Subclinical hypothyroidism is not only commonly ignored, it is also grossly under diagnosed. It is easy to dismiss tiredness, feeling sick and fat to our modern lifestyle of having too much to do and too little time. In turn, this affects sleep, mood and can cause anxiety.
There are many reasons why subclinical hypothyroidism is under diagnosed. The symptoms are common with many other causes – tiredness, weight gain, anxiety, dry skin and hair, cold hands and feet, poor memory, low sex drive, infertility, hoarse voice, etc.
The measure of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is very commonly used by doctors to measure the “normality” of thyroid function. Unfortunately, through running functional testing for thyroid profile for many of our clients in clinic has revealed that very often, a patient’s TSH is normal but the free T3 is not normal or low. The free T3 is the active thyroid hormone and if that is low, any or a combination of the above symptoms can show.
What can you do to make sure you have the correct diagnosis?
If your symptoms have been persistent, you need to order the right tests.
- You need to know your TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase, Antithyroglobulin, TSH receptor antibodies.
- Vitamin D status
It is also important to make sure that you have adequate amount of trace minerals iodine, selenium and zinc to allow conversion of thyroid hormones to function adequately.
If you have high exposure to heavy metals, which can show up in mercury dental amalgams, pesticides, exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke (both active and passive smokers) you will “crowd out” your important thyroid nutrients. Removing these sources of heavy metals and having adequate minerals is the first step to help chaperone your thyroid nutrients into your cells.