Have your thyroid levels been tested at your primary care physician’s office and were returned normal, yet you are still experiencing unusual symptoms that are typically linked to this hormone’s imbalance?
If so, you’re not the only one.
Many of my clients come to me with results showing normal TSH, a thyroid-stimulating hormone that encourages the thyroid gland to release the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) as well as Free T3 and Free T4 (the active hormones) and are frustrated or confused because they continue to suffer from signs of disfunction.
Commonly, these symptoms (most frequently for the state of hypothyroid) are:
– hair loss
– cold intolerance
– weight gain and difficulty losing weight
– hormone disruption/infertility
– dry skin
as well as other unusual signs.
But if your tests results are within range and you are still experiencing unusual symptoms, can you still have thyroid disfunction?
Following are three things to know about the health of your thyroid even if your general practitioner evaluation is normal:
- TSH is not the only thing to test for; antibodies can expand analysis of thyroid.
In addition to TSH, Free T3 and Free T4, thyroid antibodies can also be tested. Results showing elevated levels can indicate attack on certain parts of the thyroid, its proteins, as well as any inflammation or disruption of thyroid function.
So why hasn’t your primary care doctor tested these?
Antibodies are not typically tested alongside TSH at a general practitioner office because TSH is the standard for determining whether actual thyroid disease is present such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
And if there isn’t a definitive disease present…there is nothing for traditional western medicine to treat.
The challenge with this is that nonstandard TSH levels are commonly one of the last signs to show up when thyroid disfunction is present. This means that you may experience a variety of unwanted symptoms much earlier than nonstandard TSH results are reflected.
Frequently, this test is most valuable for women between the ages of 30-50 and most of the clients I treat with abnormal antibody levels are postpartum women in this age range. I recommend periodic antibody testing throughout these years, particularly for those who have thyroid disfunction in the family.
- Thyroid disfunction may be linked to other underlying autoimmune conditions.
Autoimmune disorders happen when the immune system attacks certain cells in the body, disrupting systematic function – and one of those functions can be the thyroid.
This assail on healthy cells can begin to present signs or flare up in mid-life and although not all thyroid conditions are autoimmune related, they can still be linked which means it could very well be a root cause of the hormone’s imbalance.
Holistic treatment of elevated antibodies typically involves broad treatment of autoimmunity as well as specific treatment aimed at bolstering thyroid function.
- There are a variety of naturopathic options for thyroid disfunction.
In addition to prescription hormones that may be needed to balance thyroid, there are naturopathic treatments that can work synergistically or aside from pharmaceuticals, especially for those whose TSH levels are normal, yet have elevated antibodies.
First, nutraceuticals can encourage thyroid production. Tyrosine, selenium, and zinc can all be beneficial in boosting thyroid levels as well as other supplements that support adrenal health and blood sugar regulation as there can be subtle reverberations (i.e.: symptoms) throughout various systems in the body. It’s important to take care of the entire body!
Another naturopathic treatment for elevated antibodies is hydrotherapy. This spa like treatment alternates hot and cold water applications to the front and back of the torso and neck, and can help stimulate the body to produce heat and warm the body – valuable for those in a hypothyroid state.
What’s even better is that after a series of sessions, you can learn to modify the treatment for at-home use.
Finally, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on treating autoimmune effects in which I recommend:
– a clean diet for digestive health
– stress reduction
– good sleep habits
– frequent movement/exercise
– breathing exercises and meditation
as well as other self-care actions that support healthy living.
Paired with nutrient-focused supplements and hydrotherapy, lifestyle changes can be the key to lasting changes for a healthier you.
If you’ve received normal TSH results but still think thyroid disfunction is present, you don’t have to wonder any longer.
If you live in Boulder or the surrounding Denver metro area and would like to discuss your thyroid concerns further, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (720) 340-0193 or click here to schedule an appointment.
Are you ready to get your thyroid checked completely? Let’s get started.