Problems Within Thyroid Diagnosis
Why Medication Sometimes Doesn’t Work
by David Pollack
Typically when learning of a thyroid problem, most people are led to believe that their thyroid has slowed down for some reason. Few get more details beyond a cursory mention of a high blood level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) meaning a slow thyroid. These patients are prescribed medications like levothyroxine, synthroid and sometimes natural bio-identical hormones like ArmourThyroid and Nature-Throid, marketed to normalize thyroid levels and balance the metabolism.
Despite the medication, many still feel the same hypothyroid symptoms: fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, aches and pains, lack of motivation and more. In most cases, the problem lies within the diagnosis. The most common type of hypothyroid problem is called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It is an auto-immune disease and accounts for nearly 70 percent of all hypothyroid issues. The hallmark of Hashimoto's is the autoimmune process, not the slowing of the thyroid. In fact, the thyroid doesn’t slow at all; if anything, it tries to speed up.
Our thyroid produces two hormones: Tetraidothyronine, or T4, and the forgotten hormone, calcitonin, which helps control how the body uses calcium. T4 is the weak inactivated thyroid hormone that must be converted into T3, the active form. To do that, our T4 thyroid hormone jumps on a thyroglobulin (TG) bus. This protein bus, which is made by the liver, brings the T4 back to the liver. It is primarily in the liver that T4 is converted to T3, the active form, by the enzyme thyroperoxidase (TP), also made in the liver. The T3 then boosts our metabolism and life is good.
In Hashimoto's, however, either or both the TG bus and TP enzyme is destroyed by the body's confused and hyperactive immune system resulting in a diagnosis of thyroid problems. No where is a slow or sluggish thyroid described. In fact, someone’s thyroid could be pumping out T4 because their body is screaming that metabolism is low, but no buses come to transfer it to the liver. The result would be an excess of T4 sitting in the thyroid but not the blood. The thyroid is not slow; the issue is one of transportation and conversion. The excess T4 that piles up in the thyroid can lead to a nodule or cyst.
For those interested in reversing and healing Hashimoto's, a systematic approach of healing all the areas involved is necessary. Healing the gut, restoring and detoxifying the liver, unclogging the lymphatic system, balancing all the hormone systems of the body and ridding the entire body of inflammation are some of the most important steps in healing Hashimoto's. Appropriate treatments are necessary, such as acupuncture, dietary modification, passive detoxification and other methods to speed up and more deeply heal the body. There are effective strategies to reversing Hashimoto's and attaining high energy, losing weight naturally and living life to its fullest.Dr. David Pollack, DC LAc CFMP, is a chiropractor and acupuncturist. He also has advanced studies in nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine and botanical medicine. His practice, Pollack Wellness Institute, is located at 66 Commack Rd., Ste. 204, Commack, NY. For more information, call 631-462-0801 or visit PollackWellness.com.