Could this tiny gland be the reason you feel so terrible?

The average thyroid gland weighs about as much as a tablespoon of almond butter. But the thyroid gland, unlike almond butter, has an almost infinite impact on the way your body functions. Every single cell in your body has thyroid receptors. If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, there are things in your body that just won’t work. Like an unplugged toaster, it’s not going to work no matter what you do. It will only work if you plug it in - just like your cells, they will only work if they’ve got some thyroid hormones plugged in.

Have you ever been to the doctor and asked about your thyroid – only to be told that everything was great. You walked away frustrated because you just knew something was wrong?

The fact is, the most common marker for thyroid function, TSH, is actually measuring a hormone being put out by your pituitary – IN YOUR BRAIN! If you only measure this number, you will never know if you are getting enough thyroid hormone. 

This is why you may actually be sitting there right now, reading this post, and have been told your thyroid is working just fine, but you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Can’t lose weight
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Morning stiffness
  • Easy bruising
  • Joint pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • PMS/period cramps
  • Infertility
  • Cold hands and feet or just plain cold
  • Too much ear wax
  • Digestive issues

I could go on with this list, but I think you get the point. You could have been prescribed multiple drugs to alleviate your symptoms when they would all go away if your thyroid had been addressed.

Frustrating, I know. I hear this all the time from new patients. And interestingly, I have also heard this from patients who go visit their endocrinologist after being put on thyroid medication by me, only to be taken off of it because they see no reason for the: 

  • new medication
  • different medication or 
  • change in dose

I can remember a woman I had been seeing for several years, who, after a discussion about her current symptoms I suggested we change her thyroid medication. She told me that she had been on this dose for 15 years and her doctor would have addressed it. After convincing her to give it a try, she did – and the next visit she told me her hairdresser had noticed that her hair was getting thicker. And that there was lots of new growth. She had also lost some weight without changing anything else and her energy had improved. 

Six months went by and I didn’t see her. One day I received an email from her saying she was embarrassed – she had gone back to her endocrinologist, he said I didn’t know what I was doing and put her back on her original dose. The reason she was writing to me was because her hair had started falling out again, and she felt terrible. And could I please give her another prescription! So of course I did and she started feeling better again. 

The reason I relay this story is because you may have had a similar experience, either wondering if your thyroid might be part of your problem or that maybe your thyroid dose or medication might not be doing the trick. 

The fact is, the buck stops at you. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you are getting from your doctor, you need to keep looking. And the unfortunate truth is that there are many health care practitioners who do not think outside the box. There are many that do though, and you need to make sure you have one of them in your corner. 

Your quality of health dictates the quality of your life. You may have heard this before, but it was new to me:

A healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person only one.

So simple, yet so true. 

You need to be the master of your destiny, not your doctor. If there is something in your gut that tells you something is wrong, keep looking until you can find the person who can help you figure out what it is.