12 Million Americans Have Thyroid Issues and Don't Know It. Are You One of Them?

 Do you have: 

-fatigue 
-low energy 
-hair loss 
-cold hands or feet
-achy joints
-inability to lose weight
-brain fog? 
 
If you answered yes, have you ever considered that your issues may be stemming from your thyroid? 
 
An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid dysfunction, and 60% of these people are undiagnosed. 
 
The thyroid is a small (yet powerful!) butterfly shaped master gland that controls our energy, metabolism, digestion, heart rate, cognitive functioning and impacts all cells in our body. 
 
If the thyroid is not functioning well, all areas of our body can be affected. 
 
This means if we ignore signs and symptoms of improper thyroid function, it can lead to serious diseases and imbalances in our body. 
 
Often, if hypothyroidism goes untreated, it can progress to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. Having this condition makes you 4x more susceptible to developing other autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease, MS, and Lupus. 
 
How do I know all of this?
 
Because I've been there myself! When I was in graduate school I suffered from hair loss, inability to lose weight, and unrelenting fatigue even though I was sleeping 10+ hours a night. My face felt puffy and I just didn't feel like myself. It was terrible. 
 
 I went to a doctor and was given the traditional diagnosis of hypothyroidism, because my thyroid was not producing enough thyroid hormones.
 
However, many people are not even this lucky. 
 
Many people who have thyroid symptoms go to a medical professional and get their blood drawn for a thyroid panel. They think they are getting all the information, but sometimes, they are not getting the full correct picture. 
 
Because modern medicine takes years and even decades to change the ranges for lab values, the thyroid range for "normal" is large and outdated. 
 
This is why people may feel off, but when they go to the doctor, nothing is apparently wrong. 
 
This can lead people to feel frustrated and that it's all in their head.
 
I'm here to tell you it's not! 
 
It is best to use the optimal values for thyroid testing rather than the normal values used in many offices today. For example, the normal standard value for TSH is 0.5-4.7 mIU/L.
 
However this is too broad and an outdated range.
 
Optimal thyroid functioning leads to TSH between 1.0 to 2.0 mIU/L. 

 
Below I've included optimal value ranges for a full thyroid panel. 

 
Optimal Values 
-TSH 1.0-2.0 mIU/L
-FT4 > 1.1 ng/dL
-FT3 > 3.2 pg/mL
-RT3 < 10:1 Ration of RT3 to FT3 
-TPO antibodies <9 IU/L
-TgAB <4 IU/L
*Values from The Thyroid Connection, Amy Myers, MD
 
Another issue is that patients do not get the full thyroid panel. Some medical practices will only test for TSH or TSH and T4, rather than the complete panel which gives the full view of what is going on.
 
Because T4 is the storage form of thyroid hormone and is inactive, it has to be converted to T3 to be utilized by the body. If you are not converting to T3, you can still have hypothyroidism but your lab values may be normal for TSH and T4. The problem is just not where the doctor tested. 
 
Back to my story...
 
After my hypothyroid diagnosis, I took my health into my own hands. I  researched daily, and due to my love of health and education, that never really stopped. But my symptoms did.
 
I went further with my education through my Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree and through the Institute for Functional Medicine (AFMCP and Hormone Module) to gain deeper clarity of the science behind how diet and lifestyle techniques can help to reverse thyroid issues if the thyroid has not been destroyed. 
 
While the field of medicine brings us many positive and life saving treatments, treating hypothyroidism has become known to
 
a) often go undiagnosed (60% of Americans with thyroid issues) 
b) be a condition to only fix with medication, often without even trying diet and lifestyle interventions first. 
 
My passion is to help people control their outcomes and take back control of their health. 
 
I have learned firsthand how frustrating it is to feel stuck, hopeless and confused in your healthcare. 
 
This is why I have made this process so simple for you in a few easy steps. 
 
Because I've been exactly where you are before, I'm happy to help. Here are step by step instructions to get you feeling better: 
 
1) Click this link to order your thyroid panel. I suggest this one because it's full of all the information we need (TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, TPO and TgAB (Thyroid antibodies) 
2) Go get your blood drawn at a nearby testing site (Quest Diagnostics)
3) You'll get your results within a couple of days. Do self care while you're waiting and don't stress about it!
4) Check out my Healing Hypothyroidism Course to give you all the answers you need to be able to interpret your lab results on your own! 
 
 Be proud of yourself that you are taking the steps to start feeling better today. 
 
I am excited for you to start your healing journey! 
 
Dr. Sarah 
 
Please note, some of the links are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to make free content to help people with their health. I only recommend products that I use and love! Thank you for your support!
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