When it comes to finding relief from a dysfunctional thyroid, proper testing is the undeniable starting point. We must fully evaluate the thyroid to get closer to the long term solution for healing.

First, we look at the lab test most doctors in your PPO or HMO, are going to be running, a standard thyroid test which usually only focuses on TSH, T4, and maybe if you’re lucky, T3.

The type of test used in this scenario is going to be determined solely by your insurance. The insurance is going to dictate what the doctor can actually run to be able to evaluate the thyroid.

Yet, when we actually take a step outside that box, we see what tests you actually need to fully evaluate the thyroid, which is more than what’s stated above.

TSH & T3/ T4 Free Forms

TSH is not produced by the thyroid, but is an indication of the pituitary function as it feeds back into the thyroid.

TSH should be the sole, gold standard of evaluating thyroid function. But, we also need to look at T4, and T3. We want to look at the actual free form. Are T3 and T4 able to float around the blood remaining unbound to anything? We want that number as well. That test will be a free T4, and then free T3 test.

TPO Antibodies

We’ll also want to identify the antibodies because many people in this country have an auto-immunity to their thyroid. It’s estimated that almost 85% of people who have hypothyroid symptoms have an autoimmune component where the immune system is actually turning on their thyroid tissue, thus creating the dysfunction.

Identifying the presence, if any, of antibodies to your thyroid tissue allows us to determine whether or not we’re dealing with an autoimmune disease, which does require a different approach to restoring healthy thyroid functions.

We’ll be testing the TPO antibodies and the thyroglobulin antibodies. If TPO results come back positive on the test, your immune system has supplied that result. Oftentimes, I get patients coming into my office who have high anti-bodies but their doctors tell them that they have nothing wrong, that they don’t have the autoimmune disease. That’s not accurate because if your body has immunity against your thyroid then yes, that is an autoimmune disease.

Just like if you have array factor, you have rheumatoid arthritis. You have to take the two antibodies and the symptoms that correlate the two to be able to give a diagnosis. We must look for these antibodies through testing.

Reverse T3 & T3 Uptake

We also want to examine reverse T3. Reverse T3 will tell us how much is actually getting converted in ratios to the actual T4 that’s getting converted to T3 in the liver as well.

The T3 uptake is also important and we must look at the free thyroxin index.

You’ll see that simply testing one or two aspects of the thyroid isn’t sufficient to give us an accurate look at how the thyroid is functioning in the body.

Looking at the health of the thyroid takes more than just the standard “insurance recommended” testing. We need to look at multiple factors to get a clear vision of the thyroid. A lack of such a comprehensive view could be the main reason why your labs come back and your doctor tells you that thyroid looks great but you still feel terrible.

Again, if you’re not getting these markers run by your doctor, you need to be asking for them or you need to find a doctor that will actually run the proper tests.

If you’d like to explore how we can heal your thyroid, starting with the appropriate testing, please fill out the form below or call us at (540) 678-1212 and let’s begin the conversation.