All Things Thyroid

 Tell me if this scenario resonates with you, as it's one I hear all the time.
You go into your doctor because you're feeling "off". Maybe it's because you're tired, gaining weight, or you just know something is wrong in your body.
Your doctor does some basic blood work, reviews the results, sees they are within reference range, and tells you the dreaded “You’re fine.” 
Does this story sound familiar to you? 
If so, it’s time for you to learn to be your own health advocate. Your doctor needs to be pulling a complete wellness panel on you, not just basic labs.
You can download the complete thyroid labs e-book here
As a sub-set to this e-book, here's a brief description of the basic thyroid labs. 
The first lab that everyone is familiar with is thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). However, testing this alone will not help you fully understand what’s going on with your body.
What is TSH?
TSH is a pituitary hormone located in the brain. It tells the thyroid when your body needs more hormone, known as T4. 
The most important lab is Free T4. You want to know how much of this hormone is unbound, or free. The unbound hormone is what will be used by the cells to help you feel better.
Free T4 gets released from the thyroid, but it has to be converted to Free T3 in order to connect to your cell receptors. This conversion happens mostly in the liver and the digestive system. T4 is dependent on these systems in order to be activated. 
When your Free T4 goes to your liver, it produces Reverse T3, which is held in reserve for future use. But when your body is under stress, your liver will begin to decrease production of Free T3 and increase production of Reverse T3.
Why does this matter?
If you have more Reverse T3 than Free T3, it will compete with Free T3 in getting to the cell. This is where you start to feel bad because your cells do not have adequate levels of Free T3. 
Lastly, thyroid antibodies in your digestive system can attack the thyroid. It’s important to test for these antibodies to see if that is causing an autoimmune reaction in your body.
Check out my video here to learn more about thyroid antibodies, and to hear me discuss in more detail all the labs mentioned in this post, check out my video on YouTube here
My goal here is to educate you on labs so that you feel empowered to advocate for yourself. And if your doctor isn't willing to fully assess your thyroid health via blood work, it may be time to fire him and find someone who will.