July 31, 2017
Why Throid Patients Suffer
Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root
Cause by Izabella Wentz, Pharm.D., FASCP with Marta Nowosadzka, MD has a
wealth of credible information on thyroid basics, symptoms, tests, and
treatment. Izabella Wentz, a pharmacist and Hashimoto’s patient, has
summarized three years of research in her book. I highly recommend her
book, and I have attempted to summarize some of this information that I
believe is crucial for every thyroid patient should know.
many thyroid symptoms are very non-specific they are often disregarded
by the medical community in the initial stages. Patients are dismissed
with having depression, stress or anxiety. Thyroid patients are
prescribed anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications without
consideration of thyroid function. Medical studies have shown that up
to one-third of people who fail antidepressants report feeling better
once started on Cytomel (a T3 thyroid hormone). Some patients have even
been hospitalized and misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder or
schizophrenia when in fact they were suffering from thyroid imbalances.
People with anxiety, depression or other mood disorders should have
their thyroid function checked, especially TPO antibodies. Some
individuals with lifelong psychiatric diagnoses have been able to
recover after receiving proper thyroid care.
thyroid produces thyroid hormones that affect the function of just
about every organ system in the human body. Thyroid hormones are
responsible for stimulating the metabolism of the foods we eat,
extracting vitamins, and producing energy from food. They are also
vital to the production of other hormones as well as the growth and
development of our nervous system. The thyroid also maintains our
temperature. Indirectly, thyroid function affects every reaction in the
human body, as the temperature has to be just right for these reactions
to take place properly.
T4 (Thyroxine) and T3 (Triiodothyronine)
are the two main thyroid hormones. Only T4 and T3 are considered to be
biologically active in the body, and T4 is 300% less active than T3.
Twenty percent of T3 comes from thyroid secretion, while the remaining
80% comes from T4 when T4 is converted to T3 through the deiodination
process (which removes on iodine molecule) in peripheral organs like the
liver and kidney. However, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or other
issues can impair the thyroid’s ability to function. Instead of
converting T4 to T3, the body conserves energy by converting T3 into an
inactive form of T3 know as reverse T3 (rT3). Reverse T3 is able to
bind the receptor sites on the cell that T3 normally occupies, but it
does not have the ability to unlock these receptors and enter the cell,
thus not allowing the necessary reactions inside the cell to take place.
Total T4 includes:
T4 hormones bound to protein. When bound to protein, thyroid hormone
is not available to the cells and therefore can’t do its job in the
• FreeT4, which are T4 hormones that are free or unbound to protein.
Total T3 includes:
• T3 hormones that are bound to protein, and are not available to the cells and therefore can’t do its job in the body.
Free T3, which are T3 hormones that are free or unbound to protein.
Free T3 Includes reverse T3 (rT3) hormones that cannot enter the cells
and therefore can’t do its job in the body. So, the only T3 that is
beneficial to the body for thyroid function is Free T3 minus rT3.
Recommended Thyroid Functions Tests
TSH Test: Low levels of T4 and T3 circulating in the blood signal the
release of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), while high levels of
circulating T4 and T3 stop the release of TSH. The problem with using
the TSH test to diagnose and treat thyroid function is that the amount
of T3 and T4 circulating in the bloodstream does not address the issue
of how much Free T4 and Free T3 is actually available in the cells to
ensure proper thyroid function required to produce hormones, enzymes,
neurotransmitter, and muscle tissue, and have a healthy metabolism.
• Free T4
• Free T3
rT3: TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 tests may be normal, but without
factoring in the amount of rT3, patients may be suffering with thyroid
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Recommended Tests
Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that results in destruction of
the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of
hypothyroidism in the United States, and accounts for 90% of cases of
hypothyroidism. In most cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, blood tests
will reveal one or two types of anti-thyroid antibodies. Thyroid
peroxidase antibody (TPOab) is the most common antibody present, and
often antibodies against thyroglobulin (TGab) are found as well. These
antibodies may appear decades before a change in TSH is detected. For
this reason, TPO antibody screening is always crucial in suspected
thyroid disease. Recommended tests are:
• TPOab: Antibodies above
500 kU/L are considered aggressive, while antibodies of less than 100
kU/L are associated with a reduced risk of progressing to
• Thyroglobulin Antibodies
Why Are So Many Thyroid Patients Suffering with Thyroid Symptoms?
Wentz’s research completely discredits the research currently used by
traditional medicine. Traditional medicine’s diagnosis and treatment of
thyroid function determines that any suppression of TSH, in spite of
all other thyroid test results, indicates that the patient is
hyperthyroid. This misuse of the TSH test results in a false diagnosis
of hyperthyroidism; therefore, all the health risks they attribute to
this erroneous diagnosis of hyperthyroidism are not valid. And could
they defend their preference for T4 only medication if the patient’s
medication was based on the results of all the lab work required to
determine healthy thyroid function instead of basing it on their flawed
research? Some of traditional medicines research is as follows:
Overreplacement – Overreplacement with T4 should be discouraged.
Overreplacement causes subclinical hyperthyroidism (normal serum T4 and
T3 and low serum TSH concentrations), or even overt hyperthyroidism.
The main risk of subclinical hyperthyroidism is atrial fibrillation,
which occurs three time more often in older patients with serum TSH
concentration < 0.1 mU/L than in normal subjects. Patents with
subclinical hyperthyroidism, particularly postmenopausal women, may also
have accelerated bone loss. It is therefore important to educate
patients about the potential adverse effects of overtreatment with T4.
Combination T4 and T3 therapy – Some hypothyroid patients remain
symptomatic in spite of T4 replacement and normal serum TSH
concentrations. As an example, in a large community-based questionnaire
study of patients taking T4 who had normal serum TSH concentrations, 9
to 13 percent hypothyroid patients might benefit from substitution of
some T3 for T4, an idea that has now been evaluated in multiple
randomized trial, almost all of which showed that combination T4-T3
therapy does not appear to be superior to T4 monotherapy for the
management of hypothyroid symptoms. In some trials, patients preferred
combined therapy to T4 monotherapy; however, in one of those studies,
patients were given overzealous doses of thyroid hormone resulting in
mild hyperthyroidism. In general, clinical trials of combination T4-T3
therapy have not successfully replicated physiologic T4-T3 production.
The Future for Thyroid Patients
truth about the current diagnosis and treatment based on the TSH test
is that it has caused thyroid patients years, if not a lifetime, of
suffering. By treating many thyroid symptoms, such as depression,
fibromyalgia, CFS, stress and anxiety, etc. as separate illnesses, the
medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry are the only ones who
benefit. And the scary thing that I am now noticing is that as older
doctors retire, the younger doctors taking their place have been trained
to diagnose and treat thyroid function based on traditional medicine’s
research as if it is sacred scripture. The only hope that thyroid
patients have now are alternative medicine doctors who understand
thyroid function and know and use the correct lab tests. I was informed
this year (2017) that the lab tests ordered by my Naturopathic doctor
are no longer covered by Medicare and Medicaid insurance. Are these
doctors being targeted to be phased out? What does the future hold for
For additional information on why the medical
profession should reassess the validity of using the TSH test and their
preference for T4 only medications, read my review on Living Well with
Hypothyroidism by Mary Shomon.