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Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy

by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield

listed in medical conditions

[Image: Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy]

This is a revised and updated edition of The Great Thyroid Scandal originally published in 2002, and is an excellent overview of this frequently missed diagnostic conundrum. Dr Durrant-Peatfield writes primarily for the educated reader and informed patient; however the latter half of the book, where Biochemistry is well explained, is a little complex, inevitably. This is a book that should be read (and sadly won’t be) by the medical profession, as well as by all sufferers from any chronic illness that has remained unresolved, and also all holistic therapists. Dr Durrant-Peatfield believes in giving the patient the knowledge, so that they can work out their own solution, with which I heartily agree.

Dr Durrant-Peatfield’s book gives an excellent summary of thyroid disease, both over- and under-active, as well as the connections low thyroid has with other metabolic (body chemistry) illness, including non-insulin dependent diabetes, inadequate adrenal gland function, Candida, yeast, food allergies and raised cholesterol levels, the latter frequently inappropriately medicated with statins. This book covers a very wide field and is an excellent basic text-book for anyone considering Holistic Medicine and Nutrition as a career. It contains good, brief chapters on chronic fatigue, depression, growth hormone, dental amalgam, weight problems and much else. There is an index, and a useful series of charts and symptoms at the back of the book, together with a list of resources that includes addresses for laboratory tests and supplements, most of which the patient could access for themselves without medical intervention.

Dr Durrant-Peatfield’s main point is that under-active thyroid is very common and much under diagnosed by GPs who start by not thinking of it, then do blood tests, which frequently do not pick up the problem (he lucidly explains why). They then treat (or not) the blood tests without listening to the patient. Many patients go untreated because of ‘normal’ blood tests, another big group are inadequately treated because chemically manufactured thyroxin (standard treatment) does not contain all the necessary ingredients, (Armour thyroid extract does, but GPs are reluctant to prescribe it). Also, the thyroid dose is predicated by the blood tests, regardless of how ill the patient feels, which is somehow not considered important. Present day thyroid function blood tests are not to be trusted if they are normal and the patient isn’t.

In my early days as a GP, these tests did not exist and a raised cholesterol level was considered to be the indicator of low thyroid function, and was treated successfully with the (now considered obsolete) Armour thyroid extract; thyroxin having not then been invented; a particularly flagrant example of Hutber’s Law: “improvement means deterioration…” Dr Durrant-Peatfield goes into the thyroid/cholesterol connection which gives damning food for thought about the pharmaceutical blockbusters that are prescribed to lower it and which do not tackle the underlying cause. There is little real evidence that raised cholesterol is a direct cause of arterial and heart disease, although it may be a marker or ‘co-habitee’.

The connection with iodine and the various hormones, particularly low adrenal reserve, is well explained, together with the importance of putting this latter problem right before prescribing any kind of thyroid hormone treatment. Dr Durrant-Peatfield also gives good information about over-active thyroid, its causes and treatment.

I can highly recommend this book as a general overview of Holistic and Nutritional medicine, as well as the excellent and detailed dissertation on thyroid problems, with practical steps on how to self-treat, where the GP is unhelpful. Dr Durrant-Peatfield provides the tools for a self-help approach and writes in a readable and comprehensible style.

Further Information

Available from also from

Dr Diana Samways
Hammersmith Press Ltd

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