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THE HORMONAL CONNECTION: THE HIDDEN PROBLEM OF HYPOTHYROIDISM - DIAGNOSIS


Proper identification and treatment of hypothyroidism would resolve a number of health problems in a great many people. Diagnosis should begin with a basal temperature test using an oral thermometer.

This is a simple way to determine whether a body is "running cold." Shake down the thermometer before going to bed for the night. Immediately on arising, place it under an armpit for about seven minutes. (Menstruating women need to do this after the first day of their blood flow.) The temperature should be above 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is lower, it may be an indication of hypothyroidism. But this is not always the case, as a low body temperature can be brought on by other factors, such as a low-grade chronic infection. And some people simply have a lower-than-av-erage body temperature. Temperature-taking is thus a start, but not enough of a measure to determine whether hypothyroidism exists.

The gold standard for detecting hypothyroidism is the TRH stimulation test, an easy-to-administer test that is far more sensitive to thyroid hormone deficiencies than are standard measures. According to Dr. Kellman of the Center for Progressive Medicine, a significant percentage of people who test normally with the TSH test are found to be subclinically deficient in thyroid hormone when given the TRH test. "We've seen over and over again how this one simple test can change people's lives," Kellman states. "Other tests only show pathology. This one can show if the gland is not functioning as well as it should. At the Natural Wellness Center, a person's environment is examined as well. To do this, an interview is conducted so that factors such as diet and stress levels can be considered when developing a plan for treatment. The patient is asked to fill out a seven-day "diet diary," which can turn a difficult case into one that is easily diagnosed. For example, eating too much of certain foods, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, can contribute to hypothyroidism. Such foods are wonderfully healthful when eaten in moderation, but an overabundance can lead to problems in some people.

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