Why Thyroid Problems Can Often Go Overlooked

A poorly functioning thyroid gland can have a big impact on how one feels every day. Unfortunately thyroid problems often go overlooked, or are undetected due to lack of proper screening and testing. Many thyroid symptoms are often never addressed properly because they are considered ‘normal’ or thought to be caused by some other problem. 

One common cause of an under active thyroid gland is a condition call Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland because it mistakenly recognizes the cells of the thyroid tissue as foreign and begins attacking and destroying them. When Hashimoto’s is present there’s an increase in a particular antibody called Thyroid Peroxidase or TPO, this is often overlooked because it’s not properly screened for as many medical providers only check one lab, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Proper testing for Hashimoto’s should include: TSH, Free T3 and TPO. It’s possible that the TSH and Free T3 will fall into ‘normal’ ranges and only TPO will be elevated, if it’s not checked however then the condition may go undetected. 

Thyroid hormone is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that regulates: temperature, metabolism, cerebral function, and energy. It increases fat breakdown resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. It protects against: cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, memory loss, and fatigue and weight gain. There are many symptoms associated with thyroid deficiency: weak, cold, tired, fatigued, thin hair, thin skin, thin nails, weight gain, increased body fat, loss of energy and motivation, loss of cognition, memory, mood, poor sense of well-being. Common causes of thyroid deficiency: over time the amount of thyroid hormone decreases secondary to decreased production by the gland, decreased conversion of T4 to T3, and less effectiveness at the receptor sites causing low thyroid symptoms in spite of “normal” blood levels.

If you feel your thyroid may be holding you back, be sure to get the proper testing, as “normal” isn’t always normal without looking at the big picture. Doctors and other medical providers are taught to ‘treat the patient’ not just the paperwork, so also be sure to thoroughly explain all of your symptoms to them, so they can make the proper decisions for managing your possible thyroid problems.  


For more information on the thyroid gland and management visit: http://www.coloradooptimalhealth.com/thyroid/

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