What Doctors Tell You About Thyroid Treatment

doctor and chart

It's a common scenario: you suspect that you might have a thyroid problem. You may have a family history of thyroid or autoimmune issues. You're feeling tired, frazzled, you're gaining weight, losing hair, and just aren't yourself. So you make an appointment with your physician, and you the doctor to run tests to check your thyroid.

Your doctor may say "I can tell you don't have a thyroid problem just by looking at you.

You don't need a thyroid blood test." (If the doctor says this, it's time for a new thyroid doctor!) Or, if the doctor says, "Who's the doctor here?" it's also time for a new doctor!

But if your doctor is reasonable, he or she will agree to test your thyroid.

And here's where the lie begins.

Because most doctors will run only one blood test -- the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test, also known as TSH -- to evaluate your thyroid function, and to make a diagnosis.

One major problem is, the TSH test measures a pituitary hormone, it does not measure the actual thyroid hormones circulating in your bloodstream, delivering oxygen and energy to your cells, tissues, glands and organs.

Another problem is that doctors don't even agree as to what TSH test results actually demonstrate a thyroid problem.

Some doctors believe that any result within the reference range -- usually from around .50 to 4.5 -- means that your thyroid is "normal." Others feel that the actual healthy TSH levels are less than 3.0, or even less than 2.0.


So here's The Big Thyoid Lie: You get a call, or a postcard, or see the doctor for a followup, and are told, "your thyroid levels are normal/your test was fine."

THE BIG THYROID LIE: "Your thyroid levels are normal!"

With some doctors, that means that you could have a TSH level of 4.49, a long family history of thyroid problems, and you are experiencing every single thyroid symptom on the list...but based on a pituitary test result, your doctor says that "your thyroid is healthy and normal."

The truth is, your thyroid could be far from healthy and normal.

Why "Normal TSH" May Be a Lie

There are a number of reasons why being told your TSH test result is "normal" could be far from the truth:

What Should You Do?

There are some key things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim of the "Big Thyroid Lie!"

  1. If you can, insist on not only a TSH test, but a Free T4, Free T3, and TPO Antibodies test to start.
  1. Don't accept a phone call, post card, or letter that simply says "your thyroid test was normal." Ask for a copy of the actual test results for your files.
  2. If you've already had a TSH test and been told it's "normal," ask for the actual test result, and the reference range.
  3. If you've already had a TSH test and been told it's "normal," ask for a Free T4, Free T3, and TPO antibodies test to evaluate actual circulating thyroid hormones, and autoimmunity.
  4. ALWAYS ask for the actual test results, and the reference ranges for those tests.
  5. Understand the difference between the reference range, and what is optimal for good health.
  1. Finally, be sure that you are up to speed on the different thyroid tests, what they measure, and what results really mean.

Learn More About Thyroid Testing and Diagnosis

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