I see a lot of patients who have read a lot about their low thyroid level symptoms.
They read about symptoms of various diseases and then “they have it” or they want to be checked for it. Well this is one of the hardest things to master in a young doctors life. What symptoms mean, how bad you might have the disease, or a set of diseases.
It is definitely a daunting and a tough task to work through.
Keep in mind we are well schooled in rigorous disciplines. We do these disciplines ten hours a day for 5 days a week. We go to seminars. We win, we fail and still it is a tough job… Please remember that…
The symptoms I give you are just to peak your interest. They do not mean a thing until they are run through the brain of an experienced professional.
This will mean he/she has ordered lab tests, compared your symptoms and findings and made a provisional judgment that usually requires the test of therapy… especially for thyroid problems. I told you earlier there are 46 separate symptoms of low or poorly functioning thyroid. So here are some of the more common ones:
- Cold hands and feet when they should not be.. Summer and it is warm. You have cold hands and need socks to sleep in… think low thyroid.
- Tired all the time even after having rested. Now other things cause this, but I hear this alot.
- Can’t loose weight even after increased exercise and rigorous calorie counting for two or three weeks. It is helpful to have someone check your calorie log and do the weight.
- Constipation… Here several additions of extra fluid and bulk from grains should have been tried to no results.
- Brain fog, depression that lifts from eating or small amounts of exercise. This is common in low thyroid patients
- Early menopause or erratic periods. Difficulty in getting pregnant and loss of libido. A lot of my women had severe post partum depression. Here I caution that many things can cause this. But you should be sure you have an adequate serum free T3 or a good 24 hour urine test for T3 and T4. Not just any lab does good tests… The urine should be tested by a photo spectrometer… all the other tests are very suspect.
- Elevated cholesterol… that is right. When the thyroid is low measured by good testing the liver does not clear the cholesterol out of the blood stream and you get labeled as a cardiac and put on some undeserved drug that robs you of your coin and your energy.
- Now further symptoms are present, but very numerous and usually are not strong pointers to the poor cell function do to lack of adequate levels of T3… Keep remembering that you want to expose your level of T3.
Here is the main way of finding low thyroid (T3).
Examine the patient. Where else are you going to see low thyroid level symptoms staring you in the face? Early text books admonished doctors to trust the history and physical much more than the lab tests. History has shown that is very wise advice…
All of the lab tests and radiology exams with isotopes were tested in known low thyroid patients. Know what the result was? None were any good. But the best of the worst was the TSH. You remember the one that will signal the level of T4? The inactive thyroid… T4…
You know the one the drug companies sell to you while uninformed doctors badmouth the natural pork balanced thyroid proven to be superior (in theory as evidenced in the New England Journal Feb issue of 1999. In general this article was on a small group of 38 patients but a startling finding of the addition of T3 made many of the patients feel better.)
Telltale Signs of Low Thyroid Levels.
Cold extremities, eyebrows are thin or missing on the outer 1/3 of the brow. (Dr Heurtog sign from years ago)
Overweight, (yet I have found about 15% of low thyroid patients are too thin.. go figure)
A weak pulse of about 70 or below, low blood pressure that has been the comment of many unknowing doctors as a sign of good health, or worse, athletic prowess. Get over it… it is low thyroid.
The eyes are puffy under the lids… there is a bagginess.
The skin is dry and the color of church candles pale and cream color.
Nails are paper thin and difficult to “manage” I don’t know fellers do you manage your nails?
The lower extremities are puffy and do not indent when you push a finger down and hold it for a minute. Frequently the thyroid gland is large and has a small medium or large goiter. This is a tough medical call and needs to be evaluated by ultrasound exam.
The first heart sound is not as loud as the second… the patient appears sleepy.
The ankle reflexes are nearly always low or missing all while the knee and elbow reflexes are normal. See why you need to have a practitioner who knows how to do these physicals and order the proper lab… it is complex, but so VITAL.
Some doctors can feel the thyroid. Some can tell if it is enlarged. The gland will enlarge in an attempt to make more thyroid when the body is low.
All of this is not an exact science.
I have looked and felt thyroids for more than 18 years and it is still not easy. The best way to tell if the gland is enlarged is to have an ultrasound study done.
Sure we are worried about cancers of the thyroid.. They are fairly rare. So an enlarged thyroid is not always a low thyroid. Also there may be nodules on the thyroid that need a needle biopsy or even surgical exploration.
This is the territory of a surgeon and an endocrinologist
The Temperature Test For Low Thyroid Levels
Here is the Broda Barns Temperature test…
1. Get a glass thermometer. (Hard to find and I don t think the digital ones are as good)
2. Place the thermometer at bedside. Shake it way down the night before so that it reads under 92.
3. The very first thing in the morning, sit on the bed side and place the thermometer under the arm. Read it after 3 minutes…
4. If it is 97 degrees or lower, it is quite possible your thyroid is low. (97.6 is considered normal). The body drops a degree at night. Record 7 of those temperatures and present them to a doctor that knows a lot about diagnosing low thyroid.
Those of us who have seen the great benefits of treating low thyroid are familiar with much more history and physiology of the gland than most.
REGULAR TABLE SALT IODINE DOES NOT ABSORB NOR IS IT ENOUGH.
This Information speaks for itself…. you’re probably low iodine…. and damaged by that.
Watch me explain this process in detail below:
H. Hagglund M.D.
“Getting You So Well You Can’t Be Sick”