Without proper lab testing, doctors and patients are trying to heal hypothyroidism lacking the information that could make all the difference. Often times doctors do NOT run full thyroid testing, let alone the non-thyroid lab tests mentioned in this article that could change a patient’s life.
If you find your doctor unwilling to run these tests, one option is to order YOUR OWN lab tests without your doctor. Do you know that’s possible?! A trusted online place where you can order lab testing yourself is True Health Labs. They have comprehensive thyroid assessments that include TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, and more. The advantage of True Health Labs is that they offer one-on-one results review with one of their Functional Medicine doctors so that you understand your lab test results and next steps. Use coupon code Limited_5 for 5% off your order for Hypothyroid Mom fans.
Written by Dr. Brady Hurst, True Health Labs
If you are one of Hypothyroid Mom’s readers, you know that hypothyroidism concerns the thyroid, but it is not only about the thyroid gland. Scientific literature shows that a multitude of factors are involved in thyroid dysfunction. In this post we are going to explore five “non-thyroid” lab tests that could make all the difference in healing hypothyroidism.
Complete Thyroid Panel
Even though there are many “non-thyroid” factors listed below that alter thyroid function, the first place to start is with customary lab tests to point out major thyroid dysfunction. One of the main problems with mainstream medicine’s approach to thyroid health is the reliance on one lab test TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). This one lab test FAILS to give a full picture of thyroid health. Failure to run complete thyroid lab testing is one of the key reasons why there are hundreds of millions of undiagnosed and inadequately treated hypothyroidism patients in the world.
Here are my recommended complete thyroid panels by region and a sample report.
Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment for USA (not available in NY, NJ, and RI)
Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment Kit for Canada (this kit can also be used in the USA except in NY, helpful if you are not near a Quest draw center, reside in a rural area, or live in Canada)
Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment for Europe
Adrenal Cortisol Test
Your adrenal glands (located on top of the kidneys) perform many tasks ranging from blood pressure to immune system functions. A major hormone secreted by the adrenal glands is cortisol. There is a strong connection between cortisol function and thyroid function. If one system isn’t working the other will naturally be faulty as well.
Testing cortisol levels is vitally important as test results will tell you if abnormal cortisol production is affecting your thyroid.
Normal cortisol levels should be high in the morning then drop during the day, returning to a higher level overnight. For many with hypothyroidism, the norm of “high in the morning, low at night” might actually be low in the morning and high at night! And, this will wreak havoc on thyroid function and can cause the common problem of insomnia.
How to know if you should check your cortisol levels? Common symptoms of adrenal dysfunction include fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, headaches, migraines, anxiety, depression, weight gain, joint inflammation, gastrointestinal issues (constipation or diarrhea), tendonitis, bursitis, low libido, fibromyalgia, irritability, anger, fidgetiness, nervous, addictions, obsessiveness, frequent urination, heart disease, blood pressure problem too high, blood pressure too low, light-headedness, and dizziness upon rising.
Organic Acids Test
You can think of organic acids like this: imagine testing your car’s exhaust system to understand how well the internal components are working. Organic acids work the same way in your body. In a split second, your body goes through billions of chemical reactions. Like with every chemical reaction there are byproducts.
Poor health, including hypothyroidism, can be triggered and promoted by errors in these chemical pathways. Organic acid byproducts are dumped into the urine and can be easily measured with lab testing. If you are struggling to recover from hypothyroidism, testing for organic acids is especially important.
What’s being tested? Fatty acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, B Vitamin markers, methylation markers, neurotransmitter metabolism, antioxidant markers, detoxification indicators, bacteria, L.Acidophilus, Clostridial Species, yeast/fungus.
Vitamin D Test
Low vitamin D levels can be seen in Hashimoto’s as well as other hypothyroid states. A study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences revealed that people with thyroid issues have significantly lower vitamin D and calcium levels. This is not a surprising discovery since we already know every cell in the body is capable of using vitamin D. When there’s not sufficient vitamin D available, the entire body will suffer.
