Your thyroid generates your energy, determines the rate of your metabolism, and stimulates the function of every cell in your body. Weight gain, menstrual irregularity, infertility, PMS, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, fatigue, and memory loss are clues that your thyroid may not be working properly. Unfortunately, the standard tests performed to assess thyroid function are limited and often miss underlying low thyroid function.
Thyroid Hormone Testing
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is the medical gold standard for testing thyroid function. When your TSH is high you are considered hypothyroid.
There are a few challenges with the medical profession relying solely on TSH to identify hypothyroidism. First, the normal range is much too large and some people with hypothyroid fall into this grand normal range. Only the most extreme cases are identified.
Secondly, there are many extraneous hormonal influences that will low er your TSH and make your thyroid function appear normal. Some of these influences include: Aging, Excessive Stress or Cortisol, Infection, Pain or trauma, Poor dietary choices, Caffeine, Fever, Adrenaline, Somatostatin, Dopamine or L-dopa, and Amphetamines.
Third, other aspects of thyroid hormone stimulation are not taken into consideration, for example, T4 to T3 conversion. This step is performed in peripheral organs and glands and requires specific nutrient to be efficient. T3 is about 50% more metabolically active that T4. If your tissues are not converting T4 to T3 properly your cells will not have the energy they need to function optimally and hypothyroid symptoms will ensue.
Stress has a constant influence on the effectiveness of your thyroid hormone conversion. Both cortisol and adrenalin, stress hormones, inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3. It also increases the production of reverse T3 which blocks your body from using your biologically active form of hormone called T3. During times of stress your body is attempting to conserve energy as a survival mechanism. The challenge is we no longer have short bouts of stress. Our fast paced lives are perfect stimulators of hypothyroidism.
Fourth, auto-immune diseases, such as Hashimotos thyroiditis, prevents proper binding of thyroid hormone to the cells receptor sites so the thyroid hormone becomes less efficient.
Similarly, estrogen dominance or excess estrogen will prevent your thyroid from releasing its hormone and instead it will build up in the gland itself. As a result the rest of your body doesn't get the thyroid stimulation it needs. This is particularly important with Hashimotos thyroiditis and goiters. So if you are dealing with of these conditions it is imperative that you work on regulating your estrogen levels.
Liver congestion otherwise thought of as an overworked and stress liver, can lead to hypothyroid symptoms because of its crucial role in convert ing 2/3 of your T4 into the active hormone, T3. If your liver is congested the conversion will slow down. But that's not the only problem. When your liver slows its conversion the T4 will start to build up in your body. The accumulation of the T4 will tell your body to slow down its production of T4 and push you deeper into a hypothyroid state.
As you can see testing for thyroid function is much more complex that simply performing a TSH. It takes expert skill in identifying and properly treating the type of hypothyroidism that you have.
Dr. Boyd, at A Natural Choice, performs an in depth study using a complex combination of tests to identify missed types of hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Low Thyroid
Weight gain, difficulty losing weight
Fatigue, feelings of sluggishness
Depressed mood (usually not as severe as major depression, but may be mistaken for primary depression)
Menstrual irregularities, difficulty becoming pregnant/infertility
Low body temperature (may also occur with low estradiol, low testosterone or heavy metal toxicty)
PMS, with premenstrual mood changes, premature menopause
Dry, scaly, itchy skin and scalp
Dry, brittle hair and nail
Yellowed skin on hands or yellowing calluses
Losing hair (alopecia)
Puffiness of face, lower legs and feet
Slowed heart rate, unusually low blood pressure
Difficulty tolerating cold environments, climates (canít get warm)
Sleeping much more than normal, and not feeling rested
Tingling in wrists/hands, mimicking carpal tunnel syndrome
Multiple joint aches (arthralgias)
Achy muscles (myalgias), leg cramps, muscle weakness
Diminished or lost sexual desire
Decreased memory & concentration is also a brain effect of low thyroid and may be misdiagnosed as dementia in an older person
I Have all the Symptoms of Low Thyroid, but my Tests are all Normal! Can I Get Help?
For decades doctors have been prescribing T4, the non-active form of thyroid. The assumption is the T4 is easily converted into T3, the form your cells are able to use. The most common prescription forms of T4 are Synthroid, Levothyroxine and Levoxyl. This therapy can cause a build up of T4 in your body, which will slow your thyroid function down further. If your body has challenges with the conversion of T4 to T3 the medication can actually make your hypothyroidsm worse.
There is a complex array of nutrients that could possibly be needed to correctly address hypothyroidsim including various minerals, liver drainage (toxin elimination at a cellular level), glandualars, and homeopathics to support your specific kind of hypothyroidism. In addition, regulating blood sugar and reducing stress are two crucial lifestyle habits that need to be addressed to fully restore proper thyroid function.
Your first step to wellness is making an appointment. Dr. Boyd can identify exactly what tests need to be done and determine if there are associated conditions that will cause your thyroid to not function properly.
To get help now email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly to 360 573 CARE (2273).