Every day I spend at least 1 hour researching current health topics and trends in medicine and patient care.
I also frequently enroll in health summits where I get the chance to spend hours listening to experts in their respective fields.
This past week was one of those health summit events. This time the topic was on Thyroid Health. I have written about, and lectured on thyroid health in the past because I see way too many patients who suffer with the symptoms of thyroid disorder being mistreated or under treated.
So, in this week’s article, I will share with you the 4 most common takeaways that all experts of the summit agree upon, and hopefully this will help you on your health journey.
1. Proper Testing is a MUST – For whatever reason, it has become commonplace for conventional medical doctors to rely on just 1 or 2 lab results for them to determine if you have a healthy or unhealthy thyroid. They will test your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and maybe T4 which is the storage form of the thyroid hormone.
According to Dr. Ridha Arem, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) has a wide range of what is considered to be normal. And because individuals have a dynamic range of TSH levels, so many people still experience symptoms even when their labs come back “normal”.
To get a complete picture of a patient’s thyroid health the tests that I recommend are:
- Free (and total) T4
- Free (and total) T3
- Reverse T3
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
- 24 hour Cortisol
It is also important when evaluating these results that you take into account optimal lab values and not just “normal” lab values which are broad and often inaccurate.
2. Your Gut Health is Key – We have been learning, and continue to learn so much about the importance of the gut microbiome as it relates to our health.
So it comes as no surprise to know that there is a gut-thyroid connection.
According to Dr. Raphael Kellman, “About 20% of the conversion from T4 (thyroid storage hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone) happens in the gut. If you have an unhealthy gut then you lose that 20% conversion.
In addition, an unhealthy digestive system also leads to poor nutrient absorption which means that you will have fewer of the nutrients necessary to proper thyroid health.
3. Food – Cure or Curse – Another must for thyroid patients is to focus on optimizing the diet. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD), full of its chemicals, artificial ingredients, dyes, hormones, and other toxins is at least partially responsible for the failing health of our nation.
Many doctors are aware that gluten is a problem for lots of people, followed closely by lactose (dairy). These food compounds can wreak havoc on a person’s gut, increase inflammation, and directly cause your immune system to attack your thyroid.
If you feel that your diet is making you sick, I suggest to start with an elimination diet, and remove all grains and dairy from your diet for at least a 30 day period to see how your body responds. It is not uncommon for thyroid patients to keep the above 2 food groups out of their diet long term.
4. Be Your Own Health Advocate – During the summit, many people shared their own personal stories of how their doctors did not believe them, would not run tests, and instead told them they were fine or prescribed them antidepressants.
The takeaway here is that you know your body best. If you are not making any progress with your symptoms or your health, and/or your doctor is not listening to you, the good news is that you can FIRE your doctor.
There are many great physicians and health advocates out there willing and ready to help you, and at Stanly Wellness Center we are here to listen and offer guidance and help towards reclaiming your health.
The truth is that through hard work and commitment, and with the right knowledge and enough determination, you CAN take back your health.
For more thyroid health tips, listen to my live broadcast every Saturday morning at 8:30AM on 1010WSPC radio or go to the radio archives tab and blog tab of my website at www.AskDrPatrick.com