Often an overlooked and under diagnosed condition in women in particular is subclinical hypothyroidism. Subclinical means that your TSH level, a marker that the brain is recognizing thyroid hormones in the blood, is within normal range. Your primary care provider often will run your TSH level to observe if there is any clinical hypothyroidism, meaning that there is low levels of available thyroid hormones in the blood that would require a prescription of a thyroid medication either natural or synthetic. When just a TSH level is checked it equates to just lightly turning the keys to the first click in a car and the lights come on. The computer recognizes the key and can start the sequence it needs to get ready to start the engine, ie. lights turn on and all the dashboard warning lights kick up.
The patient leaves frustrated because they are experiencing low thyroid symptoms: fatigue, hair loss, low energy, inability to lose weight, cold sensations along with some symptoms not always thought of as hypothyroidism: depression, memory issues, constipation menstrual cycle changes, infertility and high cholesterol levels. They are often told “See your TSH is normal. There is nothing wrong with you.” This is incorrect and equates to the “let’s just look at you, you look fine” way of figuring out the answer to the equation.
A full panel of thyroid function needs to be run to determine what is happening and why you feel the way you do. A full panel consists of Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, Total T3, TSH, Thyroid antibodies and TPO antibodies. When these tests are run we get a near full picture of what is happening with the thyroid gland, brain and in the body. We typically find out why you feel the way you do is caused by one of two changes in the thyroid metabolism: 1) Low T3 production (meaning you are not converting enough T4 to active T3) and 2) Higher levels of Reverse T3 which is very similar to T3 but acts as a plug guard and stops T3 from getting to the cells to do what it is designed to do.
You need to be active in your health care. Ask your doctor to run these tests. We can run them also so make an appointment to find out WHY you feel the way you do.