Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) resulting in a multitude of symptoms. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is the result of an autoimmune (the immune system inappropriately attacks its own tissues) condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing inflammation of thyroid tissue. As a result, the thyroid gland becomes “sluggish” and the production of T4 and T3 is impaired. Other causes of hypothyroidism include: radioiodine ablation, surgical removal of the thyroid, head and neck radiation, and certain medications.


The thyroid gland is regulated by the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland. The healthy thyroid responds to TSH by producing more T4 and T3, but in hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is unable to keep up with the demands. In response to the sluggish thyroid, the pituitary releases more and more TSH in attempt to “wake up” the thyroid that is not functioning properly. Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when the TSH level in the blood is elevated while the T4 and T3 levels are low. However, diagnosing hypothyroidism is sometimes not a straightforward matter. Many people begin to experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism even when their blood tests are still considered “normal.” On the other hand, some people are clearly hypothyroid based on blood tests, but they do not have significant symptoms.


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Does Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Cause Depression and Anxiety?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune thyroid disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, weight gain, and fatigue. Most often seen in women, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most frequently diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disease, and it is commonly associated with depression and anxiety. Despite an apparent link between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and psychiatric disorders, the precise nature of the relationship is not fully understood. A recent study compared the incidence of depression and anxiety among patients suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, patients afflicted with goiter, and healthy people with no thyroid dysfunction, in an effort to determine whether Hashimoto’s thyroiditis increases the risk of depression. The study demonstrated a significantly higher rate of occurrence among patients … Continue reading

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is Much More Common in Patient with Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the body produces antibodies that attack the glands that manufacture tears and saliva. As the cells of these glands are attacked and destroyed, patients experience general dryness, most notably of the eyes and mouth. Usually diagnosed in in post-menopausal women, Sjogren’s syndrome is thought to affect as many as four million people in the United States alone. Later stages of the disease can involve a number of body systems and organs, including the lungs, kidneys, nervous system, circulatory system, and the thyroid gland. In the case of the thyroid gland, many studies have noted a high prevalence of thyroiditis among … Continue reading

Weight Regulating Gut Hormones in PCOS Patients and in Women Taking Contraceptives

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder in women, and it is characterized by a wide range of reproductive, hormonal, and metabolic symptoms. Affecting 5-10% of women between 12 and 45 years of age, and is strongly associated with obesity. The precise cause of weight gain and obesity not fully understood but insulin resistance, a principal feature of PCOS, undoubtedly contributes to the weight issues and slow metabolism. Gut hormone imbalance could be an additional contributing factor.   So-called “gut hormones” are produced by the gastrointestinal tract and birth control pills affect appetite, metabolism, and weight. Researchers in a research study selected a group of subjects diagnosed with … Continue reading

Papillary Thyroid Cancer is More Common in Patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, often the cause of hypothyroidism, is the most common type of autoimmune thyroid disease. Recent years have seen an increase in cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, although the reasons for this are somewhat unclear. The incidence of papillary thyroid cancer is also growing. Representing up to 85 percent of all thyroid cancer cases, papillary thyroid cancer remains a significant concern among patients with thyroid disorders.   In one recent review of approximately 10,000 thyroid patients, researchers found several patterns worth noting. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis appeared to be associated with a significantly higher risk of papillary thyroid cancer, with male patients exhibiting a higher risk than female patients. Although more research … Continue reading

Need for Early Diagnosis of Celiac Disease in Children and Adolescents

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease resulting in the inability of the small intestine to digest grain proteins called gluten, is thought to affect approximately 1% of Americans. Patients are genetically predisposed to developing the disease, with symptoms appearing at any age. Early diagnosis is important for celiac disease patients, particularly in young children. Growing children and adolescents have increased calorie and nutrition needs, so the malabsorption symptoms of celiac disease can be especially devastating. Pediatricians and parents must be aware of the symptoms of celiac disease in order to improve early detection in young patients.   A baby with celiac disease may begin to show symptoms after first eating gluten-containing … Continue reading

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea May be Different Among Women and Men

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the term for a breathing disorder in which a patient suffers from repeated episodes of partial or complete upper airway blockage during sleep. These episodes result in shallow (or temporarily stopped) breathing, often leading to sleep disturbances. Some estimates suggest more than 12 million Americans suffer from OSA, with male patients outnumbering female patients two-to-one. The reasons for the gender difference are largely unknown – though at least one team of researchers in Maryland has suggested that the diagnostic protocols currently used by physicians may be partly to blame.   OSA causes symptoms ranging from snoring and irritability to fatigue and sleepiness. Although seemingly indistinguishable, … Continue reading

Vitamin C helps absorption of thyroid hormone medication in patients with hypothyroidism and gastritis

Hypothyroidism, the disease caused by an underactive thyroid gland, is typically treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Oral levothyroxine, a synthetic version of the thyroxine (or “T4”) hormone secreted by normally functioning thyroid glands, is often used for this purpose. As with any oral medication, proper absorption of the medication in the gastrointestinal tract is integral for optimal therapeutic effect – a factor further complicated by the common symptom of gastritis among patients with hypothyroidism. Gastritis is the term used to describe an inflammation of the stomach lining, corresponding with changes in gastric acidity and a reduced capacity of the stomach to absorb nutrients and medications properly.   Recently, a … Continue reading

Can Metformin Help Avoid Thyroid Hormone Excess in Patients with Thyroid Cancer Treated with Thyroid Hormone Suppressive Therapy?

