Persistent myths about thyroid health are common, even among doctors. Here are some of the most pervasive thyroid myths that confuse patients and doctors alike.
Thyroid Health Myths
1. Thyroid problems don’t develop in younger people.
Although thyroid disease may be more common among older women and men, it can occur in younger people as well. Thyroid problems may develop at any time in a younger patient, but they are especially common during pregnancy and immediately after delivering a baby. Regardless of your age, you should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of thyroid disease.
2. Thyroid problems are easy to treat.
Many people believe that life will improve automatically after they have been diagnosed with a thyroid problem. However, dealing with the consequences of thyroid disease is rarely simple. Although medications may help in some cases, your body’s inability to process hormones properly will cause the medication to become less effective over time. Furthermore, in many people, thyroid disease is only part of the problem. To fully recover, you may need to take medication and change multiple aspects of your lifestyle.
3. Thyroid problems always cause abnormal TSH levels.
Not every thyroid malfunction will affect your TSH levels. Thus, it is possible for a patient with a thyroid problem to present with normal TSH levels. If blood tests show that your levels are normal but you are still experiencing symptoms of thyroid disease, further testing may be required in order to discover the root of the problem.
4. Your diet won’t affect your thyroid.
Some doctors tell patients that the foods they eat won’t affect their thyroid health. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Certain foods can affect your thyroid and contribute to your health problems. In addition, certain types of diets used to lose the weight gained because of hypothyroidism may actually worsen your condition in the long run. To help your thyroid heal and prevent future complications, a healthy diet is required. Talk to your doctor to establish a diet that works for you.
5. Medication is all you need if your thyroid was removed.
Some thyroid problems can only be resolved with the removal of the thyroid. However, even if you don’t have your thyroid any longer, making healthy lifestyle choices is still a good idea. In fact, not having a thyroid makes healthy living more important than ever before. To support your other organs and improve your overall condition, engage in regular exercise, eat a balanced diet approved by your physician and take your medication as recommended.
No two patients with thyroid problems are exactly alike. To ensure that you are doing everything you can to support the health of your thyroid, work closely with your physician to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
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