By Dr. Alexandra Mayer, Ethos Integrative Medicine
Are you experiencing the classic symptoms of a thyroid issue, such as difficulty losing weight, low energy, slow metabolism, and dry skin — but your thyroid labs are ‘normal?’ It can feel like your body is playing a trick on you!
When you know that something is ‘off,’ but the puzzle pieces aren’t fitting together, it’s necessary to dig a little deeper. A thyroid panel is more than just TSH, which tells the body to make thyroid hormones. We also want to investigate Free T3, Free T4, and TPO Antibodies.
Running the Right Thyroid Labs
Free T3 can tell us how your thyroid is regulating metabolism, energy production, and cellular function. Low levels can indicate an under-active thyroid, while high levels may suggest an overactive thyroid. Free T4 is converted into T3, so if there is not enough T4, that can impact your thyroid hormone production. Elevated TPO Antibodies may indicate an autoimmune response, where your immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid.
Other Hormones to Consider
If thyroid labs are normal, but you’re still experiencing symptoms, then we want to consider other factors at play. Changes in your adrenal function and sex hormones can disrupt the balance of your thyroid health!
When cortisol (stress hormone) is too high or low, the thyroid will dial down your metabolism to ‘protect’ the body. High progesterone can increase your T4 production, and changes in testosterone can also contribute to imbalances in the thyroid. Additionally, changes in estrogen during pregnancy or menopause can affect thyroid production, increasing the risk of hypothyroidism.
Getting Relief from Symptoms
While TSH is a crucial hormone, it is only one piece of the puzzle! Unfortunately, most thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones are often overlooked, leading to weight fluctuations, changes in metabolism, and dips in energy.
Working with a women’s hormone specialist can uncover the full picture of your thyroid health by ensuring that accurate, comprehensive labs are run, and that optimal lab values are considered when creating your individualized treatment plan!
Scan the QR code below to access our FREE report, “Why Your Labs Are Normal but You Still Feel Like Crap,” and call 480-360-0115 to schedule an appointment with our hormone specialists at Ethos Integrative Medicine!