Hypothyroidism and other thyroid problems affect nearly 200 million people around the world according to recent estimates . . . and up to 50% of these people don't even know they have a thyroid problem. Likely because symptoms develop slowly and mimic other conditions.
The thyroid has the nickname of the "Great Mimicker" because a thyroid problem can cause so many different symptoms and mimic many different health conditions. Some people travel from one doctor to another trying to find answers as to why they don't feel good . . . only to eventually find out that they have a thyroid problem.
A thyroid problem is one of the most poorly diagnosed health conditions . . . often because your medical provider is ONLY doing the most basic testing of your thyroid function with a lab test called TSH. Testing TSH is important, but it can be misleading if this is your only lab test for a thyroid problem. Lots of people have a normal TSH and still have a thyroid problem with many of the same symptoms and problems as those with abnormal TSH levels.
It is also quite common to have a thyroid problem that was identified in lab testing, but now it is being poorly managed by the health provider you are working with. We've seen many people who are being told that they are on the right throid medication dose and their levels are "normal", but they still suffer from many of the symptoms of a low thyroid problem. Some patients have been on thyroid medication for years or decades . . . only to finally learn WHY their thyroid has become a problem with the more detailed lab testing we always do when checking for a thyroid problem. Again . . . the problem of this epidemic of poorly diagnosed or poorly managed thyroid problems often comes back to simply not getting a good or detailed lab testing of your thyroid function in the first place.
After 23+ years of helping people with their thyroid problems I will tell you the single most important test to see if your thyroid is the reason you are not feeling your best is a lab test called Free T3. Specifically we want to see that Free T3 is at 3.0 or higher within the labs reference range. Now there is such a thing as having T3 levels too high . . . especially when you are taking thyroid medication at the wrong dose or if you have an overactive or hyperthyroid problem, but these situation are less common and easy to identify. So if you are going to commit one thing to memory about your thyroid lab testing then remember "Free T3 at 3.0 or higher". It's easy to remember! If your Free T3 is lower than 3.0 then your thyroid is likely contributing to some of your symptoms of fatigue, slow metabolism, weight gain or the many other symptoms that can go with low thyroid function.
A little while ago I recorded a webinar called "The 6 Critical Thyroid Lab Tests" where I talk about Free T3 and some other lab tests to help you understand what is the minimum testing you need to measure your thyroid function. I've posted this video below, and I encourage you to watch this video to better educate yourself on lab testing for thryoid problems. Before watching this video you might want to do a quick questionnaire to see how many of your symptoms might be related to a possible thyroid problem, or a poorly managed thyroid problem. Here are the questions you need to answer:
This thyroid questionnaire lists symptoms and other factors most commonly found in people suffering from low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. By answering this questionnaire, your score will determine whether or not you might have low thyroid function. For the questions below that you would answer "yes" . . . simply click on the box to the right of that question to place a checkmark in that box. When you are done add up the number you've checked off and type your number into the total at the bottom.
Add up the number of symptoms you placed a checkmark after. If you checked off 4-7 symptoms then a low functioning thyroid is a possibility. If you checked off 8 or more symptoms then a low thyroid is very likely.
At Healing Choices we work quickly to find the cause of your thyroid problems, and recommend effective natural therapies to help put you back in control of your thyroid function. Here's what one of our patients had to say about the help we provide:
I was diagnosed many years ago with hypothyroidism or low thyroid function. I started on a thyroid medication prescribed by my medical doctor soon after and it did help me feel better, but only somewhat better. I've been going through the past few years of my life feeling more tired, more depressed, more aches and pains in my body, and gaining more weight. I still didn't feel like myself. I felt like I had many of the typical symptoms of a thyroid problem even though my medical doctor was telling me that my thyroid testing was normal with the medication I was taking.
I was getting very frustrated with my symptoms and how my thyroid problem was being handled . . . and then I learned of Dr. Larson through a friend who had seen him for similar problems. Dr. Larson explained that most people receive very minimal testing of their thyroid, and end up not getting diagnosed properly or end up with their thyroid poorly managed. He recommended we start with a more detailed testing of my thyroid and a more comprehensive testing of all of my body chemistry.
What I learned from his testing was that my throid medication was not working as well as it should, and that there was also some other issues found from the blood testing that were likely contributing to my fatigue and other symptoms. With Dr. Larson's help I was able to work with my medical doctor to get my medication figured out, and Dr. Larson also recommend several natural therapies to improve how my thyroid was working and fix other things in my body that were out of balance.
After following Dr. Larson's recommendations I feel better in the past few months than I have in several years. More energy, better mood, my body doesn't hurt like it used to, and I've started to lose some weight. I couldn't be happier with my decision to work with Dr. Larson. I'm starting to feel like myself again, and my friends and family tell me they can see a difference in how I look and can tell that I feel better. I'm so greatful for Dr. Larson's help. If you are having symptoms of a thyroid problem, or if you are having other health issues and simply not feeling as good as you should, I highly recommend talking with Dr. Larson. I've recommended several of my friends to him, and I wish I would have started working with him sooner!
Shannon G. ~ Maple Grove, MN
A message from our doctors:
It is unfortunately quite common to have a thyroid problem that is not diagnosed properly or poorly managed. I've seen many patients who have been on thyroid medication for years or decades, only to finally learn WHY their thyroid has become a problem with the more detailed testing I recommend. With this added information we can recommend natural therapies that are very specific to each person, and help them get their body functioning better and get them feeling better than they have in a long time. This combined with our effort to help prevent future health problems makes seeking our help an obvious solution for many people.
We've had the pleasure of helping many people througout the Twin Cities region over 20 years as doctors specializing in thyroid problems and other health conditions. We would enjoy learning about you and how we can help you and the people you care about feel better and have a body that functions better so you can enjoy more of what life has to offer you!
Please call us anytime at our office # 763-241-5436. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have over the phone, or to schedule you for an initial consultation at our Elk River office.
Your partners in Health and Happiness,Dr. Jennifer Dahlseid, DCDr. John W. Larson, DC763-241-5436www.HealingChoices.com