By Alane Archer, ND, CNC and Michelle Tuffs
Why a Thyroid Blood Test Needs to Be Much More Than a Simple TSH Test.
How can such a small gland in our body be so disruptive? It can be so overwhelming and cause your body to feel completely out of control. If the thyroid is not working right, weight loss can seem unreachable. Other symptoms linked to the thyroid are hair loss, lack of energy, brain fog, and even infertility. Unfortunately, a simple TSH test, the standard thyroid blood test, is not good enough to measure thyroid function.
In a thyroid blood test, if the TSH is above 4.5, most likely, there is Hypothyroid or a sluggish thyroid. The problems occur when a TSH test is done alone, below a 4.5, and people think their thyroid is fine. That is not always the case. I have been taught to look at the free levels of T3 and T4, along with a TSH Test. TSH may be okay, but Free T3 is low, giving you thyroid symptoms like the inability to lose weight. A TSH test reference ranges are 0-4.5, and again, this is a problem. Typical thyroid symptoms start to occur when TSH goes above 2.0. In function medicine classes, I have been taught that a TSH test coming back above a 2.0 needs natural support with the proper supplement to feel great. Plus, Free T3 levels should be around a 3.0 for the person to feel energized and focused and drop weight.
Lastly, I have to bring up thyroid antibodies and weight loss. This is another thyroid blood test issue. When thyroid antibodies are tested and high, but a TSH test is 4.5 or better, the person may be told their thyroid is okay, but again, this is not the case. If your TSH comes back in at 2.0 or lower, then yes, it is good. When you look at thyroid antibodies, if they are high, this indicates autoimmunity against the thyroid. When this happens, a specific autoimmune supportive diet needs to take place, or weight loss will not occur, and energy will never seem to return.
I learned the hard way about the link between thyroid and weight loss. After my second baby, I gained weight very suddenly even though I ate well and exercised. Many years ago, in a functional medicine class, I learned about ‘Functional’ thyroid levels versus traditional levels. And I learned the importance of Free levels of T3 and T4. I got my thyroid levels better, and the weight started to come off, and I feel amazing, and you can too.
Here are some options:
1) Order our comprehensive thyroid test – it can be run via blood draw/self pay OR you can do a blood spot home test kit
2) Consider a virtual health appt so we can help you even more.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any
Disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.