Check Thyroid Levels With Advanced Diagnostic Thyroid Test

If you’ve ever wondered if your thyroid could be the source of your health issues, you’re not alone. Many patients with thyroid symptoms are dismissed in traditional medicine, because their lab values don’t fit within the narrow diagnostic criteria established by standard thyroid panels.

Many of these patients suffering from patterns of thyroid dysfunction that don’t show up on standard lab tests end up going unvalidated and undiagnosed.

Your thyroid is the small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. It may be tiny, but it plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being.

Often overlooked in traditional medicine, the thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate your metabolism, growth, and development.

Understanding the importance of a healthy thyroid is key to leading a balanced and thriving life.

The thyroid directly impacts many aspects of your life, especially your metabolism. An excess of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) over-stimulates the body, resulting in a slew of undesirable symptoms, including a racing heart, anxiousness, and weight loss. This is less commonly seen in patients.

More frequently, we find hypothyroidism from an advanced diagnostic thyroid test. Low levels of thyroid hormone may result in a host of medical problems including:

  • Weight gain
  • Poor energy
  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Impaired glucose metabolism
  • Depression and psychiatric disorders
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Infertility and reproductive disorders
  • Pregnancy complications and more.

Because thyroid disease can affect many systems of the body, patients should talk to their integrative provider about symptoms and thyroid regulation as soon as they suspect something is wrong.

Advanced Diagnostic Thyroid Testing

Our thyroid blood panel is a comprehensive set of blood tests that assesses the functioning of the thyroid gland. The blood panel consists of several tests that measure different aspects of thyroid hormone production and regulation to give us a complete picture of the thyroid. The key components of a thyroid blood panel typically include:

1. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test: TSH, produced by the pituitary gland, stimulates the thyroid to produce and release thyroid hormones. This test measures the amount of TSH to evaluate how well the thyroid is functioning.

2. Free thyroxine (T4) test: T4 is the primary hormone produced by the thyroid gland. This test measures the level of unbound (free) T4, which reflects the amount of hormone available for the body’s use.

3. Triiodothyronine (T3) test: T3 is another thyroid hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism. This test measures the level of T3 hormone in the blood.

4. Reverse T3 (rT3) test: rT3 is a diagnostic tool used to measure the levels of reverse triiodothyronine hormone in the blood. Sometimes a small portion of T4 is converted into rT3 instead of being converted into the active form of T3. Reverse T3 is considered an inactive form of thyroid hormone and does not have the same physiological effects as regular T3.

The reverse T3 test is typically ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism but other thyroid hormone levels, such as T3 and T4, appear to be within the normal range.

It is also used to evaluate thyroid function in people with certain underlying conditions, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease.

Testing rT3 gives integrative providers a more comprehensive look at the whole thyroid, and how it is functioning.

5. Thyroid antibodies: In certain thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, the immune system may produce antibodies that attack the thyroid. Tests for thyroid antibodies, such as thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) or thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb), can help diagnose autoimmune thyroid diseases.

6. Thyroglobulin test: Thyroglobulin is a protein produced by the thyroid gland, and this test measures its level in the blood. It is primarily used as a tumor marker for monitoring patients who have undergone thyroid cancer treatment.

These blood tests collectively provide information about the function, regulation, and potential dysfunction of the thyroid gland. They help in diagnosing conditions like hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid function), autoimmune thyroid diseases, and thyroid cancer, or monitoring treatment progress for certain thyroid disorders.

Factors That Impact The Thyroid

Stress: Cortisol, the stress hormone, may also interfere with thyroid hormone production leading to all kinds of imbalances in your body.

Leaky Gut: If you have increased intestinal permeability or “leaky gut syndrome”, your gut wall allows undigested food particles to escape into your bloodstream leading to chronic inflammation, a compromised immune system, and potential autoimmune disease.

Toxins: Exposure to harmful chemicals—in particular, the ones used in plastic may cause thyroid issues. Heavy metals are another big risk factor.

Infections: Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus), mumps and the flu virus have all been linked to thyroid problems. These viruses can stay dormant in your body for years and then flare up when you are under great stress.

Food sensitivities and inflammatory foods: Inflammatory foods and foods that you are sensitive to may lead to further inflammation and disease in your body. Gluten sensitivity, for example, may lead to the overproduction of antibodies, which may end up attacking your own body, including your thyroid gland.

Autoimmune conditions: If you already have another autoimmune condition, then you are 10 times more likely to develop another one, including autoimmune thyroid disease.

Integrative Strategies For Improving Your Thyroid Function

Repair Your Gut: Support your gut with a fiber-rich and nutrient-dense diet. Eat plenty of probiotic-rich foods, and take probiotic supplements to support your gut flora. Visit a functional medicine doctor to identify problems that may be compromising your gut health.

Clean Up Your Diet: Remove inflammatory foods, such as refined sugar, refined vegetable oils, processed foods, unhealthy fats, gluten, conventional dairy, and any foods to which you may be sensitive. Instead, eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, such as greens, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and clean protein.

Lower Toxicity: Our modern world is full of toxins that create inflammation and disease in your body. Minimize toxic exposure by using organic and natural cleaning and body products, reducing the use of plastics, avoiding smoking and second-hand smoke and spending time in nature.

Identify Infections: There may be infections lying dormant in your body ready to activate an autoimmune thyroid condition under stressful circumstances. It is important that you work with a functional medicine doctor to identify hidden infections and develop a plan to fight them naturally.

Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise supports your immune system and overall well-being. Aim to exercise 20 to 30 minutes five times a week and to move your body regularly. Get up and stretch at work. Go for a walk during lunch. Play outdoors with your kids or pets.

Relieve Stress: Managing your stress levels is essential for a healthy immune system. Avoid stress as much as possible. Learn skills that help you to react to stressful situations more effectively. Engage in relaxing activities, including yoga, meditation, journaling, breathwork, and nature walks.

Sleep Plenty: Getting regular quality sleep is essential for your overall well-being. Make sure to sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. Support your sleep cycle by having a regular bedtime. Develop a relaxing night-time routine that works for you to calm your mind and ease your body before bed. Meditation, journaling, light stretching, and a cup of a calming tea are great ideas.

The importance of your thyroid to overall health cannot be understated. From regulating metabolism and growth to influencing mood, heart health, and body temperature, a well-functioning thyroid is vital for an optimal and balanced life.

Make sure to prioritize your thyroid health through healthy lifestyle choices, regular medical check-ups, and maintaining a positive mindset.

Keri Sutton - RN, MSN, ANP-C, AGPCNP-BC

Keri is a Nurse Practitioner and founder at Kare Health & Wellness. Keri's pursuit of personal answers to her own health issues landed her in the top of Functional Medicine. As she utilized functional Medicine to get her own health and life back, she made it her life's work to bring this empowering form of healthcare to as many people as she can.

About Us

Our mission is to create a safe environment for our patients to share their story and be empowered to take control of their health.  We constantly challenge patients to think differently about their health. We never find contentment in simply being disease free. We want to help patients optimize their vitality of life so that they can strive for things that they thought were unattainable.

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