Which Hormone is Keeping you Fat?
Thyroid - What tests do you need?
If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or if your physician has indicated that your thyroid hormone levels might be low you might be wondering what this means. Let’s take a closer look at hypothyroidism and the tests that you’ll want to get.
Your thyroid is a gland located in your neck. The main function of the thyroid is to control your metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. The main symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
• weight gain
• hair loss
• feelings of depression
• feeling cold all the time
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is attacked. With Hashimoto's thyroid levels can be low sometimes and high other times, leading to a shift in symptoms. It also makes medication that only addresses thyroid hormone levels difficult.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland. It stimulates your thyroid to produce the two thyroid hormones T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). So generally your TSH levels will be high if your thyroid hormones are low because your body thinks your thyroid needs to be stimulated.
What tests are needed?
Often your annual lab tests include only a TSH test, sometimes a T4 test but a full thyroid panel will give more complete indications of what is happening and how the disease should be treated. This is important because TSH levels can be normal while circulating thyroid hormone levels are not.
It also gives your physician a better idea of the cause of your hypothyroidism.
Ask your doctor about other tests that can be performed to check for the reason for your hypothyroidism. Since Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease it needs to be looked at differently than hypothyroidism. Changes to your diet and lifestyle may also be recommended.
After you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's it is important to monitor your symptoms and your thyroid hormone levels. Overmedicating for hypothyroidism can cause hyperthyroidism. If you experience symptoms of nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, unintended weight loss or diarrhea contact your physician to get your levels tested.
If you are still seeing hypothyroid symptoms with treatment, check with your physician to get your medication adjusted.
What can you do
Having an understanding of the different conditions and medications available will help you to be informed when speaking with your physician. Advocate for the right tests and discuss medication options.
How I can help
As a clinical nutritionist, I can recommend dietary changes and supplements that will help you manage your condition and are crucial to fat loss and an optimized metabolism. Click here to book a free nutrition assessment.
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.