Thyroid Screening Urged for Older Women

While overt hyper- or hypothyroidism are easily diagnosed by physicians, the illness can be less apparent in its early or "subclinical" stages. Women over 50 years of age should be screened once every 5 years for thyroid disorders, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ lying at the front of the throat, produces thyroid hormone, which helps regulate to the body's metabolism. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can result in agitation, palpitations and weight loss. Too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can result in sluggishness, dry skin, hair loss and weight gain. A simple blood test measuring the levels of a pituitary hormone that helps regulate the thyroid, called "TSH", can usually indicate thyroid dysfunction.

Annals of Internal Medicine July 15,1998;129:141-143, 144-158.

COMMENT: Unfortunately, traditional medicine does not recognize that the precise measurement of a person's body temperature is a far more accurate reflection of hypothyroidism. One can obtain the instructions on how to do this with the information towards the bottom of this newsletter.. Once diagnosed, the way natural medicine physician will prescribe Armour thyroid rather than Synthroid. Most all people seem to do better on the natural thyroid hormone. However, the experts of traditional medicine insist that this is outdated and imprecise and not the "right" way to prescribe thyroid replacement. My recommendation is that you listen to your body and let your body tell you which one is better for you. When my patients listen carefully, the vast majority prefer the Armour thyroid.

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