educated about natural dessicated medicines and therefore
don’t prescribe them. This is unfortunate as I fully credit my doctor
with giving me my life back by prescribing this medication.
You may have been told by your physician after being diagnosed and sent
home with a prescription that you will begin losing weight within a
couple weeks. If you have fantastic! However, most Hypothyroidism
patients have a incredibly hard time losing weight and find that taking
their medication does not result in a weight loss. I was told this by my
doctor years ago when I was diagnosed and started taking my medication
I was ecstatic!!!!!….. How fantastic……. the
weight was just going to start dropping off. Well, I didn’t even lose a
pound. I was so disappointed……..
So the bad
news is that your metabolism is probably working at a snails pace and
you are going to have to really work on losing weight with a Hypothyroidism diagnosis. My own experience
has been that of trial and error. You may want to consider trying a new eating plan to jump start your metabolism.
Pay attention to how you feel when
you eat certain foods.
Do you feel tired after eating or energized? Do
you have digestives issues? All of these items can be telltale signs
that your body likes or doesn’t like certain foods and you will probably
have to start eliminating certain items to feel better.
currently am trying to limit my carbohydrates to low sugar fruits and items like beans that have a complex carbohydrate profile. So the
answer is yes you can lose weight if you are hypothyroid just know you
are probably going to have to work harder than everyone else at it.
a constant struggle for me and I like to go through my “it’s not fair”
talk all the time. But the reality is this is the thyroid disease we have to work
with so we have to make the best of it. I am currently developing a
eating plan that works for me and have seen results so just hang in
there and try different diets or plans and see what works for your body.
Thyroid Disease in Families
Something else to consider is the link of this disease in
families. It is very common to have multiple family members with thyroid
disease. For instance my maternal grandmother and my mother are both diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.
I was diagnosed as Hypothyroid about 5 years ago and have
learned since then that I actually have
which is a autoimmune disease. After years of being tired, run down and suffering from extreme allergies,
my sister just learned this year that she too has Hashimotos Disease after the birth of her son.
in children also occurs but not as frequently as in women. Because of
the strong family link I have had both of my sons tested as well just to
make sure. Severe Hypothyroidism in infants can also occur although it
is rare and is diagnosed as Cretinisim.
Be in touch with your body and any symptoms you may
When I was desperate for some type of diagnosis I started
keeping a running list of problems I was having. I kept my list on a
word document and kept adding to the list as symptoms would occur. Make
sure you add things that you may not even think are related as well.
This will give a good doctor an idea of what has been happening in your
body. Don’t worry if you think the list makes you look like a
hypochondriac. My list was a mile long but when I found the
right doctor who would look at my lab tests AND how I was feeling I felt
such relief that these were all real issues and not just in my head.
Find a good doctor….NO
find a great doctor to help you with your path to wellness. Keep asking
questions and keep pushing until you feel healthy and well.
Your Thyroid will thank you!
Return to Home