If it cannot be determined precisely which possible solution is correct, then the determination might only be made by a series of therapeutic trials. One can consider the risks and benefits of each alternative, and try one alternative after another until the best solution is found. It makes sense that one should first try, alternatives that have the greatest amount of pros as opposed to cons (greatest benefit as compared to costs/risks). If one treatment had a much greater potential for resolving the symptoms than another, or if one was much more simple to render than another, then the simpler treatment with the greater potential for benefit would seem to be the alternative that should be considered first.
The following are points that make Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and low body temperature patterns one of the first of all medical ailments to be considered rather than the last.
1. It is extremely common and is becoming more prevalent every day because of changes in our society and because of changes in our population brought on, in part, by advancements in medical technology that have helped more people live long enough to develop this problem. Again, “When you hear hoof beats, think of horses not zebras.”
2. It is extremely important. The symptoms can be severely debilitating and getting it treated can make all the difference in someone’s life. It is hard to imagine any other malady (which is not immediately life-threatening) that takes a greater toll on individuals and our society. It meets, in spades, what is sometimes called the “so-what” criterion.
3. It is an easy solution to a lot of problems. So, if Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is the underlying problem, there is a chance of killing many birds with one stone. It is always better to treat the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms. The potential for benefit is so great because the problem affects such a fundamental level of organization of the body and therefore can have profound physiological consequences.
4. There is a good chance that the problem can be remedied, staying corrected even after the medicine has been discontinued. Women with irregular periods are often helped by being “cycled” on birth control pills for a couple of months to regulate their periods. Once the menstrual cycle has been restored to a regular pattern, they frequently stay regular even after the birth control pills have been discontinued. In much the same way, one may “take control” of the thyroid system and restore it to an appropriate pattern with the symptoms resolving and often staying resolved even after the “cycling” has been discontinued. It’s always preferable when someone does not have to take a medicine for life.
5. It doesn’t take long for one to see if one is on the right track. Since the problem is so simple, if one responds, the response is usually dramatic, with improvement being seen many times within two days to two weeks. If a symptom responds, it is expected that many, if not all, of the symptoms would also respond at the same time.
6. It’s not foreign. Unlike most other medicines, thyroid hormones were not designed by a man in a laboratory. They are substances that have been present in each person’s body since birth. This fact decreases the potential of any unforeseen long term side effects to the body, and it decreases the potential for unforeseen drug interactions (but, of course, thyroid medicines are not candy and no medicine is completely without risk).
Now, if one could choose the characteristics of medical problems that should be among the first possibilities considered in addressing any ailment, one would choose:
1. Common or likely
2. Significant and having an impact (so-what criterion)
3. Easy to address
4. Having a potential for correction or “cure”
5. Rapidly responsive
6. Least invasive, being less likely to cause any tissue damage or long-term harm
Because Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome affects such a fundamental level of organization, or “cornerstone” of the human body, there is something unbelievably strange about it. Of all chronic medical problems, I believe that Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is the most common, has the greatest impact, is the easiest to address, is the most likely to be remedied, is the most rapidly responding and has the most inherent or non-foreign of treatments. For these reasons, Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome should be the first of impairments to be considered in the treatment of patients rather than the last.
If Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is so common, then how could it be overlooked for so long? Well, what if it was so common and so similar to a body’s natural response to living conditions that it was overlooked as being “pretty normal,” in spite of the symptoms being recognized, even individually, as inappropriate enough to warrant all manner of symptomatic treatments.
I know as well as anyone that this scenario sounds a little far-fetched. But nevertheless, strange things do happen. Lets talk about strange: A 45-year-old patient has been suffering from severe depression, dry skin, dry hair, memory problems, fatigue, fluid retention, constipation, and panic attacks and has been to numerous doctors who have treated her symptoms with antidepressants, antianxiety medicines, and headache medicines continuously for the past 20 years. She remembers her symptoms beginning 20 years previously when she lost her job and had to move to another state. Since then, her symptoms have not relinquished or subsided. She subsequently divorced and has not been in contact with her children for the past 12 years because of the severe depression. Her symptoms are not mild. In fact, they are quite severe, so severe that she has been continually under doctors’ care since the symptoms began. All of her tests are normal, yet her body temperature patterns are low. It seems almost inconceivable, yet the patient’s symptoms begin resolving immediately once her body temperature begins to become more normal when she is started on proper thyroid hormone treatment. Within a month and a half, her symptoms are completely resolved, and she has been weaned off the antianxiety and antidepressant medications without difficulty. She feels, for the first time in 20 years, the way she used to feel. If one sees enough of such cases it can begin to affect one’s point of view.
Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is probably the most common of all chronic ailments and may take a greater toll on society than any other medical condition. Since it is easily recognized and treated, it should be one of the first medical ailments considered in the treatment of patients, rather than the last.
It is paradoxical to be discussing such a simple problem that has such profound implications and yet has been overlooked for so long when it is so easy to recognize and treat. It is also paradoxical because, how could the uncovering of such a significant problem have been so simple or easy? One would expect that something with such great ramifications should have come about only after millions and millions of dollars have been spent by teams of scientists, governments, labs, research hospitals, or pharmaceutical companies; and by having computers read, assimilate, and analyze 54 centuries worth of medical information.
However, as it turns out, developments in science and medicine frequently don’t happen in that way. I have always been intrigued by stories about how significant scientific and medical discoveries have been made, and they almost always have one thing in common. That is, someone noticed something a little bit unusual or unexpected and out of the ordinary as compared to what one might have expected. Then, by looking more carefully into the unusual event, and by analyzing it, and by trying to figure out what factors or forces played a part in causing the unexpected event to come to pass; the scientists were able to identify previously unidentified factors of great significance.
For example, in 1928, British scientist Alexander Flemming was working with cultures of bacteria that he was trying to grow in petri dishes. One day he pulled his bacterial culture off the shelf and noticed that it was contaminated with a mold. He could have just discarded the bacterial culture as being ruined, but just before he did, he noticed that the bacteria was not growing within a certain distance of the contaminating mold. He wondered to himself, what was preventing the bacteria from growing near the mold? By analyzing the mold and by looking more closely, he was able to isolate penicillin. That discovery, needless to say, has had an immeasurable impact on the practice of medicine and the lives of millions of people.
Another example is when Madame Curie noticed that when she developed radiographic plates of the image of her hand, she was able to see the outline of her flesh, and she could also see the skeleton of her hand. She realized that the energy that had exposed the plate had passed more easily through the soft tissues of her hand and less easily through the bone, which provided the interesting image on the photographic plate. Such was the humble beginning of the entire field of radiology. This discovery also changed the world forever, and thus, strange things do happen.