January 2013 Test Results
*Quick note about the “normal” ranges: these ranges are established using people with thyroid problems. That means that these ranges printed on your labs are slightly skewed. A good doctor should take into consideration how you feel along with your lab results, and resist the urge to view the given ranges as black and white. If your labs are “within range” but you still feel like poo, then they obviously need to keep digging.
You don’t have to exhibit all of my symptoms in order for there to be a problem with your thyroid. I’m not trying to turn you all into hypochondriacs, but it’s important to point out that some people only get brain fog and cold feet., whereas others might get the whole kitten caboodle. If you suspect something is wrong, something probably is. Heed those warning signals that your gut is throwing off!
Now I have to make sure to get in at least 100 grams of carbs per day (which is still admittedly lower than I’d like it to be) and I eat as early as possible. If you believe that you have a thyroid issue, I’d like to encourage you to make sure you are getting in plenty of carbohydrate and put the Intermittent Fasting on hold for a little while.
My girl Jen Petrosino is working on an article for EliteFTS that will dive into the correlation between T3 and glucose, so when it’s up, I’ll make sure to link it to this post. It’s out of my scope, and she can explain it better than I can, but suffice it to say, eat your carbs. Eat your carbs, eat your carbs, eat. your. damn. carbs!
** Note: I’m not giving you a pass to have a carb-free-for-all. What I’m getting at here is that carbohydrate, when consumed in a responsible manner, is wonderful!
Finding a Doctor
Because of MDs trepidation of extensive testing (and ignorance to most thyroid issues in general) I recommend that you seek out a good Naturopath. NDs are more typically more than happy to run these extensive tests. If you aren’t sure whether they do or not, call them and ask them before you make an appointment.
If you want to run an extensive thyroid panel, I recommend that you test for the following: TSH, Total T3, Free T3, Free T4, Total T4, reverse T3, and even thyroid antibodies to rule out the possibility of Hashimoto’s Disease.
Warning: If a doctor doesn’t want to run all of these, you simply need to find somebody else. Because even if you can convince them to run them, they obviously won’t know how to treat it if anything does turn up.
Remember that doctor’s work for us. It is their job to listen to our symptoms and run the appropriate tests. If you find yourself begging and pleading for them to run some simple tests that don’t cause any harm, then get a new doctor. Straight up. I could walk into my doctor’s office tomorrow and ask her to test me for Rabies and she’d do it. She’d probably think I’m nuts, but she’d order the test. That is their job, and don’t let them lead you into thinking otherwise. It’s drawing blood, for hell’s sake – you aren’t asking them to amputate your friggin’ arm and then reattach it!
(I have joked about cutting out the middle man and just purchasing my own needles and centrifuge because it’s gotten to be such a circus to get testing done.)
I have solid recommendations for excellent Naturopaths in Utah, Kentucky, Las Vegas, and Baltimore! If you are in those areas, just let me know and I’ll pass on the info!
Also, check out this site for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians for a directory to find a doctor near you. Anybody can call themselves a Naturopath, so it’s important that they are licensed through the AANP!
Lots of Treatment Options
The thyroid is a tricky little bugger and it affects nearly everything in your body. Because this situation is so incredibly multi-faceted, I have discovered that every doctor treats it differently; most of their approaches aren’t necessarily wrong, they are just different. On top of doctors all treating thyroid problems differently, every individual will react differently to certain treatments. Some people do better using a natural approach, while some people only respond to synthetic drugs.
Also, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. If it offends your doctor, then oh well. You’ve got to do what is best for you, and if they are a good doctor, they will be respectful of your seeking out a fresh set of eyes to look at the situation. Some doctors get stuck in a rut, continuously treating a condition one way and one way only. It can be extremely helpful to get with somebody else and ask them what they think. Remember, different treatments work differently for everybody. You’ve got to find your sweet spot, and don’t give up or settle until you do.
“But it’s expensive!”
Oh, trust me. I know. After a year of this mess, gallons of drawn blood, and over $6,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses, I know just how expensive it can be. However, we are talking about your health. Running extensive thyroid labs typically cost around $200 out of pocket. Yes, it sucks. Sorry. You may have to give up your morning Starbucks and back down on your Netflix rentals for awhile, but it’s important. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but it’s pretty rare that a wonky thyroid will eventually just self-regulate on it’s own without any intervention at all. Get it checked! Get it checked, get it checked, get it checked.