Your doctor may not be running the correct thyroid tests for you, or may be missing a few. Here’s information on finding a do it yourself thyroid test.
My Primal Diet – Modern Health podcast guest on December 5th, 2012 will be Janie Bowthorpe of “Stop the Thyroid Madness”. To hear the show, subscribe to my iTunes link here, or check my website’s Radio Show page to download or play the show on your computer. Listen for some surprising information not covered here, including new ideas on using Iodine for Hashimoto’s.
The list of possible hypothyroid symptoms is long…..really long… and can include any of the following: menstrual irregularities; cold body temp; loss of the outer third of the eyebrows; constipation; high cholesterol; lack of motivation/depression; weight gain; hair loss; dry skin; hoarseness and more.
With this many possible symptoms, it’s good to test your thyroid annually, both with blood work and with a thermometer at home. To test at home, use a glass-based or fever thermometer. (A digital thermometer will not work correctly). Shake it down and place it beside your bed. Upon awaking, put it inside your armpit and lie quietly for 10 minutes. If your temp is less than 97.6 degrees over 4 to 5 days average, get your blood work run. Test your temperature at the beginning and end of your menstrual cycle, not during ovulation when body temp increases slightly.
Basal temperature is also a great way to monitor your dosage of prescribed T4/T3 hormone. (Straight T4 such as Synthroid may not be ideal). If your temperature rises higher than 98.4 on arising, you may be on too much thyroid.
Since many who suffer with sluggish thyroid actually have autoimmune Hashimoto’s, you MUST run antibody blood work to check. Convince your doctor to do this, or run the tests yourself through HealthCheckUSA or DirectLabs. ZRT Labs also has a Blood Spot test you can order affordably through CanaryClub.org or other web providers. Treating Hashimoto’s is different than treating “low thyroid”. One may be a stress related issue, mercury toxicity, an inability to convert T4 to T3, or an iodine deficiency. The other is an immune problem, often caused, in part, by gluten antibodies attacking the thyroid.
The adrenals and the hypothalamus interact with the thyroid, so it is important to do salivary testing of the adrenals (including progesterone and estrogen levels), and to take a look at your stress levels. The hypothalamus is the boss of the hormonal system, and it becomes fatigued with poor sleep, excess exercise, worry and fear. Ultimately, handling your stressors and removing all gluten and high-starch foods from your diet may be the best ways to address most endocrine problems. (Eating proteins, fats and vegetables as your primary Paleo Diet foods helps too. See my Diet For Human Beings DVD). But many will require thyroid prescriptions too, perhaps for only a year or less while addressing other issues. Some may require it forever if the thyroid is indeed “broken” and unable to produce hormone – that’s “Primary Hypothyroidism”, as opposed to “Secondary Hypothyroidism” which is more common.
Saliva testing for cortisol and the sex hormones should be done near Day 21 of your cycle if you still have one. Many women have a high estrogen to progesterone ratio. This affects the thyroid too, so fixing the adrenals, reducing estrogen with supplements such as DIM, and adding SMALL doses of Bio-Identical progesterone vaginally or on the labia will help fix the thyroid too. Stop the Thyroid Madness has excellent info on adrenals, tests, herbs and much more. Listen to our 12/05/12 radio show and check out the website at www.stopthethyroidmadness.com.
In our online store, we also sell two great supplements that support the thyroid. Our Thyroid Metabolism Plus Iodine (TMI) contains hard-to-find natural iodine sources plus nutrients for the thyroid while our Gf thyroid builds and balances the thyroid gland without stimulating it and supports it’s natural function. Learn more about TMI here or Gf Thyroid here.