Thyroid part 5 – essential testing

29th June 2016 - 6 minutes read

There is so many factors influencing thyroid health as you have learned in previous lessons. Unfortunately conventional medicine fails to yet understand this web-like complexity of disorders such Hashimoto’s.

Today you are going to find out how essential testing can really speed up your treatment.

How often have you found yourself in a situation where you just knew there is something not right. Your GP might have run couple of tests, usually TSH and T4 levels and according to the tests everything is just fine. How frustrating is that!

As you by now know hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are conditions that affect more than just couple of hormones. Digestive health, adrenal health, blood sugar balance, all play an important role in thyroid health and therefore more comprehensive diagnosis is necessary to determine the best route of treatment.

Let’s have a look in details which tests might be appropriate for you to consider.

TSH – This is the usual test your GP will order to determine your thyroid health. But as we already know, TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and it is actually produced by the pituitary gland in a feedback mechanism for regulating your hormones.

Free T4 – inactive hormone produced from your thyroid gland that has to be converted to the active T3 form. This is a useful test only with conjunction with T3 for a more comprehensive picture of your thyroid functionality.

Free T3 –  is your active hormone that will be used by cells in your body. It is crucial to determine whether or not your more abundant T4 is actually properly converting to this more active hormone. This test is a must.

Thyroid antibodies TPO and TgAb – these two antibodies are proteins in your immune systems that are design to identify and attack foreign antigens. A situation where these proteins or antibodies mistakenly attack your thyroid gland or enzymes necessary for conversion of T4 to T3, is what we call autoimmunity.

Androgen hormones (Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone) – hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone affect thyroxin binding globulin which transport the thyroid hormone in the blood. Too much or too little can greatly affect the levels of thyroid hormone entering the cell.

Cortisol – cortisol is an adrenal hormone that regulates stress. It greatly affects production, conversion and uptake of thyroid and other hormones. This is a very important test for anyone with thyroid disorders and high stress levels.

B12 – this B vitamin is essential for the function of your red blood cells and your nervous system. Both stress and deficiency in stomach acid can deplete vitamin B12 levels. Low B12 levels often exacerbate many of thyroid related symptoms such as fatigue or poor mental function.

Ferritin – this is your cell’s storage form of iron and better indicator of anaemia than regular iron level tests. Hypothyroid condition make it more difficult to absorb iron, and iron deficiency will exacerbate many hypothyroid symptoms.

25-hydroxyvitamin D – vitamin D is often very low in many people with thyroid issues. This fat soluble vitamin is fundamental for proper function of the immune system and deficiency is strongly connected to autoimmunity.

Comprehensive stool analysis – we all know by now that about 80% of our immune system is located in our gut, so the health of our gut is paramount to a healthy thyroid function. Stool testing can be used to check digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as a good indicator of any microbial imbalances or parasites, intestinal permeability and inflammation.

Toxic panel – halogens as fluoride, bromide, chloride and heavy metals such as mercury can interfere with thyroid gland function, causing inflammation and thyroid cell death, leading to hypothyroidism. Toxins can be measured in urine and blood.

C-reactive protein – inflammation is present in most autoimmune conditions and can perpetuate tissue damage as we see in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Glycated A1 Haemoglobin – blood sugar control plays a crucial role in hormonal health. This test reveals average blood sugar over 90 days period and provides a great indication of overall blood sugar control.

Food Allergy/Intolerance test – people with Hashimoto’s may often have one or multiple food reactivity and suffer from intestinal permeability. In this situation certain food particles can then enter the bloodstream and perpetuate the autoimmune reaction. There are different types of testing including IgG, IgA or IgE tests.

These and many more tests can be very useful in determining the underlying causes of thyroid malfunction and speed up any future treatment.

Always discuss possible and appropriate testing with your nutritional professional.

If you would like to discuss any of the tests mentioned above with me, do not hesitate to contact me here.