The way the mainstream medical system diagnoses and treats hypothyroidism is a debacle.

In general terms doctors are taught to use 1 test (TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to diagnose hypothyroidism. The problem is the TSH won’t be ‘out of range’ until 90% of the thyroid gland has been destroyed.

Hypothyroidism begins WAY before 90% of the gland is destroyed and the levels of TSH in the blood & other thyroid hormone levels are out of whack.

Doctors have 1 tool in their toolkit when it comes to managing hypothyroidism – medication – so the the thyroid gland hasn’t been destroyed enough to have impacted the thyroid hormone levels in the blood, there is no need for thyroid hormone replacement (medication).

The DEBACLE is that there are many more diagnostic tests to diagnose thyroid health than just TSH AND there are many things you can do to BEFORE 90% of your thyroid gland is destroyed (you might even slow down or stop the destruction!).

I believe The Thyroid Debacle will be a turning point book for medical and health practitioners as well as for thyroid patients. The book is a meaty read and if you’re brand new to having a thyroid condition you might like to read my book, Let’s Talk Thyroid first because it’s a much lighter and easier introduction to thyroid health but then go and read The Thyroid Debacle* book for a deeper exploration of both thyroid physiology and thyroid-friendly diet and lifestyle factors.

The topics we cover in this discussion are:

  • What is the debacle?
  • The mainstream medical model and functional medical approach to thyroid health.

Allopathic diagnosis of hypothyroidism (when TSH is high and T4 is low) is when 90% of the thyroid gland is destroyed.

  • How to think of thyroid health as a spectrum disorder.
  • Tissue/cellular hypothyroidism (see Ep58 too) and how cells are being protective (not attacking).
  • The immune response – DAMPS and PAMPS.
  • Thyroid antibodies and how they aren’t like pac-man gobbling up thyroid tissue but more like a clean up crew clearing debris.
  • Thyroid antibodies cause little to no damage to the thyroid gland according to research.
  • Lowering antibodies shouldn’t be the goal in itself but may well be the consequence of reducing stress.
  • How can you test for cellular hypothyroidism?
  • T3 is made in peripheral tissue as well as in the thyroid, liver and gut.
  • You need to look at the different systems in the body to see where cellular hypothyroidism is taking place.
  • Multi-System Adaptive Disorder – your system isn’t BROKEN, it’s ADAPTING.
  • The solution to most chrpinc issues is to reduce the stress response.
  • The a cell is in danger/defence mode, it’s not in repair/regeneration mode or not in repair/regeneration mode tor long enough.
  • Your fitness in these 10 categories determines your overall fitness:
    1. Dietary Fitness
    2. Sleep Fitness
    3. Respiratory Fitness
    4. Emotional Fitness
    5. Physical Fitness
    6. Habitual Fitness
    7. Envirnmental Fitness
    8. Metabolic Fitness
    9. Genetic Fitness
    10. Microbial Fitness
  • Discussion about repiratory fitness – some DIY tests and solutions to improve.

Do the unsexy things and you can get well.


* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

related podcast episodes

If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for similar discussions, check out these episodes:

#58 Cellular Hypothyroidism with Dr Eric Balcavage

#63 The Thyroid System & stress | Marek Doyle


Meet Dr Balcavage

Rejuvagen Clinic Director, Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Board Certified in Intergrative Medicine, Certified Gluten Coach.

Dr. Eric Balcavage DC, CNS, CFMP, BCIM, is the owner and founder of Rejuvagen. Dr. Balcavage is widely recognized around the world as a leader in Functional Medicine and Thyroid Physiology. In over 20 years of practice, he has successfully helped thousands of people suffering with thyroid problems and other chronic health conditions.

Dr. Balcavage received his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport, Iowa in 1995, and has been in practice since 1996. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. Dr. Balcavage is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. He spends hundreds of hours every year advancing his knowledge base on functional medicine, thyroid physiology, functional neurology, immune system function, hormone function, and regenerative therapies. Dr. Balcavage’s quest for advanced research and training is the result of his passion and determination to help patients who have been unable to heal and recover from chronic illness in the Allopathic medical model.

Dr. Balcavage has studied under and consulted with several experts in Functional Medicine over the years, including renowned thyroid expert Dr. Datis Kharrazian and methylation expert, Dr. Ben Lynch. Dr. Balcavage trains and consults with hundreds of doctors on topics such as Thyroid physiology, GI physiology, Organic acid testing and Methylation. He also lecturers locally and around the country on numerous other health conditions.

His Functional Medicine center has always been on the cutting edge of health care and science. Currently, he devotes his practice to treating patients with thyroid disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes/ insulin resistance, autoimmune & inflammatory disorders and other metabolic challenges.

He has been a guest on numerous podcasts and health summits. He co-hosts the Thyroid Answers Podcast which is available on iTunes. Dr. Balcavage is also the author of the newly released book, The Thyroid Debacle.

Connect with Dr Balcavage:

Instagram @DrEricBalcavage

Youtube Channel

Thyroid Answers Podcast


If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not too sure where to start/what to do next, why not book in for a strategy session with me?
I’d love to help you.

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Suspect you have a thyroid issue? PLEASE trust your instincts and get it thoroughly checked out with your health practitioner. This thyroid basics page has an overview of what tests to ask for and an affiliate link to use a private lab if your doctor won't order them.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




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