Thyroid Part 5:How is hypothyroidism diagnosed and why is mainstream/conventional medicine “stuck in the dark ages” (according to Dr. J. Wright, M.D.)??!!
Though the following information is somewhat detailed it is vital for me to explain. Thousands of patients, especially women, are being told by their doctors that based on the blood test results their thyroid function is normal. I am explaining why this is a poor, inaccurate diagnosis. I will reference 3 medical experts in this next section. They are Mark Starr, M.D., Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D., and Dr. David Brownstein, M.D. Dr. Starr is a practicing physician in Arizona and has worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr. Lawrence Sonkin, M.D. from NY Cornell Medical Center, among other famous doctors. In his book titled “Hypothyroidism Type 2, the Epidemic” he states – only around 5% of Americans suffer from the type of hypothyroidism he terms type 1. This he defines as the failure of the thyroid gland to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones necessary to maintain “normal” blood levels of those hormones and normal blood levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted by the pituitary gland. Therefore 95% of Americans have what he calls type 2 hypothyroidism. Without getting too technical I will explain why measuring TSH and T4 misses about 90% of hypothyroid cases. Keep in mind, though, that for almost 30 years the “gold standard” in conventional medicine for diagnosing hypothyroidism has been measuring TSH. There is new controversy over what the reference range of normal TSH should be. Many experts feel that TSH levels above 2mU/I rather than 4.5mU/I would be an indication of hypothyroidism. Dr. Starr states – “blood tests do not detect Type 2 hypothyroidism.” Dr. Weetman, professor of medicine, wrote in The British Medical Journal- “the high frequency of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism observed raises another contentious issue – whether screening (blood test) for hypothyroidism is worthwhile.” Dr. J. Wright , M.D. states- “ relying on the TSH test alone to determine if you’re hypothyroid could leave you misdiagnosed and mistreated.” Dr. Hertoghe, a Belgium endocrinologist, states- “the TSH test is not sensitive enough in identifying a hypothyroid condition, and may only identify 2-5% of hypothyroid conditions. He further stated, and this is the bottom line, “ we recommend correlating the blood test results with the clinical picture in order to secure an accurate diagnosis of hypothyroidism. In summary, and with strong emphasis, the holistic, alternative approach in diagnosing hypothyroidism is to not rely on blood tests results alone, but to consider 1. Medical history, 2. Physical exam, 3. Basal body temperatures, 4. Iodine levels, 5. Thyroid blood tests.