We’ve collated some of the most frequently asked questions about thyroid conditions and given you the answers.
Why do I still feel so poorly even on thyroid medication?
It could be a number of issues; certain everyday foods or supplements can inhibit the absorption of Levothyroxine (t4). Perhaps stress is a huge factor, or there may be some key nutrients missing from the diet, in which case the conversion between t4 and t3 thyroid hormones can be blocked. Some patients have a genetic DNA SNP (we call this a snip) which will impact on how your body converts Levothyroxine. We can get this tested. Whatever the cause, we can get to the root of it to help you manage it.
How do I know if my thyroid isn’t working – what if it is something else?
We can determine this with private lab testing. We are by no means diagnosticians; however, lab testing will indicate low thyroid hormones levels or autoimmune factors. We also work closely with your GP and refer back to them if necessary for any further testing.
Can I work with you if I have other medical conditions or are already on many different medications?
Absolutely. We are fully trained to work with all medical conditions and all pharmaceutical medications. Any supplements we use are always cross-referenced to ensure that there are no contraindications to them being used with your currently diagnosed condition or medication. There are many “cross-over” symptoms with thyroid disease and part of our job is to help you understand which symptom is coming from where.
Why is my thyroid not working properly?
There are many reasons why your thyroid isn’t working properly right now. But with a thorough case taking history and by looking at your testing results, we can work out together where this has come from and how it can be managed. The thyroid never suddenly stops working. It often has a trigger and has usually been showing symptoms that have been disregarded by the patient (or unfortunately the GP) for many years.
Will I ever feel “normal” again?
We’re not sure what “normal” means! But we really hope you will feel happy, empowered and in control of your health. If you are committed to change, then you have a better chance of recovering and managing your thyroid health.
Why AM I SO TIRED? ALL the time?
It is very likely that your thyroid’s T3 hormone output is low and therefore there is very little energy in your body. This will affect every cell in your body and will result in fatigue, pain, brain fog and slowing you down. Sometimes it will manifest in what we call a “tired and wired” feeling; you cannot sleep but you’re exhausted.
Why does my GP constantly say that there is nothing wrong with me? And that my results are normal?? Yet I still feel awful!
The GP will have run a TSH test to check if your Thyroid Stimulating Hormones are in range. That TSH range runs between 0.27 to 4.2 in the UK and often GP’s will not give anyone medication until it has run up to 10. Naturopathically, we say anything above 2 and your thyroid is struggling to create enough t4 and t3 hormone. If you are lucky enough to have your t4 and t3 tested, these ideally need to be in the top quarter of the range (which is also rather a large range!).
Incidentally, I do not believe there is such thing as “borderline thyroid” which the GP’s call anyone with a result at the top end of the TSH range (so around 4 and above). It’s not borderline, it is struggling. In our dedicated clinic, we can test to see exactly which hormones are being released from your thyroid (T4, T3) so that we know exactly what is going on.
Why don’t GP’s run any other tests?
The short answer? Time and money. Sorry. That’s just the way it is. But we can test privately which will us a broader picture of exactly what is going on.
Why won’t the GP take any of my symptoms into account?
Thyroid disease effects every single cell in the body. If the GP has ran your TSH and it has come back “within range”, they will generally be quite stumped as to what’s going on. Generally they won’t go deeper with any further testing. And without the necessary lab work, patients often end up with an umbrella diagnosis such as chronic fatigue, ME, fibromyalgia. This isn’t to say you don’t have that, but thyroid health will play a huge part in those conditions if it hasn’t been diagnosed.
Is there ever a chance I can stop taking my Levothyroxine?
We have seen many patients improve their diet and lifestyle management which in turn facilitates the better conversion and utilisation of their medication. As the GP interprets their patient’s now above optimal lab results, there is an indication that the patient is now overmedicated and needs a reduction in their synthetic medication. This in turn results in a lowered dose of Levothyroxine from their GP.
Can you get me onto Natural Desiccated Thyroid medication?
We cannot prescribe NDT but we can certainly discuss the differences and benefits of taking NDT in comparison to Levothyroxine. We can support you in the process of readying the body for taking NDT and signpost you to a private GP who may be able to prescribe.
Do I really have to stop eating gluten??
If your lab work is showing autoimmunity then yes, you do. But then, it’s also up to you. We can’t make you do anything! But we can supply you with the latest science to make your own decisions. There is a great deal of research to indicate that gluten is contained in the process of molecular mimicry. This will drive an autoimmune antibody response which attacks the thyroid TPO and Thyroglobulin receptors. So you may want to switch that gluten out right now!
Whatever you are going through or if you have more questions about thyroid conditions, we can help you. Book a free 15 minute assessment>>