Functional Medicine Thyroid Testing: It’s More Than TSH
Functional Medicine Thyroid Testing
Thyroid Testing: It’s More Than TSH
Thyroid hormones are essential for proper brain development and function. They help regulate body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle strength, and mental alertness. In addition, thyroid hormones play a role in regulating energy production and metabolism.
Thyroid testing (TSH, T4, T3) is a common way for healthcare professionals to check how well your thyroid is working and whether there are issues of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) present in the body.
Because the symptoms of thyroid imbalance can overlap with symptoms of other conditions, additional tests may be recommended simultaneously to get the most accurate picture of health. This is how functional medicine practitioners find the root cause of illness and help your body restore balance and health.
Along with thyroid imbalance, we may recommend evaluating your body’s vitamin D levels, zinc, hormone imbalance or estrogen (dominance), selenium, metabolic syndrome indicators (combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity in the body), cortisol, C-Reactive Protein, B12, Digestive Absorption, and androgen imbalance.
A complete health picture can provide a detailed roadmap to problem areas that may be causing your symptoms that are often overlooked with a thyroid test panel on its own.
What Thyroid Symptoms?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located just above the collarbone, in the lower front of the neck. It is responsible for making hormones that control the body’s metabolism, ensuring the working of several vital bodily processes like energy generation and mood regulation, and, most importantly, informing the body’s cells on how much energy to use daily.
Because your thyroid affects many processes in your body, a Thyroid Imbalance can cause a variety of symptoms to varying degrees:
- anxiety, heart palpitations
- unexplained weight loss or gain
- dry skin
- cold hands and feet
- muscle weakness
- thinning hair
Thyroid and associated testing not only assists professionals with the diagnosis of thyroid disorders but also helps them monitor the impact of any ongoing treatment.
Being aware of the functioning of your thyroid is vital for many reasons. But first, let’s look at what exactly the test involves, why you would need to take it, and what typical steps are taken after testing.
What is a Thyroid Test?
A standard thyroid panel is inclusive of testing for three hormones: TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), T4 (thyroxine), and T3 (triiodothyronine). A healthy functioning thyroid needs a balanced level of each of these three hormones.
The thyroid panel is a blood test to measure these hormones and is readily available and widely used by healthcare professionals everywhere, including at our office.
Along with thyroid deficiency, we generally check vitamin D levels, estrogen dominance, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity), hormone imbalance, and androgen imbalance to get a complete picture. Additional testing based on your evaluation and your symptoms may be recommended.
Functional Medicine testing is a simple way to get to know your body better. First, it helps you understand your overall health and wellness. Then, we can use these results to change your diet, lifestyle, and exercise routine to help improve your health. It’s not just about measuring testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and insulin; it’s about looking at all these hormones together. The goal is to see if any imbalances may contribute to your health or weight loss struggles.
Testing is a great way to understand why you may feel so good or bad and what you can do to improve things.
If you suffer from Low Energy, depression or Low Mood, Weight gain, Puffiness, Depression, Brain Fog anxiety, Low Libido, weight gain in your hips and thighs, increase in belly fat, loss of lean muscle, unexplained food cravings, unexplained weight gain. Hormone testing, along with thyroid testing, may be recommended for you by our functional medicine team.
Alternatively, there are saliva diagnostics for thyroid testing, which can additionally measure the circulating levels of free hormones in the body, likely responsible for symptoms related to excessive or deficient hormone levels.
It is advisable to share information about medications you may be taking with your functional medicine practitioner, such as birth control pills, because they can influence the test results.
Included in our standard investigative thyroid panel includes: testing your vitamin d levels, estrogen dominance (estrogen and progesterone), insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, H1ba1c, blood sugar, cortisol, Androgen Imbalance, and Testosterone | DHEA
Why Would You Need the Investigative Thyroid Test?
If you want to get to the root cause of your symptoms and start feeling better.
What Next Steps Should You Take?
The testing options are recommended based on your situation and may include blood and saliva testing.
It may seem daunting, but you’ll finally have the information you need to make a health plan that will work for you instead of guessing about your health. We will be with you, from testing to potential diagnosis and treatment.
Support allows patients to draft an actionable plan to rebuild robust health.
Many functional medicine tools, such as dietary changes, lifestyle medications, and supplements, have been studied with clinical evidence for improved outcomes of hormone imbalance-related conditions.
If you are concerned about your health, we encourage you to get it checked out by a healthcare professional.
If you live in the Chicago area, we offer Free Consultations to see if Functional Medicine is right for you.