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A Sluggish Thyroid May Go Undetected

Perhaps you’re feeling tired most days along with a bit of the blues nagging at you for no reason. You might feel as though you’re going through your daily routines in a sort of foggy state—just going through the motions with no vitality or stamina. Maybe you’re also either gaining weight without eating much more than usual or, if you are trying to lose weight, those extra pounds just won’t come off.

underactive thyroidIf you are experiencing these and other related symptoms, you will probably want to see your physician for a checkup. All of the above signs of fatigue, depression, weight gain, and other symptoms will likely lead your doctor to screen you for a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. When you suffer from hypothyroidism, it means that your thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormone to stabilize your metabolism.

Thyroid Testing

Your thyroid gland is located in your neck, just below your voice box. It affects your entire body’s metabolism. The thyroid creates hormones that influence how fast your body functions and how it utilizes energy to control your body’s temperature, how quickly it burns calories, and even regulates your heartbeat.

If you are experiencing symptoms that point to hypothyroidism, your doctor will conduct blood tests to help diagnose or rule out hypothyroidism. He or she will conduct a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test and/or a T4 (thyroxine) test to determine if these hormone levels are within a normal range.

Most of the time, these tests come back showing that everything is normal, with the resulting diagnosis for your symptoms found to be due to either stress or depression. Yet just these two thyroid tests alone may not be enough to completely rule out a sluggish thyroid.

Other Symptoms Associated With Sluggish Thyroid

Aside from the better-known signs of an underactive thyroid that include physical and mental fatigue, weight gain, lifeless hair, dry skin, and cold hands and feet, there are other conditions that are not often linked to having a sluggish thyroid. The conditions that can actually be related to slow thyroid function include: high cholesterol levels, a sluggish libido, infertility, fluid retention, skin conditions, and many other issues.

When you realize that the thyroid plays a huge role in just about every bodily process, it’s easy to understand how this tiny gland can be at the root of many conditions that often go undiagnosed. When TSH and T4 tests are found to be within a normal range, instead of looking more deeply into a problem with the thyroid, your physician may tell you there is nothing physically wrong with you without conducting further thyroid tests. Yet you know you don’t feel well and something is very wrong.

How The Thyroid Works

Your thyroid produces two important hormones, T3 and T4, which control each cell in the body. Your pituitary gland produces TRH (thyroid-releasing hormone) while your hypothalamus creates TSH. If your T3 and T4 hormones are not perfectly balanced and working properly, your body will react in a negative way.

The T4 is a stored hormone that is, by itself, inactive. Your liver works to convert this hormone into an active T3 hormone. Your working T3 hormones inform your cells’ nuclei to boost your metabolism by burning fat which, in turn, lowers your cholesterol, aids in hair growth, and keeps your body lean. However, imbalances in your nutritional intake, exposure to toxins, allergens, infections, and stress can all disrupt this delicate hormonal balance.

Further Diagnostic Testing May Be the Key

Diagnosing hypothyroidism can be difficult if the symptomatic clues aren’t put together to reveal the entire picture. A TSH and thyroxine test may not be enough to detect a sluggish thyroid as being at the root of your problems.

There are thyroid tests that most doctors neglect to order. These are called Reverse T3 and Free T3/Free T4 tests.

Reverse T3 is created from the T4 hormone, just as the active or free form of T3 is made. The problem is that Reverse T3 is inactive, and too much of it blocks the activity of the T3 active form of the hormone. Reverse T3 is produced to protect your metabolism from going haywire during times of intense stress, such when you are suffering from a chronic illness. If your body is under stress and your Free T3 are low, with high Reverse T3 levels, yet your T4 and TSH levels are normal, you may be suffering from something called Euthyroid Sick Syndrome which essentially is the same as experiencing low thyroid.

Ideally, your Reverse T3 levels should be low. Reverse T3 and Free T3/Free T4 tests can easily explain why you are experiencing the following symptoms when other thyroid tests come back normal:

• weight gain with no explanation
• intense fatigue, mental and physical
• hypothyroidism symptoms
• aches and pains
• depression or anxiety

If you have symptoms that don’t seem related to the above, yet your TSH tests come out fine, consider getting your Reverse T3 levels checked to diagnose a sluggish thyroid problem. It’s a simple lab test that can be conducted in conjunction with a full thyroid panel that includes TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and antibody levels for a complete picture of your thyroid health.

If you are experiencing symptoms that your physician initially relates to hypothyroidism but finds nothing wrong and you live or are visiting the San Jose Bay Area in CA, you don’t have to stop there. There can be more going on with you that can’t be explained away with a diagnosis of depression or stress. There are alternative tests and treatment options available to first determine if your thyroid is underactive, and next to help get to the source of your problem. Call Rejuvé in Saratoga, CA at 408-740-5320 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tang.


Resource – https://doublewoodsupplements.com/pages/understanding-the-mysterious-thyroid-gland-and-diseases

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