The term “differentiated thyroid cancer” refers to a thyroid cancer in which the cancer cells generally look and act like normal thyroid cells. Representing the majority (over 90%) of all thyroid cancers, these cancers usually grow very slowly and (with early detection) are often treated successfully. One of the most important features of the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer is the use of thyroid hormone therapy, most often in the form of levothyroxine (a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine). Levothyroxine treatment suppresses thyroid stimulating hormone, which is known to stimulate thyroid cell proliferation to inhibit tumor growth. In 2009, the American Thyroid Association published its Guidelines for Differentiated … Continue reading

What You Need to Pay Attention to When You Follow a Vegan Diet

Veganism refers to the practice of avoiding the consumption of animal products. Although the term was first used in the 1940’s, the practice did not gain widespread popularity until a decade ago. Following a vegan diet means abstaining from meat, eggs, dairy, honey, gelatin, and even food additives found in processed foods. Vegan diets are generally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in nutrients found in vegetables, fruits, and grains. Vegans generally tend to maintain healthier body weights, and may also benefit from decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer.   Adopting a vegan diet can be complicated, as vegans must … Continue reading

Trouble Breathing May Indicate Thyroid Lymphoma in Patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, is typically characterized by symptoms such as goiter, weight gain, fatigue, depression, infertility, and hair loss. Patients with thyroid disorders are also more likely to suffer from additional health problems including congestive heart failure, migraines, high cholesterol, and celiac disease. In addition, these patients have an increased risk of developing a type of cancer called primary thyroid lymphoma. Although rare, this cancer occurs approximately 60 times more frequently among Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients than it does in the general population.   The most common sign of primary thyroid lymphoma is a rapidly growing goiter. In these cases, the treating physician will often evaluate … Continue reading

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Testimonials

Dr. Arem, I do thank God, and I thank you and your staff for the wonderful balance I know it takes to run such a dynamic, yet down to earth and compassionate institute as The Thyroid Institute. My appreciation runs heartfelt and I thank you for the endless work and dedication you provide for the sake of...loving and helping others.
–Dinah Kelley, Houston TX

Dr. Arem is truly a great physician. He cares about his patients and focuses on the root causes of his patient's problems. From his line of ThyroLife vitamins, to his superb knowledge of the thyroid and its mental effects, Dr. Arem has not only helped me with thyroid imbalance, but has improved the overall quality of my life.
–Sonya R., Houston TX

After reading Dr. Arem's book, The Thyroid Solution, I decided that my health was important enough to travel to Houston, and the trip was well worth it. Dr. Arem is a thyroid specialist, he is a true expert in his field. I am thankful to have found such excellent medical care. My thyroid function is in balance again and I feel great! I strongly urge anyone with a thyroid condition to read his book, and make an appointment!
–Elizabeth H., Petoskey MI

I wanted to thank you [Dr. Arem] for having diagnosed me with Celiac disease almost 10 years ago. For years I had been going to other doctors, and none of them had any clue as to what my symptoms were. You were the only one who was able to correctly diagnose me.My family and I are very grateful to you. My health has definitely improved over the years as a result of staying away from gluten. My mother and sister have also been on a gluten free diet almost as long as I have. I have also helped other people who are newly diagnosed with celiac disease on what products to buy and where to get them.I just wanted you to be aware of how many people you have helped by diagnosing me.
–Michael P

I've tried many times going on fads and diets and never succeeded. I ran across an article in a magazine about the thyroid solution diet. After reading reviews I decided to purchase the book and give it a try. The book is very informative for those who like to know the "Whys". The biggest gain I've seen regardless of my weight was the drop in my hypothyroid level. I got all the way up to taking 125mcg of Levothyroxine. Since March, i've gotten it dropped all the way to 88mcg.
–smh102

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Blog
January 7, 2013

  Exciting news! Tomorrow, my book The Thyroid Solution Diet will hit the shelves of Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other bookstores. This book is a must have for anyone looking to lose weight as well as for people looking for a healthy body and elevated mood. The Thyroid Solution Diet is a science based diet focused on making your metabolism function well. This book will help people lose weight and regain control of their health and their lives!       Simple diet and exercise are often not effective. Weight gain doesn’t just affect your body outside; science is now showing that weight gain perpetuates a multi-hormonal disorder that … Continue reading

