For detailed articles describing my approach to Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune disease, please explore these blog articles.
Why Do I Feel So Badly When My Thyroid Tests Are Normal?
The key to finding good balance with medications that treat thyroid disease is the use of medications that are appropriate for your physiology.
Kathy is a patient of mine who had a history of fluctuating Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH). It would go as high as 5 and as low as .15. Conventional medicine would consider the former normal and a low TSH like .15 as (high) hyperthyroid disease. However, when I measured her for a full thyroid panel, her T4 was consistently optimal, but her T3 (the active form of thyroid) was low-normal. This situation was explained by her high reverse T3. She had a conversion problem: too much of her T4 was converting to reverse (inactive) T3 and not to the regular (active) T3.
Over time, we experimented with different thyroid medications, including levothyroxine, glandular thyroid, and cytomel. By individualizing her prescriptions, we were able to increase her T3 to optimal levels, decrease her reverse T3, and Kathy lost weight and increased her energy.
A typical thyroid test from a conventional doctor consists of only TSH. The problem is that TSH is not a direct measurement of thyroid function. TSH is the signal given to your thyroid gland to make more hormone.
Theoretically, if your thyroid is sluggish, your pituitary will take note and send a higher amount of TSH down to your thyroid. This situation is similar to your pituitary raising it’s voice and yelling “MAKE MORE THYROID!” However, for lots of reasons, your pituitary might not realize your thyroid hormones are low. Therefore the TSH measurement that your doctor relies on may not be enough.
(Are you the type of person that loves to know more? Consider my Individualized Online Hashimoto’s Course. There’s an entire unit devoted to thyroid function and treatment and I created some cool graphics to help explain the details.)
Thyroid Disease and Thyroid Treatment near Burlington
To optimally measure thyroid function you at least need:
- reverse T3
- TPO Antibody
- Anti-thryoglobulin Antibody
By measuring all of the above, you can know more about how your thyroid is dysfunctional, and a thyroid treatment can be designed for your specific condition.
- Are you having trouble converting from T4 to the active T3
- Are you not producing enough thyroid hormone overall?
- Do you have Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid Disease?
By categorizing your thyroid disease more specifically, it is possible to create a treatment that is specific to your physiology. This thyroid treatment may include one of many available thyroid medications. In my practice I use synthetic pharmaceuticals such as levothyroxine and cytomel; I use glandular products such as Nature-throid and WP-throid; I use compounded medications specifically designed for high T3 situations.
My patients in and around Burlington have access to this customized, individualized care for thyroid disease conditions so that they can feel their best without being limited by the conventions of conventional medicine.