Thyroid dysfunction is an insidious scourge afflicting millions—millions who have no idea that there is answer, that they can feel better, that they’re not simply getting old. If you suspect that you may be suffering from a thyroid problem, Dr. Maryann Prewitt wants you to know that you are not alone. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can get back to living your best life.
America is the richest country on the planet and individual Americans spend more money on healthcare than people in any other part of the world. At the same time, we suffer from greater obesity and chronic illness than anyone else. Sure, we’re living longer. But, are we living or feeling better? The conventional medical model does a good job of treating trauma, acute conditions, and infectious disease. However, for the millions of Americas who suffer daily from chronic conditions—including thyroid disorders—modern medicine often falls short. Patients are expected to accept a subpar quality of life; a lifetime of taking prescription medications and the side effects that come with them; and, no hope that they their condition will improve. Dr. Prewitt thinks you deserve more.
The vast majority of people today are suffering nutritional deficiencies and hormonal or metabolic disorders that affect all aspects of health and wellness. Nearly 2/3 of Americans are overweight and 1/2 are obese. For many of these patients who are struggling with their weight, an undiagnosed thyroid problem is likely to blame. You cannot treat what you do not know. This is why Dr. Prewitt recommends that all patients get a complete metabolic work-up so they can get on top of their thyroid health.
Why is thyroid health so important?
Most of us do not appreciate the degree to which our overall body function is dependent on our thyroid. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland create power for every cell in your body. Your thyroid is the key that turns on each and every cell and determines the speed at which the cell’s DNA can do what it’s genetically programmed to do. Although the thyroid’s primary role is the secretion of thyroid hormone and the regulation of weight, thyroid hormone affects every cell in your body: it turns your food into energy.
Without precisely the right amount of thyroid hormone, your organs cannot perform at optimal levels and your cells cannot produce properly. But, that’s not all. The thyroid gland is critical for the production of sex hormones, as well. So, if your thyroid is out of whack, your testosterone and estrogen levels will follow suit. Once you’ve gone down this slippery slope, your quality of life has long been on the decline. And, if you’re thyroid health is too far gone, you may require medication–and not just for your thyroid. Many of my patients also need bioidentical hormone pellets to optimize their sexual health and wellness.
Thyroid dysfunction is among the most under-diagnosed conditions today. And it is no coincidence that this clinical trend is manifested in the dramatic nationwide increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, and low-T. What’s worse, as we age, our thyroid function begins to decline—this decline, sometimes referred to as thyropause, can begin at any age, and often occurs in patients as young as their twenties. It is never too early to check your thyroid and Dr. Prewitt recommends that patients repeat these tests annually.
Symptoms of thyroid deficiency
When your thyroid is not functioning properly, a number of conditions can develop—and each of them negatively impacts your quality of life. In America alone, 30-40% of people are hypothyroid: that’s 52 million people. People suffering from hypothyroidism have an underactive thyroid as do people with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid. By contrast, an overactive thyroid results in hyperthyroidism. Millions of Americans are afflicted with thyroid disease and only a small fraction is even aware. You can’t treat the unknown. That’s why a proper diagnosis is key.
Over 200 symptoms are related to thyroid deficiency. Here are some of the most common:
- Low energy
- Poor sense of well-being
- Changes in memory and cognition
- Loss of mental clarity
- Feeling cold
- Thin hair and nails
- Weight gain or loss
- Adverse effect on mood
Now this is only a partial list of symptoms and many of these are also characteristics of other conditions—that’s why it is essential that your physician order the proper labs.
Nutrients to Optimize Your Thyroid
Now the thyroid gland cannot act alone. Without help from certain nutrients, your thyroid will not manufacture thyroid hormone. In addition, your body requires specific nutrients to convert T4 to T3, for T3 to enter its cells, and to promote all around thyroid function. The modern food supply no longer provides many of the significant nutrients your body requires for T3 to reach even adequate—much less—optimal levels. For this reason, it is important that your physician tests for these key nutrients to promote optimal thyroid function. If you are low in any of these essential compounds, Dr.Prewitt recommends supplementation with medical-grade vitamins and nutraceuticals.
- B vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K2
Dr. Prewitt’s Last Word
I want my patients to feel as good as I do. When my thyroid patients first come to see me, they remind of Dorothy from the original black-and-white Wizard of Oz.