Thyroid Disorders Community
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Why is the CDC not tracking this disease?

I've read several question from people who have just be diagnosed with a thyroid problem and their sudden weight gain, they probably went to the Dr. to find out about their sudden weight gain and in turn found out they had a more serious problem. I've had Hashimoto's for about 6 years now and I gain an average of 10 lbs a year...yes I've gone from a 130 to a whopping 172 (as of today) in that time. I've dieted but to no great success. I eat a very limited diet but still keep gaining. For anyone to suggest it is not because of my thyroid is just wrong.
I'm actually posting to find out why the CDC is not tracking this disease. I have more friends than I can count right now who have this or some form of it. It all seems to point to an environmental cause. My mother doesn't have it and neither do most of her friends...yet all of my friends and co-workers do (baby boomers on down). None of us can lose weight except with Atkins (and I truly wouldn't recommend that...because you just roller coaster back up). We all take a variety of meds, from synthroid to armour thyroid (porcine thyroids) with the same results, weight gain despite diet and exercise. I think as a group we really need to get together and insist the CDC start tracking and looking at this disease more seriously. I do care about the weight but I'm really more concerned with having to take meds every day for the rest of my life.

This discussion is related to Hypothyroid, eating right and exercising.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Good question...I assume for the same reason that we get very little sympathy from the general public (unlike diabetics, for instance)...our disease is viewed as one for which you "just take a pill" and everything is fine.

I'm sure a whole lot more could be done in terms of treatment options.  No new drug has been developed for Hashi's or hypothyroidism in general for close to 60 years. Think of it this way:  who is going to pay for research and development of a "cure" or better treatment options/delivery systems for us?  The pharmaceutical companies?  Why would they?  They have us right where they want us...a captive audience that will be consuming their products for the rest of our lives.

I hate to sound so cynical, but I think that's what it comes down to.  I recently read an expose' of the pharmaceutical industry.  A Wall Street analyst for the drug industry made the following comment about clinical trials:  "...when you're doing a clinical trial, there are two possible disasters.  The first disaster is if you kill people.  The second disaster is if you cure them."  

The real money is in getting people on drugs that they will be on for the rest of their lives.  Pharmaceutical company R&D is all but non-esixtant. Their advertising budget to push those "lifetime" drugs far exceeds R&D. Unfortunately, you now have to prove how your cause can make them money first, then you might pique their interest and get someone to throw some money at it.  

Abbott (maker of Synthroid) is about the third or fourth drug company to have owned the rights to Synthroid.  How much money have we made for them...no advertising or R&D needed.  Think they might owe us???  
803938 tn?1403751853
Helas, we're just a bunch of fat women and we only have ourselves to blame - according to most people who have never heard about thyroid problems!

As for the pharmaceutical companies, they prefer spending R&D in more "glorious" diseases. That's quite stupid of them because I recently read that 1 out of 8 women will have thyroid problems in her life, you'd think that would be a great market for them!!

I do not understand also why so few doctors even know what to measure in a person with blatant thyroid problems, like free T3 and free T4, most doctors don't even know that!

Thyroid problems rarely kill, so we can live miserably for the rest of our lives??? Seems to be the general consensus.  
Avatar universal
Read your post and couldn't help but reply regarding your symptoms of weight gain.  Of course our weight is affected by our eating and exercise habits, but those of us that have fought the hypo wars know that when your thyroid isn't right and your metabolism is low, it's almost impossible to keep the weight off.The key is to get thyroid hormones adjusted correctly and get the metabolism up to what it should normally be.  The experience of many members of this Forum has been that many times this does not happen because their doctor treats them based on TSH and never gets free T3 and free T4 up to a level to relieve hypo symptoms, including weight gain.

TSH is a pituitary hormone that signals the thyroid glands to increase/decrease thyroid hormone output.  So when thyroxin levels decreases, the pituitary will increase output of TSH as a signal to thyroid glands to increase output.

With your TSH at .15, that is below the lower end of the reference range, so a lot of doctors will tell you that your are hyperthyroid and should decrease your meds.   This is not always the case.  To me, you are hyper only if you are having hyper symptoms.  Dependent on the cause for a patient's  hypothyroidism, sometimes the TSH has to be suppressed to a very low level to alleviate the hypo symptoms.  

Of much more importance to me than TSH, is free T3 and free T4, which are the biologically active thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and many other body functions.  Free T3 is four times as potent as free T4 and it correlates best with hypo symptoms.  TSH does not correlate well at all with symptoms.

So in my opinion, the best way to treat a thyroid patient is by treating symptoms, by testing and adjusting free T3 and free T4 with meds as required to alleviate those symptoms.  

Notice that the key to treatment is all about symptoms, not about treating TSH level.
Avatar universal
Well put Gimel!

I have had a TSH of 2.5 and my Free's be near the top of the range and I feel brilliant..whereas someone else would feel like cr@p with a TSH of 2.5.
I look at my FT's first THEN the TSH.
As for the weight loss......I gained 16kgs prior to RAI and that weight held on for its dear life, believe me! lol
I exercised, I ate right, I did everything I was supposed to do and I gained!

THEN I started to get my Free T's right and guess what?
The weight has dropped off.
I am a year post RAI (no thyroid after TT too) but I have actually lost 10kgs in the last 4 months with no dieting, no exercise.
As my levels have stabilised, so too has my weight.

Also my Doc made a valid statement to me when I was trying to lose weight.
he said....Deb, you will never be 55kgs again as the weight you were was ...HYPER weight.

I am currently 61kgs after I started at 55kgs and peaked at 71 kgs....and I might add, not dieting and not Hyper either.

Food for thought and worth thinking about.......
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