Hypo-Thyroidism: The Hidden Epidemic

Hypo-Thyroidism: The Hidden Epidemic

by Dr. John Maher

While not generally considered one of the "Hormones Of Youth", thyroid deficiency can increase your risk of age related disorders.Sub-optimal thyroid means sub-optimal metabolism, which translates into weight gain and its associated ills of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Some doctors estimate that as much as 15% to 40% of the population of the US suffers from sub-optimal thyroid function!

Unfortunately, blood tests only pick up the more frank cases of hypo-thyroidism. The standard blood test criteria is a low T4 and a high TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Because of this insensitivity, some doctors have dubbed sub-optimal thyroid as the "much mis-diagnosed malady."

A check list of common hypo-thyroid symptoms follows:

    low body temp.__ dry skin/hair__ gain weight too easily__ brittle nails__ insomnia__ fatigue__ headaches/migraines__ poor short term memory and concentration__ depression__ PMS__ menstral difficulties__ low motivation and ambition__ hair loss (including outer third of the eyebrows)__ fluid retention__ dizzyness or lightheadedness__ irritabiltiy__ food intolerances__ tendency towards substance abuse__ anxiety/panic attacks__ drooping, swollen eyes__skin problems/infections/acne__ infertility__ dry eyes__heat and cold intolerance__ low blood pressure__ elevated cholesterol__ irritable bowel__ constipation__acid indigestion__ poor co-ordination__ low libido__reduced or excessive sweating__ frequent colds or sore throats__ astmhma/allergies__ slow healing __ itchiness__ slow speech__recurrent infections__ food cravings__ muscle cramps__mood swings__ crying jags__stiff joints__ loss of appetite__ pale skin__coarse or leathery skin__

Like growth hormone, thyroid hormone effects about every cell in the body. It regulates the metabolism, which is the processes by which we release energy for all our vital processes, including body temperature and heart beat. This butterfly shaped gland sits just below your Adam's apple. The major mineral for the thyroid is iodine. Deficiency of iodine will lead to full blown hypo-thyroidism with a goiter. A goiter in this case is a hypertrophied thyroid trying in vain to create active thyroxin. Fortunately, iodized salt has made this much less common.

The best way to screen for hypo-thyroid is to first note if you suffer from several or more of the above symptoms. Then check for a low body temperture using the following Dr. Broda Barnes Axillary Tempature test.

    1) Shake down an ORAL thermometer and place it next to your bed BEFORE you go to sleep.
    2) As soon as you wake up, place the thermometer under your armpit and leave it there for 10 minutes BEFORE getting up.
    3) Record the temperature. If it is below normal rising temperature, which is 97.8 to 98.2 degrees F, for three consecutive days, you are likely hypothyroid. (Menstruating females should wait until after ther first day of their period before taking this tests.)

Temperatures of 96.6 or less almost quarantees hypo-thyroidism even in the presence of normal bllod tests. A pulse of 65 or less in the NON-AEROBICALLY is also suggestive of hypo-thyroidism when combined with an axillary temperature of less than 97.8 and several of the aboxe hypo-thyroid symptoms.

    If your self-tests suggest hypo-thyroidism, have you doctor do a thyroid panel. If it is abnormal, than prescription whole thyroid with "thyroxin" (not synthetics) are indicated.
    If your blood tests are "normal" remember this is common with sub-optimal thyroid conditions. We recommend an OTC thyroxin free whole thyroid supplement to stimulate the thyroid to produce more of its own thyroxin in such cases. These product resources can be found at a good health food store.

Generally take 1 or 2 a day, depending on your size and the extent of the sub-optimal hypo-thyroid findings. In 6 weeks your temperature should improve at least 50% toward normal, your heart beat up 50% toward normal, and half of your symptoms shoulds be at least 50% better. If that occurs continue indefinetly on 1 or 2 a day, which ever works best. It takes about six weeks to notice a difference when adding or subtracting thyroid supports.

Fast heart beat, shakes, sweating, moist skin and palm of hands, weight loss, increased appetite, intense drive and personality, and axillary temperature above 98.2 are signs of overstimulating the thyroid. All thyroid supplements then should be discontinued!

Remeber taking progesterone and growth hormone enhancers support the thyroid and estrogen is antagonistic. ---------------------------------The above information is provided to assist you in creating your own "maximum health-span", optimal wellness, anti-aging program. It is not intended as a prescription for the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of any particular disease or syndrome. Please consult the health care practitioner of your choice for any and all such concerns.

Written by: Dr. John H. MaherEd.,
"Longevity News"
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