The most common thyroid test actually sucks for diagnosing thyroid disease. The routine blood test used for diagnosis is the TSH blood test and it is far from ideal. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests that about 1 in 300 Americans suffers from a low functioning thyroid, known as hypothyroidism. But some doctors believe the actual number is much higher.
One such physician is Dr. Raphael Kellman, an integrative medicine practitioner in New York City who specializes in thyroid disorders. Kellman said we’re in the middle of a “thyroid epidemic,” but that routine blood tests fail to see it. He said the TSH test is “terribly misleading” because it frequently misrepresents what is happening in the thyroid and the pituitary.
“One of the reasons why the extent of the epidemic is not being appreciated is because the routine tests do pick up a lot of people, but it’s also missing a significant number,” he said.
For a better understanding of thyroid test ranges, here is a podcast by Dr. Westin Childs where he explains optimal vs. normal ranges:
Have a great week!