Tag Archives: TSH

Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism: Types of Thyroid Diseases

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While addressing a thyroid dysfunction, it’s essential to consider the interconnected web of other imbalances, toxicities, and nutritional deficiencies that are always at play. Your thyroid gland is like the body’s energy factory. Every cell in the body requires thyroid hormones. When it’s operating effectively, you feel energetic, healthy, and in control. But it takes the right amount of thyroid hormones, in a careful balance, for the body to function properly. Too little thyroid hormone, and the body slows down. Too much thyroid hormone, and everything speeds up. When talking about thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid diseases, most people only think of hypothyroidism, but in reality there are many more thyroid conditions that can arise. Non-Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism  It’s estimated that between 3 and 10 million people actually suffer from an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of one or both […]

What You Need to Know About The 4 “T”s to Thyroid Testing

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What is happening here? Many doctors rely only on TSH marker to diagnose and manage thyroid disease; however, this is just one of the four needed markers to establish a correct interpretation and analysis of your thyroid status. Moreover, many doctors use the lab ranges (referred to as “pathological” or disease ranges) that come with the test results, instead of functional ranges, which have been carefully researched and formulated as parameters of good thyroid health. The lab ranges are simply the averages of all the people who have had blood work analyzed by that lab in the last year. They are so called “normal” or “healthy” places to be but are actually statistical averages. Different labs can and do have different reference ranges. It is common to have a test result come back “normal” from one lab and “out of range” for another lab. In truth, if your lab values […]

Another Reason to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Hashimoto’s Disease

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We’ve talked about new research that shows that artificial sweeteners do not help with weight loss. In fact, they actually contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. We also pointed out the link between diet sodas — which use artificial sweeteners — and the link to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Now, a new study has given us another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners: Hashimoto’s disease.   Mary Shomon has posted about the new study, which showed a correlation between artificial sweeteners and elevated TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients. In comparison to antibody-negative people without Hashimoto’s disease, the antibody-positive patients were also far more likely to be using artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. 

Metabolic Syndrome and Your Thyroid

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What is Metabolic Syndrome? Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that, when present, increase your risk for developing heart disease, and as a result, increase the risk of heart attack, heart damage, and death. Metabolic syndrome is also linked to obesity and insulin resistance, which can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. What Did Researchers Learn? In a study reported on in the journal Thyroid, researchers took a group of almost 4000 people who were “euthyroid” — they had thyroid levels that were within the normal reference range. The group studied had no history of thyroid problems or diabetes. They measured body weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure, along with cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, insulin, free T4 (FT4), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). What the researchers found was surprising. Despite the reliance by many physicians on the TSH as a measure of thyroid function, the […]

Hormonal Horror Stories – Especially for Halloween

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Rosemarie’s Baby Rosemarie* was trying, and failing, to get pregnant for several years. Like many fertility clinics, the clinic she and her husband chose did NOT include any thyroid testing as part of Rosemarie’s infertility workup. At first, Rosemarie didn’t know to ask. Since infertility is rarely covered by insurance, Rosemarie was getting side-effect laden hormone injections, and she and her husband were laying out many thousands of dollars each cycle for assisted reproduction. Every month, the pregnancy test showed “negative.” After spending all their savings, with no baby on the way, Rosemarie did some reading, and learned about the thyroid connection to fertility. She was tested, and the doctor found she had an elevated TSH, and high thyroid peroxidase antibodies, indicative of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. She was started on thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Just two months later, Rosemarie was able to get pregnant – no assisted reproduction needed. Nine months […]

Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy: Get Your Thyroid Levels Adjusted Before Getting Pregnant

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A study recently published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at the connection between TSH levels and pregnancy outcomes in hypothyroid women being treated with thyroid hormone replacement medication, in this case, the synthetic T4 medication levothyroxine. The study, which evaluated more than 50,000 hypothyroid women, found that during the first trimester, almost 63% of the women had a TSH level above 2.5 mU/L, which is the recommended upper limit for TSH during the first trimester. More than 7% had a TSH over 10 mU/L. The women with a TSH above 4.51 had an increased risk of miscarriage, compared to women with the targeted first trimester TSH levels of .2 – 2.5 mU/L. The researchers concluded that “there is an urgent need to improve the adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement in early pregnancy.” And their recommendation was that it is reasonable to aim for a serum TSH […]

