“My doctor has been treating my hypothyroidism for five years with little to no effect. I really thought that I was meant to be tired, constipated, cold, and overweight for the rest of my life,” wrote one woman.
In the year since the thyroid book was published, we have received thousands of emails from hypothyroid sufferers from around the world. I have heard from women in their twenties and thirties who are barely able to function, women in theirs forties through sixties who have lost their jobs and are on disability, and moms with young children who too exhausted to care for their children. Many have burned through their life savings looking for help.
Medicine failing thyroid sufferers
When patients are told to wait until their thyroid burns out, to treat their thyroid symptoms with antidepressants or beta-blockers, or that it all must be in their heads because their TSH levels are normal, the standard health care model is failing.
Millions of people, most of them women, silently suffer, their conditions invisible and their voices unheard. Their doctors wave them away and don’t have time to listen to them “complain” about a condition that has been “resolved.” They leave the doctor’s office feeling that, on top of everything else, they are now annoying, another blow to an already bruised self-esteem, thanks to a condition few know how to treat.
Stories from readers
Losing their livelihood
A Vietnam vet who is losing her business because she doesn’t have the energy to get out of bed emailed. “I will be just another homeless veteran and if I am on the streets, people will say I am lazy and don’t want to work. I don’t have the energy to work.”
Another writes, “I am barely hanging on and life is so difficult.”
A man writes: “I’ve lost my business and am largely unemployed but figured out its hypothyroidism causing my symptoms. However when I see a doctor my numbers come back ‘normal.’ They say, ‘Let’s talk about diet, or antidepressants, or a drug to treat attention deficit disorder.”
Losing out on life
Women in their early twenties ask why they have to sleep so much and spend every spare minute resting when their friends are dating and socializing.
Others have been coping for a lifetime: “I have suffered now for almost 30 years with hypothyroidism and all the horrible symptoms and I am wreck. My marriage is hanging by a thread and so is my ability to function, my sanity, and life in general.”
Revolving door of doctors
A frustrated woman hopes the next doctor will be able to help her: “I just went to my fifth doctor trying to alleviate the symptoms I have with Hashimoto’s disease. She said I eat too much and should exercise more and asked me if I wanted a prescription for antidepressants. I said, ‘No. Look at me? Do I look healthy? I feel like crap!’ I would like to see a sixth doctor who would work with me to feel and look better.”
Another woman making the rounds of doctors’ offices has high TSH, a marker for low thyroid function, but it’s not high enough to garner attention: “I haven’t been able to find a doctor that will believe my symptoms are anything related to the thyroid. They all want to put me on antidepressants.”
One woman emailed to let us know her unmanaged thyroid condition may have led to the loss of her fertility: “I was under the care of an endocrinologist and saw many different physicians, none of whom managed my Hashimoto’s. I had four miscarriages and finally had a partial hysterectomy. It makes me so sad that most physicians don’t take the time to study this complicated disease and that I finally gave up on trying to have a baby. All my tests came back normal and it wasn’t chromosomal, so I believe it had to be linked to my thyroid condition.”
Improperly managed hypothyroidism can eventually cause people to lose hope. Patients go so ignored for so long they begin to forget what it was like to feel good. “My doctors has been treating my hypothyroidism for five years with little to no effect. I really thought that I was meant to be tired, constipated, cold, and overweight for the rest of my life,” wrote one woman.
Don’t blame doctors
I know it sounds like I’m bashing doctors but that’s not my intent. The majority of people go into medicine with a genuine desire to help others. Unfortunately studies also show most doctors make clinical decisions based on what their colleagues do. But we shouldn’t be quick to blame them. Doctors can too easily lose their reputation for bucking the system. Like most everyone else, they have house payments, children, college tuition and other responsibilities that make “going rogue” and venturing into natural medicine too threatening to their livelihood.
Patients part of the problem
And in all honesty, many of their patients are to blame too. If you’ve read my book you know this model takes work—giving up favorite foods, radical dietary changes, scheduling in some physical activity, and taking nutritional compounds.
Also, many practitioners are learning right along with their patients, which requires the patience some people don’t have. Although some people improve almost overnight, for most it’s a gradual climb into better wellbeing, with back slides and mistakes.
It takes work
For instance one woman learned her heart palpitations, a common symptom of Hashimoto’s, went away when she stopped eating gluten, though not completely. Through much trial and error she learned sugar and all grains also triggered her heart palpitations. That’s not a path many are willing to consider. It’s the demand for instant and profound results made by patients and promised by pharmaceutical companies that also hamstrings doctors into incomplete thyroid care.
The good news
We need to stop getting frustrated with the standard health care model and figure out how to get medical doctors on board. Many of you have helped by handing a book to your doctors. I know some of them have rejected it, but I’ve also heard from people whose doctors took a genuine interest in the information. I’ve gotten emails from family practitioners, psychiatrists, gynecologists, nurses, and more. They too get frustrated by the prevailing model and want to better help people.
“After reading Dr. K’s book, I went gluten-free this February. My thyroid swelling completely stopped after over a year of painful attacks. I also did the other protocols. In early June, I took my daughter to Florida for a four-day Disney vacation, plus three days with relatives. I did not need a nap, and I was able to keep up with my child, sometimes up to 12 hours in theme parks each day. Just a year earlier, a trip to the grocery store would have wore me out for the rest of the day.”
“I just wanted to tell you thank you for a wonderful book. My daughter started taking a thyroid medication over the winter and while her levels were OK she still felt miserable. After I finished reading your book I took her off of gluten and she felt amazing. Now she is like any other 12 year old!! Thanks to your book she is better and happier.”
“I am a chiropractor with Hashimoto’s. I spent much of my life fighting depression, insomnia, slight tremors, and anxiety. On and off I was tested for thyroid problems but it always came back ‘normal’ After the birth of my twins I was sick and tired ALL OF THE TIME! I also happened to find your book at that time. The chief of endocrinology told me there was nothing I could do other than to wait for my thyroid to ‘die,’ and that the diet you recommend was ‘crazy.’ I followed your protocol because I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After changing my diet and following the protocols I am now free of anxiety, depression, insomnia and my energy is back! You have helped me get my life back.”
Email your success story
Have the thyroid protocols worked for you? If so, please email your story.