You hear about it. You read about it. Underactive or overactive thyroid seems to be the culprit behind so many afflictions. But when you visit your doctor to inquire about your own thyroid function, you’re told that your blood test results are normal. So why can’t you escape the feeling that something still isn’t quite right? Find out what real thyroid therapy is and how it can uncover – and repair – the ways your body just might be betraying you.
Thyroid Blood Test Results Are Only Part of the Diagnosis
There is always a danger in relying on blood test results alone to inform a diagnosis or treatment where the thyroid is concerned. Standard labs and routine thyroid testing often will not reveal if there is a problem with your system. Standard blood tests are also misleading because they are so greatly influenced by outside factors, such as the lab used to run the test, including their methodology and environment.
About 13 million cases of thyroid-related illnesses go undiagnosed because practitioners of traditional medicine rely on blood tests alone to test for thyroid abnormalities. Testing for reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, selenium, and/or heavy metals in addition to all the other labs can confirm a thyroid problem and identify its cause. However, there is a bigger picture to be seen. Your blood has more to say about your well-being, and so does the rest of your body.
Understand How the Thyroid Works
The thyroid’s biggest responsibility is to make the hormone thyroxine (T4), as well the hormone triiodothyronine (T3), though T4 usually just gets converted to T3. The pituitary gland also has a job, making thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which directs the thyroid gland to make a certain amount of T4 and T3.
When the TSH levels are too high, this indicates that you’re making too little thyroid hormone, aka hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), and this chronic condition can make you sluggish, gain weight, and feel general malaise. When TSH is too low, you’re making too much thyroid hormone, aka hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), and you can feel irritable, irregular heartbeat, and experience unexplained weight loss.
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism powerfully affect what should be the normal functioning of your body. While the symptoms of these conditions are different, the functional medicine approach to reaching thyroid balance is the same.
Thyroid Balance for Good Health
Blood tests and medication are not the only ways to diagnose and treat thyroid imbalances. Healing thyroid problems must go beyond taking a supplement or medication and hoping for the body to right itself. Other organs, glands, and hormones play a role in balancing in proper thyroid function.
In thyroid therapy conducted by a functional medicine practitioner, there will be just as much talk as any other type of treatment. Along with evaluating your current state of health, your health history will be reviewed in detail. Diet, lifestyle, environment, and genetics are all taken into consideration. Gathering these details make it possible to develop a customized thyroid therapy program that is just right for you, your body, your health, and your idiosyncrasies.
Allow the team at the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor to help you improve your lifestyle, exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits so your body is in a healing state. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Geck.