Hypothyroidism Myths to Avoid


Think of hypothyroidism with females usually with these symptoms and get a TSH. Slowing of thought processes,and speech, decreased attentiveness, poor concentration, decreased interest on others.This can be confused with a primary mood disorder. Hypothyroidism can induce a melancholic disorder.

With crying, loss of appetite constipation,insomnia, delusions of self reproach, and even suicide. Others have severe anxiety. Rare cases have agitation, leading to frank psychosis. Symptoms include anger fearlessness, paranoia, and auditory and visual hallucinations. Although most mental symptoms clear on fully replaced thyroid hormone some effects may still be present.

Myths About Hypothyroidism

1. Thyroid hormone resistance is a common cause of hidden hypothyroidism: A rare disorder has been twisted on the internet to be  a  common cause of “hidden hypothyroidism” with normal TSH. False.
2. Hidden Hypothyroidism is common: Many websites tell you that TSH can’t detect many hidden cases of hypothyroidism. Basal body temperature BBT is one and Wilson’s syndrome is another. Both false.
3. Broda Barnes’ BBT theories are valid: The use of BBT instead of TSH is a myth and should be put in the context of a physician living in the 1930-70’s with a dangerous theory that half the people are hypothyroid by measuring BBT. False
4. Wilson’s syndrome is the cause of hidden hypothyroidism with normal TSH: This pseudo-science theory combines Broda Barnes BBT and other ill health theories to state that only T3 should be used to treat hidden hypothyroidism with normal TSH. Treating people with T3 when they do not have hypothyroidism can heart problems and even death. DR.Wilson was barred from practice in Florida after one of his patients died of a heart attack who was treated with T3 to overdose when he was not hypothyroid. Wilson’s Disease for hypothyroidism does not exist.
5. Weight gain in the face of normal TSH means you are hypothyroid: False Weight problems beyond the few pounds gained during the initial period before you were treated is not do to hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone should never be used to treat obesity. 300 pound female with severe hypothyroidism weighs 285 6 months after her thyroid hormone treatment had corrected other symptoms and normalized her TSH. The weight due to thyroid is gone and she is left with obesity.

Misuse of Thyroid Hormone Treatment

Thyroid hormone has a shady history of inappropriate uses in the past. Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s overweight or obese women were given physician prescribed thyroid hormone as a weight loss drug. They were told it would speed their metabolism and help loss the excess weight. The use of T4 for other non-FDA uses is called off-label use. This requires a consent by the patient that they are taking a drug that has only one FDA approved use.

Weight clinics run by so called “fat doctors” caused many patients to become thyrotoxic and many chronically were not treated imperiling their lives. As an intern I saw an obese teenager die of uncontrolled heart rhythm due to “rainbow pills” including thyroid, amphetamines digoxin and barbiturates.

Weight loss supplements can have active thyroid hormones even though no script is needed as it is not regulated by the FDA. Also weight loss supplements that claim you can eat all you want and still lose weight. As the first hormone available for treatment, it was used for everything including infertility.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism):

  • You have gained weight whilst eating and exercising normally
  • You are always exhausted, even if you’re not sleep deprived
  • Your mood is consistently low or you feel unusually depressed
  • Your skin is dry and itchy or your nails are brittle
  • You are constipated
  • You have muscle aches and cramps
  • Your brain feels slow and fuzzy
  • Your periods are heavy, last longer and cramps are more intense
  • You’ve lost interest in sex
  • You feel the cold

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroidism):

  • You feel anxious, irritable and nervous

  • You are restless or feel hyperactive

  • You feel tired and weak

  • Your appetite has increased but you haven’t gained weight

  • You have heart flutters or palpitations

  • Your periods are very light or infrequent

  • Your feel hot and sweaty

  • You need the toilet more often

  • You’ve lost interest in sex

  • If you are diabetic – related symptoms like excessive thirst are worse

Call me at 310-393-8860 or email to thyroid.manager@thyroid.com.