Hypothyroid: The Unsuspected Illness

Thursday, April 05, 2012

"Dr. Broda Barnes, called low thyroid function, "The Unsuspected Illness",
because the usual blood tests can be completely normal and the diagnosis can be easily missed. The correct diagnosis depends on noticing symptoms such as low energy, fatigue and tiredness. Other symptoms include: weight gain, cold hands and feet, depression, slowness of thought, headaches, facial swelling, fluid retention, dry skin, brittle nails, constipation, irregular menstrual cycles, and fertility problems. The body temperature may be low and the patient prefers to set the room thermostat very high"

A lot of the medical media believes that obesity is a disease...well in a way it is but when looked at another way it can be seen as a symptom. Your body is starving and in response to the famine it stores calories as fat instead of calorie expensive muscle tissue. The metabolic rate slows down and the thyroid function tends to slow down as well. The body temperature is lowered to conserve calories and the body begins to eat itself alive to keep the heart pumping and brain functioning. This is done for survival purposes, it is a response to something else going on in the body. Much like depression, Acne, anxiety, add, thinning hair, heart disease, etc are symptoms or if your Mel Gibson, they would be considered "signs".

“It is the thyroid which controls metabolism–the process by which food is transformed into energy and many vital chemical changes take place. Minute thyroid secretions…are responsible for much of the body’s heat production. They help maintain the circulatory system and blood volume. They are necessary for muscle health. They heighten sensitivity of nerves. Every organ, every tissue, every cell is affected by the hormone secretions of the gland.”

"The TSH Thyroid Test:The thyroid gland's production of thyroid hormone is controlled by the master gland in the brain called the "pituitary gland" which releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The TSH then travels in the blood stream to the thyroid gland and instructs it to produce more thyroid (T4) hormone. When the thyroid gland has difficulty making T4 due to Iodine deficiency or damage to the thyroid gland, then the TSH level can be quite high. High TSH indicates low thyroid function.

So, how is it that hypothyroidism can be missed by today's conventional medical system? That's because we now rely exclusively on the TSH test and other blood tests to make the diagnosis of low thyroid. The fact is that the thyroid blood tests may be normal even though there is low thyroid. In recognition of this problem, the normal ranges for the TSH test have been changed a number of times in the past few years. (see below). According to Mark Starr, M.D., the best way to diagnose hypothyroidism is with a careful medical history, physical examination and measurement of the basal body temperature.

The Basal Body Temperature: Taking basal body temperature is easy. Simply check your axillary (armpit) or oral temperature with an inexpensive thermometer available at any drugstore. The best time is first thing in the morning upon waking for three or four consecutive days. If the average temperature is below 97.8 Fahrenheit, then the diagnosis of a low functioning thyroid system is likely." -

We usually are treating the wrong thing, were putting creams on rashs instead of figuring out why the immune system is not working properly. Were also running like mad man and starving ourselves to lose weight with low fat this, low calorie that or zero calories Bull crap instead of trying to understand why the body is wanting to put on excess weight in the first place. One other thing about low thyroid is our overuse of antibiotics and cold medicine because of decreased immunity response. "immunity is related to the thyroid."

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

Here is a checklist of the more common signs and symptoms:

- Feeling tired most of the time, or excessive fatigue

- Feeling weak or experiencing muscle fatigue

- Experiencing weight gain or having difficulty trying to lose weight despite relatively normal eating habits and exercise

- Losing hair or having hair turn dry or coarse

- Having patchy, rough, dry skin

- Pale skin

- Feeling colder than usual or experiencing intolerance to cold that is unlike the people around you (meaning you are often much, much colder than the people around you given the temperature).

- Having frequent muscle cramps or aches that are not easily relieved

- Having memory loss or difficulty remembering things

- Feeling lowered libido(see picture to the right)

- Having abnormal menstrual cycles

- Experiencing irritability

- Feeling constipated

Also other complication like diabetes and pre-diabtes are a good sign of hypothyroid as well.

"The symptoms of diabetes are related to the poor control of blood sugar present in this disease due to either inadequate insulin production from the pancreas or a resistance in the cells of the body to the effect of insulin. It is as if, in some people, the body becomes immune to the effects of insulin. Before the discovery of insulin, the diagnosis of diabetes was a death sentence. The average person lived less than five years after diagnosis, and the usual cause of death was tuberculosis. One could say that part of being a diabetic was a weakness toward contracting and dying from tuberculosis."

"Insulin was isolated by Canadian doctors Banting and Best in 1922, and for a few years the medical world was optimistic that diabetes would be cured. What happened instead was that controlling blood sugar with insulin allowed diabetics to live longer lives. This revealed aspects of diabetes, which previously had been no problem, because the diabetic died before they could appear. Diabetics were observed to develop atherosclerosis far earlier than non-diabetics, and this became the major killer of diabetics later in life, by heart attack or stroke. However, they die at a much younger average age than do other sufferers of atherosclerosis. It has been discovered that even before the onset of diabetes, the diabetic-to-be is developing atherosclerosis at an accelerated rate."

