Often, these patients have had a conventional thyroid test and have been told by their medical doctor that everything is fine. They arrive at our office unconvinced, however, because when they look up the list of symptoms of low thyroid function, they seem to have them all.
When we test further, we often find that the thyroid really isn’t working optimally. Why is that? Why does the story differ from your MD’s office to ours?
The discrepancy arises because of the difference in what is tested, and when.
- Conventional medicine measures one thing: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Your medical doctor uses that number as a way of assessing how well the thyroid is doing it’s job. If that test is normal, your MD won’t test any further. You’ll be told your thyroid is not the problem. End of story.
- Naturopathic doctors measure more initially. Like your MD, we test TSH, but we also look at T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone), T3 (the active form) and TPO (a thyroid antibody).
Why? Because some people can have normal TSH levels, but still have thyroid issues which are only revealed by looking at the other numbers. Those people get the “all clear” on the first test, and their MD doesn’t look any further.
Why the difference in testing? It’s a difference in philosophy. Your MD is really trying to determine if your thyroid is diseased. As ND’s, we want to know if it’s working optimally, and those are not the same thing.
Curious about your thyroid? You can book an appointment online, or call the clinic at 705-444-5331.