With over 200 million people affected, how can there be so much misinformation about thyroid disease? Whenever I talk to someone about this, I spend more time undoing myths than I do educating. I’d love to save you time and money by helping you bypass some of the biggest myths I keep hearing. Let’s dive in!
10. Myth: You can tell how well your thyroid is working by taking your temperature.
Kernel of Truth: Your thyroid is part of the systems that regulate your temperature.
Fact: Your basal body temperature is not a good indicator of your thyroid status. The reason that it doesn’t work as a test is because temperature fluctuations are normal and can be caused by many factors that have nothing to do with your thyroid.
9. Myth: You can’t have thyroid issues because you don’t have every thyroid symptom.
Kernel of Truth: Thyroid disease can cause many symptoms including weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, depression, difficult menstrual cycles, irritable bowel symptoms, headaches, muscle pain, hoarseness, and anxiety.
Fact: Most people with thyroid disease have only 1-3 symptoms and each combination can be different. Some do not have weight issues, hair loss, or fatigue, others have all three. Few have all of the common symptoms, but this is possible.
8. Myth: You do not want to start thyroid treatment because you don’t want to be stuck on pills forever.
Kernel of Truth: Some people have had their thyroid slow down because they were put on high doses of synthetic thyroid medications unnecessarily.
Fact: When natural thyroid medications are used in gentle dosages, not only do they not make your thyroid quit working, they can help it work better.
7. Myth: People with thyroid disease can’t eat broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables.
Kernel of Truth: Cruciferous vegetables do contain goitrogens which can slow iodine absorption.
Fact: In the modern world, most thyroid disease is caused by autoimmune disease, not below iodine levels. Soy foods do have goitrogens which can make this work, but the goitrogens in vegetables like broccoli are actually good for it.
6. Myth: Natural thyroid medicine works better, but its potency is inconsistent from batch to batch.
Kernel of Truth: Prior to 1980, natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) was standardized only based on iodine content. This meant that the active hormones could fluctuate from batch to batch.
Fact: Since 1981, NDT is standardized to have consistent amounts of active ingredients just like synthetic thyroid is. All brands legally have to be under 20% variable. Brands like WP Thyroid, Westhroid, and Naturethroid are 2% or less variable.