What’s Wrong With Me?
Cold. Exhausted. Depressed. No interest in sex. You know it’s not “all in your head”, but your doctor calls you “normal” or he calls you a hypochondriac and gives you antidepressants. So you search the internet for the answer.
Two things you need to know: you are not alone, and there is an answer.
The Most Common Malady
Other symptoms of this common malady can include: brain fog (maybe even appearing as senile dementia), weight gain, hair loss, puffy eyes (making you appear tired and older than you are), menstrual problems in women including cramping, heavy bleeding and infertility, and you may find yourself tearing up at commercials on T.V. Also, you might have dry patches of skin and the loss of the outer part of your eyebrows. Men might only notice fatigue, and have high cholesterol.
What makes this baffling for doctors to treat is that the symptoms appear all over.
You might take your dry skin and hair loss to a dermatologist who gives you cream A, and then cream B, to no avail. You might take your menstrual problems to the gynecologist who gives you birth control pills and take everything else to your family doctor, who refers you to counseling. Nothing really helps. What is it that they missing?
What identifies this malady is that it is a multi-system failure, and it is this which baffles your doctor.
That is common to the functioning of the whole body is the thyroid hormone. It is the power that runs your whole system. When it is at an optimal level, you feel good and all your systems work right. When it is sub-optimal, you start losing health and function, and when it is low everything falls apart; your hair won’t stay in your head, you are cold even on warm days, you may sit and stare at the wall like a zombie, and sex? Are you kidding?
Why You Can’t Get Help
Although millions of women experience these symptoms, they are universally getting the same unhelpful answer. The reason is that most doctors use the same formula for treatment. The formula is simplistic and was developed by corporate medicine to give general care to hordes of people on a ten-minute-interval medical assembly line. It is a formula; it does not “see” the individual patient, or take into account complex systems. Also, it takes treatment of disease rather than optimal health as its goal.
A Paradigm Shift
The current generation in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are a bunch of rebels. Our parents expected to get tired, sick, and die, and the medical machine operates according to their expectations. However, we boomers want to continue to feel good and even look good as our years advance. We are not content with illness and death as an inevitability. This has given rise to a paradigm shift, a change in thinking, especially among many forward thinking medical professionals.
We began to consider the reasons that health declined in aging, and discovered that much of it was due to easily preventable and treatable deficiencies in hormones, with thyroid the most common denominator in many diseases of old age. Keep in mind, thyroid deficiency can occur at any age; babies can be born with it, many women have disruptions around child-bearing, and it is universally deficient in old people.
The old paradigm says that hormone deficiencies are a normal part of aging. The new paradigm says that aging occurs because of hormone deficiencies.
It is preventable; it is treatable, and it should be treated.
The Anti-aging Paradigm
Hormone decline becomes a problem for everyone between their 40’s and 50’s. This is the point at which health problems begin to accelerate, with the nosedive of hormones. Intervention here will make a dramatic difference in quality of life as the years advance. For instance, a distressing problem for many menopausal women is that they wet their pants when they cough or sneeze. It’s not life-threatening, but if is certainly life-affecting. This is simply a deficiency in the hormone testosterone; the same testosterone that stimulates sexual desire. Each hormone has a different important effect on the body.
Anti-aging doctors are not content with “normal”, that is, “as sick as everyone else”. We aim for “optimal”.
With my patients, I spend up to three hours in consultation with them. I get a detailed symptom history. I order a complete set of blood studies. These include full hormone profiles, but I am also looking at all health factors. It is as important to prevent heart disease, strokes, cancer, liver and kidney failure, as it is to treat them.
At the initial consultation, I carefully review my findings with my patients, and set them up on program of total health, including hormone and vitamin recommendations. It may also include food and exercise recommendations, and possibly a weight-loss program. Finally, they are put on a follow-up schedule so that our goal of optimal health is achieved, and they don’t “fall through the cracks”. I welcome and encourage follow-up questions. My goal for them is optimal health, so I expect their program may require “tweaking”.
For a more in-depth discussion on low thyroid function and therapy, CLICK HERE.