So I haven’t had health insurance for the past 6 years, therefor no doctors visits for me. I’m 23, healthy, happy, fit. I eat pretty well (we’re going to ignore the pint of starbucks ice cream i ate this morning) and i exercise daily.
I am now faced with the all too typical “treat it with a pill and move on” epidemic that has taken over this nation. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism yesterday. And this is how it all went down.
Doctor: oh, btw you’re going to get a call from the lab, you have Hypothyroidism. They’re going to need to know where to send your prescription. You’ll take it once a day, same time every day, for the rest of your life. And you’ll come back to see me in 6-8 weeks and we’ll check your levels again.
Me: umm … okay?
for some reason the only thing I think of to ask is “does this mean i’m at a greater risk for thyroid cancer” she said no.
I should have asked more questions of course, but I felt pretty blindsided. That and I was a bit distracted with the mammogram, and pelvic exam I was getting.
I spent the rest of the afternoon researching Hypothyroidism, and the different drugs prescribed. Now for me personally I prefer to try and correct any nutritional defficiencies or health issues naturally before pumping synthetic drugs into my system. For instance I used to have very very low iron levels, i added more iron rich foods to my diet (instead of taking a pill), now my iron levels are normal. Call me crazy but i’d rather change my diet, or add something to my lifestyle than pop a pill every day for the rest of my life with god knows what side effects.
Well the lab called later in the afternoon to ask where to send the script and at that point I was level headed enough to ask some questions. My TSH was 15.72 (normal is 0-3) and my T4 is .58 which apparently is normal. So they are prescribing Synthroid which is a synthetic drug that gives you T4. When I went to pick up my script I noticed they gave me Levothyroid which is the generic brand but has problems of its own and i’ll get into those later.
So from what I understand, T4 makes T3. My T4 levels are fine, so my body isn’t making the T3 out of the T4 it has. How is pumping more T4 into my body going to change that? Isn’t there a replacement I can take that has T3 if that’s what I’m missing. (there is, it’s called Amour and it’s a Natural Desiccated Thyroid medication <NDT>)
Something is inhibiting my body from producing T3, and I would like to now what it is. In a lot of cases it is Gluten and a Gluten free diet can fix that. If of course you are willing to change your lifestyle, which I would gladly do if it meant I wasn’t dependent on a drug.
So some of the basic questions I asked myself, that i’m still finding answers to:
Is this a symptom of a bigger problem? For instance Celiac disease, or a vitamin D deficiency.
Are there alternative treatments instead of synthetic drugs? Detox, Amour, Paleo diet, gluten free/dairy free diet.
Now the other problem, and probably the larger picture, is that if I start taking this drug and it does “fix” my thyroid levels there are some pretty devastating side effects. and then we’d be treating the side effects with more pills. This snowballs out of control very quickly. For instance, Depression and Weight Gain are the most common side effects, so you treat the depression with anti – depressants which have their own side effects. And the weight gain can cause high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
According to a vast amount of case study’s I’ve read people who take high doses of thyroid medication are also taking anti depression medication, high blood pressure meds, and cholesterol meds. (which is why those are the three i brought up in the paragraph above)
A lot of people are coming at me saying things like “this isn’t a big deal”, “just take the meds and you’ll be fine” “tons of people have it” But why would you take a pill, a medication that wasn’t even explained to you for a disease that wasn’t explained to you, without exploring all other options. Don’t you owe it to yourself and your body to help it fix this naturally? If there is something I am eating that is blocking my thyroid from doing it’s job, and all I have to do to correct that is to change my diet isn’t that a better treatment than taking a pill for the rest of my life. A pill that has life altering side effects (side effects worse than the disease itself). Not to mention you’d be fixing the root problem instead of putting a band-aid on the symptom.
I have an appointment next week with another doctor, at a practice that specifically doesn’t throw pills at people and tries natural cures before pills. So we’ll see how that goes.