May 6, 2015
While speaking with new patients, I often hear phrases that clue me in to the possibility that this is another undiagnosed low thyroid case. 20 million Americans are now affected by thyroid disorders and 1 in 8 women will develop one in their lifetime. Despite this, many doctors dismiss patient’s complaints because the routine lab tests say they are “normal”. There is a real problem- more than half of all thyroid cases are undiagnosed! Incomplete, limited blood panels combined with unreliable lab ranges miss a significant percentage of these cases each year. If you find yourself saying any of the following, I suggest getting a comprehensive thyroid checkup.
The thyroid produces hormones that direct the energy production and metabolism of every cell in the body. Think of these hormones like the gas in your car. When optimal levels are being released, the body will run smoothly, efficiently and at the right speed. Too little (hypothyroidism) will cause the body to slow down creating problems. Fatigue and exhaustion are common symptoms of low thyroid function. If left untreated, before you know it, you will be out of gas!
Thyroid hormone is a driving force behind metabolism for every cell in the body. A deficiency can lead to slower metabolism and very often weight gain without a change in diet. Women will tell me they gained 10 or 15 pounds “out of the blue” and no matter what they do, they can’t take it off.
Frequently patients are prescribed medications to help with symptoms like mood swings, paralyzing anxiety, deep depression and social phobias. Unfortunately, many of these patients are actually suffering from an undiagnosed low thyroid. With proper thyroid treatment, we often see a complete resolution of these types of symptoms without a need for anti-depressants.
Women often complain of typical low thyroid symptoms like puffy dry eyes, extremely dry skin, hair loss and an overall feeling of illness, aches and low energy. Patients of all ages explain their symptoms and then say, “I feel really old all of a sudden” or “I don’t fee like me”. Our outer body can give us information about its inner workings. If we pay attention to the signs, it’s not very difficult to read between the lines to see what’s really going on.
Hormones and reproductive cycles are often hit hard by low thyroid function. Very heavy or skipped menstrual periods are commonly reported. Many women also have difficulty getting pregnant or suffer miscarriages once they do. Luckily, with proper diagnosis and treatment, the systems of the body can rebalance restoring regular function. Sound like you or someone you know? Even if routine tests have come back normal we urge you to check again. Not all blood tests are created equal and getting the right blood test means getting the right treatment.
In our office we run a test called the TRH Stimulation Test….the most effective thyroid diagnostic tool available today. Proper thyroid evaluation is the first step to healing. I have found the most accurate test to be the TRH stimulation, which far exceeds the capacity of routine blood tests. In many cases, it is able to detect low thyroid function years before the other testing methods could pick it up. Patients are able to get needed treatment earlier and dosage can be closely fine tuned using this method. In addition, I recommend a comprehensive thyroid panel which should include blood levels of TSH, free T3 and T4, total T3 and T4, Reverse T3 and antibody levels that go up with Hashimoto’s disease (the most common cause of low thyroid function today) TPOAb and TgAb.
Getting the appropriate tests from a thyroid specialist in NYC is the important first step to effective treatment and healing. Don’t ignore those “throw-away” statements which are often disregarded but are a sign that there may be a problem. Get your thyroid levels tested and start feeling better now.