Vitamin D insufficiency (<40 ng/dl) needs to be increased to a functional level (50-70 ng/dl). Mainstream healthcare may try tell you that vitamin D levels in the low 30’s is perfectly okay. Keep in mind, however, mainstream medicine’s primary concerns are with the symptoms you develop from vitamin D deficiencies. Unfortunately, promoting our bodies’ optimal “right function” is not taught in medical schools…yet.
Since vitamin D is a hormone, it’s important that you don’t over-supplement. Like any hormone, if you are overexposed your body becomes resistant to it. A good example is insulin resistance. Too much insulin hormone = Resistance. Too much vitamin D hormone = Resistance. In my experience, levels of 50-70 ng/dl of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (Vitamin D) seem to work best for most people.
With that said, it’s important to test your vitamin D levels every two months until you reach the optimal level. Here’s my recommended vitamin D testing.
I can’t overstate how important sex hormones are for the proper function of our whole body including our thyroid system. Sex hormones are extremely powerful. In fact, most labs measure hormones in picograms (1000 times smaller than a nanogram). This means that small changes in hormone levels make big differences in function.
For women who are still menstruating, it’s not only important to make sure hormone levels are optimal but also the flow of hormones. It is critical for hormones to rise and fall at particular times during the cycle. If it doesn’t happen, this can change the way other body systems work even outside the reproductive system!
Here’s my recommended premenopausal panel (perimenopause can begin as early as 10 years before menopause) and a sample report.
For those who are postmenopausal, it’s important to reach hormone levels optimal for postmenopause. Many women take hormone replacement medication but don’t realize that those hormones (even bioidentical) can store in fat cells and eventually overexpose your body to excess hormones, potentially creating ill health.
Here are the 10 most important lab tests for men. Yes sex hormone testing is important for men too.
Last but not least, having good gut health can “make or break” the hypothyroidism state.
What is good gut health? Your city’s “award-winning” gastroenterologist may tell you that good gut health is not having an infection or your stool looking a certain way. Here are several areas I look at for good gut health:
- Immune Function
- Inflammation Status
- Levels of Good Bacteria
- Metabolic Changes
Developing a Personal Path to Health
Developing a plan to heal from hypothyroidism can be frustrating because triggers and promoters are different from person-to-person. This is why utilizing the above lab tests can be extremely useful – if not critical.
We understand the current state of the medical system can be discouraging because most mainstream practitioners don’t go beyond diagnosing to look deeper to understand what the individual’s body needs to recover. Asking practitioners to order the above tests can be frustrating when the practitioner only knows one way of dealing with hypothyroidism.
This is the primary reason we created TrueHealthLabs.com – to give people the freedom to choose lab testing that will guide their path to recovery.
We also offer one-on-one results reviews with our functional medicine doctors for all of our lab tests.
About Dr. Brady Hurst
Dr. Brady Hurst is the Clinical Director for TrueHealthLabs.com which was created to make lab testing directly available to those who are uninsured, underinsured, whose doctor refuses to order tests, and those who simply want to make their own healthcare choices.
Over the years, an overwhelming number of people are using the internet to research their important health issues. Many are stumbling onto “functional medicine lab testing”. These labs are intended to give a deeper insight on how your environment, e.g., what you eat and are exposed to, affects your short and long-term health. Some popular examples are food sensitivity testing, vitamin/mineral testing, leaky gut testing, and comprehensive heart disease prevention profiling,
TrueHealthLabs.com is a Direct Access Testing (DAT) company that provides lab tests from dozens of CLIA certified laboratories both in the USA and internationally.
Ways to use TrueHealthLabs.com:
- Ask your doctor for the list of your lab tests then order them online and save 20-80%.
- Browse the test categories for the lab tests that best fit you for the USA, Canada, Europe, and other regions.
- Do online research yourself, such as at HypothyroidMom.com, then order the necessary test(s) online.