“My Blood Test Says My Thyroid is Normal. I Don’t FEEL NORMAL!”
Most people either have a Thyroid issue, have been diagnosed with a “disease” that affects their Thyroid, or at least feel like they do because they experience the symptoms related to Abnormal Thyroid function. Your Thyroid numbers could be “within range” and you could still have an inefficient Thyroid.
Where Can It Go Wrong?
First, let’s look at how it works. Your Thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that affect Every Function in the Body. It produces Three Types of Hormones: T3, T4, and T2. The number represents the number of molecules of Iodine.
Thyroid hormones regulate Metabolism and Body Weight by controlling the burning of the Fat for Energy and heat. Also, they are required for growth and development in children. They signal the production of virtually ALL Growth Factors in the body including Skeletal Tissue Growth, the development of Red Blood cells, Nerve Growth factor and Epidermal growth factor.
Almost 90 percent of the hormone produced by your thyroid is in the form of T4, the INACTIVE form. Your liver then converts the T4 into T3, the ACTIVE form, which then effects the Metabolism. So in other words, by taking a T4 Thyroid Medication, you are not necessarily helping the ACTIVE thyroid hormone and improving Metabolism. Furthermore, if your Liver is suffering or clogged, it is reasonable to believe that it can’t do its job converting T4 into usable T3 and improving the Metabolism.
But, My Blood Test Says I Am Normal?
On the blood test, your doctor tests your TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This is produced by the Pituitary Gland to tell your Thyroid to release T4. If you have a high TSH, it is assumed that your Pituitary is “screaming” at your Thyroid to release more T4 (Hypothyroid). If it is low, it is assuming that your thyroid is producing too much T4 (Hyperthyroid). However, this doesn’t address how much T4 is actually being converted into USABLE T3, the Active Thyroid hormone.
By the way, is any doctor testing your Iodine levels (Remember, Iodine is the number represented in T4 and T3)? Hmmm…..
According to Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, “The key thing is… doctors are always told that TSH is the test that gives us a yes or no answer. And, in fact, I think that’s fundamentally wrong. The pituitary TSH is controlled not just by how much T4 and T3 is in circulation, but T4 is getting converted to T3 at the pituitary level. Excess T3 generated at the pituitary level can falsely suppress TSH”.
In other words, metabolism isn’t a simple equation of the TSH and T4. Many people whose test results are dismissed as normal could be suffering from symptoms of an under active thyroid.
What Causes the Thyroid Hormones to Not Work Correctly?
- Exposure to Heavy Metals, including Aluminum, BPA, and Mercury. Reverse T3 is stimulated by toxic metals, and they can outnumber the regular T3. So you are functionally hypothyroid even if your TSHs and free T3s happen to be normal.
- Deficiency of Nutrients
- Estrogen — High levels of Estrogen from Birth control or Estrogenic foods like Soy
- Bromine (Pesticides), Chlorine, and Fluoride (disrupts conversion of T4 to T3 and mimics TSH). They compete with Iodine and cause Iodine deficiency.
- Poor Diet — High in Unhealthy fats (canola oil, fried foods), refined sugars, and refined grains
- Compromised GUT Flora or Bacteria, Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut has been connected to most Auto-Immune Diseases, including Hashimoto’s and Grave’s Disease.
- Medications like steroids, barbiturates, cholesterol lowering drugs, and beta blockers.
- Chronic Stress — Cortisol, the stress hormone depresses Thyroid hormone. This is great if you are experiencing short term stress and acute high levels of Cortisol, but chronic stress and long term high levels of Cortisol will suppress thyroid function. Under chronic stress, the Digestive system, Reproductive system, and Endocrine system organs begin to break down from lack of nutrients and blood flow. Adrenals become exhausted, followed by the pancreas, Thyroid, ovaries, parathyroid, pineal, pituitary and finally the Hypothalamus. In other words, the whole system starts to shut down. The thyroid is at the mercy of cortisol.
TOXICITY + DEFICIENCY= DIS-EASE
(Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Graves’ Disease, Hashimotos, Autoimmune Disorder, Cancer)
Two Auto-Immune Diseases that effect the thyroid are Grave’s Disease and Hashimotos. Grave’s Disease is characterized by Hyperthyroidism. Hashimotos is where your immune system attacks your thyroid, and the related Inflammation often leads to an under-active thyroid gland, known as Hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
Symptoms of Grave’s Disease are:
- Anxiety and Irritability
- Fine tremor of your hands or fingers
- Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
- Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in Menstrual Cycles
- Erectile Dysfunction or reduced Libido
- Bulging eyes
- Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease are:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- Puffy face, Brittle Nails and Hair Loss
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Memory Lapses
How do you get your Thyroid back in Balance Naturally?
Click here to read my previous article on things you can do to naturally balance the thyroid for optimal functioning.
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.