Five Reasons You Can't Get Your Thyroid Problem Diagnosed

Many thyroid patients write to ask why it can be so incredibly hard to get diagnosed. "It shouldn't have to be this difficult," Annette R. recently wrote to me. Annette saw four doctors before one was actually willing to test her thyroid. Why does it end up being so tough for so many patients? A few things to think about...

1. Your doctor doesn't know about the recommended TSH guidelines. Back in late 2002, a fairly dramatic change to the TSH "normal range" was recommended.

This means that millions of people with TSH levels between 3.0 and 6.0 may be told that they have "normal" TSH levels -- and it's not true. Your doctor may be one of the ones who doesn't know -- or doesn't want to follow the new guidelines!

2. Your doctor failed to test your antibodies. Some practitioners routinely do not test thyroid antibodies -- which can evaluate for autoimmune thyroid disease -- in addition to TSH. They refuse to recognize that even when TSH is normal, elevated thyroid antibodies may cause symptoms and require treatment.

3. You didn't get a complete thyroid evaluation. Did your doctor do a complete clinical examination of your thyroid, including feeling for lumps and checking your reflexes? Did your doctor run the full range of thyroid blood tests -- not just TSH? If not, he or she can easily miss a thyroid diagnosis.

4. It's just time for a new doctor. Sometimes, it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new doctor.

You may be struggling to get an appointment or a callback, you can't get test results, the doctor's office has lost your files, or you're dealing with other frustrations. These are just a few signs that you need a new doctor.

5. You didn't get your thyroid tests done at the right time of day. The time of day you have your thyroid tests done can affect the results -- enough that you may be told your thyroid is normal -- when it's not.

Unfortunately, this is not something most doctors know, much less tell their patients. What are the guidelines?

Photo: Clipart.com

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