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Here’s the story, repeated countless times in my office over my 32 years of practicing medicine. It goes like this:

“My doctor found that I had thyroid disease, he put me on Synthroid (or other thyroid medicine) and told me the numbers were better. But I still feel tired, sluggish, bloated, constipated and depressed!”

Another version:

“I have gained all sorts of weight, I’m exhausted all the time, my skin is dry, my hair’s falling out and I’m constipated. I went to my doctor, sure that my thyroid was low. But she blood-tested me and told me I was fine! Now what do I do?”

This is why I wrote Thyroid Balance, and this is why I’ve launched the Thyroid Balance Blogsite. I’d like to give my answers to those stories, and to hear your stories as well. Standard, conventional medicine looks at the thyroid as if it’s working separate from all the other body systems, almost as if it’s not connected to anything, like it’s a thermostat on the wall that is either on or off. The measurement that’s used to see if it’s on or off, called the TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone, is the only factor that’s used to decide if your thyroid has a problem.

News Flash: This is not the way the body works in reality. In our actual bodies, our thyroid glands are in second-to-second communication with the adrenals (stress glands), the male and female hormones, the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), the digestion, the liver and detoxification apparatus, the immune system……even the musculoskeletal system. You can’t look at the thyroid separately from these other systems, they’re really one system with many different points of activity.

I call this the Metabolic Matrix, and talk about it in my book, Thyroid Balance. Like any matrix or web, you can’t influence one part without affecting everything, and you can’t expect to feel well when several parts of that web are weakened. This is how a new field, Integrative Medicine, looks at the thyroid in particular and health in general.

In the coming weeks, I hope to include four types of blog entries. One, I’d like to share more of the idea of the Metabolic Matrix as a way of thinking about thyroid and other conditions. Two, I’d like to share some stories of some of my patients, and to invite you to share your stories and comments. Three, I’d like to comment on health topics in the news, particularly treatments and approaches that can be helpful to you in your quest for Energy, Weight Loss, Balanced Moods, and Vitality. Four, I’d like to share some of my own journey in addressing Parkinson’s Disease, which I’ve had for 2 ½ years and continue to deal with.

I look forward to sharing with you! Glenn Rothfeld, M.D.

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12 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. on 15 Nov 2007 at 5:26 pm Sue

    Hi Glenn, am looking forward to this information…

    I just discussed thyroid and chronic pain issues with Dr. Teitelbaum.

    Do you have a natural thyroid supplement that you suggest? Am taking kelp, don’t notice much difference… A supplement that does not have cows as its source (it could be from organically grass fed cows but not ones raised on factory farms with growth hormones).


    PS: Did not know about the Parkinson’s. Good fortune to you !

  2. on 15 Nov 2007 at 5:50 pm Ellie

    Hi Dr. Rothfeld! I’m anxious to see you again. I’m waiting to hear what Friday you will be in Plymouth. I just had a biopsy of my thyroid (6 in fact) and can’t wait to discuss the results with you. This email appeared at the perfect time!
    See you soon (I hope).

  3. on 15 Nov 2007 at 7:06 pm Kelly

    Ten year’s ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroid. After many years of disbelief I finally became very ill and could barely walk from the constant joint pain I was having. After several months of steroid therapy I’m feeling 80% better however, I’m still having medical issues with protein in the urine, frequent UTI’s and yeast infections. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Lupus. I’m not sure what is going on at this point, but I’m not totally convinced I have Lupus. No one in my family has been diagnosed with any type of auto immune disorder and I’ve been pretty healthy my entire life.

  4. on 15 Nov 2007 at 7:19 pm debra

    my dr found i had a thyroid problem a month after i had my son in 1995, he never explained options or anything. I had radiation, and gained 30 lbs. I have been to several docs over the years, the best thing to happen to me is Armour thyroid and had to go to several different drs to see if they would prescribe it! One dr told me it wasn’t safe and i would probably get mad cow from it? gee it’s from pigs! everything i reasd is for people who still have thyroid function and y advice for hairloss and weight gain for those of us who have had radiation? thanks

  5. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:06 am Pat

    After seeing you I am in the process of writing a history for you of my struggles with health and energy to go with the tests you ordered – I’ve done the blood and saliva and will do the heavy metal toxic test. I have done a lot of research and incorporated solutions that resonate with me. I have a pretty good intuitive sense about what is right for me but sometimes that gets confused with what the experts say, What is important to me is to have a clear mind to do my work – paint pictures – and to have also have my physical energy in tact. When the balance is off I am stupid. I came back for a week recently reborn as myself. But it only lasted a week and then it was over, I resumed the micronic silver I was taking for the bronchial flu I had all summer and maybe once again am getting better,

    Thank you for doing this. It is a difficult place we drift around in and any help would be a real miracle.

