One of the biggest issues I’m seeing in clinic of late is undiagnosed or poorly managed thyroid conditions. So today we take a deep dive into the series, “Your thyroid is fine…but is it really?”
So tell me, have you been told “your thyroid is fine” when:
* You have only had thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) tested?
* Your TSH is <1.0 or >2.0 mIU/L?
* You haven’t tested free triiodothyronine (FT3)?
* Your FT3 is <5.0 pmol/L?
* You haven’t tested thyroid antibodies?
So, while your thyroid might be fine, this can not be said if you have not tested adequately.
I commonly see underactive thyroid symptoms of fatigue and fat loss resistance being described as “you’re just getting older”, which can be completely resolved with the right testing and natural treatment protocol. We must also acknowledge that postpartum thyroiditis occurs in 7-10% of new mothers, yet thyroid antibodies are almost never tested.
Straight up, testing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is not enough. TSH is the hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain for the purpose of communicating to the thyroid gland. When both the pituitary and thyroid glands are functioning optimally, thyroid hormone levels remain optimal. If you only test TSH you may understand if you have an underactive or overactive thyroid, whether sub-clinical or clinical, but you will not understand the root cause. Your TSH can also be optimal and autoimmunity can go undiagnosed for years.
In order to truly understand thyroid function you need to test a full thyroid panel including antibodies (TSH, FT4, FT3, TPO Ab Tg Ab), plus vitamin D, zinc and random urinary iodine. To investigate Graves’ disease you will also need to add thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies (TRAb), however this could be tested at a later stage if autoimmunity is detected.
I’ve put together a script that may help you engage the help of your GP, otherwise you may choose to work directly with myself or the team at TNN, or your Naturopath and pay for these tests directly via Nutripath or similar. Your third option is to go via a consumer-direct system such as i-screen.
Conventional medicine uses pathology reference ranges that may exclude disease but do not create optimal health.
Functional health uses pathology references ranges that create optimal health.
And truthfully, our conventional thyroid references ranges are where the biggest discrepancies to optimal health exist.
In part 2 I will discuss the fundamentals of thyroid health and more. Do you now feel empowered to start to address the root cause of your symptoms? Please post any questions you have below.