“I’m not going to sit here and listen to any more of your lies.”
Those were the words that a client of mine was told by her doctor…
…right before he kicked her out of his practice and referred her for a mental health evaluation.
I hope you’re just as shocked as I was when she told me this.
She had been diagnosed and treated for over a year by this doctor.
And while her TSH was consistently within normal range, she continued to experience a number of debilitating symptoms.
The more she tried to explain that something wasn’t right, the more frustrated her doctor became until he finally snapped.
The irony here is that she wasn’t the one lying. He was the one lying to her.
Doctor’s lie to their hypothyroid patients all the time, whether they realize it or not.
And after speaking with lots of thyroid patients and working with lots of clients, I’ve heard my fare share of lies and misinformation passed from doctors to patients.
While this isn’t an inclusive list… here are the top 5 biggest lies I hear doctors tell their patients all the time.
1. Your TSH Is “Normal”
Does your doctor only test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)?
Well, most doctors do and consider it to be the gold standard of thyroid testing.
But what really is normal a normal TSH?
Well it largely depends on the lab company your doctor uses.
- Some labs still use the old standards of 0.5 to 5.0 mIU/L
- Other labs use the newer standard of 0.3 to 3.0 mIU/L
But the reality is… they’re both wrong.
Dr. Broda Barnes was the first to prove with his research that hypothyroidism is the direct cause of heart disease.
And since then, further research studies have given us a better indicator of what true normal TSH really is.
For example, data compiled from the famous HUNT study has shown that you can accurately predict heart disease risk by TSH alone.
Thyrotropin levels and risk of fatal coronary heart disease: the HUNT study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443261 “Compared with women in the lower part of the reference range (thyrotropin level, 0.50-1.4 mIU/L), the hazard ratios for coronary death were 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.96) and 1.69 (95% CI, 1.14-2.52) for women in the intermediate (thyrotropin level, 1.5-2.4 mIU/L) and higher (thyrotropin level, 2.5-3.5 mIU/L) categories, respectively.”
Here’s what the study found:
- TSH less than 1.5 mIU/L was ideal.
- TSH in the range of 1.5 to 2.4 mIU/L resulted in a 41% increased risk of death from heart disease.
- A TSH between 2.5 to 3.5 mIU/L resulted in a 69% increased risk of death from heart disease.
This is also more closely correlated with clinical data showing that most thyroid sufferers feel best and suffer least symptoms when their TSH is closer to 1 mIU/L or below.
So, next time your doctor tells you that your TSH is “normal” and there’s nothing to worry about…
…if your TSH is NOT below 1.5 mIU/L then you’ll know that you’re still hypothyroid and that more needs to be done.
So, do your thyroid, and maybe more importantly your heart, a favor and make sure your TSH is within the true normal range.
And that brings us to the next big fat thyroid lie…
2. Your Diet Has No Effect On Your Thyroid Health
Your doctor may be well versed on pharmaceuticals…
…but when it comes to “diet”, it’s a different story.
In the case of hypothyroidism, doctors will quickly tell you that your diet won’t make any difference.
They say this because that’s what the drug companies tell them.
Take the thyroid medication Synthroid for example… H
ere’s an image taken directly from the Synthroid website.
The important part is highlighted in yellow.
Research on the other hand tells us that your diet plays an essential role in the health and function of your thyroid.
For example, this study shows that your diet, especially the carbohydrates you eat, have a significant effect on your thyroid function.
Dietary-induced alterations in thyroid hormone metabolism during overnutrition. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC371281/ “Excerpt: It is apparent from these studies that the caloric content as well as the composition of the diet, specifically, the carbohydrate content, can be important factors in regulating the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones.”
There are also plenty of research studies that show that certain foods also directly affect your thyroid health.
I show you three such foods and how they can be used together to significantly boost your thyroid function.
You can download this daily protocol here.
One reason drug companies and doctors want you to believe that your diet won’t make any difference is because it helps to reinforce this next thyroid lie…
3. You Can’t Ever Overcome Your Hypothyroidism
Is hypothyroidism a lifelong condition?
