Thyroid Diseases, Living Well With (cont.)
Clearly, your doctor feels comfortable keeping you at a slightly lower TSH level and many doctors have this position because they seem to think their patients feel well -- as you have described that you do -- when their TSH level is somewhat depressed or lower. If you notice you're having symptoms that are indicating hyperthyroidism -- if your pulse rate is high, heart palpitations or you can't sleep -- then you definitely want to check with your doctor right away. But if your doctor is comfortable with this level and you are feeling well, I wouldn't think a second opinion is necessary unless you are having symptoms that are bothering you.
Unfortunately, even when we have our thyroid condition treated and we are taking thyroid medications like Levoxyl, we may still be battling the problem of additional weight. Changing the medicine dose and manipulating the TSH level may not have impact on the weight that you have already gained due to the thyroid condition. The best effort to focus on, as you mentioned, is changing your diet -- eliminating sugar, the anti-inflammatory food -- and boosting metabolism using various natural means.
If the doctor is not willing to review materials that you bring from legitimate sources, such as AACE or the clinical laboratory guidelines, you may want to consider getting a new doctor. There's no reason to have to suffer with undiagnosed hypothyroidism, simply because your doctor has not stayed up on the latest developments.
I do, in fact, have Hashimoto's Disease and in the course of eight years of writing my book along with running my web site and newsletters, I've corresponded with thousands of patients and hundreds of doctors all over the world who have every form of thyroid condition. I've felt that based on all of the information and research I was putting together from patients and doctors, that the type of empowered approach that I had used in the book for hypothyroidism, could be helpful for hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease.
My goal is to help patients step forward through the information gathering process and introduce them to all options, both conventional and alternative, to make informed decisions along with the practitioner.
It's particularly important that doctors pay attention to symptoms, that patients not dismiss symptoms, and adequate treatment be provided the moment a diagnosis is made. The challenge is that sometimes people will go into a doctor or an emergency room with a high heart rate and may have anxiety, and may be diagnosed with having a panic attack, or if someone is having rapid weight loss, there are many younger women who are told they are anorexic, and older women are menopausal, when the underlying facts are Graves' disease.
For conventional physicians, they consider getting rid of the hyperthyroidism as the cure. However, what you are doing when you receive radiation, also known as radioactive iodine or RAI treatment, is you are permanently disabling and deactivating your thyroid. So you do eventually eliminate the hyperthyroidism. However, you are trading one condition for another because the end result of RAI is almost always hypothyroidism and you will require lifelong therapy on thyroid replacement drugs.
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