It’s entirely possible that you have been tested for thyroid function by your doctor and told that your thyroid is functioning well, your results are fine, nothing to worry about here and not much else is said. You still don’t feel great but your doctor has said the results were ok, maybe it’s all in your head? Or perhaps your results were wrong?
How is this possible?
The system for testing thyroid function works like this – Your doctor will initially only test your levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), the hormone that regulates your thyroid function. They won’t however, test for Thyroxine (T4) or Triidothyrine (T3) UNLESS your TSH is out of the recommended range. The reason for this? Medicare won’t allow it. To minimise costs, Medicare’s strict guidelines are to test for TSH first and only test the other thyroid hormones if there is an issue with the TSH results.
The problem with this? TSH is only one small piece of the thyroid function puzzle and does not give an accurate reflection of how your thyroid is working. It doesn’t tell us how well the TSH is being converted to its active form nor does it tell us how well the body is using it! Additionally, the “normal” TSH range is generally between 0.5-4.5 (allowing for some variation with different pathology labs), which is quite broad and does not account for the early stages of thyroid dysfunction. For example: physically, you could have all the symptoms of low thyroid function – only to be told by your doctor your results are “within range” and your thyroid function appears “normal”.
From a naturopathic perspective, an optimal TSH range is between 1-2.5. Anything greater suggests that your thyroid may be under-functioning and not normal at all, anything lower than this means your thyroid is in overdrive. This can lead to a broad range of problems, so of which I have covered in previous posts.
What you should do if you believe your thyroid may be functioning optimally?
If your symptoms suggest thyroid dysfunction and your concerned about your TSH levels, your Naturopath can refer you for further testing to determine if you have underlying thyroid dysfunction. Measuring your T3 and T4 thyroid levels is the only way to know for sure and will provide great insight into the health of your thyroid, unfortunately these levels cannot be tested under the Medicare system. Don’t worry though, it’s a relative inexpensive test and it is money well spent to determine if you need help with your thyroid.
Concerned about your thyroid or eager to know if your symptoms could be related to thyroid dysfunction? Why not chat to one of our experience Herb Bar Naturopaths? They offer FREE 10minute mini consultations and can advise you if further investigation of your symptoms is required. They can also recommend a huge range of natural herbs and supplements along with dietary and lifestyle advice to get you feeling your best again. Simply call 02 4961 4075 or pop in to the clinic!
Do you want to find out how natural health can help treat your thyroid condition and discover some of the super foods to eat and diet principles to follow to help balance your immune system?
Click here to access our free guide – Natural Remedies for Thyroid Health.