The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid produces two main hormones called T3 and T4 which are transported in the blood to all parts of the body. These hormones control the rate of many activities in your body including how fast calories are burned and how fast or slow a person’s heart rate is. Combined, these activities are often referred to as the metabolism. A thyroid test will indicate if the thyroid gland is compromised and is producing too few, or too many, hormones resulting in the metabolism either slowing down or speeding up. These conditions are referred to as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). When these occur it is important that the person seeks thyroid treatment.
Why Do a Thyroid Function Test?
Thyroid tests are done when a patient is displaying common symptoms of either over-active or under-active thyroid. These symptoms may include:
- Weight loss, despite eating a good amount of food
- Increased appetite
- Rapid pounding of the heart3
- Trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep
- Increased sweating
- More frequent bowel movements
- Less frequent menstrual periods with lighter than normal menstrual flow
- weight-gain despite eating sensibly
- feeling cold even in warm weather
- hair loss
- dry, flaky skin, especially on the face
- unexplained joint pain
Conventional Thyroid Testing
Thyroid function tests are blood tests which check how well the thyroid gland is functioning. When the thyroid is working well, it uses iodine from food to make two thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triidithyronine (T3). A conventional thyroid test will look at levels of T4, T3 and free thyroxine (FT1 or FT4). These hormones are stored in the thyroid and released into the body in a steady flow. Under normal circumstances, 99% of T4 binds to a protein called thyroxine-binding globulin, while 1% remains free and is called free T4.
99% of T3 also attaches to a thyroxine-binding globulin, with 1% remaining free and too much free. Often, conventional testing concentrates only on TSH and total T4 which is not a complete thyroid evaluation. To do a thorough thyroid test, one needs to look at the free T4 and how it is converting into free T3 and/or reverse T3 and most conventional thyroid tests do not do this. Free T3 does the majority of the work and if the body is not converting the T4 properly, this level will be giving all the signs and symptoms of hypothyroid, despite the fact that T4 is normal.
In addition, most conventional thyroid testing does not screen for elevated levels of antibodies against the thyroid tissue, or other often hidden problems.
Thyroid Function Tests
Effective thyroid treatment requires the correct thyroid testing and that is what is performed at LifeWorks Wellness Center. If a patient’s thyroid test reveals they have thyroid disease then the practitioner will look for the cause of the disease, rather than just prescribing medication to mask, or manage, the symptoms. An evaluation will be performed to determine if the thyroid condition has been caused by nutritional deficiencies, allergies, hormone imbalance, heavy metals and chemicals or invading organisms.
When the cause of the thyroid disease has been found, natural thyroid disease treatment can begin to fix the root of the problem, and the proper thyroid function can be restored.
The thyroid gland affects all the other hormones in the body and its proper regulation is essential to good hormonal balance and health. With the disturbing increase in thyroid disease, an annual thyroid test is recommended by the practitioners at LifeWorks. This should include thyroid testing that check on thyroid gland hormone levels and body iodine levels.
When a patient is suspected to have a thyroid disorder a comprehensive thyroid profile is ordered, in the form of a blood test. This thyroid function test will give precise measurements of Free T3 and T4 and their ratios to each other. If the results indicate that for example, the patient’s T3 level is too low then the patient will be checked for deficiencies in essential nutrients which are required for hormone production. Many times, this natural thyroid disease treatment will correct the thyroid without the need for prescription hormones.
However, it is frequently discovered that the thyroid is making enough of the T4 hormone but it is not converting to the metabolic active hormone, T3. This conversion problem can easily be found when the appropriate thyroid evaluation tests are performed.
Another problem of conversion involves too much of the T4 converting into another thyroid hormone called Reverse T3. Reverse T3 is not metabolizing active and can contribute to symptoms of underactive thyroid. Again, proper testing of the thyroid will uncover this issue and then natural thyroid disease treatment can commence.
Increasingly, many people are wary of a life-long reliance on drugs to treat their thyroid and seek natural thyroid disease treatment. The thyroid can become up-regulated or overactive for a number of reasons and it is important to look for the root cause of the over-activity.
Following the results of a thyroid function test which measures Free T3 and T4 and their ratios to each other, if hyperthyroidism is found to be the condition, the factors causing the over-stimulation of the thyroid gland will be evaluated. These may include testing the patient to see if heavy metals are present in the area of the thyroid, whether bacteria from the teeth may be causing problems or if food allergies are present. It is also important to test for a chronic fatigue virus such as Epstein Bar or to see if Herpes 6 is present as these may be attacking the thyroid.
Treatment for overactive thyroid requires the correct evaluation and that is what is performed at LifeWorks Wellness Center.
Getting Your Thyroid Tested
LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering thyroid testing for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. Our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering comprehensive thyroid testing and natural medicine for thyroid disease where they live.
We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient or for more information feel free to call our New Patient coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web inquiry with your request.
Learn More About Your Thyroid