At first, I mentioned to a few patients that I thought they might have slow metabolisms, and mentioned what I thought might help. But I found us getting into rather impertinent discussions about what they had read in magazines about what could and couldn’t be done for the metabolism. And when I referred to the problem as subclinical hypothyroidism, the discussions would take off on misdirecting tangents about hypothyroidism not needing treatment if the blood tests are normal; and even if it did, T3 would not be preferable over T4 in its treatment. But I wasn’t really talking about hypothyroidism or low thyroid gland function. I found that we were getting into unnecessary discussions about semantics, and confusion over the name I was using to refer to this problem and its treatment. It was clear that a new name was needed, to reduce confusion. When the problem was referred to as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, people would ask, “Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, what’s that?” With that name people are alerted right away that we’ll be talking about an approach they may not have heard of before, which saves a lot of time and confusion.
The name Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome also saved time by quickly answering another question that would occasionally come up: Who thinks this different approach is a good idea? The answer, at the time was, “I do”. I’m happy to report now that hundreds of other doctors across North America and around the world also think so. Of course, treating patients clinically with thyroid hormones has been done for over 50 years, but the how’s and why’s can be very significant. And sure, the scientific basis for the paradigm was already right there in the medical literature (see the Review Article in the appendix for a tour) but the information had not been collected in one spot, and the literature was a little scanty as to what to do about it. The downside to naming it Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, is that it may sound like something someone made up. But everything is something someone made up, that’s what new developments and discoveries are for. We’re in the information and technology age, and new things popping up around us every day is more the norm than the exception. Day by day, new tools and technologies are enhancing the way we live. There’s no reason the field of medicine should be left behind.