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Why Don’t Endocrinologists Look For The Underlying Cause Of Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Just about everyone with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are told to take synthetic thyroid hormone upon being diagnosed.  What usually happens is that the person visits an endocrinologist or another type of medical doctor.  They then receive some thyroid blood tests, (TSH, T3, T4, etc.), and assuming they come out positive for a hypothyroid condition, the person is simply told to take thyroid hormone daily for the rest of their life.  Sometimes this happens even if the person isn’t experiencing any symptoms.  While some people see a medical doctor due to the symptoms they are experiencing, other people are diagnosed with hypothyroidism during a routine wellness exam.

In any case, for someone who hasn’t had thyroid surgery or received RAI, the question that most medical doctors should be asking is “why did this person develop hypothyroidism in the first place”.  Of course this never happens, as the person is told to take synthetic thyroid hormone, and most people follow the advice of their doctor and end up taking this on a permanent basis.

One reason why some people don’t think about the cause of their condition is due to genetics.  Many who test positive are asked if they have family members with a history of a thyroid condition.  Frequently the answer to this is “yes”, and as a result most think the reason they developed their hypothyroid condition was due solely to genetics.  As I’ve discussed in the past, genetics is definitely a factor, but it’s not as big of a factor as many people think.  Even if there is a family history of hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, most of the time a person with a genetic marker can prevent the development of such a condition, as I’ve discussed in other posts and articles.

I realize that there probably won’t be a time in the near future when medical doctors stop giving thyroid hormone to every single person with a positive TSH test.  But when you consider that millions of people are taking synthetic thyroid hormone, you should wonder how many of these people would be able to have their health restored through a natural thyroid treatment protocol.  Sure, some people would of course need to take thyroid hormone daily for the rest of their life, but many of these people wouldn’t.

Because I don’t see medical doctors changing their mindset anytime soon, myself and other holistic doctors will need to continue to inform people of the importance of finding the underlying cause of their thyroid disorder.  This is a big reason why I put up this website, as most people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis aren’t aware that they might be able to have their health restored back to normal.  While many people are happy taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone daily for the rest of their life, others don’t want to take medicine if it’s unnecessary.

Weak adrenal glands, hormone imbalances, and certain mineral and nutritional deficiencies can be causing or contributing to a hypothyroid disorder.  So if most medical doctors simply asked a few extra questions and did a little more testing, many people who are currently taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone would not need to be taking this medicine.  Let’s look a a simple example.  Selenium is an important mineral when it comes to the production of thyroid hormone.  This mineral is necessary for the proper conversion of T4 to T3.  And many people are deficient in selenium.  But most doctors don’t test for such a deficiency, and they usually don’t tell their patients to supplement with selenium, or eat selenium-rich foods (such as brazil nuts).  So this is just a single example of a mineral which when deficient can lead to a hypothyroid condition.  In  the case where someone developed hypothyroidism due to a selenium deficiency, taking synthetic thyroid hormone will help manage the symptoms, but if this person took selenium this would actually cure the thyroid condition.

To be fair, this is a basic example, and most cases of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are due to more than just a deficiency in selenium.  But even if the condition was due to multiple mineral deficiencies and hormone imbalances, and/or compromised adrenal glands, the point is that many people with these conditions can have their health restored naturally, and as a result some people can eventually stop taking thyroid hormone.  This is a big reason why I constantly recommend that people consult with a natural endocrine doctor.

Of course this doesn’t mean that I tell my patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to stop taking thyroid hormone.  In fact, during the initial consultation, if a patient is taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone then usually I will encourage them to keep on taking it for the time being, as I do think it’s important to manage their symptoms until the natural treatment methods “kick in”.  But the ultimate goal will be to get to the underlying cause of their condition so they hopefully won’t need to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.

In summary, while it’s unrealistic to expect medical doctors to stop telling every single patient with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to take thyroid hormone, this doesn’t mean you can’t take charge of your own health.  While some people do need to take thyroid hormone on a permanent basis, the only way to know this for sure is through proper testing.  And since there’s a good chance your endocrinologist or general medical practitioner won’t order these tests for you, this is why it probably will be necessary to consult with a natural endocrine doctor.