How would you feel if this happened to you?
Let’s say you were suffering from fatigue no matter how much you slept, you felt like you were in a fog most days and you were putting on weight without changing your diet?
So you go to the doctor and after having bloodwork, you’re told there’s nothing wrong.
Um, OK, but why do I feel this way??
After some time, your problems worsened! Eventually you started experiencing hair loss, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure.
But alas, your bloodwork STILL comes back “within normal limits.” So the doctor gives you prescriptions for hypertension and depression drugs and tells you to go on a diet.
You’ve just gotten a glimpse into the world of undiagnosed hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Current research shows that over 30 million Americans have underactive thyroid, and its prevalence increased dramatically between 2012 and 2019. Sadly, many people who have it remain undiagnosed and are left to suffer, or told it’s “normal aging” or “all in their head.”
But why would my doctor miss it?
The main reason hypothyroidism is so commonly missed lies in the fact that the standard test to assess thyroid health--the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test—frequently fails to pick up on an underactive thyroid.
The TSH test measures your blood level of thyroid related hormones at the moment that you happen to have your blood drawn.
But hormone levels are constantly changing as your body needs them! So a snapshot test like the TSH won’t always identify a problem.
When assessing thyroid health, a FAR more accurate test is the TRH Stimulation test.
The TRH Stimulation test is extremely thorough and evaluates how well your thyroid, hypothalamus and pituitary glands are all functioning and communicating together.
It’s a 3-step process as follows:
1- Your blood is drawn to examine baseline thyroid and pituitary hormones.
2- Then you are given an injection of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the pituitary to release TSH, which in turn signals your thyroid to release thyroxine, the main thyroid hormone.
3- A second blood sample is drawn 20 to 30 minutes later, and your levels are retested.
This “before and after” approach is very effective at detecting a sluggish thyroid that might not show up on a TSH test.
My doctor has never heard of it!
Unfortunately, although the TRH Stimulation test was the gold standard at one time to assess thyroid health, it was replaced by the “quicker, easier” (aka less accurate) TSH test.
So, many doctors nowadays have never heard of it.
But if you’ve been having symptoms like the ones I mentioned earlier and have been told your bloodwork is OK, I urge you to find a doctor that does the TRH Stimulation test.
And if your doctor agrees to do the test but can’t find a lab, Clinical Pathology Laboratories and Mid-America Clinical Laboratories both offer the TRH.
If you can’t get the TRH Stimulation test done, then in addition to the TSH test, ask for these tests as well to help give a more complete picture:
- Free T4 and Free T3
- Total T4 and Total T3
- Thyroid Antibody Testing
- Reverse T3
How to fight back at hypothyroidism
If you are dealing with a sluggish thyroid, here are some ways to fight back—and help you feel a whole lot better.
Exciting research has supported the fact that the herb ashwagandha can help improve thyroid function!
Although the studies may be current, the fact is, ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to help support the body’s endocrine functions and promote mental clarity and alertness.
Also important is the mineral zinc. Zinc is needed to support the conversion of T4 thyroid hormone to the more active T3 hormone, so zinc deficiency can prevent your thyroid from making enough active thyroid hormone.
You can put the power of ashwagandha and zinc to work for you with our very own Ashwa Blend Gummies!
In addition to ashwagandha and zinc, Ashwa Blend Gummies also contain Vitamin D. Since many cases of hypothyroidism are due to autoimmunity, and Vitamin D help counteract and tame the “overzealous” immune responses taking place with autoimmune conditions, this is yet another way Ashwa Blend Gummies can support optimal thyroid function.
Choose the best hormone replacement
If thyroid hormone replacement has been recommended to you, there two options:
Synthetic hormones (such as Synthroid or Tirosint)—which contains only one thyroid hormone (T4).
Natural thyroid hormones (such as Armour Thyroid)—these are made from desiccated pig thyroid glands and contain the complete range of thyroid hormones (T1, T2, T3 and T4), so they are superior to synthetic medications.
If your doctor is unfamiliar with natural thyroid hormones, ask him to research them, or find a doctor who is familiar with them.
Help your thyroid with your diet
Make sure you’re geeting enough healthy fats because your body needs fats to make hormones. Good choices include fatty fish like salmon, beef, chicken, eggs, real butter (never margarine) and coconut oil.
At the same time, avoid processed and fast foods, vegetable oils, sugars and grains as much as possible.
Also, be sure to avoid raw goitrogens—these are foods that, when eaten raw, can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb and use iodine (which is essential to normal thyroid function):
** Note that these foods are fine if COOKED because cooking inactives goitrogens.
Eliminate mercury and fluoride
Mercury and fluoride are both linked to thyroid disease, so it’s crucial to limit your exposure to these toxins:
- If you smoke, please quit. Get help if you need it.
- Use chemical-free, chlorine-free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
- Drink filtered water, being sure that whatever filtration you use removes fluoride (many don’t).
- Use fluoride-free toothpaste.
- Avoid the following types of fish that have high levels of mercury: Tuna, sea bass, marlin, pike, shark, oysters, halibut, walleye, largemouth bass, swordfish or farmed fish.
- Request that your dentist use composite materials for fillings instead of silver amalgam and replace all existing amalgam fillings.
Seek out alternatives to medications
The following medications have been shown to impair thyroid functioning:
- Dopamine agonists (Mirapex, Parlodel, Requip) used for conditions such as Parkinson's disease
- Somatostatin analogues
- Chemotherapy medicines
- Seizure control medicines such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and rifampin
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oral estrogen
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
If you use these or any type of medication that can affect your thyroid, talk to your doctor about alternatives, preferably natural alternatives.
For example, fish oil (found in our VitalMega-3) has been shown to help with pain and inflammation, and digestive enzymes (like our Digestizol Max) can eliminate heartburn by helping your body break down your foods more efficiently.
See what a world of difference it can make in how you feel when you support your precious thyroid!
To your health,