  6. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:47 am susan

    Four years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My Doctor perscribed synthriod, I broke out with terrible hives. I still needed a med, so we tried cytemol, hives again. Three doctors later we tried another thyroid medicine that made my heart race,it raced so badly I could not sleep. That doctor said I had no other options, because I was allergic to everything. He said see a heart doctor.
    I had read enough thyroid books to know that I needed my thyriod to live. My only hope was a health food store,I asked if they knew a doctor that could help.
    Doctor Glenn Rothfeld gave me a compounded time released T4 and T3. None of my other docters tried this.I don’t think they even knew about it. I had no trouble taking it! I also bought his book. It was better than any other thyriod book I ever read. Dr. Rothfeld saved my life! I feel great agian, I work, play with my grandchildren, and appreciate being alive.

    Thank You
    Susan Cabral

  7. on 16 Nov 2007 at 6:15 am Heidi

    Dr. Rothfeld,
    I’ve been a patient of yours for about 5 years now. When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism I was put on synthroid, my TSH was back to normal, but my symptoms did not go away. It took 2 years of adjusting medications and not getting anywhere before I went to see you, you worked on the whole body as well as adjusting my thyroid medications (to Armor Thyroid which I am still on and works well for me), and I have been in great shape ever since. However, I know so many others who do not have the option of getting to Boston to see you (I’m in the military and move all over…currently serving in Iraq), and they have the same story of being treated to get their TSH into the “normal range”, but still suffering with all the symptoms of hypothyroid. How can the average patient deal with this problem if the majority of doctors will not treat the patient or the symptoms, but will strictly look at adjusting meds to meet the TSH numbers. Almost everyone else I know with thyroid problems (and there are so many out there) feels they are not being appropriately treated for this disease.
    Appreciate your feedback on how to handle this problem when we are at the mercy of the medical community to treat us.
    - Heidi

  8. on 02 Jan 2008 at 3:17 pm JoAnn

    I am like all these testaments of these women. I too am battling the hypothyroid I do not have some of these symptons but the hair loss is horrible. my Dr. has given me levoxyl & some armour. combined. 175 L. 45 Ar. my weight has been intolerable.now I need to ask you a question.if your thyroid REALLY worked as it is supposed to,wouldn’t you be able to get back to your (supposed) normal weight? if not why not?? This Dr. will not let me have armour alone……….Jo Ann

  9. on 27 Jan 2008 at 6:21 pm Lynn

    i have a friend that has swollen thyroid
    ?? hyperthyroidism..
    funny thing is (well, not funny really)…
    she was diagnosed with M.S. due to her gait being
    off (she has herniated disc in neck…) & she
    has tremors/weakness & eyes a bit wide..not bulging
    tho..sluggish colon etc…….
    and suggested she have radiactive iodine….
    help ?
    thank you for your time

  10. on 13 May 2008 at 4:09 pm Stephanie Pruett

    I had my all my thyriod taken out. It has been a nightmare ever since. They clipped my vocal cord, then after all that I cant speek very well, hard to swallow, eat, and do any thing from all the pain I am in. They put me on synthriod, which I hate, it makes my hair fall out and just missarable. I have had to switch doc’s. I just cant find any one to help me. I wish there was someone to help me and give me a little advice

  11. on 05 Jun 2008 at 8:26 pm Michelle

    I found Dr. Rothfeld’s book at Borders today. It was laying in an unusual spot – as if talking to me!
    I plan to borrow it from the library tomorrow. I have been debating with my dr about my symptoms for 2 years now and she isn’t hearing me.; said I’m in menopause,I’m only 38!
    Weight gain, depression, exhaustion, mood swings,too warm all the time, the list goes on. I was told to exercise and all would be well. My thryroid is “borderline”. It’s not all in my head, is it?? Any support, suggestions would be appreciated.

  12. on 15 Aug 2008 at 5:05 pm Marla

    I have been on synthroid for 5 yrs now. Found your book and it has been very helpful. Doctors don’t tell you all the in’s and out’s of thyroid disease. Especially how it interacts with other organs and metabolism. My metabolism is very sluggish. My cholesteral is now borderline and 3 liver enzymes are slightly elevated. Is this a side effect of thyroid medicine and slow metabolism? I enjoy reading all the comments on this websit. It’s good to know I’ not the only one who feels the way I do.

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