Why the Weirdness with Doctors + Thyroid? Talking Shop with Gena Lee Nolin & Mary Shomon Next Week

Gena Lee Nolin with her family before thyroid problems were diagnosed properly

It happened again this week.

I saw a patient who is 48 and came to me a few months ago because she felt flat sensually and sexually. Let’s call her Daphne.

As part of our work together, I found she had a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) of 3.1 and a low free T3. In other words, her thyroid needed some tweaking in the direction that provides more energy, better metabolism and dovetails better with adrenal and ovarian function.

She had been on the same dose of thyroid medication (Synthroid) for 25 years. No changes. Ever.

I added a quarter grain of Naturethroid, or 16.25 mg. Simple change with profound results: Her sensuality perked up. Daphne felt more receptive to sex with her husband. She had more energy, for sex but also for living life more fully. She lost a lingering 5 pounds. This all happened in 6 weeks. She came back into the office with a new spring in her step: “I ran up the stairs yesterday, and then realized I haven’t run up the stairs in more than ten years!”

BUT. Her primary care doctor was incensed.

The mainstream doc told my patient, “I can’t support you going up on your thyroid hormones just because you need an easy way to lose weight.”

Excuse me? Is this mic not on? What’s wrong with mainstream medicine that they are so quick to write off patients as seeking a weight-loss quick-fix when really they just want to feel like themselves again?

Now this is a woman who knew she had thyroid problems. Other women, such as celebrity Gena Lee Nolin, star of Baywatch, don’t know that this is the reason for their weight gain, hair loss and lack of zest. Are you hands and feet cold? Do you have low sex drive? Are your nails brittle? Have you lost hair on the outer third of your eyebrows?

Has this poor treatment happened to you? Or have been dismissed or shamed for wanting to feel better in some other context? Please share your story with me in the comments section.

Let’s band together and stop mainstream medicine from equating a simple request to optimize thyroid into, in their eyes, a shameful search for excuses not to “exercise more and eat less.” Please.

Even celebrities are not immune to the paternalistic (and frankly, misogynistic) way that conventional medicine views this particular cry for help: celebrity Gena Lee Nolin had many years of struggle with baby weight (and having to fit into that tiny red Baywatch bathing suit before millions of TV viewers) and crushing fatigue before getting her thyroid sorted out. She was prescribed antidepressants and other poisons she didn’t need.


  1. Kristi Wolfe on September 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I had to tell the doc to give me armor thyroid so he started me off at 60 mg and after a three month period I ask that since I felt better but was not “me” yet… could I raise it to 90mg? Well, he did a test and decided that would be okay so I am better… still have a huge fibroid and 25lbs to loose somehow… not really looking for “castration” is there any way you know of>?

  2. Wendy on September 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I just saw my Ob/Gyn this week and dicsussed my thyroid. He said my test was normal and there are no other tests that can be done. My TSH is 1.54 and the normal range listed on the test results are .34 – 4.82. So I guess it’s normal. However, I am tired all the time, brittle nails and hair, thinning hair, dry skin, cold hands and feet and feel like I’m in a brain fog all the time and cannot lose weight. He really had nothing more to say other than to lose weight. It’s no wonder people hate going to the doctor. I already lost 140 pounds and I have been stuck now for over a year and a half not able to lose any more. I cut out all fast food, sugar, caffeine, processed foods, white rice and flour, no dairy and am now cutting out all gluten. I ride my bike 8-10 miles 3-4 times a week and do yoga and zumba.

    I guess it’s time to find a new doctor that will actually listen to what I have to say and not say everything is because I am overweight.

    Thank you for the work you do! Can’t wait for the teleseminar!

  3. Valarie Monegan on September 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    How do I get a 1/4 grain of naturethroid 16.25 mg?

  4. Kellie on October 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    It took me years to find someone who would test beyond TSH and T4 to find low T3, among other things. After 3 months of treatment, I’m still not sure things are “right”. I feel better but not great. I’m approaching my lifestyle and nutrition on my own in hopes of addressing the root causes of my imbalances without having to go to doctors and alternative practitioners for drugs and high dose supplements. It’s very frustrating and I’m so glad you’re talking about this!

  5. Gabriella on October 6, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Check Mary Shoman’s website for a list of docs in US and abroad that real patients recommend. Always make sure you see a doc that prescribes either Armour, ERFA, Naturthroid or a compounded form of thyroid meds that include both T4 and T3 (which is what Amour etc. have. You can call your local COMPOUNDING pharmacy and ask for references for who they think are the best docs. Every time I call they have a list and tell you to call them yourself and interview them. These people are always willing to listen and will answer your questions so you can determine if they are what you are looking for. ITs good if they also treat perimenopause and menopause. Often women in mid to late 30’s start to experience symptoms from this. Suzanne Somers also has a great book called Agless and Breakthrough that really help you understand how hormonal balance is important to maintain your quality of life. I do not however, recommend anyone in her book for doc except Jonathan Wright. Good luck!