New Criteria for Diagnosis Increases Hypothyroid Population by 100%
Thyroid Disorders New Criteria for Diagnosis Increases Hypothyroid Population by 100%
thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and is located in the lower front part
of your neck (just above the breast bone). The thyroid gland is responsible for
secreting thyroid hormones. A hormone is a chemical substance formed in the body
that is carried in the bloodstream to affect another part of the body. Thyroid
hormones travel through the blood stream and help cells convert oxygen and
calories into energy.
Understanding Thyroid Hormones, T3, T4, AND TSH
When your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, this is known as hyperthyroid. When your thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, it's called hypothyroid. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH then stimulates the thyroid gland to produce and release the hormone, thyroxine (T4). T4 hormone is then converted into the more active, triiodothyronine (T3). T3 hormone is essential for life and four times more active than T4. You can live without T4 but not without T3. If T4 doesn't convert into active T3, symptoms of low thyroid start to show up. This can happen in spite of a normal TSH blood test reading.
Stress Leads to Low Thyroid
In the last year, the lab values for measuring TSH have dropped from 6 to 3.04. This is an almost 50% reduction. Dr. Broda Barnes, a pioneer in treating thyroid disorders, has been advocating a reduction in the TSH level for decades. Millions of Americans have been misdiagnosed with normal thyroid function based on the old test parameters. Individuals who had a TSH blood levels between 3.05 and 6 were told that they were normal.
Many of those with low or hypothyroid simply fall through the cracks, Like Alison K.
"I really felt terrible most of the time. I had no energy at all. I gained 40 pounds over the last year even though I ate very little and tried to follow my Weight Watcher's program. I kept cutting my calorie intake and even started skipping meals in an attempt to lose weight. The less I ate the worse I felt. I had numerous sinus infections, which I had never had before. My hair was falling out, I had tingling pain in my hands and feet and always felt cold even in the summer. I had this constant ringing in my ears. I was depressed or anxious a good deal of the time. Every doctor I consulted said that my blood tests were normal and it must be my fibromyalgia that was causing me to feel so bad. I knew something was wrong with me, but I couldn't find anyone who could help me. One doctor said I had all the symptoms of low thyroid. But, the endocrinologist she referred me to, said all my tests were normal. How could my thyroid be normal when I have all the symptoms of hypothyroid?" Allison's story is a typical one.
You have all the symptoms of hypothyroid but your blood work look fine
Doctors are typically reluctant to prescribe thyroid replacement therapy without a definitive test that reveals true hypothyroid. They're afraid that by doing so, they would jeopardize the health of the patient. And true, excess thyroid can cause several unwanted health problems, including elevated heart rate, rapid pulse, and accelerated bone loss. However, millions suffer with symptoms far worse then these when prescription therapy is withheld. Certainly the dangers of thyroid replacement therapy should be a concern. But, if you weigh the pros and cons of administering thyroid replacement therapy to a patient with normal blood tests, yet all the symptoms of hypothyroid, fatigue, anxiety, depression, achy diffuse pain, weight gain, etc., it's easy to see that withholding therapy should be considered malpractice. This is especially true in light of the fact that many of these patients are taking numerous, potential dangerous drugs, to cover-up the symptoms of hypothyroid; Provigil or Aderall to increase energy, antibiotics for chronic sinus infections, a laxative for constipation, NSAIDs for pain, SSRI medication for depression, Neurontin for tingling in the hands and feet, and perhaps a benzodiazepine like Ativan or Xanax for anxiety. All of these drugs may cause side effects that may cause further symptoms (poor sleep, fatigue, depression, etc.). Dr Murphree states it is not uncommon for patients to be able to drastically reduce or eventually wean off these very medications once their thyroid disorder is corrected.
New Criteria for Diagnosis Increases Hypothyroid Population by 100%
You could have a thyroid
problem and the doctors have not diagnosed it yet. New standards have been put
in place to diagnose at the early stages of thyroid disease.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has reported: Laboratory blood tests for thyroid may be inaccurate for many who get tested for hypothyroid disorder.
Compounding the problem of using standard blood tests to diagnose hypothyroid is the inability of doctors to agree on the laboratory parameters. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) guidelines, doctors have typically been basing their diagnoses on the "normal" range for the TSH test. The typical normal TSH levels at most laboratories, has fallen between the 0.5 to 5.0 range. Those with a TSH below .5 are considered to have too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid). Those whose test results are above 5 are considered to have too little thyroid (hypothyroid). However, it's not uncommon to find doctors, including endocrinologists (thyroid specialist), who withhold the diagnoses and treatment of hypothyroid until a patient's TSH tests read considerably above 10. While some doctors believe that anyone who has a TSH above 2 and complains of hypothyroid symptoms (depression, fatigue, brain fog, etc.) should be placed on thyroid hormone. While doctors often debate which parameters or numbers are correct, millions of low thyroid patients are not properly diagnosed and treated.
The new guidelines (2003)
narrow the range for acceptable thyroid function and the AACE is now
encouraging doctors to consider thyroid treatment for patients who test the
target TSH level of 0.3 to 3.04, a far narrower range. AACE believes the new
range will result in proper diagnosis for millions of Americans who suffer
from a mild thyroid disorder but have gone untreated until now.
Some doctors think TSH levels should be reduced even further. They believe that TSH levels above 2.0 should be treated as hypothyroid.
This is a significant change for those that believe they may have a thyroid condition but the numbers don't back it up.
Dr Murphree starts his patients on one Thyroid Blend twice a day. It is best to take on an empty stomach (30 minutes before or 90 minutes after eating). He encourages his patients not to take the second dose any later than 3 p.m. He also advises his patients to monitor their basal or oral temperatures (preferably with mercury thermometer). After two weeks, if their temperature is not going up, he has them increase the dose to two Thyroid Blend's in the morning and one in the afternoon.
If their temperature still doesn't increase to at least 98.0, consider adding an additional Thyroid Blend in the afternoon (total of 4 a day). If their temperature continues to run low and their symptoms haven't improved, it may be time to look for other areas that need attention, perhaps low adrenal function.
Is is always recommend that you continue to monitor your temperatures once beginning hormones or Thyroid Blend. Your metabolism may increase rather quickly. This can lead to rapid weight loss if they're taking more than they need. By monitoring your temperatures you can adjust the dose of Thyroid Blend so that you remain at optimal metabolic levels.
Because nutrition is involved in every aspect of thyroxine (T4) production, utilization, and conversion to triiodthyronine (T3) Dr Murphree always recommends taking a good optimal daily allowance multivitamin. The mineral zinc, along with iodine, vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and C, as well as the amino acid tyrosine, are all needed for the production of thyroxine (T4) hormone. Selenium is needed to convert T4 to T3. A selenium deficiency can cause thyroid dysfunction. These two formulas are wonderful when used together.