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 Hypothyroidism - The Tragic and Invisible Epidemic of Thyroid Disease 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled From Fatigued to Fantastic by . View all columns in series


  1. Over 30,000 preventable deaths/year from heart attacks. Women with untreated hypothyroidism are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack. A study in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine noted that hypothyroidism "contributed to 60 percent of cases of myocardial infarction [heart attacks] among women affected by subclinical [even mild] hypothyroidism". It contributed more to causing heart attacks in these patients than smoking, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes!7. Another new study supports this showing that Subclinical hypothyroidism was associated with a 2.6-fold increased prevalence of ischemic heart disease.7a
  2. Over 4600 miscarriages/yr after 15 weeks of pregnancy-countless more before. Six percent of miscarriages are associated with hypothyroidism. Undiagnosed hypothyroidism is also associated with infertility. In moderate to severely hypothyroid mothers, the baby was also over 6 times as likely to die soon after being born.8
  3. Learning disabilities - Children born to hypothyroid mothers have a lower IQ (average of 7 points). They are almost 4 times as likely to have an IQ under 85 and over twice as likely to have learning difficulties resulting in their having to repeat a grade.9
  4. Hypothyroidism contributes to millions being unnecessarily disabled. Over 6 million Americans have Fibromyalgia and tens of millions more have chronic muscle pain. Undiagnosed or inadequately treated thyroid disorders contribute to these unnecessarily disabling conditions1 2 3 . Our initial understanding of this was elucidated by Dr. Janet Travell, who was the white house physician for President Kennedy-who suffered from excruciating back pain.10 Dr. Teitelbaum's recently published research shows that 91% of these patients can improve with proper treatment-especially including thyroid hormone.2
  5. Hypothyroidism is a major cause of gaining and being unable to lose weight. It causes fatigue, dry hair, coarse skin, depression, and “brain fog” as well. Americans are currently treating hypothyroidism, which is often confused as being depression, with Prozac! This is an even bigger problem in the elderly who are being misdiagnosed with depression or Alzheimer's/ senility when what they have is hypothyroidism.

What makes this situation especially tragic is that, given the proper information, hypothyroidism is incredibly easy and inexpensive to diagnose and treat. Instead, because of lack of awareness on the part of physicians, Americans unnecessarily suffer with a major public health disaster.

1 From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery/Penguin Putnam 2001;1st edition 1995). Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.
2 Teitelbaum JE, Bird B, Greenfield RM ,Weiss A., Muenz L, Gould L. Effective Treatment of CFS and Fibromyalgia. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Intent to Treat Study. The Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Volume 8(2), 2001,pg3-28.
3 Teitelbaum J, Bird B. Effective Treatment of Severe Chronic Fatigue: A Report of a Series of 64 Patients. J Musculoskeletal Pain 1995; 3 (4):91-110.
4 Press release on AACE web site:
5 Canaris GJ ,et al.The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study :Archives of Internal Medicine, Feb 28,2000 p526-534.
6 National Assn of Clinical Biochemistry web site. p31-46
7 HAK AS,Subclinical Hypothyroidism is an independent Risk Factor for Atherosclerosis and MI in Elderly Women. Annals of Internal Medicine 2000;132:p270-278.
7a J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:3365-3370
8 Allan WC,et al. Maternal Thyroid Deficiency and Pregnancy Complications; Implications for population Screening. J Medical Screening.2000 .Pg127-130
9 Haddow JE,et al. Maternal Thyroid Deficiency During Pregnancy and Subsequent Neuropsychological Development of the Child. New England Journal Of Medicine 1999:P549-555.
10 Travell J, Simons DG, Simons L: Perpetuating Factors. Chapter 4. In: Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore MD,

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 About The Author
Jacob Teitelbaum MD is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z" and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (3rd revised edition, Avery/Penguin Group) and Pain Free 1-2-3-A......moreJacob Teitelbaum MD
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