Wondering About Your Thyroid Status? Here are 3 Important Considerations…
Your thyroid hormone is the main metabolism hormone in your body. Interacting on the cellular level with all cells in the body, it’s responsible for regulating body systems like temperature, growth and development of tissues as well as ensuring adequate functioning of all the various body systems.
There is no question that assessing for thyroid should be part of the annual physical exam assessment. Especially if you have not been feeling like yourself lately, testing for your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) should be indicated as part of the routine healthcare assessment practice.
But is TSH all that we need to know? Not quite. In some cases, the more information we have – the better.
Why TSH oftentimes does not provide enough information – the benefits of knowing the complete picture
If you’ve been told that your blood work for your thyroid is ‘normal’ or ‘within range’, yet you do not feel ‘normal’ or feel like you are ‘within range’, this is when we must investigate further.
Having just your TSH marker tested on blood work, may not actually be enough, for two reasons. The first being, that since the range is so broad, it can make a sub-optimal level appear normal. Secondly, we won’t know for sure the status of your T3, T4 or thyroid antibodies, unless we actually test them.
Usually TSH is a great indicator for thyroid functionality, however, we do like to test the T3 and T4 status for the complete picture. Especially if you are someone who has been told that your TSH is fine, but you still present with thyroid symptoms.
Your thyroid dysfunction may be making your anxiety worse
This connection can be easily forgotten. With an under-active thyroid concern being more common and talked about, we must not forget the symptoms experienced with an over-active thyroid. This can happen when the thyroid is being overstimulated by an autoimmune process. We also cannot forget the impact the cortisol / adrenal system on the thyroid. This connection is so strong that when we see dysfunction with the adrenals, more often that not, we’re also seeing some level of dysfunction with the thyroid, and visa versa.
As well, with our patients on thyroid medication, asking about any changes with anxiety or heart palpitations are routine monitoring questions we’re asking, to ensure you are at the right dosage of your thyroid medication.
We can improve your quality of life. Here are some symptoms not to ignore
Since the role of the thyroid is vast – so can the symptom presentations be, among our patients. Here are some common concerns;
- you have difficulty losing or maintaining your weight, despite exercising and eating well,
- you’ve experienced an intolerance to cold, or often feel chilled while others around you are comfortable,
- maybe you’ve noticed yourself in a brain fog, or found yourself struggling to concentrate at times,
- or you’re constipated, despite dietary and lifestyle adjustments to correct for this.
In addition, when your thyroid slows down, as in the case of hypothyroidism, your libido may as well. We can see thyroid dysfunction directly impacting sex hormones, that can stall libido greatly, resulting in both decreased lubrication and arousal, as well as ability to orgasm. The main message here, when it comes to taking a look at your symptoms, is to seek further assessment when you’re feeling a little ‘off’.
If you’re ready to get going with a plan, ask us about getting a proper assessment, including the full thyroid panel on blood work. Book your strategy call today.
The Naturopathic Doctors at Health Over All