Why Do I Still Have Symptoms If My Hypothyroid Test Results Are Normal?
If you’re still having symptoms despite your hypothyroid test results coming back normal, you are not alone. Many conventional doctors rely solely on a patient’s TSH levels to determine how well their thyroid is functioning. If their TSH values are well within the normal range, patients are told that their thyroid function is just fine, despite the symptoms that continue to plague them. This leaves most patients feeling hopeless, frustrated, and unsure how to proceed.
Unfortunately, many conventional doctors don’t realize that “normal” does not mean “optimal.” When a doctor only checks your TSH levels, they are not gathering a clear and full picture of your thyroid health. TSH is just one of several crucial thyroid markers that should be taken into consideration to determine how well your thyroid is working.
If you’ve been left feeling frustrated with symptoms despite your hypothyroid test results coming back normal, it is time to look beyond your TSH values.
Normal Does Not Mean Optimal
When a patient visits a conventional doctor with hypothyroid symptoms, they will be sent for a lab test to check their TSH levels. While TSH levels are a valuable thyroid marker, they do not tell the whole story. There are several other markers that should be tested as well for a comprehensive thyroid analysis.
Not only are most conventional tests insufficient, but the “normal” ranges are far from optimal. The “normal” range is determined by collecting samples from a pool of patients and finding the average of their results. With chronic diseases running rampant in the United States, conventional medicine is basing its normal lab results on samples collected from patients who are stressed, anxious, and chronically ill. If the lab values we consider normal are gathered from patients who are unwell, then it’s no wonder why so many patients still experience symptoms despite having normal hypothyroid test results.
Additional Thyroid Tests
TSH alone won’t tell you everything you need to know about your thyroid. Most conventional doctors don’t test other important thyroid markers such as Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3. These markers can be tested alongside TSH levels with a simple blood test. A more comprehensive thyroid panel will give you a better idea of how well your thyroid is functioning and identify areas that could use improvement.
First, let’s talk about the standard thyroid test. Most conventional doctors test your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels to gather insight about your thyroid health. Your pituitary gland sends TSH to your thyroid to let it know how much thyroid hormone it should produce and release into your bloodstream. Doctors use this test because TSH levels are a good indicator of overall thyroid health, but they don’t tell the entire story.
Unfortunately, most conventional doctors won’t order additional tests until your TSH levels are abnormal. In many cases, TSH levels are the last of the thyroid markers to indicate a problem, so waiting until those values are subpar means passing up countless opportunities to turn your health around before clinical hypothyroidism kicks in.
Detecting thyroid dysfunction early allows you to make changes and take initiative to begin treatment before your thyroid is irreparably damaged. If you suspect that your thyroid is not functioning properly, the best course of action is to work with a functional medicine doctor who will order comprehensive tests to detect thyroid dysfunction in its early stages.
Your body creates thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies to help your body fight the thyroid peroxidase enzyme. Elevated TPO antibody levels usually indicate that you have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. When you have Hashimoto’s, your immune system mistakes your thyroid as a foreign invader and generates antibodies to attack and destroy the intruder. Over time, this destruction of the thyroid leads to hypothyroidism.
Your body also creates thyroglobulin antibodies in response to a stored version of thyroid hormone. When thyroglobulin antibodies are elevated, this is an indicator that your thyroid is not producing sufficient amounts of hormone.
As you can see, getting a clear picture of your thyroid function goes far beyond your TSH levels. When conventional doctors neglect the other essential thyroid markers, they are doing their patients a major disservice. If you are frustrated that you are still experiencing symptoms despite your hypothyroid test results coming back normal, call Novis Health in Salt Lake today to schedule a consultation!