13 Numbers About Your Health That You Need To Know

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2.5 OR LOWER Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels above 2.5 are considered to be suspicious for subclinical hypothyroidism by many integrative physicians. The “normal” reference range for the TSH test tends to run from .3 to 4.5, and many patients with levels above 2.5 are told their thyroid is “normal,” while their physicians fail to test to actual circulating thyroid hormone (Free T4, Free T3) or the thyroid antibodies that can detect an autoimmune thyroid disease. 1.3 OR HIGHER The Free T4 test measures the available amount of the T4 storage hormone available to be converted into T3, the active thyroid hormone. While the reference range at many labs runs from .8 to 2.8 ng/dL, integrative physicians have found that most patients feel best when their level falls into the top half of the range, at a level of 1.3 or higher. 3.2 OR HIGHER The Free T3 test measures […]

5 Things You Should Do Right Now to Conquer Your Thyroid Issues

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1. Understand the Lab Tests for Thyroid Disease Some doctors only use the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test to diagnose and manage thyroid disease, and tell patients that their results are “normal” or “abnormal” — nothing more. Integrative physicians take it much further — often including Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO), Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins (TSI), Reverse T3. If you don’t know what these tests measure, and what is “normal,” “abnormal” — or better yet “optimal” — for each of these tests, it’s time to do some homework. You can’t ask for tests that you don’t know about, and you can’t negotiate for optimal treatment if you don’t know what your results mean. Need to learn more? Read Challenges in Thyroid Hormone Therapy: Why Is It So Complicated? 2. Start Keeping Copies of All Your Lab Tests It’s your right — and frankly, smart — to ask for […]

The Best Clinical Guidelines Money Can Buy: A Look at Guidelines Bias and Thyroid Treatment

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The article didn’t get much attention in the American medical community, and that’s no surprise. The title of the British Medical Journal article was “Evidence Based Medicine: Why we can’t trust clinical guidelines.” In the June 2013 article, author Jeanne Lenzer describes how drug companies can negatively influence members of committees that create clinical guidelines, to the detriment of patient care. What are Clinical Guidelines? According to the Institute of Medicine, clinical practice guidelines are “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.” Ideally, these guidelines should be based on rigorous analysis, good science, and the best possible evidence and patient outcomes, without any influence from the manufacturers of the drugs being reviewed, and procedures or medical devices involved in the treatments. In reality, however, as Lenzer identifies, […]

Is Thyroid Disease the Cause of Your Low Libido?

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Studies show that even slightly reduced thyroid levels, even considered still in the “normal” range can dramatically decrease libido in women as well as causing fatigue, weight gain and depression. How Does Thyroid Dysfunction Affect Libido Hypothyroidism reveals itself in a very gradual manner. Low thyroid symptoms are very subtle and are often similar to the ones of aging. Low thyroid levels affect different parts of the body in different ways. Patients more often reporting loss of libido are those with hypothyroidism. Those with hyperthyroidism can also experience this symptom, but they can also experience episodes of increased sex drive, due to the sped up metabolism hyperthyroidism can cause. With hypothyroidism, the metabolism is slowed down, which means the reproductive organs are slowed down as well. The adrenal glands that produce hormones that convert into the sex hormones are also slowed down. Both men and women can see decreased testosterone […]

Treating Thyroid Conditions

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It’s important to address the real cause of your imbalances and use the most effective combination of thyroid hormones so you can feel at your best. Everything You Need To Know About Thyroid Treatment Hypothyroidism is generally treated with synthetic T4 (Levothyroxine). Products such as Synthroid and Levoxyl are the most widely accepted forms of thyroid replacement. This is based on an assumption that the body will convert what it needs to the biologically active form T3. However, many people cannot efficiently convert T4 to T3. This is a problem because T3 is the more active form of thyroid hormone. Even if your T4 and TSH levels are optimal, if your T3 levels are imbalanced, you may still experience symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 1995 demonstrated that the normalization of plasma TSH and T4 levels with T4-only preparations provide adequate tissue T3 levels to […]

Talking With Your Doctor About Your Thyroid Concerns

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If you feel frustrated because your TSH results are “normal” and your doctor tells you there is nothing wrong, but you still experience a wide range of thyroid-related symptoms, we understand and we know why. The Reality About Thyroid Testing The TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is the test that most doctors use to screen for hypothyroidism. But this test actually measures how well the pituitary is “talking” to the thyroid gland, rather than measuring actual thyroid hormones or, more importantly, the level of thyroid activity in the body. To date, in most clinical practices in the United States, hypothyroidism is diagnosed solely when the TSH level is consistently above the upper limit of normal of 4.0 to 5.0 ng/dL. Unfortunately, this assumption no longer holds true when we delve into the domain of thyroid function in the aging population. There’s a better way to measure your thyroid health. Comprehensive testing should […]