As Ive indicated before in this blog, I battle with estrogen dominance. Ive been fortunate to have had a long relationship with Dr. Lark, and as such, Ive benefited from much of her advice and have able get my estrogen levels into normal range.
The one thing that I havent been able to overcome to this point however has been my struggle with fertility. My husband and I have tried every natural, alternative, complementary, and conventional medicine avenue there is. So when it was suggested to me that I have my thyroid checked, I balked. Am I an idiot? Of course Ive had my thyroid checked! I have been consistently tested at 3.49 then again at 3.36 always being told that my tests were within the normal range. It wasnt until the issue was brought up to me yet again by my mother then again by my friends brother who happens to be a naturopathic doctor that I dug a little deeper.
As it turns out, according to conventional laboratories, the official “normal” range for the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test runs from approximately .5 to 5.0, as of May 2009. However, this flies in the face of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists themselves who, back in January 2003, suggested that doctors “consider treatment for patients who test outside the boundaries of a narrower margin based on a target TSH level of 0.3 to 3.0.” When I talked to Dr. Lark, she agreed that she believes that anything over a 3.0 is too high, and other alternative and complementary physicians believe that number should be as low as 2.5 or even 2.0.
After much negotiating with my physician, he finally agreed to let me try a natural thyroid replacement (prescription needed), but only if I agreed to have an ultrasound taken of my thyroid first. I agreed, and learned that I have two nodules on the right side of my thyroid. While I need to have an additional test to be certain, it is very likely that I have some type of thyroiditis.
After all Ive been through, this could very likely be the cause of many of my fertility issues. And to think, if my family and friend hadnt offered their help and suggestions, if I had ignored them out of frustration and irritation, and, more importantly, if I had not taken my health into my own hands and insisted that my doctor listen to me, I would not have known about what was going on in my own body.
Now that I know, there is one thing I will start doing immediately before my follow-up testavoid soy. Some studies have shown a correlation between dietary intake of isoflavones and thyroid disease for several species of animals. Additionally, some studies have found that animals fed soy isoflavones developed enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid.
And while Dr. Lark believes that soy is fine for most women with a thyroid condition, she does feel that women who have autoimmune thyroiditis should avoid soy. Therefore, until I know what Im dealing with, all soy, even my occasional organic tofu and edamame, are off the table and the plate.