Thyroid Hormone Facts:

  • Low Thyroid is the most commonly Misdiagnosed and Under-treated hormonal imbalance in our population.
  • The Average patient takes 3-5 years of suffering to get accurately diagnosed with low thyroid and to receive the correct treatment.
  • The most common symptom of low thyroid is fatigue and weight gain, and the rest of the symptom list is below.
  • Undiagnosed and Under-Treated Thyroid Disease is a leading cause of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in the US.
  • The Endocrinologists Society of America recommends giving some patients a trial of thyroid hormone therapy even if the TSH is within normal.
  • Most patients who are treated with thyroid medication still have the symptoms of low thyroid because they are either treated with the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication.
  • There are 3 FDA Approved Thyroid Medications in the US. If you still have symptoms of low thyroid on the medication you are taking, you should consider changing the medication with your doctor or with our thyroid hormone experts at BrightBody.

Symptoms of Low Thyroid:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, rough pale skin
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
  • Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido

What is TSH?
TSH is the signal from the Pituitary to stimulate thyroid production from the thyroid gland. When TSH is elevated, the thyroid hormone is low. This constant bombardment with high levels of TSH may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged and form a goiter (termed a “compensatory goiter”).
Left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will usually progress. Rarely, complications can result in severe life-threatening depression, heart failure, or coma.

What Labs are Needed to Diagnose and Treat Low Thyroid?
Free T3
Free T4
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies

Why is it hard to diagnose low thyroid?
Most doctors and clinics ( especially Kaiser) only use the TSH test and they only diagnose you if the TSH is greater than 4.5. However, the Endocrinology Society of America recommends offering a trial of treatment for anyone with a TSH >2 who also has symptoms of low thyroid.

What Improvements will I notice if I am diagnosed and treated for Low Thyroid?

  • Improved Energy
  • Improved Metabolism, Easier to Lose Weight
  • Less Water Retention and Edema
  • Increased Mental Clarity, Better Memory
  • Reduced Blood Pressure

What will happen if I have low thyroid that does not get treated
The natural course is for the condition to worse over time along with:

  • Increased Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and other Metabolic Diseases

What are the next steps?

  • You Need Blood tests that include TSH, Free T3, and Free T4
  • You can ask your Primary Care doctor to order these labs or we can order them for you. We use a Lab that gives you discounted Rates for Labs. A Thyroid Panel is $89.
  • After we receive the lab results, Dr. Stoop will discuss them with you at your next appointment.

Books on Hypothyroid:

  • The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight — and How to Get Your Life Back by Amy Myers, MD
  • Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic by Mark Starr, MD
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