14 Thyroid Myths Busted: Learn the Truth about Thyroid Disease

Dr. Karishma Shaikh
Dr. Karishma ShaikhJanuary 19, 2023

"Thyroid is caused by repeated tonsil infections. Disorder of the thyroid is sexually transmitted. Only older women get thyroid problems."

We have heard these factoids time and again. They are untrue and spread misinformation about thyroid diseases. Thyroid Myths Busted/

Today, we are here to bust these thyroid myths and bring the truth about thyroid issues.

Myth 1: Thyroid problems occur only among older women

Truth 1: This is one of the biggest thyroid myths ever! Anyone can have thyroid problems irrespective of age and gender. It is less common in children, but it's not impossible. Men of any age can have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism just like women.

Myth 2: Everyone with hypothyroidism is suffering from iodine deficiency

Truth 2: It is no longer true since iodized salt is easily available in the market. Most women now suffer from hypothyroidism due to an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Myth 3: Weight loss with hypothyroidism is impossible

Truth 3: If you are taking the correct dose of thyroid medicine and following a hypothyroidism diet, it is possible to lose excess weight. You can check out hypothyroidism diet plans or speak to a thyroid specialist dietician to receive a diet tailored to your body type and metabolism.

Myth 4: Thyroid problems can never be cured

Truth 4: Functional medicine has shown that with proper root cause analysis and treatment of the root cause(s) it is indeed possible to reverse all thyroid symptoms. It is not an overnight process, but hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism symptoms are incurable and are definitely one of the most popular thyroid myths.

Myth 5: Thyroid is sexually transmitted from a person with thyroid disease to another person

Truth 5: There is not a smidge of truth in that. However, attaining sexual maturity or going through pregnancy and childbirth can change a woman's body. These changes include changes in the functions of the thyroid gland. Some women begin experiencing thyroid problems since puberty, while others begin showing symptoms of hypothyroidism during pregnancy.

Myth 6: You can cure thyroid disease with diet changes

Truth 6: Whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, you cannot reverse the symptoms through diet alone. You will need proper root cause analysis along with the correct dose of medication, supplements, and a diet suited for your metabolism and nutritional needs. Find out more about life-changing thyroid treatment with Jeevam Health. Join Thyroid Community/

Myth 7: Eating broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage causes hypothyroidism

Truth 7: Consumption of any special food or vegetables cannot cause hypothyroidism. However, if you already have hypothyroidism or low T3 and T4 hormone levels, then it is better to steer clear of all cruciferous vegetables.

Myth 8: Any nodule or lump of the thyroid gland means cancer

Truth 8: It is very normal to become scared after finding out that you have a lump or nodule on your thyroid gland. However, in most cases, nodules are common in adults and non-cancerous. Only around 5% of the cases of nodules on thyroid glands turn out to be malignant. Stay in touch with your endocrinologist or get a second opinion from a functional medicine doctor before taking a decision.

Myth 9: Thyroid cancers are incurable

Truth 9: Most thyroid cancers are curable if detected early. The doctor may recommend thyroidectomy or complete removal of the thyroid gland along with radioactive iodine treatment. These are highly effective in treating cancer of the thyroid gland.

Myth 10: It’s impossible to reduce the dose of thyroid medication

Truth 10: This is another big thyroid myth. It is completely possible to reduce the dose of thyroid medication (levothyroxine) by treating the root cause(s) of the thyroid disease, moderating diet, and making small lifestyle changes. Functional medicine has proven repeatedly that proper treatment for hypothyroidism can reduce the dose of thyroid medicines in the long run.

Myth 11: It’s impossible to become pregnant with hypothyroidism

Truth 11: With proper medication, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes it is entirely possible to enjoy a healthy pregnancy even with hypothyroidism.

Myth 12: Once your TSH comes to normal levels, you can stop taking thyroid medication

Truth 12: You should NEVER stop taking your thyroid medication and supplements without consulting your doctor. Your TSH levels may come back to normal temporarily immediately after you begin taking thyroid meds. To make that permanent, you need to follow the advice and instructions of your functional medicine doctor to the t. Do not stop your meds unless your functional medicine doc approves.

Myth 13: Goiter always calls for surgery

Truth 13: Surgery is required only if your goiter is posing problems during swallowing food or breathing. Medically, goiter surgery is not always advisable. However, you can opt for elective surgery or cosmetic procedures if you are not comfortable with how your neck looks.

Myth 14: Medicines like levothyroxine are the only necessary treatment for hypothyroidism

Truth 14: While thyroid hormone replacement medicines like levothyroxine are extremely necessary, it is not enough to treat all symptoms of hypothyroidism. Your functional medicine doctor will need a complete blood test along with nutrition profiles (vitamins and minerals) to check what might be causing or worsening the hypothyroidism symptoms. You may need to take supplements along with the primary medication for it to work properly.

Now, that you know the truth about thyroid disease, it’s time to explore some frequently asked questions.

FAQs about thyroid

  1. Is thyroid genetic?

    During every thyroid webinar and doctor consultation “is thyroid genetic” or “is thyroid hereditary” are questions almost every concerned patient asks. Genetics do play an important role in thyroid diseases. If thyroid diseases run in your family, you should get your complete thyroid profile checked at least once a year.

  2. If the thyroid is genetic, is there a way to prevent it?

    Research shows that a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and timely checkups can delay the onset of hypothyroidism in susceptible adults. Functional medicine shows that adults with a family history of thyroid diseases may not develop any clinical signs or symptoms as long as they follow a proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle.

  3. Is thyroid sexually transmitted?

    Thyroid disease is not sexually transmitted. However, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can affect a person's sexual life. Apart from low sex drive, the person can suffer from erectile dysfunction, problems reaching climax, as well as, painful sex.

  4. Can thyroid disease cause sexual dysfunction?

    Although any problem of the thyroid isn't sexually transmitted, it can take a toll on the quality of a person's sex life. Hypothyroidism can reduce sex drive, cause erectile dysfunction and lead to painful sex. It can lead to ejaculation disorders in men and keep women from reaching climax. It is important to talk about sexual health to your doctor if you believe your thyroid disease is affecting your sex life.

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