Your doctor didn't mention the autoimmune aspect of thyroid disease because it doesn't affect conventional treatment. But it makes all the difference for natural treatment. To treat the thyroid, you must treat the immune system.
The most important test for thyroid is the blood test for thyroid antibodies. Thyroid antibodies can cause symptoms even when TSH is normal. In particular, they have been shown to have a role in fertility and miscarriage. (1,2) (For more about thyroid testing, check out Lara's blog post: TSH Is Unreliable.)
Thyroid patients with high thyroid antibodies report more symptoms than patients with low thyroid antibodies, even if their thyroid function test is normal. In other words, thyroid replacement is not enough to ameliorate symptoms of autoimmune thyroid disease. (5) According to Dr Emerson (editor of the prestigious journal Thyroid):
As long as thyroid antibodies remain high "... optimal doses of thyroid hormone will not completely ameliorate all symptoms"
Thyroid extract (also called Armour thyroid or Natural thyroid) can be more effective treatment than conventional thyroid medication - because it contains T3. NOT because it is bioidentical or natural.
Thyroid extract is desiccated thyroid gland from a pig. It has a long history of use in medicine, and 50 years ago, it was standard prescription. Thyroid extract contains both T4 and T3, and therein lies its advantage. Many people feel better when they add an activated version of thyroid hormone (T3).
Leptin is a fascinating hormone. Until 1994, we did not even know if its existence. And yet all along, leptin had been there quietly in the background. It's starting to look as if leptin is the master switch for appetite, blood sugar, fat-burning, bone health, and fertility.
Can't lose weight? It could be a problem with insulin.
Insulin resistance causes obesity, heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and rapid ageing. It also increases the risk for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
How could one little hormone do all that?
Are you a thin woman prone to feeling fatigued, light-headed, dizzy and panicked? Do you have low blood pressure, cold hands and feet, large pupils and very flexible joints? Then you may have HPA axis dysfunction or adrenal fatigue.
Please also read Lara's blog post on using Gentle Carbs for Adrenal Health.
If health is on your priority list, then sleep is on your priority list. Quality sleep should come before diet. Before nutritional supplements. Before exercise.
Sleep is not a passive state. From a hormonal perspective, sleep is an active, heightened anabolic state. Quality sleep is essential for cortisol, insulin, leptin, testosterone and other hormones that control metabolic rate. Sleep reduces inflammation and promotes detoxification.