Thyroid Wellness with Integrative Medicine

Postnote to “Loving My Thyroid to Wellness

(Number 3 in a series of thyroid columns)

In November 2005 I had my bloodwork done in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the regimen I created for healing my thyroid, a regimen I began October 2004. That is when I chose to stop taking the prescription medication Synthroid.

In addition to the lipid panel, Free T3, Free T4, and ferritin, I had the lab test for several other levels that would help assess my overall state of health.

I am happy to share the results of my program here, and even happier to report major improvement in my health which is the result of this integrative approach.

A recap:
I first learned in October 2002 while I was living in Utah that I was hypothyroid (underactive thyroid), with my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) at 19.526, way over the normal range. As I mentioned in my 1st column “The Skinny on Thyroid,” I chose not to start on any prescription medication at that time. Instead I went back to the lab in June 2003, had my TSH tested again, discovered my TSH had risen to an outrageous level of 62.484 and only then began a traditional course of treatment with a prescription for synthetic thyroid medication.

In October 2004 while living in Michigan, I was determined to find a natural way to healing and I chose to stop taking Synthroid. I did this because my allopathic doctors were unable to regulate my thyroid with Synthroid, nor could they resolve my perimenopausal symptoms that I learned were related to my underactive thyroid.

Earlier, my doctor had admitted to me she did not know what else she could do to help regulate my thyroid and my erratic and excessive flow, so she referred me to a gynecologist. It was my understanding I had to agree to undergo a uterine biopsy to be certain there was not cancer causing the excessive flow, otherwise the gynecologist would not continue to have me as a patient.

The biopsy procedure immediately caused more excessive bleeding, and the gynecologist’s solution was to put me on synthetic progesterone to stop it. When the biopsy came back negative, the gynecologist’s next step for treatment would have been for me to undergo a serious procedure called endometrial ablation, had I remained her patient.

I chose not to remain her patient. Nor did I choose to stay on synthetic progesterone. I knew that synthetic progesterone and endometrial ablation would not be dealing with the involvement of my thyroid function, and both treatments had the potential to create serious problems. It had become clear to me the gynecologist was not on the same page with me in where to concentrate her treatment, so I chose to find another doctor to work with.

I also chose to stop Synthroid because I had learned from other women I knew who had been on thyroid medication for a long time, that long-term thyroid hormone replacement could lead to ever-increasing dosages. These higher dosages failed to fix the problem of low energy for them, and they were still miserable with their symptoms, after 20 and 30 years on Synthroid.

I then partnered with another doctor I had located through the ACAM (American College of Advancement in Medicine, in order to have my bloodwork interpreted, as well as to expand my own plan of integrative treatment.

In January of 2005, after 3 months adhering to my regimen of diet and nutritional supplementation, I again had my bloodwork done and my TSH was 17.61. Encouraged by the positive results and feeling so so so much better, I wrote my 2nd column “Loving My Thyroid to Wellness.”

I remained steadfast on my natural approach, and 10 months later in November 2005 I again retested, and my TSH came in at a remarkable 13.89.

Though 13.89 is a higher level than normal, my TSH is now way below that outrageous 62.484 level from 2003, and clearly moving in the right direction.

In addition, my overall health has definitely greatly improved. I have better energy and no longer have the all-too-common perimenopausal complaints so many other women have experienced related to erratic hormone levels and thyroid problems.

It is so unfortunate the relationship between the thyroid and female hormones and wellness is not more thoroughly understood by many women and their doctors. I hope the information I share will inspire others to seek even more information. I hope researchers conduct many more clinical trials of integrative approaches to thyroid treatment.

My research and experimentation continues, and so does my joy in the healing process. I have included other herbs and supplements to my regimen in order to strengthen my mineral and hormone levels as I move further into this interesting perimenopausal stage. These have included the herbs horsetail, yellow dock, red clover and raspberry; pumpkin and sunflower seeds; almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts.

Though others may be helped by synthetic thyroid medications, such as Synthroid, what I had hoped for myself would be possible — healing, instead of just managing thyroid symptoms — has become my experience through an integrative approach. For those who would like more information or to share comments, please feel free to contact me. I will post additional helpful information as it evolves.

Disclaimer — All the information I share is not intended as a replacement for the expertise of medical doctors or other health care professionals. Anyone wishing to make changes to their nutritional or exercise program for any reason is advised to first consult with their physician.)

— Giselle M. Massi © January 2006