While many people I consult with have hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease, some people have “subclinical hyperthyroidism”, which usually consists of some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The symptoms typically aren’t as severe as a “full blown” case of hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease. The thyroid blood tests are also usually not as bad as primary hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease, as the person may have a low TSH, but typically the free T3 and free T4 levels are within normal limits.
Because the person with subclinical hyperthyroidism usually doesn’t have severe symptoms, I don’t see as many of these patients as those who have primary hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease. Many of these patients don’t even take any antithyroid medication since their symptoms usually aren’t severe. On the other hand, some of these people will end up developing “full blown” hyperthyroidism, which is why it’s a good idea to consult with a natural endocrine doctor. After all, I’ve spoken with some patients whose endocrinologists told them there was nothing they can do for them, but to come back in about six months and they will then put them on antithyroid medication if the symptoms worsen.
Most people take the advice of their endocrinologist when they are told to “play the waiting game”. But there are some people who don’t want to wait until their condition develops into something more serious. These people want to get to the cause of the problem, and these of course are the ones who typically will look to schedule a consultation with a holistic doctor in order to restore their health back to normal and prevent the condition from becoming more severe.
Gauging The Progress Of People With Subclinical Hyperthyroidism
It admittedly can be more challenging to determine whether someone with subclinical hyperthyroidism is responding to a natural treatment protocol. In fact, I have had some patients who became frustrated with the process, as they figured that if they were experiencing mild symptoms then it should take a very short amount of time to restore their health back to normal. While it might be a quicker process when compared to someone who has severe hyperthyroid symptoms, this doesn’t mean it will be a “quick cure”. Just keep in mind that even though it might be a faster process it still takes time for subclinical hyperthyroidism to develop, and thus takes time to restore someone’s health.
If you have read my articles and posts, then you realize that you can’t just rely on thyroid blood tests alone. So even if someone with subclinical hyperthyroidism has negative lab results, they might need to obtain other tests, such as an Adrenal Stress Index test, hair mineral analysis, and/or a hormone panel. And if any of these tests are positive then the obvious goal will be to address these compromised areas of the body. For example, just as is the case with primary hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, many people with subclinical hyperthyroidism have problems with their adrenal glands. And so even if they are feeling pretty good, if they have high or low cortisol levels, then the obvious goal will be to normalize the cortisol levels, and restore the health of the adrenals. So in addition to looking to normalize any blood test values that were once positive, a holistic doctor will most likely recommend other “alternative” tests and ultimately try to normalize these levels as well.
In summary, natural treatment methods can definitely benefit many people who have subclinical hyperthyroidism. However, since these people usually have minimal symptoms, and sometimes even negative blood tests, it is even more important to focus on other factors, such as compromised adrenal glands, hormone imbalances, and/or any mineral or nutritional deficiencies which may be present. Then just as is the case with people who have primary hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, the ultimate goal is to eliminate their symptoms, normalize their blood tests, and address other compromised areas of their body. But just as important, people with subclinical hyperthyroidism also need to maintain their health thereafter. This might seem like common sense, and it is, but because their symptoms are minimal, many people with this condition don’t consider it to be a big deal, even though it can become more severe over time.