I advise all of my clients to specify a full thyroid panel of tests when they get a checkup. Those of us with autoimmune diseases and those with degenerative diseases such as cancer, obesity and other potentially serious diseases often have undetected thyroid issues. In addition to those with health issues, men and women who are 40 and older, whether they have diseases or not, should request full thyroid panel testing when getting a physical.
I have vitiligo — an autoimmune disease that is often seen as a symptom of a malfunctioning thyroid. Medical doctors were slow to recognize the correlation between thyroid health and vitiligo. I was one advocate in the 1990s who encouraged fellow vitiligo sufferers to take my research to their doctors and demand, if they had to, thyroid testing. Back then, most medical doctors thought of vitiligo as only a “cosmetic” disease. Unfortunately, many still do.
What I’ve found over the years is, many people like myself, have thyroid problems that go undetected when our doctors test for TSH 3 & 4, without more thorough testing. I’ve has symptoms of hypo-thyroidism most of my life, but not once has it ever shown up in TSH 3 & TSH4 tests. Ever.
I had a physical 2 weeks ago. I requested the full panel of thyroid tests. The doctor questioned why I wanted it, asking if I had problems in the past. Though my thyroid always tested within “normal” range, I have known I was hypo-thyroid pretty much all of my life based on my lifelong vitiligo and other symptoms such as low body temperature. So, I had to persuade this doctor to do what she should do for every patient — fully check my thyroid for dysfunction.
When my test results came in the mail this past Monday, my TSH 3 and TSH 4 showed a perfectly normal thyroid range; however, the tests that I had to persuade the doctor to do showed a different story. It showed that I was bordering hypothyroid/Hashimoto’s disease. These results are very typical of those of us with vitiligo and/or other autoimmune diseases. It is also typical of many sufferers of other diseases, and for many whose thyroid tests in normal range in the standard TSH 3 & TSH 4 tests.
Undetected thyroid problems are epidemic in the USA, and a large undetected part of the problems of obesity, diabetes and cancers, as many natural health professionals such as myself believe. In the USA, the average person gets little to no iodine in their diet, which is necessary to nourish the thyroid. Bread eaters are blocking absorption of the iodine that may occasionally get in their iodine-poor standard American diets. Supplementing iodine is mandatory for health, thanks to removal of iodine from, and the addition of bromine to bread products.
Since my 20’s when I uncovered my own hypo-thyroidism/Hashimoto’s tendency via symptoms and by performing the Basal Temperature Test, I’ve supplemented to improve and nourish my thyroid. My current regimen includes Iodoral iodine, plus raw thyroid glandular supplements to nourish my thyroid to function properly. My body usually signals me when my regimen needs tweaking. I encourage my clients to find a qualified endocrinologist in addition to learning how to monitor their own thyroids via the Basal Temperature test. Once clients learn the symptoms of thyroid problems and learn to listen to their bodies, they often can tell when something is off.
Since many doctors do not go beyond the TSH 3 & 4 thyroid tests, I encourage you to take a proactive role in your health care. Insist on full panel thyroid tests. If I had not insisted on the Thyroid Antibodies test, my bloodwork would’ve missed a very important fact — I have a thyroid problem! Since the thyroid controls every metabolic process in my body, my entire state of health — both physical and mental — were at stake.
As stated earlier, I’ve regulated my thyroid since my early 20s and I can sense when my thyroid is off. I knew I had to up my supplements based on how I felt and how my body was holding onto weight. I listen to my body and I know when I either need to lower or raise my supplements, which changes with age, stress levels, lifestyle changes, etc.
A simple basal temperature thermometer is helpful to gauge your own thyroid health, with the Basal Temperature Test. Shake the thermometer down at night, and check your armpit temperature as soon as you awaken, without stirring much, for 5 consecutive days. If your temperature is consistently low, consider further testing, because it signals thyroid issues, despite TSH 3 and 4 results. Find a qualified endocrinologist who is open to your concerns and proactive stance regarding your health when asking for full panel thyroid testing. It could save your health, and ultimately, your life.