The thyroid tests your doctor may not know

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Important Thyroid Testing Information(NaturalHealth365) Early on in my private practice career it seemed that every other female patient, who came to see me, was suffering from poorly managed thyroid dysfunction or was living with one and had no idea.

It eventually came as no surprise to learn that 1 in 8 women in the United States are living with health complications related to the thyroid. While I strive to help clients stay ‘health concern label-free’, diagnosing a thyroid issue can be what stands between sub-par health and feeling like a million bucks.

Your healthcare provider may NOT know about this thyroid test

To evaluate thyroid health, many conventionally-trained physicians are beginning to realize the importance of obtaining free levels of thyroid hormone such as, free T3 and free T4. They even understand the importance of ruling out autoimmune-related thyroid concerns.

But, if you are living with an autoimmune-related thyroid problem and still not feeling well – your provider may not be aware of the essential immune markers Th1 and Th2. These T helper cells release cytokines to regulate the immune system and are involved in many disease processes including the thyroid.

If you’re treating your thyroid condition naturally and haven’t had these tests run yet, it’s important to know that certain botanical medicines can cause Th1 and Th2 levels to fluctuate, creating a potentially unfavorable situation or “flare-up.”

Are you unknowingly living with a thyroid condition?

If you suffer from fatigue, fluctuating anxiety and depression, dry or shiny skin, weight loss or gain, hair loss or digestive concerns and haven’t been evaluated, you could be suffering from a thyroid-related health concern.

If you’re thinking, “I’ve already been diagnosed and still suffer from those concerns,” you may be one of the millions of Americans living with only a partially-managed or incomplete thyroid diagnosis.

Get these essential thyroid tests to properly elevate your health

Essential immune-marking tests for thyroid:

  • Th1*
  • Th2*

Complete thyroid panel including:

  • Free T3 and free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • TSH
  • Anti-TPO
  • TgAb

Related (necessary) thyroid tests include:

  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • D-25 Hydroxy
  • Iron tests: ferritin/% saturation/TIBC

*The best time to run cytokine testing is while you are experiencing a “flare-up”, but it is not essential.

The “bonus” of running Th1 and Th2 levels is that it may help better explain the relationship between your thyroid flare ups and fluctuations in other health concerns such as ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, lupus plus many other autoimmune-related issues.

Remember, not all healthcare providers have caught on and you may need to request these tests on your own behalf, especially if you’re living with an autoimmune thyroid condition and not feeling well. Naturally, I suggest aligning yourself with an integrative healthcare professional – who has experience with thyroid concerns and will offer a complete and multifaceted approach that is individualized for your concerns.

Keep in mind, while the tests above are the essential tests I use to evaluate thyroid health, there may be additional tests that are helpful – depending on your particular situation – and can be determined when you visit your provider.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.

References:
http://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19415997
http://thyroidbook.com
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271310

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  • Judy Forman

    I have never heard a thyroid doctor talk about th1 and th2. Since, many people find very little relief from the standard thyroid medications, th1 and th2 testing may be a good idea.

    Flare ups are of great concern, since they can cause many problems. This is a great article and a much needed one. Many American’s have been diagnosed with an under or over active thyroid. At the same time there are a large number of undiagnosed cases.

  • Toby Martinez

    Many people don’t realize the thyroid is a major player is our overall health. Yet, thyroid testing isn’t always reliable and medications leave a lot to be desired. This article helps you ask the right questions and that is a good starting point.

    As a person with thyroid issues I know first hand that most doctors aren’t aware of all the tests that are available. Many times I asked for a full thyroid panel and found out when the test came back, that this didn’t happen. On the limited testing they performed it always came back that my thyroid was fine.

    If I had this information when I asked for the test the results would have been different and I may have gotten some help.