"A weakness to tuberculosis and early atherosclerosis: just like hypothyroidism! And, indeed, if you check the diabetic for a low basal temperature, it often turns out that hypothyroidism is present. It has long been known that the classical test for diabetes, the GTT or glucose tolerance test, cannot distinguish between diabetes and hypothyroidism. However, sometimes doctors forget this and fail to collect the basal temperature (or worse yet rely on the T3/T4 tests) and thus treat hypothyroid patients for diabetes, which they do not have! Also, many true diabetics also have hypothyroidism, which is overlooked and not treated for the same reasons."

"The complications of diabetes, such as cataracts, heart disease (and atherosclerosis in general) and kidney disease are not present in the diabetic, if that diabetic is producing plenty of thyroid hormone. These complications also can be prevented in the diabetic patient who also is hypothyroid, simply by adding thyroid replacement therapy. The point is that whenever diabetes is suspected, it should always be distinguished from hypothyroidism. This can be done by testing not only glucose tolerance but also insulin tolerance. A GTT should never be ordered alone. Second, even if a person is correctly diagnosed with diabetes, hypothyroidism should always be suspected anyway, and a basal temperature should be done with thyroid replacement, if indicated by a low reading. Many "prediabetics" are actually undiagnosed hypothyroid cases and, if not recognized as such, the opportunity to treat with thyroid and thus prevent atherosclerosis will be lost." -

Now I'm not saying that everyone who has a weight or heart problem suffers from some type of thyroid dysfunction 100% of the time there are many autoimmune diseases and genetic mutations that can be accounted for but the majority of the people do and it goes undiagnosed because blood tests appear normal. One of the things that bring on hypothyroidism is the thing that Americans have been doing for years, dieting...say what?
"In 14 overweight women, 24-hour energy expenditure (EE) was measured in a whole-body indirect calorimeter: before weight reduction (100% diet), after 1 weeks on a 4.2-MJ diet, after 8 weeks on 4.2-MJ diet and after weight reduction on 100% diet. Mean body weight declined from 93.3 +/- 7.4 (mean +/- SD) to 83.4 +/- 7.7 kg; 24-hour EE decreased from 10.52 +/- 0.83 MJ on the 100% diet to 9.58 +/- 0.75 MJ on the 4.2- MJ diet. After 8 weeks, 24-hour EE had decreased by 15% of the initial 24-hour EE to 8.92 +/- 0.65 MJ. After refeeding (1 week), it increased to 9.45 +/- 0.75 MJ. Calculated energy requirement before weight reduction was 10.62 +/- 0.88 MJ/day; after weight reduction, 9.39 +/- 0.79 MJ/day. The decrease was more than that predicted from the change in body weight and body composition."

Also Refer to Ancel Keys Starvation Experiment

“The complaint of coldness is very common among undernourished people, and the skin has often been reported as cold to the touch. This might, of course, be attributed to the general reduction in body temperature which is usually observed. Leyton found the average 4 p.m. temperature in 100 men to be 35.7 C (96.3F). But the suggestion that the peripheral circulation is diminished is also supported by the pallor of the skin which is out of proportion to the slight to moderate anemia usually present.” - Ancel Keys The Biology of Human Starvation

This low body temperature thing and energy expenditure are extremely important for bodily function and gives us a clue as to how the body is using energy as I wrote about in my article on low body temp and weight lose. We can think of this body temperature concept having to do with just weight but in reality is effects everything. Hair growth, skin health, lipid metabolism, bowel function, immunity (or lack there of), muscle growth, cognitive function, and overall mood. The best way to get thyroid function working properly is to:

A) Don't Diet or go to extremes(vegan, low carb, low calorie, etc)
B) reduce the amount of Vegetable oils in your diet
C) Eat real food, like the Gaelics or Kitavans, fresh and not heavily processed
D) Relax.. don't overexercise or over-train this can lead to hypothyroidism as well

Thyroid problems can manifest themselves into many different forms of chronic disease and we should be eating foods that assist in reversing these nagging health problems not hindering them. What was interesting as well was the fact that the number of people who suffered a heart attack after being treated with dessicated thyroid was almost zero. There are more of these studies that show similar results and certainly help in our understating of how these disease occur and begin to manifest into much bigger problems for those living on a industrial diet or just a restricted diet in general. Let the Hypothyroid bodies hit the floor...

Read the full Article Here:

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The amount of people I encounter with a low body temperature and hypothyroid symptoms is astonishing
    2526 days ago
  • no profile photo MBW209
    Thank you for sharing the information in this blog and your other blogs! I will continue to follow you...
    2532 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.