Has your thyroid and adrenal disease been missed or mistreated? There are an estimated 60,000,000+ people today with undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Discover what it takes to get properly tested.
Due to many factors, some beyond our control, we don’t always recognize that we may have a problem with our thyroid or adrenal glands. And doctors often miss the diagnosis of hypothyroidism; testing really needs to be done in a specific way in order to determine if a low performing thyroid is affecting you.
Today we will talk about five different factors that are important in testing your thyroid – different things you need to know about and really think about to evaluate your thyroid properly. This will be part one of two articles on testing for thyroid.
- Complete thyroid blood testing. A TSH is not adequate to decide if you have thyroid disease. You really must know not only your free T3, free T4, TSH, your thyroid antibodies, which include TPO and ATG, and you have to have reverse T3 to see if you have inactive thyroid production. Any one of those may be enough to indicate that you have thyroid disease. So if you don’t have the whole panel, your physician isn’t doing enough to evaluate your thyroid.
- Complete thyroid exam. Thyroid disease can be picked up on your blood work, but also many suggestions from your physical exam will suggest you have thyroid problems. You have to examine the skin for dryness, flakiness, itching, hair thinning, nails can be pitted, eyebrows, lateral brow thinning is a common problem, the thyroid gland itself can show nodularity, enlargement, sometimes this is subtle, sometimes very severe. And pretibial edema or just some mild pitting or denting of the legs when you press on them with your thumb and also the reflexes of the lower extremities can affect the and be an indication of thyroid problems.
- Thyroid questionnaire. This tool may be a significant help in indicating if you have thyroid problems, and will be provided after these first two articles on testing. So, you really need to go through this one by one, check off the ones that seem relevant to you, and take this to a thyroid, open minded physician, who can evaluate all your symptoms. So we have looked at your labs, your physical findings, and now your symptoms all by themselves may be a strong indicator.
- Body temperature. Checking your basal body temperature is very important in evaluating if you have thyroid concerns, since the thyroid gland sets the metabolic rate. So to check you thyroid, you test in the morning for your temperature, letting you evaluate how your temperature is compared to normal, which should be 98.6, or maybe minus a degree, but if it is less than 97.6, than you really have significance for possible thyroid issues. Many people run 96 or 95 and their doctors tell them, “that’s just the way you are, your temperature runs low.” But usually there is a reason for it and most often it’s because your thyroid isn’t completely functioning.
- Food allergy testing. This is something critical if there is any concern with thyroid disease and especially if you have elevated thyroid antibodies, but food allergies are so common today that probably everyone should have them done. And this has to be blood work with IGG or IGA blood tests, the skin test or IGE blood tests that an allergist might do, or a pulmonary specialist are going to have nothing to do with whether your food allergies are significant related to your thyroid. Those are going to be related to peanut allergy or asthma problems. But you have to specifically ask for and get IG or IGA blood tests, especially for gluten, which is related to wheat, and casein, which is a protein in dairy.
That’s it for today – 5 tips on proper testing for thyroid and adrenal disease. Please stay tuned for more testing tips in article number two to follow shortly.
Thank-you for your attention,
Diane Culik, MD