Q: I’m always tired and achy. I’m gaining weight and losing hair. My doctor says my TSH is normal and that I’m depressed. I say I’m depressed because I feel awful. Help!
Every day in my practice we see women suffering from extreme fatigue, weight gain, sore muscles, aching joints as well as hair loss and cold intolerance. Their symptoms are screaming hypothyroidism, and so is their body. Slow heart rate, cold hands and feet, and a swollen neck are all clinical indicators of hypothyroidism. So why are so many women told it’s all in their heads?
All healthcare professionals must carefully consider the patient’ history, physical exam and then use symptoms and clinical indicators to reach a preliminary diagnosis, and then lab tests to confirm when it’s appropriate. When it comes to thyroid function, too many medical professionals rely solely on the standard TSH blood screen test. And there is the problem.
Thyroid 3 (T3), Thyroid 4(T4) and reverse T3 levels combined with physical symptoms and health history are true indicators of thyroid function. In fact, many people with normal TSH levels have hypothyroidism, so missing the diagnosis leaves patients feeling awful, and at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions and cancers; including breast and colon cancer.
The hormone testosterone is the fuel that drives the thyroid, metabolism and also libido. It makes sense that deficiencies tend to manifest in thyroid symptoms along with the loss of libido, lack of focus, depression and mood swings. Too much alcohol, not enough fresh fruits and vegetables, and medications like oral contraceptive, anti-depressants, opiates can cause testosterone deficiencies, that will in turn inhibit proper thyroid function.
Now that you’re an informed advocate for your own health, share this information with your doctor. If they refuse to properly test your thyroid, find a new doctor. You deserve to feel good every day!
Symptoms sound familiar? Call for an appointment at one of our four Valley locations: 480.619.4097