Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment – Functional Testing
The accurate diagnosis of your thyroid function is imperative if you want to lead a thoroughly healthy life. Having a fulfilling life starts with your health, everything else follows. So how do you find out what’s really going on?
When you don’t feel well, you go to your health professional and explain your symptoms to them. They often ask some questions and then run some blood tests. For other conditions this is usually a reasonably accurate summary of your health picture, however, this is not the case with thyroid diagnosis! Relying on inaccurate testing procedures is a massive problem for thyroid conditions, and it means that the majority of patients with low thyroid function are misdiagnosed and told they are fine, and leave their appointments feeling frustrated and disheartened.
It’s really important to get thoroughly screened. The thyroid gland is affected by so many things and without exploring all of them it can be really tricky to see clearly what is going on.
The current blood testing methods simply do not tell the whole story.
What the TSH test is missing
The TSH test is a blood test that is considered the gold standard for measuring thyroid function… but testing this alone, often, cannot give the full picture
75% of your thyroid hormone is stored in your skin, muscle and brain, so right from the get-go a blood test on it’s own simply isn’t going to get the whole picture. Another issue with the TSH test is that it is only able to measure the amount of thyroid hormone available in your blood, not how they’re functioning. You might get a healthy or ‘normal’ reading because there is ample thyroid hormone available, but if these hormones are being prevented from doing their jobs, you could still be experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The mere presence of thyroid hormone isn’t enough, we need to look at how active they are.
Confusing references ranges
The reference range for TSH is different around the globe because it cannot be decided where they should be! In 1971, in his speech at the Medical Society’s Transactions Dr. R.I.S. Bayliss, a famous Endocrinologist (one of the most renowned endocrinologists in the USA on blood testing) was asked after many decades of treating thyroid conditions how he could tell when a patient had adequate thyroid replacement.
“I am often asked how the correct dose of thyroxine is determined. The answer is clinically by the patient’s pulse rate, his sense of wellbeing, the texture of his skin, his tolerance of cold, his bowel function, and the speed with which his deep tendon reflexes relax. Is thyroid not the hormone capable of raising the constitution and well-being of the patient? Anyone can be brought up to the top of their constitutional capabilities when tested adequately for thyroid hormone. This would only be done by clinical assessment, not blood tests; there is no relation between the signs and symptoms of low thyroid disease, the TSH, or the other related blood tests”.
Accurate diagnosis means a complete clinical assessment using all of the following:
1. ALL the thyroid blood work (specifically Free T3, Free T4, TSH, reverse T3, SHBG and the thyroid antibodies)
2. 24 hour Urinary Iodine Load Test to establish whether or not you have enough iodine. The thyroid cannot work at all without the right amount of iodine!
3. Thyroflex test (reflex test). This tests the speed of your reflexes and can be correlated with how well your thyroid is working.
4. Basal Body Temperature readings. Your resting temperature, measured upon waking and pre-movement, should be 36.5 Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Anything under or over 36.5 indicates low or high thyroid function.
5. Nutritional excesses or deficiencies can affect production, conversion and action of thyroid hormones and lead to detoxification channels being blocked.
6. Other hormones (Estrogens, Progesterone, DHEA, Melatonin and Testosterone) to see if they are impacting thyroid function at cellular level
7. Cortisol levels to see if stress is a causative factor in thyroid dysfunction
8. Food intolerances to see if they are contributing to weight gain or thyroid imbalance (dysbiosis in the gut can cause a drop in T3 production by 20%)
9. Inflammatory markers – to see if inflammation is causing a problem.
10. Blood sugar profile to assess insulin resistance – a byproduct of thyroid dysfunction that needs to be corrected for healthy weight.
11. Heavy metals to see if toxicity is blocking thyroid hormone activity at the cellular level.
12. In-depth assessment and elicitation of presenting symptoms. The body will tell a skilled physician what is wrong, by careful evaluation of the symptom picture. With comprehensive testing the puzzle can be carefully put together and assessed.
“I had seen lots of doctors and been to every specialist under the sun and was always told that my blood tests were normal and that there was nothing wrong with me. I kept saying, why am I so tired then, why can’t I lose any weight even though I eat like a rabbit? It wasn’t until I had the thyroflex test done that I realized the severity of my condition. It was the first time anyone had told me what was going on. My thyroid function was terrible. I cannot begin to tell you the relief I felt when they told me! I now know WHY I have been feeling the way I have and I am now starting to feel the best I have ever felt in my life thanks to The Lucy Rose Clinic and the treatments they have been giving me.” – Julie (Sydney)