Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health

Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health

3.6 10
by Richard L. Shames, Karilee H. Shames

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A growing health epidemic is sweeping our country and millions may be affected—without knowing it. Undiagnosed or under-treated low thyroid is an energy-sapping illness with diverse symptoms, making diagnosis difficult, including "waking up tired," unexplained aches and pains, mental sluggishness, overweight despite light eating, low sex drive, infertility,


A growing health epidemic is sweeping our country and millions may be affected—without knowing it. Undiagnosed or under-treated low thyroid is an energy-sapping illness with diverse symptoms, making diagnosis difficult, including "waking up tired," unexplained aches and pains, mental sluggishness, overweight despite light eating, low sex drive, infertility, allergies, and more. The thyroid gland controls every chemical reaction of every organ in the body. Low thyroid is debilitating—and alarmingly on the rise. Thyroid Power reveals:

  • Why a person may have low thyroid even if their doctor says their blood tests are "normal"
  • Who is most likely to suffer from low thyroid
  • How low thyroid masquerades as other illnesses and makes any illness worse
  • How modern life contributes to the problem, from environmental toxins to stress

Thyroid Power provides 10 steps to harness the thyoid's power for health and well-being. The Shameses explain how to get an accurate, cost-effective diagnosis; discover the best dose, brand, or mix of medications, and adopt a lifestyle promoting thyoid health, including the right foods, supplements, and holistic methods.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
This illuminating look at a dysfunction that afflicts many and yet remains under-diagnosed aims to help those who suffer from an underactive thyroid identify the problem and receive treatment that can revitalize their lives. The experience and compassion of the authors -- a married doctor-nurse team who have worked with thyroid patients for more than two decades - shine through in this practical, well-written guide. Full of personal stories (including that of Karilee Shames), the book focuses primarily on two goals: helping readers improve their quality of life, and encouraging them to get the best medical treatment from their health care professionals. This is a must-read for anyone whose enjoyment of life is compromised by sluggishness and fatigue.(Karen Burns)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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1 ED
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6.47(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Step 2

Learn How Low
Thyroid Makes Any
Illness Worse

We have now, crossed a threshold to the point where we can effectively diagnose and treat your fatigue.
-- Jacob Teitelbaum M.D., From Fatigued to Fantastic

Could symptoms that seem like low thyroid actually be a result of another low-energy disease? Of course. Could these same symptoms actually be from a combination of low thyroid and some other energy-sapping disease? Certainly. There are many additional causes of fatigue and marginal health, each requiring a different treatment.

Coexistent low thyroid can worsen any other illness, and-interestingly enough-the opposite is also true. To achieve lasting improvement, you may have to treat more than one condition at a time. It is critical that you obtain a full and complete diagnosis and treat in the appropriate order all conditions that may be contributing to your health dilemma. While simple low energy is often a common condition with an easy resolution, it can sometimes be maddeningly deceptive and hard to diagnose.

The first, critical step is to find a qualified health care practitioner with whom to collaborate. You have a right, as a health consumer, to fully understand your condition, to hear the range of possible treatments, and to assess their benefits and detriments prior to making any decisions. Ultimately, it is you who must direct your journey toward health. Achieving a proper diagnosis is a critical beginning step that can save years of pain and anguish.

Finding a Doctor Who Understands

As health professionals, we areextremely supportive of personal empowerment and self-care. However, in addition to books, friends, and the Internet, it is essential to secure the help of a trained professional. A good practitioner can properly assist you in diagnosing the true cause of marginal health or significant low energy, saving you years of distress, unnecessary treatments, expense, and hardship.

A knowledgeable practitioner takes a complete history, listening carefully to nuances and identifying patterns. Then, he or she performs the proper physical examination and orders appropriate laboratory tests to ascertain exactly what kind of low energy you have so as to accurately determine which treatments will be most helpfiil. Don't sell yourself short. Make sure from the beginning to have your condition properly diagnosed.

Since low energy is a very common problem, many doctors hear this complaint often and have a standard, preset way of approaching it. Generally, if the fatigue does not seem severe to the practitioner, he or she will simply offer some reassurance. This can take the form of a little pep talk that acknowledges the financial squeeze people may be feeling, the hectic pace of modern life, and the difficulty in getting enough exercise, proper diet, and rest.

If you want to get beyond the simple pep talk, you will need to be very dear about how to present your symptoms to your physician. Write down everything that bothers you and the degree to which it interferes with your life. List the associated difficulties, if any, and describe as objectively as possible how the productivity in your life is being affected. If you feel noticeably less productive at work than you did a couple of years ago, make a note of this, and be specific.

