Browsing through some news sites I found this interesting article about an actress in the UK who suffered from a debilitating thyroid condition: Dailymail.co.uk
Sherrie Hewson speaks about living with a thyroid condition and the debilitating fatigue she still suffers from. In my mind if someone is still very fatigued (she puts it down to her sleep apnoea problem which can be related to hypothyroidism) then she is not on the proper medication.
In the article it states “‘Patients often feel tired and have a weight problem before diagnosis but once thyroxine is administered and levels of the replacement in blood tests are found to be satisfactory, these symptoms cannot be blamed on the thyroid. ‘Thyroxine is extremely effective and I often tell patients that thyroxine-is as good coming from the bottle as it is from the body.’ Indeed, Sherrie was prescribed the synthetic hormone replacement by an endocrinologist. However, she found that getting the dose right was a fine balancing act. ”
I don’t know how many times I have heard this – a patient is put on thyroxine which is T4, an inactive form of thyroid hormone which the body must convert into T3, the active form, before it will have a positive effect. This conversion is dependant upon many factors, including certain nutrients and co-factors, hormones and organ function. There are also many factors which an inhibit this vital conversion – stress being one of them.
For a doctor to say that once thyroxine is administered and the blood tests are fine – then any hypothyroid symptoms cannot be blamed on the thyroid gland – is the absolute height of ignorance. Blood tests for thyroid function are notoriously unreliable and the TSH levels have not been found to correlate to optimal thyroid function or health. But if a doctor believes in the blood tests to the exclusion of all other information, then the poor patient must suffer through the standard advice of “Your thyroid gland is fine, you just need to eat less and exercise more – oh, and here is a script for some anti-depressants too!” Unfortunately this is an all too common scenario.
The ignorance of medical doctors and endocrinologists with regards to treating thyroid disorders is astounding. To use only thyroxine without considering Armour (a natural dessicated thyroid product) or T3 which has proven to be a safe and effective treatment, or a combination of T3 and thyroxine – is a massive disservice to the thousands of women suffering from thyroid related disorders who are on thyroxine and are still suffering.
I hope this lady, and the thousands like her, are able to find alternative doctors to review all options with regards to suitable medication. That is not to say that looking to natural medicine wouldn’t assist either. There is a huge amount that can be done naturally to improve thyroid function, the conversion of T4 to T3, to reduce antibodies and to support adrenal function, with nutrition, herbal medicine and the appropriate supplements. A combination of both natual medicine and appropriate medication is likely to be the best solution for these women.