Do you still feel like rubbish even though your doctor is insistent that your test results are coming back ‘fine’ or ‘normal’? Perhaps your doctor isn’t running all the thyroid tests that you want?
Many thyroid patients benefit from being more involved in their thyroid care and treatment, which is where self-testing and the ability to order your own tests can be critical tools for empowering yourself.
Most conventional doctors only test TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and go by it entirely to decide on your course of treatment, but this isn’t accurate. TSH is a pituitary hormone, that in turn tells the thyroid how much hormone to produce. By only testing TSH and not the actual thyroid hormone levels (Free T3 and Free T4), you’re not getting an accurate view of your thyroid health and thus, the best treatment. It’s very outdated but a lot of doctors haven’t caught up yet. You can read more on Why Going by TSH Alone Is Inaccurate.
Another factor to consider is whether your hypothyroidism is autoimmune, which it is for around 90% of us, and this can affect which road we take to recovery hugely, yet many patients have never been tested for Hashimoto’s. For this, you need to test thyroid antibody levels. I can’t stress how important it is to know whether you’re hypothyroidism is autoimmune – for me, I only started to see an improvement in symptoms when I implemented changes to address the autoimmune condition causing the underactive thyroid.
As knowledge on Adrenal Fatigue continues to grow, many of us are also checking for this and it’s overwhelmingly common in thyroid patients. In Dr Izabella Wentz’s experience, adrenal fatigue is present in 90% of us with autoimmune hypothyroidism. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include but are not limited to: weight gain, ongoing fatigue, trouble sleeping, sugar or salt cravings, being over-emotional, anxiety, hot flushes, brain fog, dizziness, jumping at sudden or loud noises and a lot more. For a lot of us, adrenal fatigue is half the problem and causing half our symptoms.
A full thyroid panel includes: TSH, Free T3, Free T4, thyroid antibodies TPOAB and TGAB, and Reverse T3. This collection of tests give a comprehensive overview of your thyroid function and levels, to help produce the most accurate treatment plan for you, so that you can get optimal on your thyroid medication and begin to feel better.
Because being optimal matters. It matters entirely.
More and more thyroid patients are ordering there own tests online now, including myself, because they’re wanting to become more involved in their own health and treatment, or to perhaps fill in the blanks where their doctor is letting them down. Some are also being directed by their functional doctor to order more comprehensive testing online, all so that we can improve our health.
There are two places I have ordered from before and can recommend.
Medichecks is a very popular choice for inexpensive yet comprehensive testing with a fast turn around. I’ve written a full review of the first time I used them here. Their test kits are even designed so that you can obtain a blood sample from yourself in the comfort of your own home and then pop it back in to the post. You can order the all important thyroid function test, Reverse T3, cortisol testing for your adrenals and thyroid antibodies to check for autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s).
Results are then securely emailed to you with commentary made by their in-house doctors. Letting you know how to proceed with your health. Discounts on these already inexpensive tests are often available, so do check online first before buying (in particular, I post any that I know of on my social media accounts).
Another trusted place you can order some more in-depth thyroid testing is TrueHealthLabs, who offer countless tests for the US and Europe. For those of us in Europe, we can order a thyroid function test, Reverse T3, Adrenal testing and more.
For those of you in the US, you can also order a complete thyroid function test, Hashimoto’s testing alone, Adrenal testing and many more combinations, all from the comfort of your own home. TrueHealthLabs regularly offer discounts too, so be sure to check their website for promotions or discount codes before purchasing any tests.
You can view all tests for TrueHealthLabs Europe here – https://www.truehealthlabs.com/Thyroid-Europe-s/1880.htm
And all tests for TrueHealthLabs US – https://www.truehealthlabs.com/Thyroid-s/1840.htm
Another plus is that TrueHealthLabs offer a one-on-one test results review with a functional medicine doctor so that you understand what your test results mean and what the next step in your road to recovery is. You can take your results to your regular doctor to form part of your treatment plan with them, too, but it’s really just about taking back some control over your health, when at times, it can feel as it hypothyroidism has ran away with it.
My experience with ordering my own tests online is that it was really easy and quick. Each time I’ve done so, I’ve easily completed my sample and then posted it off, receiving the results a few days later, letting me move on in addressing my health issues with evidence of how I’m actually doing. You can use them to work with your doctor in improving your health.
I always recommend patients do their own research, read blogs, books and get other patients’ experiences on having the same conditions and become their own advocate. It makes such a difference in how well managed your thyroid condition is.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given, but further info can also be found here:
Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism
Rachel is a Thyroid Patient Advocate and Expert with Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites 2018. Currently studying for relevant qualifications and certificates in Life Coaching, Diet and Nutrition, Reflexology and more, she has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Dr. Hedberg, Thyroid UK and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well recognised as a trusted and useful contributor to the thyroid community.