As our world changes, health professionals are finding that hypothyroidism is on the rise. Dr. Laura Deleruyelle, who holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Case Western Reserve University, says that “hypothyroidism rates have skyrocketed since the 1950’s when the US started spraying pesticides and insecticides on our soil. That has basically destroyed the iodine in our soil, so you can’t pick it up through your skin by walking barefoot, and it’s no longer in our fruits and vegetables.” Of course, pesticides in our environment are causing many problems such as heavy metal poisoning, but they are also removing the natural iodine from the soil. Dr. Laura points out that thyroid glands need iodine to function properly, and the change in the levels we have in the environment could be causing the increase in hypothyroidism.
Pay Attention to Symptoms:
The lack of iodine in our environment and our diet might be one of the things causing hypothyroidism levels to rise, but you shouldn’t rush out and self-medicate with iodine. Dr. Klein, whose background goes beyond that of a “routine” family or general practitioner, says that patients should pay attention to their symptoms and go get their thyroid checked if they are experiencing: fatigue– especially in the mid- to late afternoon and evening, frequent feelings of cold, weight gain or inability to lose weight, increased hair loss, and/or brittle hair and nails. However, the standard blood test can leave many people without answers. Even though there are various testing options, Dr. Klein believes that the tests might not always come back with conclusive results. There are several tests that can be performed, but your provider should ultimately decide whether you have low thyroid based on the symptoms and should treat on that basis.
There are many different options for treating hypothyroidism and each person might respond differently. Sarah Roberson, who has been practicing in the Rogue Valley for over 10 years, says that “In some cases, a trial of herbal supportive supplements for the thyroid or low dose thyroid medication is indicated and found to be quite helpful.” Dr. Klein states that there is no “one size fits all” for thyroid treatment and that even a combination of treatments such as lifestyle changes and desiccated thyroid from pigs (most commonly known as Armour thyroid) or the T3 form of the hormone known as liothyronine could be beneficial.
On the Rise:
Experts agree that tests aren’t always conclusive, and you should always listen to the symptoms. Hypothyroidism is on the rise and affects about 4.6% of people according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. If you are experiencing fatigue, frequently feeling cold, have hair loss and/or brittle nails, you should call our Medford clinic at 541-773-9772 and discuss possible treatment options with your provider.