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It is very common for people to have blatant thyroid symptoms and yet the thyroid tests done in a way that has now become conventional will show the thyroid is normal. Here are tests that give more information about the function of the thyroid:
Thyroid Blood Tests
- TSH: for diagnosis of hypopituitary, NOT to diagnose or dose your hypothyroidism (unless it’s high). If you allow a doctor to diagnose or dose you by this lab test and range i.e. to say you are normal simply because it’s in range or below 10…you could still be hypothyroid.
- Free T4 and Free T3 (note the word “free”–important since it measures what is unbound and available.)
- Reverse T3: to be done at the same time you do the Free T3. Then calculate your ratio with the results and measurements.
- Thyroid Antibodies: anti-TPO and TgAb will help discern Hashimotos. You need BOTH, not just one of them. You can add TSI for the Graves antibodies–some have all three.
- Four iron labs: Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC and serum iron (sometimes the latter will just say Iron, or total iron). A high ferritin can also point to inflammation. Up to five days off iron supplements is necessary to see what your body is holding onto.
- Adrenal Cortisol levels: Saliva, NOT blood. Blood is measuring both bound and unbound cortisol and does NOT give results you can go by. See the facilities below, because you don’t need a prescription. You’ll need to be off all cortisol-containing supplements for two weeks before testing.
- B-12 and Folate
- Magnesium and Potassium, plus Calcium, Sodium, Glucose, etc (All the latter are part of the Comprehensive Metabolic Profile–CMP blood test–as well. You can also ask for the RBC (Red Blood Cell) versions of Mag. and Pot, which measures cellular levels.
- Vitamin D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D lab test…) and read why you may need another Vitamin D test.
- Sex hormones: For men and women: estradiol, progesterone, free testosterone (and dihydrotestosterone for men), plus DHEA (by blood, not saliva). Women need to do these 7 days after ovulation, which is usually days 19-21 for most women. The ranges will be different for men vs women.
- Neutrophilic hypersegmentation index (NHI)
- MTHFR gene: if you have high levels of mercury, copper, lead, iron or B12 and/or a strong family history of cancer, heart disease, stroke, miscarriages, IBS….
Overdiagnosis Epidemic of Thyroid Cancer in Women
With good information and knowledge of thyroid function a poor functioning thyroid can be supported and health restored. Look at the science about the thyroid in the following articles.
Adrenal Fatigue vs. Hypothyroidism
70% of people taking thyroid replacement medications continue to complain of symptoms. It is not unusual to have concurrent presenting symptoms of both low adrenal and low thyroid functions. Conventional medicine tends to miss this due to ignorance on adrenal fatigue. Those who were diagnosed as hypothyroid after a traumatic and stressful event such as pregnancy, accident, infection or an emotional trauma such as divorce or death of a loved one should be especially on the alert if thyroid replacement alone is not helping.
Those who have poor body temperature regulation are more prone to have mixed presentation. This group of people may present a steady low body temperature from low 90’s to a little below 98.6F. They may also present a slight exaggerated response in body temperature as compared to the environmental temperature as characterized by a sensation of feeling hot when it is warm and cold when it is cool outside.
Low Thyroid Function Due to Adrenal Fatigue
Hypothyroidism can be primary or secondary. Primary hypothyroidism can easily be cured with administration of thyroid replacement therapy. If hypothyroid symptoms such as low body temperature, fatigue, dry skin and weight gain persist despite thyroid replacement therapy regardless of laboratory values, one must look elsewhere for the cause of the low thyroid function.
Secondary hypothyroidism is low thyroid function caused by malfunction of another organ system. One of the most frequently overlooked causes is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is perhaps the most common cause of secondary low thyroid function, both clinically and sub-clinically. Low adrenal function often leads to low thyroid function, classically evidenced by high levels of thyroid binding globulin (TBG), low free T4, low free T3, high TSH, slow ankle reflex and low body temperature. Few physicians are trained to detect this connection. Fortunately, secondary hypothyroidism can be reversed when the underlying root problem (such as adrenal fatigue) is resolved.
When the adrenals are exhausted, the ability of the adrenals to handle the stress associated with normal bodily functions and energy requirements is often compromised. To enhance survival, the adrenals force a down-regulation of energy production. In other words, the body is being metabolic down-regulated to slow down in order to conserve energy as the body needs to rest.
Diagnose Your Own Thyroid Function.