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It Could Still Be Your Thyroid

Do you suffer from any of the following? 

  • weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  • tiredness

  • lack of energy

  • sluggishness

  • constipation

  • low libido

  • poor concentration

  • cold hands and/or feet

  • depression

  • poor sleep or too much sleep

  • period problems

  • dry skin

  • dry hair 


Then your problem could still be your thyroid... Even though your doctor had done blood tests and you were told that they were normal.

On Tuesday April 9 2002 I was asked by a member of a thyroid support group, who also happened to be my patient, to give a talk on "Treating thyroid problems with a more alternative approach". The interest was enormous: I was amazed at the number of people that attended. There were at least 80 people present and though this does not sound much, it was a relatively huge turn out; I was told afterwards that there were only 20-25 at the previous talk! 

I was astonished, as well as concerned at some of the stories that came from the audience. Many of them made me feel ashamed of being a doctor, as most of the stories related to incidents where doctors really stuffed up and led to the consequent suffering of the person. Among all the stories, there were some common themes. One of them was that doctors do not listen and worse than that, they did not seem to know much about the condition. Another common theme was concerning the lack of effect of the treatment of hypothyroidism


These people were treated by their local doctors with the usual thyroxine (T4). They continued  to complain that they were not really feeling that much better. Blood tests showed that their thyroid T4 levels were improved, yet many still had their old hypothyroid symptoms. There is indeed a percentage of the population that has a genetically predetermined reduced ability to convert T4 to T3, the active version of thyroid hormone. This is one example of why the T4 treatment doesn't work the same in everyone.

The doctors were more concerned about bits of paper with numbers on it than with the patient sitting in front of them. This same story repeats itself all over the world every day. 

These people said that they went back to their doctor, time and time again but were not listened to. They were told that their blood tests were normal, so their problem must be in their heads! The next step was a prescription for anti-depressants!! Interestingly the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines for Psychiatry actually list T3 (active thyroid hormone) as an effective evidence based treatment for "treatment resistant depression". One would have to wonder how big a percentage of the people being treated for depression actually have an underlying thyroid problem.

This book will focus mainly on hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) because it is the most common form of thyroid disease. It is very common in its own right and it can also develop as the end result of many of the treatments for hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid). 

The second expanded edition of this book will soon be published. 


Available for purchase at Gore Street Medical reception.

Appointments with Dr Baratosy can be made by calling (03) 6224 6717.

It Could Still Be Your Thyroid: Inner_about
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