6 Thyroid Patterns That Won’t Show Up On Standard Lab Tests
If you want to gain victory over your thyroid condition, it is absolutely imperative to work with a doctor who is experienced with many of the different thyroid patterns. In today’s article we are going to talk about the many patterns of thyroid disease that don’t show on standard lab testing.
If we dig into the different thyroid patterns, we often see problems related to Thyroid under-conversion, Thyroid over-conversion, a fatigued Pituitary, Thyroid resistance, and autoimmune thyroid called Hashimotos.
As I have stated in past articles and videos, Addressing hypothyroidism requires more than just simple taking thryoid replacement hormones. This might be necessary at times, but the current research on Thyroid recovery, shows the best treatment to be one that investigates many of the different root causes to thyroid malfunction.
Working with a doctor who specializes in this treatment can be hard to find. Dr Datis Kharrazian has put together an amazing book titled “Why Do I have Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?” I encourage you to purchase this book, it will help you understand the complexaties of the thryoid and how to choose a doctor who can work with you to help restore thyroid function.
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and being overmedicated with thyroid hormone is common in the management of hypothyroidism. If you go to a doctor with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, headaches, coldness your doctor will most likely run a screening test for the Thyroid called a TSH. If this this TSH reading is high, you’ll simply be given replacement hormones without any further investigation into the cause of your condition.
Sadly for million of women around the world, this is where conventional medicine often does more harm than good. Without addressing many of the causes, this conditon progresses.
What can be equally frustrating is when you have symptoms of thyroid disease but your lab tests are normal. At this point your told your just stressed out, its “normal “to feel fatigue, many moms feel tired after a “long day.” If you insist that its more than stress, you might be sent home with an antidepressant, and antianxiety medication, but no further clue about the cause of your symptoms.
It’s incorrect and and even an oversimplification of thyroid physiology to assume that all cases of hypothyroidism share the same cause and require the same treatment. Yet that’s exactly what the standard of care for hypothyroidism delivers. This is cookie cutter medicine at its finest.
If you continue reading I’ll explain Six patterns of thyroid dysfunction that won’t show up on standard lab tests.
If you have one of these patterns, your thyroid isn’t functioning properly and you will have symptoms.
A standard thyroid panel usually includes TSH and sometimes a T4.. The ranges for these markers vary from lab to lab, which is one of two main problems with standard lab ranges. The other problem is that lab ranges are not based on research that tells us what a healthy range might be, but on a bell curve of values obtained from people who come to the labs for testing.
Now, follow me on this. Who goes to labs to get tested? Sick people. If a lab creates its “normal” range based on test results from sick people, is that really a normal range? Does that tell us anything about what the range should be for health?
The Six thyroid Patterns Your Doctor Probably Never looked at
- Hypothyroidism caused by pituitary dysfunction
This thyroid pattern is caused by elevated cortisol, which is in turn caused by active infection, blood sugar imbalances, chronic stress, pregnancy, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance. These stressors fatigue the pituitary gland at the base of the brain so that it can no longer signal the thyroid to release enough thyroid hormone. There may be nothing wrong with the thyroid gland itself. The pituitary isn’t sending it the right messages.
With this pattern, you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms and a TSH below the functional range (1.8 – 3.0) but within the standard range (0.5 – 5.0). The T4 will be low in the functional range (and possibly the lab range too).
- Under-conversion of T4 to T3
T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. It must be converted to T3 before the body can use it. More than 90% of thyroid hormone produced is T4.
This common thyroid pattern is caused by inflammation and elevated cortisol levels. T4 to T3 conversion happens in cell membranes. Inflammatory cytokines damage cell membranes and impair the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3. High cortisol also suppresses the conversion of T4 to T3.
With this thyroid pattern you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms, but your TSH and T4 will be normal. If you have your T3 tested, which it rarely is in conventional settings, it will be low.
- Hypothyroidism caused by elevated TBG
Thyroid binding globulin (TBG) is the protein that transports thyroid hormone through the blood. When thyroid hormone is bound to TBG, it is inactive and unavailable to the tissues. When TBG levels are high, levels of unbound (free) thyroid hormone will be low, leading to hypothyroid symptoms.
With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be low, and T3 uptake and TBG will be high.
Elevated TBG is caused by high estrogen levels, which are often often associated with birth control pills or estrogen replacement (i.e. Premarin or estrogen creams). To treat this pattern, excess estrogen must be cleared from the body.
- Hypothyroidism caused by decreased TBG
This is the mirror image of the pattern above. When TBG levels are low, levels of free thyroid hormone (free T3 or Free T4) will be high. You might think this would cause hyperthyroid symptoms. But too much free thyroid hormone in the bloodstream causes the cells to develop resistance to it. So, even though there’s more than enough thyroid hormone, the cells can’t use it and you’ll have hypothyroid – not hyperthyroid – symptoms.
With this thyroid pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be high or high Normal, and T3 uptake and TBG will be low.
Decreased TBG is caused by high testosterone levels. In women, it is commonly associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring blood sugar balance is the key to treating this pattern.
- Thyroid resistance
In this thyroid pattern, both the thyroid and pituitary glands are functioning normally, but the hormones aren’t getting into the cells where they’re needed. This causes hypothyroid symptoms.
Note that all lab test markers will be normal in this pattern, because we don’t have a way to test the function of cellular receptors directly.
6. Hashimotos Thyroiditis-
This is an autoimmune condition where your immune system is attacking the thryoid gland. unfortunately, No amount of synthroid, armour or any other thyroid replacement can undo this damage. Some of the warning signs that you may have Hashimotos includes heart palpitations, Hair loss, and weight gain. Those suffering with Hashimotos often have TSH levels that fluctuate from high to low.
I explain this phenomenon in other posts. If you have this condition it becomes imperative to work with a physician who specializes in autoimmune support.
Be very very careful of taking thyroid support supplements that contain Iodine, Tyrosine and things like echinacea, Golden rod, Astragulus, Green Tea extract, Pine bark extract, grape seed extract, coffee, white willow bark. Contact our office if you have been suffering or think you might have this.
Download Our Free Thyroid Recovery Guide
- As I said at the beginning of this article, the key to a Successful Thyroid Recovery Program requires comprehensive Thyroid Testing including all the markers for Thyroid Panel, and a doctor skilled at knowing what advanced testing will need to be performed.
- Once Proper testings has been done a proper Recovery Program can be started. Many of our Thyroid Sufferers often notice a substantial improvement in their health in just a few short weeks to months.
- The reason the conventional approach fails is that it skips this steps and gives the same treatment to everyone, regardless of the cause of their problem.
Click below to Watch Karen’s Testimonial of a Patient who has suffered with IBS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Debilitating Fatigue Syndrome, Daily Headaches, Pre-diabetic, Weight Gain, and Thyroid problems her whole life.
Click below to Watch Laura’sTestimonial| Nicki has suffered with Hashimoto’s, Chronic Debilitating Fatigue Syndrome, Daily Headaches, Blood Sugar problems, Asthma, Hives and many other Thyroid problems her whole life.