Book Review of: Your Thyroid and how to keep it healthy.. The Great Thyroid Scandal and How to Survive it by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield

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A photo of 'Your Thyroid and how to keep it healthy' by Dr Barry Durrant-PeatfieldThis book has become my new favourite thyroid book. It’s a bit sciencey, but not too much to put me off, and is full of lots of things you need to know as a thyroid patient, but I had never read anywhere else. Most importantly, it feels honest. I felt the writer’s genuine goal to help people help themselves. 

The book covers lots of information about having a thyroid disorder, how to recognise associated problems, and how to take an active part in your own treatment.  

I’ll reference back to this book and what I’ve learnt from it throughout my blog posts.

Every thyroid patient needs this book, in my opinion. It’s well written, honest and memorable. There’s an introduction to Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield, which explains how he fell out of favour with the NHS (basically, he believed in prescribing NDT, and acknowledged that hypothyroidism is a lot more common than most other doctors believe it to be). He’s very popular with patients and other thyroid advocates, but don’t expect your GP to be too impressed with his ideas, as there’s a good chance they won’t be!

That’s not to say they’re not good, though. I believe in and respect everything he says in the book. It is honest, informative and always backed up by proof or sources.

The first couple of chapters explain what thyroid problems actually are and how they occur biologically. I found it hard to follow at times as I’m naturally not a science-y person, but its more for extra info than essential knowledge. It is really interesting. You can always re-read it too. My partner really liked it!

I liked his introduction which included history about hypothyroidism, how it was ‘discovered’ and how it was treated early on. I’ve always been a bit of a history nerd, so I love these kinds of passages.

At the back of the book, he includes a list of signs and symptoms for thyroid problems, which isn’t exhaustive but will be handy for some newbies to the condition. Some he goes in to in more detail, and I think this would be informative to patients who don’t realise just how many symptoms are related to thyroid disorders. He also covers hyperthyroidism in this book, which is an interesting read. It helps to have some knowledge about hyperthyroidism, if for any reason, you were over medicated for example. I just love learning about all things thyroid-related, myself.

He covers possible causes for thyroid disease in quite some detail, which is food for thought and very interesting. It gives you ideas on what could have caused/contributed to your own. He also covers the options for thyroid treatment, and it’s clear to see he supports natural, non-synthetic treatments. He wastes no time explaining why he feels NDT is the medication of choice. He dispels a few of the myths doctors are known to use when they scare patients about using NDT. It’s also evident that he’s particularly interested in the metabolism, which thyroid patients can have difficulty managing, and his input is rather insightful. There’s a passage on losing weight and the relationship with carbs that is super-interesting.

Other hormones, not just thyroid ones, are covered, including DHEA, Melatonin and sex hormones, which some thyroid patients will find they have low levels in. He also explains why he favours urine samples rather than blood samples for thyroid testing, which is certainly not conventional, but intriguing. He certainly has a non-conventional view on quite a few things, but I don’t find them to be ridiculous. I believe in all he has to say, actually. He has good reasoning and backs up points with other research where possible, and case studies/comparisons to his own patients and experience.

I particularly liked his diagram of the adrenal cortex, which has stayed as a mental image with me since. A lot of the information in the book, you don’t necessarily need to know, but it is beneficial. Everything is connected, so it helps to know how and why.

He talks about adrenal fatigue, and the link to the thyroid, which you know is something I’ve mentioned a lot, too. He gives tips just like James Wilson does in his book, on adrenal stress management, vitamins we should take to encourage adrenal recovery and health and medication, if needed. What is evident, is his preference to try to naturally help people recover from thyroid and/or adrenal problems first, before going down the route of lifelong medication. I find this refreshing. He speaks in a way that makes you feel comfortable with his suggestions for self-medication. – He even suggests that we take our health in to our own hands, and, at the end of the book, tells us to go ahead and do it, now we’ve read everything we need to know in his book. There is a whole ‘Helping Yourself’ chapter which I felt was a really positive way to end the book.

Having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome myself, I found the chapter on this to be particularly interesting, and I know a lot of others with the diagnosis will, too. He explains what he feels could be the ’causes’ for it, despite many doctors not knowing what causes it themselves. Its worth a read for sure. I might pass this on to non-thyroid patient friends who have CFS.

The chapter on depression I feel is very important and another that non-thyroid patients should read. So many thyroid patients struggle with mental health, but so do people who go undiagnosed with thyroid problems. There is a connection with mental health and the thyroid hormone T3, which is something I have already covered, and Durrant-Peatfield covers it in more scientific detail, as well as other causes for depression. It is incredibly interesting reading.

Overall, I think most thyroid patients would find this book to be very helpful and informative. It covers a lot, in what is actually not a very thick book. It could be helpful to those who think they may have thyroid problems, too. It’s scientific, refreshing and honest. The style in which it was written made me feel empowered each time I read a chapter or two and the author is a trusted source among many advocacies and patients.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon on the link below and also check out the other books that may be helpful to you in my bookstore, here.

My Score: 5/5

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

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Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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