Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will have a low functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) by the time they hit 50. That’s a lot of people. The problem? Most doctors miss it because they rely solely on the standard TSH blood screen test. But TSH screening is not the most reliable indicator of thyroid disease, especially if the patient also has Testosterone or Estrogen deficiencies.
One must look at Thyroid 3 (T3), Thyroid 4(T4) and reverse T3 levels to get a true indicator of thyroid function, and then consider the broad range of symptoms to reach diagnosis. Too many medical professionals have lost the skill of using the patient’ history, physical exam and appropriate blood screening to make a correct diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
As a physician specializing in Internal Medicine and Hormonal Health, every day I see women suffering from extreme fatigue, weight gain, sore muscles, aching joints as well as hair loss and cold intolerance. Their symptoms are screaming hypothyroidism. Upon examination, I will find they have a slow heart rate, cold extremities, and a swollen neck – all clinical indicators of hypothyroidism.
Many people with normal TSH levels have hypothyroidism, but told nothing is wrong, when their bodies are telling them otherwise. It’s extremely frustrating for patients. Hypothyroidism not only causes you to feel terrible, it’s also a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions and cancers; including breast and colon cancer, so correct diagnosis and treatment is vital.
Many doctors are afraid thyroid replacement will cause bone loss and heart arrhythmias. I can assure you, when all hormonal levels are well balanced and appropriate, this rarely happens. The risk of not replacing thyroid hormones has much more devastating consequences for your health.