Are you suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or do you suspect that you may have a thyroid problem?
If so, you are not alone. Thyroid conditions are the number one endocrine disorders in the US… and many of those go undiagnosed.
There are many reasons that one can have thyroid problems and many times these problems are not recognized by doctors. In fact, there are over 20 different thyroid patterns that are not related to the thyroid tissue itself – but rather a defect in the thyroid physiology or metabolism.
Below Are 4 Causes of Thyroid Problems
1. Hashimoto’s Disease – While Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid dysfunction – 80-90% of hypothyroidism is actually an autoimmune problem (Hashimoto’s Disease). Many doctors do not test for thyroid antibodies that can reveal Hashimoto’s Disease leaving the patient undiagnosed.
2. T4 not Converting to T3 – Another reason one can develop thyroid symptoms is when the liver is not able to convert T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (an active hormone). Instead the body converts T4 to reverse T3 to conserve energy. This can be caused by stress, inflammation, liver problems, and/or lack of selenium. This is why T3 and rT3 are important markers to have tested.
3. Thyroid Hormone Resistance – It is common for people to have thyroid symptoms that are resistant to the thyroid hormones. Because of stress (increasing cortisol levels), inflammation, increased homocysteine levels, etc., T3 (active thyroid hormones) are not allowed to enter the cells to create a normal healthy response. These people have thyroid symptoms but their thyroid tests can be normal!
4. Hypothalamus and pituitary glands under functioning – These glands located in the brain can be affected by stress, inflammation, and deficiency in serotonin and /or dopamine (brain chemicals) levels and can cause hypothyroidism symptoms. A diagnosis of this pattern can be determined by looking at lab markers, hypothyroid symptoms, serotonin and dopamine deficiency symptoms, and other causes.
All these thyroid patterns are typically dismissed or overlooked in traditional healthcare systems. Whereas most traditional doctors will order 1-2 (TSH and T4) markers for their thyroid panel, testing for too few markers may miss the core issue of the problem.
In our Raleigh office, we will usually order a comprehensive thyroid panel that can contain up to 9-10 different thyroid markers; (TSH, Total T4, free T4, Total T3, free T3, reverse T3, T3 uptake, 2-3 thyroid antibodies).
By doing the correct testing, one can better determine what is causing the thyroid symptoms and get onto helping the patient. Many times autoimmune thyroid conditions and the aforementioned causes of thyroid symptoms can be addressed naturally with diet, specific supplements, and lifestyle modifications.