In the mid 1900’s heart disease became the disease of the century.
The protocol for diagnosis was testing blood cholesterol levels, and if it was out of range, people were started on a regimen of cholesterol lowering medications.
Or, at that time, it was often suggested to take a daily dose of baby aspirin to thin the blood.
That trend has been kept up for over 60 years (minus the baby aspirin). And, during that time we have discovered that monitoring cholesterol levels and then taking cholesterol-lowering drugs does NOT actually prevent heart disease.
Further studies indicate that unnaturally lowering blood cholesterol levels can increase the risk of developing and dying from cancer. Eeek!
Preventing and healing heart disease is NOT about relying on cholesterol-lowering medications – that hasn’t worked. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women around the world. Prevention and healing of heart disease needs to include diet and lifestyle adjustments that support the heart and cardiovascular system, as well as many other bodily systems.
Something to keep in mind is that the “normal“ cholesterol range has been lowered over the past 60 years. It went from 240 being normal, to currently under 180 being normal. Which means, according to the new cholesterol levels, even more people will need to take statin drugs. But, I digress… and don’t want to make any assumptions about why those ranges were lowered in the first place.
As fate would have it, thyroid disease is on a similar diagnostic track. Since the 1990’s physicians have been specifically looking for thyroid disease similarly to the way heart disease was detected – through blood testing.
A patient goes to their doctor’s office for a yearly physical and blood test, and the thyroid hormone levels are usually checked. If it comes back with high or low thyroid hormones they are prescribed thyroid medication… even if they haven’t had any symptoms of thyroid disease.
But, just like heart disease, this doesn’t actually prevent or heal thyroid disease.
Not only that, many of the symptoms that most people actually do complain about, have very little to do with the functioning of their thyroid.
For example: If someone complains of weight gain, fatigue, inability to sleep, and hair loss, the thyroid is blamed because it has now become the “disease of this century.”
The patient is then started on a prescription medication protocol, and guess what happens… it doesn’t actually heal or prevent thyroid disease. Oftentimes, the majority of folks taking thyroid medications still complain about the same symptoms because their diet and lifestyle was not addressed, and they never got to the root cause of the imbalance.
It is no surprise that the number one most prescribed drug for the past several years is thyroid medication.
One very important thing to keep in mind is that the “normal” range of thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood has changed over the past few decades. When I was first diagnosed in 1996, normal TSH was between .4 – 5.5. Currently, the new normal is between .045 – 4.5.
At this point, please feel free to make any assumptions about why those ranges in the blood were altered. To sell more drugs, maybe?
Here are 3 common symptoms associated with thyroid disease that may have very little to do with the thyroid… but some innocent little gland has got to take the blame for all the medication that’s being dished out to the masses.
- Weight gain: If you are gaining weight, especially around the hips and belly, you may have excess hormone (estrogen) accumulating in your system and cells. Thyroid medication is NOT going to help with that. You would be better off supporting liver health to clear excess hormone from your system, and taking on a regular exercise routine that includes running a one or two times per week. On another note, if your lymphatic system is sluggish, you can bet that gaining weight around your waist, hips, belly, arms, legs, and ankles is inevitable. Again, thyroid medication won’t help.
- Chronic Fatigue: If you are exhausted, dragging your butt through the day, and cannot wake in the morning, this may not have much to do with your thyroid. You need to address adrenal health, stress levels, and sleep quality. Are you getting adequate rest? Are you taking on too many commitments? Are you chronically, emotionally, or physically stressed? Guess what… thyroid medication won’t help with any of these things.
- Hair loss: If you are losing hair at a rapid rate and not experiencing new hair growth, this not a thyroid problem. Once again we need to look at adrenal health, stress levels, and also the digestive system. When digestion is functioning optimally, you’ll be better able to process the amino acids and proteins needed for new cell and hair growth. But, if your stress levels are high, absorption of nutrients will be compromised. Not only that, but if your digestive system is weak and your adrenals are working overtime, you will set yourself up for autoimmune conditions like hashimotos and graves. Once again, thyroid medication won’t help.
I’m going to suggest you stop looking for thyroid disease in your blood because you’re probably going to find it… at least, according to the latest blood tests. But, that’s not going to heal your thyroid or the symptoms you may be experiencing.
It’s time to stop relying on blood tests, and stop blaming your thyroid. Let’s start looking at what is really going on.
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Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.