If you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, you’re not alone – more than 27 million people are affected nationwide. There are over 30 known thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroid, thyroid over-conversion or under-conversion, and more. Medications may help improve your thyroid marker, but they may not actually improve the disorder itself.
The question that needs to be answered is – what’s the underlying cause of my particular thyroid problem? To answer that, we need to take a look beyond the standard blood test thyroid marker and do a deeper analysis of your specific symptoms.
A thyroid disorder isn’t some standardized problem with a one-size-fits-all solution. Because the body and mind are a complex network of interwoven causes and effects, a person’s medical history along with their lifestyle needs to be analyzed in order to discover the underlying and exacerbating issues.
One example of this is a patient of mine who came to me complaining of dry skin, constipation, brain fog and cloudy thinking, all symptoms of a thyroid disorder. He also was affected by long-term poor balance.
In going through his medical records, I discovered a diagnosis from eight years earlier of cerebellar ataxia, an autoimmune attack against the brain that causes balance and coordination problems. His more recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune attack against the thyroid, stems from the same root as cerebellar ataxia – both are the result of an out-of-control immune system that’s attacking the thyroid and brain. He was also plagued by recurring viral infection flare-ups when he worked himself to exhaustion.
By focusing on fixing only the blood marker rather than looking at the bigger picture – the connection between diagnoses and the root causes of the symptoms themselves – progression of the disorder would have continued, even if medications had helped to bring the marker itself back into an acceptable range. Root causes can range from poor gut health to heavy metals in the body; if these issues are not addressed directly, it is possible that not only will diagnosed disorders progress, but new disorders could arise, resulting in yet more medications that can be the cause of new problems.