Is your thyroid making you miserable?
Could you have a thyroid problem? If you do, how do you talk to your doctor about it?
How do you speak to your doctor and get the necessary answers? What kind of labs do you order?
I want to start out first by saying that there are a lot of different causes for low thyroid or underactive thyroid. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is just one of those.
It is the most common autoimmune disease. And 10 x more common in women than men.
And as I know personally, a common cause of infertility. In 2009, I tried to conceive my second child but was unsuccessful. At that time, a fertility doctor I had seen suggested I get tested. But not surprisingly, my thyroid tests were normal.
But I was not getting pregnant and getting very frustrated. I decided to dive a little deeper because I knew something was wrong. I mean, it took over a year and I couldn’t get pregnant. So, we actually ordered thyroid antibody tests. And the antibody tests came back very abnormal.
So despite my labs being normal, my thyroid antibodies indicated I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was placed on Synthroid and was able to conceive my second son. This is a common story among my clients and patients that struggle with infertility until their thyroid is optimized.
In this article, I want to discuss what you need to know about Hashimoto’s and how to approach it from an integrative medicine approach.
What does Hashimoto’s feel like?
✔️-Poor digestion, like constipation
✔️Temperature issues, hot or cold all the time
✔️Anxiety, depression or brain fog
✔️Muscle or joint pain
✔️Numbness in toes/hands
If you think this sounds like you, then what do you do next? Then TEST, DON’T GUESS.
Testing For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Find a healthcare provider, MD, DO, naturopathic dr, functional medicine provider, or whoever you are comfortable with and get tested. But get the full panel of tests. Bring your list of symptoms and ask for the full panel of tests, which include TSH, free t4, free T3, and reverse T3.
TSH is produced by the pituitary and tells your thyroid to make hormones. It is the most common test ordered by your doctor to screen for either low functioning gland (hypothyroidism) or high functioning gland (hyperthyroidism).
Free T4 is a test to assess how much T4 is circulating in your body. T4 can be bound to proteins and not used, so it is better to get a free t4 test to better gauge the amount of useable t4. T4 is the predominant hormone made by the thyroid. Some of it is converted to T3 in the bloodstream.
Free T3 is a test that assesses how much T3 is circulating in your body. Like T4, the free T3 test is a better measurement of the amount available for the body to use.
Reverse T3 is a controversial test. It assesses whether the body is appropriately converting T4 to the active form T3. But it isn’t reliable in that there is no established perfect range and knowing how to interpret the test can be difficult. It can be altered by stress. Most providers do not think it is necessary to order. I feel it is necessary to get this test when your medication is not working. If the medication that has been started works great then this test will not add any value.
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) and Thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies—In addition, I look for thyroid antibodies that can indicate underlying Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is sometimes present even with normal thyroid function, and something I screen patients for, especially when there is a strong family history.
What if my doctor will not order those tests?
My sincere hope is that your doctor is willing to order all of the labs listed above while working with you to restore your thyroid function. However, if that is not the case, you can use Everylwell home thyroid tests. You can do the test in the privacy of your own home and then discuss your results with your doctor.
Does Hashimoto’s Ever Go Away?
Hashimoto’s Disease does not go away. It is a lifelong illness but you can prevent and even reserve damage to your thyroid by making simple diet and lifestyle changes to optimize your thyroid with an integrative approach.
How to Reverse and Overcome Hashimoto’s
My 5-Step Protocol
- Test for the cause of your autoimmune symptoms: infection, toxins, heavy metals, adrenals, and nutrients.
- Get on the Right Medication for you.
- Diet plan that decreases inflammation in the gut and reverses leaky gut.
- Lifestyle: eliminate toxins, get the right exercise, and stress management.
- Smart supplements that support the thyroid
Are you interested in learning more?
As I mentioned earlier, thyroid health issues caused me infertility until I realized what was wrong. But even then, I did not truly feel better until I took an integrative approach and changed my diet and lifestyle. So, whether you have Hashimoto’s or suspect you may, I’d love to help. Reach out to me and let’s get started on the road back to reclaiming your health.
During a consultation, we’ll figure out the following:
- If your thyroid function is outside of the optimal range
- And if so — which medication is right for you (i.e., is Synthroid best, or might Armour be a better option?)
- The root cause of thyroid antibodies and autoimmunity through advanced functional medicine testing.
- How to address your health concerns through personalized nutrition, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations
Contact my office to learn more
If you want to see the full video series, check it out on my YT channel.
- Hashimoto’s disease. Mayo Clinic. 2020.
- Physiology, Thyroid Hormone. Muhammad A. Shahid, Muhammad A. Ashraf, and Sandeep Sharma. NCBI. 2020.