A Dirty Little Secret about Thyroid testing
Updated: Sep 18
Have you had your thyroid tested? You probably will say "Yes", but if you look at your test results, you will see something called TSH and perhaps nothing else. What if I told you that TSH is a pituitary hormone and not a thyroid hormone? What? Why is that used as a screening test for the thryoid. Because that is how it's done. Welcome to medicine. Things have been done a certain way for so long that they are just "done that way."
I feel like thyroid testing is one of those things. The traditional test is called a TSH with Reflex. That means that if the TSH is out of the medical range (which is very broad - you can read this blog for more on that) then they will run the other tests. If the TSH is considered "in range" that's the end of the test. I feel like that's cheating. How can you honestly tell someone their thyroid looks good if all you see is a pituitary hormone called TSH. I don't think you can. I think insurance companies can save a lot of money this way, but I think people should have the whole story.
That is why I look at 8 markers to evaluate a thyroid. This way, I will know exactly what is going on. I also look at the values through a functional lens with ranges that are designed to look at optimal health and where the values should be for someone to be healthy.
I just thought you should have this information on thyroid testing. I speak to people everyday that have been told their thyroid was checked and was "fine", but when we dig in, we see that there are actually some issues that need to be addressed for them to feel good again.
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To your health,