Issue #282 February 19, 2015
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today, we are talking about thyroid testing. Yes, doctors do get this wrong, this article will help you understand why this happens.
My doctor says my thyroid is “normal.” I don’t’ feel “normal.” Could my doctor be wrong?
Yes. He or she could be wrong – and probably is.
Memory Loss? Low Energy? Cold hands, cold feet? Weight gain? Taking Synthroid? Levoxyl? Other Synthetic thyroid? All symptoms of low thyroid.
Patients frequently tell us that they think they have a thyroid issue but their family doctor or endocrinologist said their thyroid was normal.
They are told this even though they tell their doctors that they have all or some of the symptoms of low thyroid:
- Cold hands and feet.
- Poor memory.
- Low energy.
- Struggles with body weight.
- The outer 1/3 of the eyebrows has disappeared.
- Hair thinning and/or hair loss.
“In my view, physicians should be treating to make their patients better, not to improve their patients’ TSH levels.”
Alan L. Rubin, MD, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
My TSH is normal. Why don’t I feel good? According to what most doctors are taught in medical school, they should test the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and if it is over a certain number, you are considered to have hypothyroidism. (Generally above 4.7 for the CPL labs). If you are below this number, then you are “normal.” It should be noted that this number has continually changed (going lower) over the years. If you are considered to have hypothyroidism by the lab test, you would be prescribed a synthetic form of thyroid (T4) like Synthroid® or Levoxyl® (levothyroxine).
The mistake — or why 50 million Americans are misdiagnosed about low thyroid.
The body’s metabolism is directly related to the thyroid hormones’ effect on the receptor site of the cells. Even if the TSH level is normal, a low T3 level or a resistant receptor site can cause the symptoms of low thyroid function. It is the lack of optimal T3 levels or ineffective stimulation of thyroid receptor sites that is primarily responsible for the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Neal Rouzier, M.D. Author of How to Achieve Healthy Aging.
TSH can indicate the body’s need for thyroid as sensed by the hypothalamus in the brain. In a person without any thyroid dysfunction, the hypothalamus senses low blood levels of T4 and corrects the deficiency by raising TSH levels to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone. The T4 will then convert to the more active thyroid form, T3.
The problem is that the hypothalamus does not sense low T3 levels or receptor site resistance. This is why TSH can be a poor indicator of thyroid function. Yet it is universally used by conventional medicine. That is what is being taught – under the influence of pharmaceutical companies.
Symptoms are generally ignored and the lab results guide the treatment – even when the wrong test is used.
What is the problem?
As we age (or under stress, eating poorly, trauma, genetics), thyroid dysfunction can be caused by at least three different mechanisms:
- Decreased production of T4.
- Decreased conversion of T4 into T3 (common and can be shown by testing the Free T3)
- Decreased sensitivity of receptor sites
At Natural Bio Health (and at other Bioidentical Hormone and Preventive Medicine Clinics), each client has the following minimum tests:
- Free T4
- Free T3
- TPO (thyroid antibodies)
The Free T3 (the most metabolic hormone) test will show the degree to which your body is converting its naturally produced T4 to T3. It also shows the degree of conversion of the synthetic thyroid (T4 only) to T3.
In fifteen years of treating clients, we have seldom seen sufficient T3 conversion with synthetic thyroid. This explains why most clients on synthetic thyroid are still experiencing the symptoms of hypothyroidism and tell us that they do not notice much difference except maybe in their early experiences. Read our blog on what happens when the thyroid goes untreated for too long.
What to do? Test all of the above (and maybe more) and use compounded T4 & T3 thyroid (Natural Thyroid).
“The history of natural thyroid is a long one. It has been used for decades, as early as 1892. For the longest time, it was the only form of therapy for hypothyroidism.” Neal Rouzier, M.D.
Natural thyroid most effectively raises the active thyroid hormone called T3. It contains a combination of T4 and T3. This provides more optimal results than Synthroid® and other synthetic T4 preparations.
Since T3 is the more metabolic hormone, low T3 levels result in poor metabolism and thyroid insufficiencies. When pure T4 is given in the form of Synthroid® or Levoxyl®, T3 levels only minimally improve.
Why do conventionally trained doctors test give only T4?
The reasoning behind their belief is that the body will automatically convert T4 to T3. Dr. Rouzier has proven many times that this “belief” is based on theory and not on data or science. Studies show that T4 generally does not adequately convert to T3. We have been testing clients for 15 years and have only occasionally found adequate conversion.
Adding T3 to the T4 preparation allows us to optimize T3 levels. This information was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Thyroid’s Benefits: Thyroid hormone results in increased metabolism, temperature and warmth. It increases fat breakdown, resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. It protects against cardiovascular disease, improves cerebral metabolism, and prevents cognitive impairment.
Low thyroid hormone causes thin sparse hair, dry skin, and thin nails. Low thyroid levels also cause fatigue and depression. See another blog of ours on low thyroid symptoms.
Important note: There are more than 200 symptoms related to low thyroid functions and many patients experience only one to two of the symptoms.
Thyroid dysfunction is a “subtle illness that eludes doctors. The illness is accompanied by a melting pot of symptoms. Often, thyroid insufficiency or hypothyroidism is misconstrued in people older than 50 or 60 as normal symptoms of aging. Fatigue, slower speech, forgetfulness, weight gain, depression, hair loss and the tendency to feel cold are all symptoms normally associated with aging. However they are more the symptoms of an aging thyroid. The traditional medical community will usually try to treat these symptoms in younger patients, but feel it unnecessary to do the same for older patients.”
Dr. Gerald S. Levey’s article, “Hypothyroidism: A Treacherous Masquerader”, Published in Acute Care Medicine, May, 1984
KnowYourThyroid.com, including all associated social media, is for informational purposes only and
should not be considered a substitute for consulting your medical professional regarding medical advice
pertaining to your health. KnowYourThyroid.com is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that
allegedly arises from any information published on this website and related social media sites. You are
responsible for any actions you take regarding your medical care.