An underactive thyroid can cause symptoms like those of depression or menopause.
Question: I've been diagnosed with depression and menopause and prescribed Prozac and hormone replacement therapy. My thyroid test, TSH, was normal at 4. Could I still have hypothyroidism?
G.I., Culver City, California

Answer: The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, can mimic those of other diseases such as depression or menopause. The TSH test is an excellent screening for hypothyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, your TSH level is high.

Most labs say the normal blood level of TSH ranges from 0.5 microunits/ml to 5 microunits/ml. I have had quite a few patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism and a TSH of greater than 3 but not more than 5. In these cases I have given them enough thyroid hormone to lower their TSH to less than 3 microunits/ml. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists says that a TSH level between 3 microunits/ml and 5 microunits/ml should be considered representative of hypothyroidism.

The TSH laboratory test you were given is one of the most accurate tests for measuring thyroid function. Another is the "free T4 blood test." It is the best way to measure the amount of free thyroid hormone in the blood.

Most physicians order the total T4 test; however, the majority of the hormone measured is inactive because it is bound to a protein. The free T4 measures the amount of T4 that is not bound to a protein and is thus free to exert its effect on the cells.

Because your TSH level was 4 and you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, I recommend that you find a doctor who prescribes natural thyroid hormones. Most doctors prescribe the synthetic thyroid replacement T4 hormone Synthroid as their first choice.

Yet many people continue to have hypothyroidism or still have many symptoms of it even though they take a replacement T4 hormone. They might benefit from taking a natural thyroid hormone, which contains both T4 and T3.

Another option would be to continue taking a synthetic T4 medication such as Synthroid, and add a small amount of the more active hormone T3, which can be compounded by a compounding pharmacy into a sustained-release preparation.

To recap, I recommend that you take the time to locate a physician who (1) will prescribe a thyroid medication for you; and (2) will prescribe either a natural product such as Armour Thyroid or a combination product such as Synthroid with a small amount of T3 sustained release.

Question: I have Graves disease, and my doctor has recommended that I take radioactive iodine. Are there natural means for controlling my thyroid?
T.H., Orlando, Florida

Answer: Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland that causes hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Symptoms include weight loss, enlargement of the thyroid gland, rapid heart rate, tremors of the hands and fingers, frequent bowel movements, and eye problems such as exophthalmos--a bulging of the eyes.

I have helped many individuals with Graves disease avoid radioactive iodine. The anti-thyroid medication I commonly use is methimazole (Tapazole).

I generally start with 5 mg (milligrams) of Tapazole three times a day and monitor the patient's free T4 levels every four to eight weeks. I start these individuals on Natur-Leaf or Moducare, which are plant sterols and immune modulators.

I also start these patients on adrenal glandular supplements such as DSF because adrenal functions usually are diminished. Most patients will stay on Tapazole for approximately a year to see if their thyroid can be controlled without medicine. I make sure they are monitored regularly with a CBC test as well as liver-function tests.

I also place them on a hypoallergenic diet and have them include two quarts of filtered water a day, eight hours of sleep and a mild exercise program.

My book The Bible Cure for Thyroid Disorders (due March 2004 from Siloam Press) will explore this topic further.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit