“We don’t have a healthcare system.
We have a disease industry!”
~Dr. Mark William Cochran
Many factors have led to an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease in today’s society. We enjoy greatly the benefits of so-called “progress,” invention, and innovation, but there are many unintended consequence of our lifestyle.
Hypothyroidism is a common medical problem affecting between 10 percent and 40 percent of the population, with a large percentage going undiagnosed. It is, however, a treatable condition that can be managed. Untreated hypothyroidism leads to the development of many serious illnesses, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, and cancer. Synthoid is the 5th most commonly prescribed medication. Approximately 30 million subscriptions for Synthroid and a few million for Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) are written each year.
There are many factors in modern life that have potential to cause thyroid imbalances. Here is a great list furnished by Dr. James Howenstine, MD.:
Why You Probably Have Hypothyroidism – Excellent list of factors affecting your thyroid.
Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) is a glandular porcine (pig-derived) thyroid hormone. It has been used in its current form for more than a century. In fact, it is one of the oldest medications known to modern pharmacology, along with alcohol, opium and quinine. There is perhaps no more fascinating story in the history of science than that of the discovery of how the secretions of the thyroid gland affect disorders of metabolism.
Here is a partial list of some of the major diseases that can be caused by hypothyroidism:
The well known relationship between hypothyroidism and heart disease has been studied and written in the medical literature for well over 100 years. The first case reports of hypothyroidism causing heart disease were described in the late 1800s.
- Heart failure and thyroid dysfunction – The outcome of this analysis suggests that patients with overt and subclinical thyroid dysfunction are at increased risk of heart failure.
- Subclinical hypothyroidism predicts cardiovascular mortality in NHANES – Mainstream study (and published by CDC) that conclusively shows that subclinical hypothyroidism is strongly linked to heart disease and mortality.
For nearly a century, medical articles have been written linking hypothyroidism with the development of atherosclerosis. Autopsy studies dating back to 1883 note the presence of atherosclerotic plaque in patients with hypothyroidism. Animal studies have confirmed that hypothyroidism causes atherosclerosis. The increased risk of atherosclerosis in subclinical hypothyroidism is similar to other risk factors, such as smoking, elevated cholesterol, and hypertension. The effects of hypothyroidism on atherosclerosis are most pronounced in females, particularly women older than 50 years.
- Hypothyroidism and Atherosclerosis – Along with smoking, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol, hypothyroidism is a significant risk factor for atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
- Thyroid Hormone Therapy Appears To Cause Breast Cancer – There is strong evidence that iodine lack predisposes to breast cancer.
High Blood Pressure
According to the National Institutes of Health, high blood pressure brings more people to a doctor’s office than any other medical condition. Surprisingly, low levels of thyroid hormone can cause elevated blood pressure. One result of hypothyroidism is that the arteries are less pliable, a condition that is also known as increased vascular resistance. These stiffer arteries can cause an increase in diastolic blood pressure (the blood pressure when the heart is at rest).
If the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, it causes hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can cause high blood pressure, although it does so using a different mechanism and affects blood pressure in different ways. One of the effects of excess thyroid hormone is that it causes the heart to beat faster. As the heart beats faster, more blood is pushed through the arteries. This causes both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure to increase (hypertension).
- Hypothyroidism as a cause of hypertension – “These results suggest a close association between hypertension and hypothyroidism.”
- Hypothyroidism and hypertension – “Hypothyroidism has been recognized as a cause of secondary hypertension.”
Hypothyroidism is associated as well with elevated cholesterol levels. Again, this relationship has been known for more than 75 years. Any patient with elevated cholesterol levels deserves a thorough evaluation of the thyroid. This includes more than just checking the TSH level.
- Hypothyroidism and dyslipidemia – “Most lipid abnormalities in patients with overt hypothyroidism will resolve with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease. Hypothyroidism can affect the brain’s ability to function properly in both young and old. This was written in 1913, one hundred years ago and details the effects of low thyroid on young and old:
“The thyroid body, situated in the neck and the enlargement of which is called goitre, secretes substances which pass into the blood, and which are necessary for the growth of the body in childhood, for the development of the mind and for the nutrition of the tissues of the skin. If, following an infectious disease, a child has wasting of this gland, or if, living in a certain district, it has a large goitre, normal development does not take place, and the child does not grow in mind or body and becomes what is called a cretin. More than this—if in adult life the gland is completely removed, or if it wastes, a somewhat similar condition is produced, and the patient in time loses his mental powers and becomes fat and flabby—myxedematous. It has been shown experimentally in various ways that the necessary elements of the secretion can be furnished by feeding with the gland or its extracts, and that the cretinoid or myxedematous conditions could thus be cured or prevented.” – 1913.
- The Evolution of Modern Medicine, 1913 – “If in adult life the [thyroid] gland is completely removed, the patient in time loses his mental powers and becomes fat and flabby.”
- Thyroid Function and Alzheimer’s – “Older women who have high or low levels of the thyroid hormone TSH, even if in the normal range, have more than twice the risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease versus. those with more moderate thyroid hormone levels.”
- Dementia due to Hypothyroidism – “Dementia due to hypothyroidism is usually reversible with treatment of the glandular condition.”
- Subclinical Hypothyroidism and Dementia – Report on the Sao Paulo Ageing & Health Study (SPAH). The results suggest a consistent association among people with subclinical hyperthyroidism and dementia, particularly in men.
- Your Fibromyalgia May Actually Be Caused From This… – Evidence is now pointing to a new cause of fybromyalgia: thyroid disease especially hypothyroidism.
Disclaimer: The presence of the quotation by Dr. Mark William Cochran does not constitute an endorsement.