Ask your doctor and odds are they will tell you so.
They will tell you that you’ll need medication for life.
Some will even go as far as to tell you that if you stop your medicine, you’ll die.
Yes, I’ve heard this now from more than a handful of clients.
Your need for thyroid hormone can vary significantly based on factors that are either difficult or impossible to control, such as:
- Season (fall, winter, spring, summer)
- Local Climate (excessive heat or cold)
However, there are many other factors that strongly influence your thyroid function which are within your control, such as:
- Blood Sugar
- Sex Hormones
- Stress Hormones
- Diet (as mentioned above)
- And others
For example, estrogen dominance plays a major role in hypothyroidism today.
Estrogen can directly block your thyroid gland by inhibiting the proteolytic enzymes that allow your thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone.
If your thyroid gland is blocked, then unblocking it can make a big difference. But your thyroid gland is only one part of a much bigger and intricate Thyroid Hormone Pathway which typically becomes blocked on multiple levels.
I cover how we help our clients overcome hypothyroidism by unblocking their Thyroid Hormone Pathway in this article entitled “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”.
Overcoming your hypothyroidism is not impossible.
But a common reason that many never do is because they’re falling for this next big thyroid lie…
4. The Best Treatment for Hypothyroidism is Synthroid
If lying once about thyroid medication isn’t bad enough… this one actually involves lying twice.
The majority of doctors won’t even prescribe any sort of thyroid medication aside from the typical T4-only options such as:
Most doctors are quick to tell you that T4-only medications are the best or only option and that other options like desiccated thyroid are dangerous or unreliable.
Yet, research studies like the one below have shown that many people respond far better to desiccated thyroid than T4-only medications.
Thyroid Insufficiency. Is Thyroxine the Only Valuable Drug? https://www.forefronthealth.com/research/Is-Thyroxine-the-Only-Valuable-Drug.pdf “Results: The group of 89 patients, treated elsewhere with T4, but still complaining of symptoms of hypothyroidism, did not really differ from the group of untreated hypothyroid patients as far as symptoms and 24 h urine free T3 were concerned.”
And not only did they respond far better to desiccated thyroid…
These T4 treated patients actually presented with worse symptoms than the patients who were untreated and took no medication at all.
Then there’s the second big lie about your thyroid medication…
Most doctors are still telling their patients that of all thyroid medications available, Synthroid works best.
What your doctor isn’t telling you is that the manufacturer of Synthroid in 1986 paid for a study to “prove” that Synthroid was superior to other similar T4-only medications.
Long story short…
The study found that there was absolutely no difference between the medications.
Then the manufacturer of Synthroid (at that time) illegally covered-up the study for 10 years before the truth was discovered.
Once the truth was discovered, they got sued for a whole lot of money and settled to the tune of $135M (million).
Granted, after all that, Synthroid was bought out and is now manufactured by a different company.
Yet, they still claim that Synthroid is somehow superior to other medications.
But who am I to judge?
As crazy as that sounds, it’s not quite as crazy as this next big thyroid lie.
5. Your Thyroid Is Fine… It’s All In Your Head
This is no laughing matter…
A number of my clients have been referred for a mental health evaluation at some point in their treatment, by their doctor.
Because regardless of what their lab tests said, they still suffered from extreme thyroid symptoms.
Remember that previous study showing that many thyroid patients felt no better and oftentimes worse on T4-only medications?
Well, enough T4 will lower your TSH to well within that really misguiding “normal” range we discussed previously as well.
So, if your labs look “normal” to your doctor then any remaining symptoms must all be in your head, right?
The reality is that you still don’t feel better because you’re still hypothyroid.
Sometimes you just have to find the right doctor that’s willing to actually listen to you.
And sometimes you just need a different approach that can help when your doctor can’t.
That’s the purpose of my work. So, there you have it.
How many of these lies have you heard from your doctor?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.