• Hypothyroidism and Thyroid Hormone Therapy

    by Micheal Doyle, MD
    on Dec 21st, 2010

Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism and Thyroid Hormone Therapy

Usually based on blood tests (TSH and others). I believe that the TSH can be misleading. I look for other evidence of low thyroid such as fatigue, hair loss, depression, dry skin, weight gain, cold hands, constipation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. to help identify this problem. I use blood tests, body temperature testing and urine thyroid testing to confirm the diagnosis. This approach is not widely accepted.

Treatment & Thyroid Dosing Guidelines

I routinely use a thyroid extract such as Armour Thyroid because: 1) it works the best for most people. 2) It contains both active thyroid hormones T3 and T4 (as well as T1 and T2). Synthetic treatments such as Synthroid contain only T4.

For maximum safety and effectiveness, the dose starts low and is gradually increased to maximum effectiveness. Dosage is adjusted to restore normal thyroid function — not simply to restore normal blood test results.

I do not usually rely on the TSH test to adjust doses. In theory, a thyroid dose that causes a “suppressed” (low) TSH automatically leads to heart rhythm problems and bone thinning. This theory is refuted by a century of medical experience as well as scientific analysis*.  I am convinced by my research and clinical experience that the TSH test is generally not the best way to determine thyroid dosage.

Author Micheal Doyle, MD Michael E. Doyle, MD, is a board-certified family physician with nearly two decades of clinical experience. At Darien Integrative Medicine in Darien, Connecticut, he combines his extensive experience in both conventional and alternative medicine to offer his patients uniquely safe and effective care.

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