If you have trouble getting started in the morning and arrive late at the office, mention that. If it used to take one cup of coffee to get started, and it now takes three, indicate this. If you can only get to your job site with great difficulty, dragging yourself out of bed and through the morning routine, definitely mention it. Explain what an imposition this is on the quality and enjoyment of your life. If you run out of steam at three or four p.m. but still have to work several more hours, describe briefly how hard this is for you, and what a sense of limitation you are feeling. If you can make it through the day but have no energy for evening activities, even enjoyable ones such as dinner and a movie, then mention how this "disability" is causing you some real distress and concern.

If other people are suffering in some way because of your fatigue, such as a spouse, children, or elderly loved ones who need more care and attention than you can provide, mention that dearly and objectively. Describe the emotions this lack of energy may be causing in terms of anger, frustration, or even despair. Make it apparent how much aggravation and irritation low energy is causing in your life. Try to quantify how your daily life is different from a few months oryears ago. Try to pinpoint when and how your health began to change. Keep records that can portray the problem, even creating visual graphs if necessary to demonstrate changes in your health and ability to perform or enjoy your life.

It is imperative that, as a health consumer, you direct the course of the appointment with your health provider. The more assertive, clear, and focused you can be, the more likely you are to have your needs met in a timely and satisfactory fashion. Most people find it advantageous to write down questions prior to their appointment, even prioritizing their concerns so that if they run out of time, the major considerations will have been addressed. If you do not understand something you are being told or asked to do, don't be embarrassed to ask questions and get your needs met. Remember, you are your own best health advocate in these situations.

If you have obtained information from friends or websites related to your condition, it would be a good idea to share this with your practitioner to obtain further input. In these instances, be alert to the response of your practitioner. If your doctor acts as ifyour questions are a bother or doesn't answer directly, consider whether you are receiving optimal treatment... Thyroid Power . Copyright © by Richard Shames. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

John Gray
With millions of Americans suffering needlessly, the THYROID POWER program can be a blessing to a great many relationships!

Meet the Author

Richard L. Shames, M.D., is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. A founding member of the American Holistic Medical Association, he has served as adjunct faculty at UCSF Medical Center and Florida Atlantic University and is a general practitioner in Boca Raton, Florida, and Mill Valley, California, specializing in thyroid treatment.

Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., Ph.D., is a clinical specialist in psychiatric nursing and a certified holistic nurse. She is an assistant professor of nursing at Florida Atlantic University. For many years, she has organized and led thyroid recovery support groups. The Shames family lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you suspect you might be hypothyroid, definitely get this book. I've suspected I've been hypothyroid and I just discussed it with my doctor in June. Like the doctors of the patients in the book, she poo-poo'd my idea, treating me like I was a hypochondriac. As they say in the book, there are a lot of subtle signs which taken all together can point to hypothyroid, and diagnosis requires sensitivity and openness. The book lists even more symptoms that I didn't know about and when I took their test, my score was double the minimum level to be considered hypothyroid. The authors are a husband/wife doctor/nurse duo and they have treated many people at their clinic. They list a hypothyroid relative as a very high indicator, but my doctor told me it wasn't hereditary! As they say, there is a lot of undereducation about thyroid problems. I found this book at a B&N store, and thought I would just copy down the info about symptoms and the different lab tests, but I decided to buy it because there was so much information about ongoing treatment, how to tell if you're getting the right dose once you're diagnosed, the types of thyroid medication out there, that I thought it would be helpful for the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bravo! I was privileged to read an advance copy of this most important book. As a mid-life woman who has experienced thyroid disease first hand, I am thrilled that FINALLY that book is finally here, validating my experience and that of countless others. Far too many classically trained physicians choose to ignore the subtle symptoms and (often louder) complaints of thyroid-challenged patients, adding to the frustration that we already feel. Karilee and Rich have de-mystified the complex workings of the thyroid gland and offered a variety of strategies to identify, diagnose, and treat this often-elusive malady. They offer a clear path to enhanced quality of life and improved energy levels. They offer a variety of treatment options, embracing the best of integrative health care. The reader is constantly encouraged to seek answers on a variety of levels, from standard medical care to stress reduction to energy balancing and improved nutrition. The book is balanced, objective, and encouraging. The health care information is nicely integrated with case stories that offer hope and guidance. Many of them bring back memories of my own journey, which included the advice of one misguided (and male) physician who told me I had panic attacks (in spite of three years of abnormal thyroid blood work!) ... and offered Prozac as his only remedy. It is unfortunate that women's complaints have long been depreciated in the eyes of the medical establishment, and it is only in recent years that we have begun to fight for equal and high quality care. This book will give us ammunition as we confront that system. Thyroid Power offers a true holistic perspective, assessing the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual components of chronic thyroid disease and offering ways to deal with the whole person, not just blood work or sometimes vague symptoms. For many it will be a light at the end of a long, dark, and frustrating tunnel, and a path to better health.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gives many scenarios as well as touches several aspects of thyroid issues.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This really explains what is happening in our health and what we can do to make our health and wellbeing