Are you on a thyroid supplement? Have you been tested? Do you need to be tested?
Here are a few questions to assess a possible thyroid problem. Score a 0 for never to 3 for all the time. If you score above 12 you should have your doc run some tests. However the standard tests are not enough, the don’t look at all of the hormones and actions of the thyroid so many conditions go unnoticed or are treated incorrectly.
- Tired or sluggish 0-3
- Feel cold – hands, feet or all over 0-3
- Require an excessive amount of sleep to function properly 0-3
- Increase in weight even with low calorie diet 0-3
- Gain weight easily 0-3
- Difficult, infrequent bowel movements 0-3
- Depression, lack of motivation 0-3
- Morning headaches that wear off as day progresses 0-3
- Outer third of eyebrow thins 0-3
- Dryness of skin and/or scalp 0-3
- Mental sluggishness 0-3
- Thinning of hair on scalp, face or genitals, or excessive falling hair 0-3
Total your score. Up to 12 is ok, 12 to 24 is medium you might want to get tested, 24 and up – you need to see a doctor as soon as you can!
Low functioning thyroid or HYPOthyroidism is a very common issue but can go undetected or misdiagnosed. Just because you’ve had the standard tests and you fall in the “normal” range doesn’t mean you don’t have a thyroid problem. There may be some underlying issue that is affecting the thyroid but doesn’t show up on the standard screen.
If you’ve been tested and are still having problems go back to your doc and have him/her run the following tests:
TSH, TT4, fT4, TT3, fT3,T3U and antibodies.
If your doc won’t run these tests, find another doctor! Seriously it’s your health and your doctor doesn’t know it all! Also there are labs you can find that will do the work, you can find them online.
Your diet will have a profound affect on not only thyroid function but all other systems in your body. Modifying your diet too may alleviate some thyroid problems. In particular raw cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower have a compound that can decrease the functioning of the thyroid, but by cooking them, even just lightly steaming them,† will deactivate the compounds.
There are also foods that can help improve thyroid function such as seaweed, kelp powder, avocado, coconut, and radish. By maintaining a balanced diet you can naturally bring your thyroid function back to “normal”. If modifying your diet doesn’t seem to help then you need to see your doctor and have those tests I mentioned above run.
Another thing to look at is your magnesium and other trace minerals. If you aren’t getting enough of these in your diet, and most people don’t it will affect† the thyroid’s ability to produce T3 and T4 and other factors properly. Taking a high quality mineral supplement should help.
You should still get checked by your doctor as there are some serious diseases, including cancer that can interfere with the thyroid. Some of these include Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an auto-immune disease, meaning you body is attacking itself, in this case the thyroid gland. This causes lowered functioning and therefore lowered production of the thyroid hormones and antibodies. In this case taking calcium and magnesium in a 3:1 ratio (Ca:Mg) may be beneficial.
Eating a wide variety of good foods, preferably organic†is always the best bet since your food is always the preferred way of getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function correctly.
(note these are suggestions for things you can try, please see your doctor if you think you might have any symptoms of thyroidism,)
The questionnaire is part of an assessment form from Dr. Bryan Walsh’s Fat is Not Your Fault ebook