Thyroid Blood Tests to Diagnose a Thyroid or Hormone Imbalance

A healthy thyroid produces mostly T4 and just a little T3 [1], so the most important thyroid blood test is the total T4, because that indicates whether there is even enough thyroid hormone to work with.  Free T4 (FT4) can be artificially elevated from certain drugs like aspirin, diuretics, or heparin, so it is important … Read more

Thyroid Lab Results are Affected by the Time of Your Last Dose

T3 containing medications (such as desiccated thyroid or Cytomel) cause a peak in Free T3 levels a few hours after ingestion (42% within the first 4 hours), and then a decline until the next dose. [1]  Even T4 medications like Synthroid or levothyroxine cause a small bump in thyroid levels a few hours after a dose (16% … Read more

Thyroid Reference Ranges are too Broad; What is Healthy / Optimal?

Thyroid reference ranges are misleadingly broad, and many are told they are “fine” (when they are actually hypothyroid), simply because they’re within the reference range.  My research indicates that most people in good health have values in the upper half of the range for Total T4 and Free T3.  Free T4 should be mid-range or … Read more

TSH Levels Fluctuate and often do not Reflect Thyroid Levels

TSH fluctuates

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels are used by American endocrinologists to diagnose and treat thyroid problems.  The following is from the first paragraph of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist Medical Guidelines: The sensitive thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin) assay has become the single best screening test for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, and in most … Read more

Thyroid Hormone Medications: T4, T3, or Desiccated (T4 + T3)

NDT contains rT3

Three different types of thyroid medications restore thyroid hormone levels in hypothyroid patients, and each has pros and cons. Levothyroxine or synthetic T4 is the Standard of Care that endocrinologists have been taught to prescribe.  Synthroid is the oldest brand name, and generics are also available for very little cost.  Tirosint is a fairly new … Read more

Thyroid Hormone Requires Iron, Cortisol, Selenium, Iodine

Iron Deficiency Anemia Low iron, or more specifically, low ferritin, is one of the most overlooked causes of low thyroid function. [1]  Ferritin is the stored form of iron that is used by the cells and a better measure of available iron levels than serum iron.  Iron is a component of multiple enzymes involved with … Read more

Adrenal Fatigue or Low Cortisol: Hydrocortisone (HC) Side Effects

Adrenal fatigue, adrenal insufficiency, adrenal dysfunction, or hypoadrenia is a common co-existing problem for those who’ve been hypothyroid for years.  Adrenal fatigue is the term most commonly used by patients, though the medical profession does not recognize it and it has no insurance billing code.  When thyroid levels are low, the adrenals (a small gland … Read more

Asthma, Eczema, Allergies, Hives, and Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)

beware of yellow #5 food color

My asthma, eczema, allergies, and hives have greatly decreased in severity since I’ve gotten to a more optimal dose of thyroid hormone, and eliminated yellow #5 food color from my diet.  I have Graves’ disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid condition, so by definition, my immune system is dysfunctional.  Insufficient thyroid hormone is a stress … Read more

Cancer, Depression, and Hair Loss Correlate with Low Thyroid Levels

Cancer, depression, asthma, hair loss, vertigo, high blood pressure, eczema, infertility, hives, paranoia, hypoglycemia, hearing loss, and high cholesterol can all be caused by low thyroid levels.  But the connection to the thyroid is often overlooked because Western medicine has separated each body system into a specialty, so a cardiologist is seen for heart problems, … Read more

High Altitude Sickness: Headache, Insomnia, and Hypothyroid?

High altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a cluster of symptoms that affect people who ascend too rapidly to higher elevations, usually above 8000 feet (2500 meters).  Many who plan a vacation to a high altitude ski area like Colorado end up with the typical symptoms of headache, insomnia, faster heart rate, and … Read more