Comprehensive Thyroid Testing

Thyroid gland issues are very common, and many times they go unrecognized for a number of reasons. Identifying and correcting thyroid problems can involve a lot of detailed work; this is why we utilize a very comprehensive thyroid test - so no stone is unturned, so to speak.

Making sure your thyroid gland is functioning properly is the key to many, many health issues that are often mistaken for other things or at worst, blown off as not a big deal. If we’re going to maximize your health, we have to take a very detailed approach to thyroid health. 

How Your Thyroid Works

Put simply, the thyroid gland releases hormones that stimulate our metabolism.  It starts in the brain, in the pituitary gland which releases Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid gland (located right where you’d wear a bowtie) to release two hormones, T4 and T3.

Beyond Standard Testing

Traditionally, most clinicians only test TSH and sometimes T4; if these two hormones are within what is considered a normal range (which, by the way, is a very wide range that doesn’t allow for all thyroid dysfunction to be recognized), you’ll most likely be told you don’t have a thyroid problem and end up suffering for no reason. 

If you’re like so many people who suspect they have a thyroid problem and traditional testing has suggested otherwise, you may have what is considered “functional hypothyroidism” - additional testing beyond just TSH and T4 can help detect exactly what’s going on. 

 

And, sometimes a person’s thyroid symptoms can be caused by something else entirely - this is why we look at other functional tests so we can understand your complete hormonal health picture.

A Few Issues with Standard Thyroid Testing

1. Traditional ranges.  For TSH, this is usually around 0.45-4.5. This is an extremely wide range and allows for varying levels of what’s considered normal function.  This is kind of like the grading scale where everyone who scores anywhere from 60-100 passes, except for there’s no more specificity to it!  However, we know that when the TSH is closest to 1 (generally), this is like getting an ‘A’ in class - a higher TSH (3-4+) would  be like getting a C, D or F in class - not ideal, right?

2. Conversion issues - some people have problems converting T4 into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. This is why some people, who despite being treated with synthetic thyroid medications, don't feel any better. In order to utilize these medications, a person must be able to convert T4 into T3 - again, there are many reasons why these biochemical reactions can be stymied; expanded thyroid and other metabolic testing can help us understand this.  

3. Thyroid hormones binding.  Thyroid hormones may be 'tied up' so to speak with other proteins within the blood stream, thereby preventing them from working correctly. The thyroid hormone receptors may no be 'listening' to thyroid hormone; receptors can be blocked because of other hormone imbalances, nutritional and lifestyle issues. 

4. Other hormone issues - our hormones act like a symphony and if there are extreme imbalances in other hormones (such as estrogen or cortisol), this can interfere with normal thyroid function.

 

As you can probably tell, it can take a lot of detective work to understand the complete thyroid hormone picture. 

Here’s an overview of the thyroid testing included in our program: 

  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

  • T4, Total (Total Thyroxine)

  • T4, Free (Free Thyroxine)

  • T3, Free (Free Triiodothyronine)

  • Tg (Thyroglobulin)

  • TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin)

  • Anti-Tg (Antibodies to Thyroglobulin)

  • Anti-TPO (Antibodies to Thyroperoxidase)

Common Thyroid Symptoms: 
 

  • Unexplained weight changes

  • Swelling in the neck

  • Heart rate changes

  • Fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Hair loss (head, eyelashes, eyebrows

  • Itching

  • Constipation, poor digestion

  • Temperature changes - feeling too cold or hot

  • Heavy or irregular menses

  • Dry skin, hair and nails

  • Numbness and tingling

  • Mood changes - depression, irritability, sadness

  • Increases in cholesterol levels

  • Menopausal symptoms - hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain
     

Hyperthyroidism symptoms include:
 

  • Trembling, weakness

  • Vision changes

  • Diarrhea

  • Irregular menses

  • Heart palpitations

  • Weight loss

Sample Comprehensive Thyroid Report

 
 

Our mission is to help athletes uncover and resolve hidden health limitations so they can experience better performance, faster recovery, and vigorous health. 

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