It’s a complaint I’ve heard many times. Women struggling with thyroid issues tell me their doctors view them as difficult or demanding, since the doctors don’t know how to resolve their physical symptoms. “The tendency is usually to prescribe Synthroid, Levoxyl or another brand name or generic form of levothyroxine (T4), and then write off any unresolved symptoms as unrelated to the thyroid problem, as a consequence of poor lifestyle choices, or even, as a somatoform disorder, also known as a psychosomatic disease,” writes one prominent alternative endocrinology expert, Kent Holtorf, M.D., of Torrance, CA.
The unresolved symptoms may include fatigue, foggy thinking, depressed mood, low sex drive, and inability to lose weight, among others. These are the kinds of symptoms some doctors want you to categorize as “all in your head,” or “normal aging”, simply because the lab tests are “normal”. Unfortunately, many physicians equate normal lab tests with health.
I suggest you don’t buy into this diagnostic dead-end. Instead, take your health into to your own hands and do some detective work. Are your symptoms related to thyroid issues that don’t show up on tests? One way to find out is by checking your body temperature. (For instructions on how to do this correctly, see “How are body temperatures measured” on our website.) If your body temperature is consistently low (below 98.5 F., or 36.94 C, but typically lower than 97.8 F, or 36.56 C.) there’s a good chance that you have low thyroid hormone function. You may have low thyroid hormone function despite normal TSH and despite taking what is considered an adequate dose of T4. In fact, T4 could actually make your problems worse by blocking metabolic pathways that allow conversion to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid-related symptoms that persist despite medicating with T4 can often resolve when you are given T3 instead of T4. In fact, there is a growing body of research to substantiate the use of T3 for symptoms of hypothyroidism.
So why hasn’t your doctor tried T3 to resolve your symptoms?
Oftentimes there is a long lag time between discoveries in research and actual changes in medical practices. And many doctors haven’t been trained on how to prescribe T3. In medical school, we’ve been told that T3 isn’t necessary and it doesn’t help. Learning about T3 happens through education after medical school, if the doctor chooses to do so.
It’s common for doctors to learn about T3 through their patients. If you think you might benefit from a course of T3, share this article with your doctor, who can call us at 800.420.5801 to get more information about how to use T3, and to discuss your individual case (complimentary). You can also use our website to find a health care practitioner closest to you who is trained in T3 treatment.
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