Let’s play an “imagine game” for a moment.
Let’s say you had been suffering from symptoms that included: fatigue, chills, hair loss, cold feet and hands, brain fog, depression, constipation, nervousness, mood swings, loss of appetite, anxiety attacks, weight gain, irregular heart rate, low energy, and high blood pressure.
So you go to your doctor and after a complete workup including bloodwork, you’re told there’s nothing wrong.
Oh, and probably are given meds for the blood pressure, depression and anxiety and are told to go on a diet.
But you’re still suffering, so you get frustrated and go back to the doctor…and are again told everything came back normal (or maybe it’s all in your head)…..
You’ve just gotten a glimpse into the world of undiagnosed hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
And it’s far more common than you think.
Currently over 20 million Americans have an issue with their thyroids, with underactive thyroid being far more common than overactive.
Since thyroid hormones are used by every single one of the 30 trillion cells in your body, having hypothyroidism can affect you from head to toe with a myriad of symptoms like I mentioned above.
But why wouldn’t my doctor pick up on it?
The reason hypothyroidism is so vastly undiagnosed 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 exact moment that you happen to have your blood drawn.
But hormone levels are constantly changing as your body requires! So a snapshot test like the TSH won’t always give a complete picture.
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- It begins with your blood being drawn to examine baseline thyroid and pituitary hormones.
2- Then you are given an injection of a tiny amount 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 extraordinarily effective at detecting a sluggish thyroid that might not show up on a TSH test.
But 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” TSH test.
So, many doctors have never even 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 standard TSH test, ask for these thyroid 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
Ways to counteract hypothyroidism
If you are dealing with a sluggish thyroid, here are some ways to help it bounce back—and help you feel a whole lot better FAST:
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!
And 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)—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). Natural thyroid hormones have been a Godsend for many people with hypothyroidism.
If your doctor is unfamiliar with natural thyroid hormones, ask him to research them, or find a doctor who is familiar with them.
Support thyroid health with your diet
Make sure you’re geeting enough healthy fats (since your body needs fats to make hormones). Good choices include fatty fish, beef, chicken, eggs, real butter and coconut oil.
At the same time, avoid processed and fast foods, 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.
Limit your exposure to fluoride and mercury
Fluoride and mercury are both linked to thyroid disease, so here are ways 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.
- Use filtered water for drinking and bathing.
- 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 in any fillings instead of silver amalgam and replace existing amalgam fillings.
The following medications have been shown to impair thyroid functioning:
- Dopamine agonists (Mirapex, Parlodel, Requip) commonly 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 any type of medication that can affect your thyroid, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
See what a difference it can make in how you feel when you take safe, natural measures to support strong thyroid (and overall) health!
To your health,