August 24, 2012

Unlike many medical conditions which are better understood, thyroid dysfunction still has numerous treatment philosophies around the medical community.  As a result, not every thyroid doctor or endocrinologist will be a good fit for your preferred treatment strategy.  A critical aspect of the doctor-patient relationship, which many patients forget, is that you hire them to treat you.  You always have the option to seek second opinions and discuss treatment strategies with other doctors.   This is particularly important to remember if you are interested in discussing a more holistic, natural, or mind – body approach which your original endocrinologist may not support.  Deciding to switch doctors can be a difficult … Continue reading

July 12, 2012

Discovering you have a thyroid disorder can instantly feel like a life-changing moment.  While coping with a thyroid disease is something that can be a life-long process, there are a number of things you can do in order to make everything a little easier.  One of the biggest advantages you can have is information.  Specifically, you need to understand the information related to your thyroid and how it affects your body.  While there are a lot of common features and symptoms among thyroid patients, there are also some unique characteristics which can dramatically impact your quality of life.   Blood Test Results   Most doctors will not give you the … Continue reading

July 11, 2012

While many health professionals believe that thyroid disease does not pose treatment problems, patients often know addressing symptoms and concerns and going through the process of being regulated with the right treatment can be overwhelming and frustrating.  Fortunately, if you identify the critical elements of dealing with a thyroid imbalance, it becomes much easier to live a full and healthy life with minimal side effects.  If you have just discovered that you are suffering from a thyroid imbalance or have been coping with a thyroid disease unsuccessfully then these 5 tips are for you.   1.  Learn More about Your Disease   Unlike straightforward medical problems, such as a broken … Continue reading

July 5, 2012

It has been well documented that thyroid patients can have problems losing weight and even maintaining their weight.  In fact, weight gain is one of the most commonly reported problems associated with a thyroid imbalance.  Fortunately, by understanding some of the fundamental truths of weight management and combining that with the unique situation a thyroid imbalance creates, losing weight doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.  Here are five simple weight loss tips geared specifically towards thyroid patients.   1.  Keep a Food Diary   This is a weight loss tip that is shared by professionals regardless of your medical conditions.  The best part is that it is … Continue reading

June 21, 2012

Often respecting and assessing a thyroid imbalance is not straightforward.  This is primarily because many of the symptoms can just as easily be related to something else.  As a result, many doctors do not suspect thyroid disease as the root of the symptoms and have problems assessing borderline thyroid imbalances which can cause major problems later on.  There is a number of signs you can look for.  While having any single sign is not necessarily cause for concern, once you start ___ more than one ___ it might be beneficial to start taking proactive steps to support your thyroid function through supplements, diet, and exercise.   1.  Fatigue   If there … Continue reading

January 21, 2013

You need your sleep! Lack of sleep does not only affect the brain, but it can also alter the endocrine system which regulates various fat-burning chemical signals (hormones) in the body. Hormones regulate appetite, food cravings, metabolism, and your ability to burn fat. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day and night. Keeping hormones well balanced is key for effective weight loss and optimal health. When you are not getting enough sleep, there is an increased secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased secretion of the metabolism-booster leptin. When this occurs, metabolism slows down, hunger level surges, and food cravings intensify. Research published in Cell Biochemistry and Function demonstrates that … Continue reading

August 8, 2012

It is no surprise patients with a solitary neck mass ask their physicians to evaluate it.    One of the most common factors considered that may indicate that the tumor is cancerous is the age of the patient.  If the patient is younger than 40 years old, it is most likely benign.  Once the patient surpasses 40 years of age, the likelihood of identifying a lesion associated with malignancy is greater than 60 percent. For neck masses, the surgeon often performs an excision biopsy.  However, for thyroid lesions a fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is considered to be a better alternative than the traditional excisional biopsy.  Most people are not familiar … Continue reading

December 31, 2012

  Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! This special holiday is celebrated all around the world, with common themes of fireworks, family and alcohol. An estimated 130.6 million people consume alcohol in the U.S.  and the World Health Organization estimates that over 2 billion people across the world drink. It’s easy to give up carbs for a healthy salad, however it’s not so easy to give up the favorite social that includes drinking with friends. So what do you need to know about the thyroid and alcohol? What about weight loss efforts and alcohol?   Thyroid and Alcohol A thyroid condition doesn’t have to impact every corner of your lifestyle. This holiday season, … Continue reading

September 23, 2013

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder affecting as many as 21% of women depending on the population. The condition is much more commonly diagnosed in the adolescent years. Women who are overweight are much more likely to suffer from PCOS. Insulin resistance is common in PCOS and worsens the metabolic risk profile of patients. Insulin resistance in PCOS also contributes to reduced ovulation and fertility. Due to the association between obesity and insulin resistance, it is important for overweight people suffering from PCOS to control weight issues and lose weight by sticking to a healthy weight loss conducive diet, exercise, and behavioral changes.   Reducing intake of … Continue reading

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There is clear evidence that thyroid imbalance can cause cognitive impairment in people suffering with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Cognitive impairment refers to symptoms such as poor memory, difficulty concentrating...
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