Millions of people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis take synthetic thyroid hormone on a daily basis. Many of these people are told that they will need to take this for the rest of their lives. But are endocrinologists and other medical doctors too hasty when it comes to making this recommendation for patients with this condition? Being a healthcare professional and someone who has personally dealt with an autoimmune thyroid disorder, I think in some cases the answer is “yes”.
On the surface, it might seem like common sense to recommend synthetic thyroid hormone to someone who has a deficiency and can’t produce their own thyroid hormone naturally. After all, we can’t survive without thyroid hormone, and if our bodies are not producing a sufficient amount of it, or in some cases not producing any whatsoever, then what other options do we have?
How about natural thyroid hormone? Well, without question this can be an option for someone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or other cases of hypothyroidism for that matter. This is especially true with regards to people who don’t respond well to synthetic thyroid hormone. There are many people who don’t receive enough symptomatic relief when taking synthetic thyroid hormone, but do well when taking a natural form of thyroid hormone, such as Armour or Westhroid.
In fact, many holistic doctors will recommend natural thyroid hormone to their patients instead of synthetic thyroid hormone. The problem is that natural thyroid hormone also doesn’t do anything for the actual cause of the problem, but simply covers up the hypothyroid symptoms.
An Option Most Doctors Don’t Consider:
By the way, the goal here isn’t to criticize medical doctors for recommending synthetic thyroid hormone to their patients. After all, most doctors are just doing what they have been trained to do when they attended medical school, which in most cases means giving some type of prescription drug to help manage the symptoms. As for holistic doctors recommending natural thyroid hormone, once again, what I’m about to say isn’t meant to criticize these doctors, as most doctors are of course just trying to help their patients. In other words, when a doctor recommends synthetic or natural thyroid hormone, they are usually doing what they feel is best for the patient.
The problem I have with giving everyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis synthetic or natural thyroid hormone is that many of these doctors underestimate the self-healing ability of our bodies. While there are people who definitely need synthetic or natural thyroid hormone, there are also a high percentage of people taking these hormones that potentially can restore the normal function of their own thyroid gland. I’m not suggesting this is an easy process, but neither is losing weight, yet many people are willing to put in the time and do what is necessary to shed some pounds.
Similarly, in order to restore the normal function of your thyroid gland so that it can produce it’s own thyroid hormone, it usually will take some time, and some form of a commitment on your part. I realize that many people are fine with taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone forever, and if this describes you, then that’s perfectly fine. However, if you don’t want to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of your life, then you might want to consider a natural treatment protocol.
Don’t Stop Taking Your Thyroid Hormone
Although there is the possibility of restoring the normal function of your thyroid gland through natural treatment methods if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I am by no means recommending that you stop taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone. In fact, I can’t tell you to stop taking thyroid hormone, even if I wanted to.
In some cases taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone is necessary, such as in some cases where people have received radioactive iodine, or if you had your thyroid gland completely removed through surgery. So everyone’s situation is different, which obviously means that everyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should be treated on a case-by-case basis.
Consider Natural Treatment Options For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
If you like the idea of trying to restore the normal function of your thyroid gland through natural treatment methods so that you don’t have to rely on taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone forever, then here are a couple of steps you can take:
Step #1: Speak with your endocrinologist or primary care physician. Now to be honest, most endocrinologists and general practitioners won’t be supportive of your decision to treat your condition through natural methods. In addition to being skeptical about the effectiveness of natural treatment methods, they most likely will tell you that it can be dangerous to treat an autoimmune thyroid disorder naturally.
The truth is that it CAN be dangerous, if you don’t do it under the guidance of a competent natural doctor. Some people will try to treat their condition on their own, while others might consult with a self-proclaimed natural healer with no true credentials. This without question can be risky and is not recommended.
Step #2: Consult with a natural doctor that focuses on endocrine conditions. It admittedly can be difficult to find a holistic doctor that focuses on endocrine disorders, but they can be found if you do a little bit of research. You do need to be careful here as well, as some “holistic doctors” will simply recommend natural thyroid hormone in place of synthetic thyroid hormone, and not do anything to try to restore the normal function of your thyroid gland.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to consult with a natural doctor that practices locally in your area. If you can find a competent natural doctor within driving distance then that’s great. But assuming you have already been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, there is no reason why you can’t consult with a natural doctor remotely over the phone and still receive great results if it is determined that you’re a good candidate for receiving natural treatment methods. In fact, there are some advantages to remote consultations, as you don’t have to drive a great distance and/or deal with traffic, wait for a long period of time in a doctor’s office, etc. You can simply consult over the phone with a doctor from the comfort of your own home.
In the opening paragraph I mentioned how I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disorder. I personally was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, which is a hyperthyroid condition. But while it might seem like the complete opposite of a hypothyroid disorder such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, there are a number of similarities, as both conditions affect the immune system, and in many cases other areas of the body, such as the adrenal glands.
Both autoimmune thyroid disorders often are labeled as being “incurable” by most medical doctors. While I’m not going to tell you that there is a cure for your disorder, I will let you know that many people with both Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease have received excellent results through natural treatment methods, and this includes myself. And by the way, some of these people with Hashimoto’s who were on synthetic thyroid hormone for many years still received great results. So please don’t give up hope if you have had your condition for a long period of time.
A big reason why natural treatment methods can be so effective with autoimmune thyroid disorders is because they address the underlying cause of the condition. Rather than just controlling the symptoms through medication, a good natural treatment protocol will attempt to strengthen the weakened immune system, address the adrenal glands and other areas that might be contributing to the problem, and will ultimately restore the normal function of the thyroid gland when this is possible.
Once again, this isn’t suggesting that everyone who has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a good candidate for natural treatment methods. There are some people who won’t benefit from a natural treatment protocol. On the other hand, there are some people with this condition whose health can’t be completely restored to normal, but can still receive some positive benefits from a natural treatment protocol.
In summary, if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and are sick and tired of taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone everyday, consider consulting with a natural doctor to see if you are a candidate to receive natural treatment methods. Try to have an open mind and realize that the body has an amazing ability to heal and regenerate itself, although sometimes it admittedly needs some outside help to accomplish this. You have nothing to lose by speaking with someone, and it just might be possible to restore the normal function of your thyroid gland so you won’t have to rely on taking medication for the rest of your life.
Dr. Eric Osansky is a licensed healthcare professional who person