A Letter from a Disenchanted Princess
– Published in St. Louis Health & Wellness Magazine
Dear Dr. Peterson,
It is the characteristics of a princess that I want you to help me find. As a girl-at-heart with Hypothyroid Disease, I am not asking for happiness ever-after. I just want someone to put the pieces together and find out why I am so different from Disney’s leading ladies. So it is with humor that I seek your professional help for answers to the following questions.
the sweetness of Sleeping Beauty,
the playfulness of Ariel,
or the mental fortitude of Pocahontas?
Shouldn’t princesses have the figure of Cinderella,
the glowing beauty of Belle,
and the long locks of Rapunzel?
From Dr. David Peterson:
I encourage you to pursue testing for Hashimoto’s Disease (Auto-immune Thyroiditis). This is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism in the United States. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system inappropriately attacks your thyroid gland. The inflammation caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis leads to an underactive thyroid gland. If the root cause of the autoimmune attack in Hashimoto’s is not addressed, the underlying condition causing the thyroid loss will continue to progress. Hashimoto’s is a complicated health issue that is often misdiagnosed and requires specialized care.
- Jasmine- Is adrenal function normal and has Anemia of Chronic Inflammation been ruled out?
- Sleeping Beauty- What do the inflammation markers on your blood work report indicate? Aches, pains, and the lack of restorative sleep promote irritability.
- Ariel- Do you have symptoms of Insulin Resistance? What is your Carb Tolerance?
- Pocahontas- Do you have gastrointestinal complaints? If your gut is “on fire”, your brain is on fire. There is a direct correlation between intestinal health, moods, and memory.
- Cinderella- What is the level of your thyroid antibodies? Many women have Thyroid T3 and T4 levels within normal ranges, yet have weight issues. Are thyroid hormones getting to the cellular level to burn fat? The majority of patients may not need thyroid medication if their Autoimmune condition is managed.
- Belle- Do you have associated food intolerances or nutritional deficiencies?
- Rapunzel- Hair loss is a symptom of hormonal imbalance. Are your hormones in ratio?
Ellen, you need to consult with a provider who is knowledgeable in Thyroid and Autoimmune Disorders. As you suspect, altered metabolic pathways and patterns of dysfunction are connected. Thyroid issues can be driven by poor blood sugar control, stressed adrenals, poor gut health, anemia of chronic inflammation, as well as hormonal imbalances.
Dr. Peterson’s summary: Admittedly, this charming email made me smile. Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease. As many as 27 million Americans are affected with thyroid disorders and more than half of those remain undiagnosed. Thyroid disorders are more common in women and tend to run in families. This means there are a lot of disenchanted and sick princesses out there. If caught in time, hypothyroidism can be reversed with lifestyle changes, nutritional support, and natural compounds to correct the contributing factors. Thyroid diseases may be frustrating but can be managed. If left untreated, thyroid and associated conditions can lead to other health issues such as bone loss, chronic constipation, weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, heart disease, infertility, and osteoporosis.
Dr. David Peterson, DC, DCCN is a Diplomat in the College of Clinical Nutrition and the Missouri State Clinical Director for Direct Labs. He practices integrative chiropractic healthcare with an emphasis on Functional Medicine. He has specialized in thyroid, autoimmune conditions and gastrointestinal dysfunction for 15 years. Dr. Peterson’s practice, Wellness Alternatives, is located in Town and Country, Missouri. If you have questions about autoimmune or thyroid conditions write to Dr. Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact his office at 530.615.4083.