Why Do I Have Thyroid Symptoms...
When My Doctor Tells Me My Lab Tests Are Normal?
Unfortunately, this is all too common and all too often misdiagnosed. You see, Brenda had made the effort to visit her doctor to find answers. From what she understood from trying to educate herself, it certainly seemed that her symptoms could be the result of a thyroid condition. Within a week after her blood work came back, her doctor relayed to her that all was normal; no problems. Now most of us like to hear this, but when you have your health going down the tubes you want answers. Brenda was now further confused and feeling depressed.
Hypothyroidism is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions in this country. Typical laboratory testing used by most medical practitioners are inadequate and miss key tests that help solve difficult thyroid issues. Typical lab tests are TSH, T4 and T3uptake. TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by your pituitary gland and it instructs your thyroid gland to release mostly T4 (inactive), which then converts into T3 (active thyroid hormone) in the liver, gastrointestinal tract and other various cells such as muscle, heart and nerve cells. Only about 60% of T4 ever becomes a usable form of T3.
There are many physiologic conditions that can hinder this process resulting in the lack of active T3 and therefore thyroid symptoms. Some of these are: nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal dysfunction, which is all too prevalent today and actually worsened with the “purple pill”; liver toxicity, which most Americans suffer at some level, especially those on toxic medications; and hormonal imbalance, predominately with cortisol, estrogen and/or progesterone.
Generally, the most common missed thyroid diagnosis is an autoimmune response called “Hashimotos Thyroiditis” (HT), named after the Japanese scientist that discovered it. In HT, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing it to malfunction. This is an example of an auto-immune disease.
It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disorder, mostly undiagnosed. In an autoimmune disorder, the immune system attacks your own body. In HT, your thyroid gland is attacked and destroyed over time. For many years this immune disorder can lay dormant, eventually waking to begin its’ destructive process, triggered by some form of stress.
When the autoimmune process is activated, thyroid tissue is destroyed and one can experience either high or low thyroid symptoms or both. Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid) symptoms may present as anxiousness, nervousness, heart palpitations and even night sweats. Typical hypothyroid (underactive thyroid) symptoms are feeling sluggish, cold hands/feet, slow to get up in the morning, fatigue (especially in the late afternoon) and possibly depression. The typical blood panel that relies on TSH may be of no assistance in getting to the bottom of the matter. In conventional medicine the protocol is to place you on thyroid medication and not get to the underlying issues that are causing the immune system to act abnormally. The problem with this protocol is that it may allow the autoimmune response to continue on its destructive tract and eventually destroy your thyroid tissue.
If you believe you may have thyroid problems, which is much more prevalent if you are a woman and/or if you have a family member who has low thyroid, you really should be evaluated properly to rule out HT as well as any other conditions that inhibit the conversion of inactive T4 to active T3.
To learn more about your thyroid and other hormonal issues that affect your health, please call (480) 418-2653, and/or register for our next Dinner talk, online here.