Best Labs for Thyroid Evaluation

Assessing Your Thyroid Function

One of the biggest mistakes doctors are making is not looking at enough thyroid tests to get the big picture and the real story.

Conventional thyroid management is based on two things:

  • Measuring TSH and T4
  • Using synthetic T4 meds to bring TSH into the “normal” range

But as I have explained in other thyroid articles, that strategy can find only one type of thyroid problem (an error in production), and worse, assumes that synthetic T4 meds are the best option for everyone.

Very quickly, when a full and truly adequate thyroid evaluation is done, we can find the problems in each of the following areas.

  • Production Errors

    Something is interfering with thyroid hormone production – like Hashimoto’s disease, environmental compounds, or even issues with Serotonin and Dopamine

  • Processing Errors

    Something changes how your body handles the proper conversion of inactive thyroid hormones to active hormones after they are released into your bloodstream

  • Proteomic Errors

    This is a fancy way of saying that your thyroid hormones are not “activating: the thyroid receptors in your cells that turn everything on and make things run efficiently

With so many potential problems that can be causing your thyroid symptoms, why on earth would you settle for a thyroid devaluation that ignores the majority of issues you need to check for?

When we know, or suspect someone has a thyroid problem, we need to know which type or “error” they have – a production error, processing error and/or a proteomic/receptor activation error. And you can have more than one problem at the same time.

So, in the spirit of helping you understand your own body, here is a list of thyroid tests that absolutely need to be done if you are going to catch all the problems you need might to fix rather than just one.

  • TSH

    TSH is produced in the pituitary Gland and tells the thyroid gland to make mostly T4 hormone. But it can be messed up by stress patterns, adrenal dysfunction, inflammation as well as neurotransmitter imbalances.

  • Total T4 as well as Free T4

    T4 is the main hormone version that comes out of the thyroid gland. But it is biologically inactive and has to be converted into T3 as it circulates in your blood stream and passes into and out of your cells.

  • Total T3 as well as Free T3

    This is where the action is. T3, specifically Free T3 is THE hormone that does all the work we associate with thyroid function. But 85% of all Free T3 in your cells is made not by the thyroid gland, but by converting the T4 from your thyroid into T3 using enzymes for this very purpose. Problem is that these enzymes are completely modifiable by diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. In other words, “stuff” can mess up your conversion capacity and efficiency leaving you with less Free T3 than you need!

  • Reverse T3

    We all make it. Some make too much and that’s a problem. Why? Because Reverse T3 looks enough like your normal T3 to bind to your thyroid receptors, but it does nothing for you. In fact it works against you by jamming up your thyroid receptors, blocking them so that your normal T3 can’t get to them.

  • fT3/Reverse T3 Ratio

    There is a tug of war going on in your cells to either turn them on, or not. The ratio between active and defective T3 versions is critical to make sure that the “good guys” win the tug of war and your cells get the thyroid stimulation they really need.

  • T3 Uptake and/or Thyroid Binding Globulin

    Binding proteins can be influenced by imbalances in male and female hormones. This can change the availability of the active forms of T3 and T4.

  • Hashimoto's Antibodies against Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) and Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibodoes

    Ah…the dreaded Hashimoto’s. Fact is that 90% of all thyroid conditions in the US are autoimmune problems. That’s where your thyroid gland is being attacked by your own immune system. That means that most thyroid conditions are not just a hormone deficiency, they are immune dysfunctions. Since the immune system is the actually cause of the hormone deficiency, taking thyroid hormones is only part of the answer. If you’re not controlling your immune system and your inflammatory load (from all sources) then you are leaving a lot of potential improvement and control on the table!

  • And if you have only high thyroid symptoms then you should have your TSH Receptor Antibodies tested (this looks for Grave's Disease)

    While almost all thyroid conditions are autoimmune in nature, most autoimmune thyroid conditions are Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. Far less common, is Grave’s Disease, which is autoimmune HYPER-thyroidism. Still happens. Still have to check for it in the right circumstances.

But if you have been tracking with my blog and other articles (thyroid and other issues) then you understand that all human functions and systems are interconnected. In the beginning of your journey to regain and create wellness, you can’t just look at your thyroid, although that is tempting to do and unfortunately what most doctors actually do in practice.

All of the different errors types listed above can be caused, or complicated, by other metabolic issues. Things like:

  • Chronic infections
  • Food sensitivities
  • Leaky Gut
  • Blood Sugar instability
  • Adrenal Dysfunction and Chronic Stress
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • And much more.

The truth is that to really understand your thyroid you need not just a FULL thyroid pane, but you need to look at that within the context of all of your biological systems.

That’s why with my YOUniq Wellness programs, everything starts with a set of comprehensive labs that looks for the most common problems in all your major systems. This lets us peg whether you have production, processing or proteomic/receptor problems with your thyroid, but also gives us eyes on the other systems that are connected with and have an impact on your thyroid. That’s functional medicine, that’s YOUniq Wellness.

Use the contact form below to save on your initial consultation.

For a limited time mention the code THY50 to receive 50% off your initial consultation.

YOUniq Wellness programs are customized wellness programs that are designed just for you. Did you know that no two thyroid “cases” are alike? That’s why one-size-fits-all approaches fail more than they succeed. Let us work with you to create a thyroid wellness program just for you.