The damaged thyroid: when you are diagnosed too late

The (scary) statistics about hypothyroidism [1]:

  • An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
  • Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
  • One in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
Then, let’s add the following statistics [2]:
  •  In iodine-sufficient regions, autoimmune thyroid disease is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism.  
The challenge is that that for many hypothyroid patients the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is too late.  By the the time the diagnosis is made, too much of the thyroid gland has already been damaged by the immune system, and the patient will have to take thyroid hormone replacement therapy for the rest of their lives. 
As the published research found [3], which you can see below, by the time a person has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, more than 90% of the thyroid gland has already been destroyed:

And once your thyroid has been destroyed, it will not recover.  The thyroid gland, which produces T4 hormones, will not be able to produce the amount of T4 your body needs anymore.  Also, keep in mind that the thyroid gland also plays an important role in converting the inactive T4 to the active T3.  So you may struggle with low levels of both T4 AND T3.

So what should you do?

Test for Free T4, Free T3, and thyroid antibodies.  Then at least you know where to start to take your health back. 

Adele du Rand

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