The Typical Thyroid Story
The thyroid patient has a special place in my heart when it comes to the current status of the healthcare model today. In my opinion, our wait -and-watch model impacts this patient in an inconvenient way. I recognize that undiagnosed patients struggle with suboptimal engine-mechanics and this impacts every aspect of their day-to-day lives.
The Problem with the Entire Scenario:
The following represents a common timeline for patients with thyroid disorders.
- Symptoms of low thyroid begin and the body-system function starts deteriorating.
- Patients seek help in the standard healthcare model only to find their TSH is in range and sent home with a dismissal of anything wrong.
- Eventually the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) elevates and the patient is diagnosed with hypothyroidism and placed on meds.
- By the time the TSH elevates, it’s the end stage, not the beginning.
- Patients remain on medications but symptoms continue leading to medications being adjusted and referral out for “non-thyroid” symptoms.
- For 90% of Americans, hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease.
- The model isn’t addressing the immune dysfunction at the root of the crisis.
- Patients seek help outside the model often times years after dysfunction originates.
Think of the thyroid as the central gear in a sophisticated engine – if that gear breaks, the entire engine goes down with it!
Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for the most basic aspects of body function – directly acts on the brain, the G.I. tract, the CV system, bone metabolism, RBC metabolism, gall bladder and liver function, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, body temperature.
Incidence of Hypothyroidism in the U.S
in 2001: 1.75 million
in 2009: 5-9 million
in 2014: 20 million