Friday, July 23, 2010

Thyroid, symptoms and Diagnosis

Thyroid Hormones
TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, is the most common hormone tested to determine if the thyroid is operating correctly. Unfortunately, this is only part of the picture. T4 and free T3 are also very important key factors in determining whether the thyroid hormones are in balance.
Synthetic medicines only provide T4, which must be converted to T3 by the body. If the body has a problem making this conversion, the medicine will be poorly utilized. It's important that your doctor understand this metabolic process in order to manage your care in the best possible manner. Natural supplements provide T4 and T3 in the proper ratios, which are better utilized by the body.

Symptoms of hypothyroid can be many or few. Some patients exhibit severe symptoms and others have mild symptoms, which often go undiagnosed. Often people who have a thyroid condition are frustrated and confused about their health, and feel as if they can not get a straight answer from anyone regarding their condition. Many are prescribed anti-depressants because their doctor is unable pinpoint the cause for their discomfort. Blood tests which are the standard for diagnosis are often incomplete or inaccurate.
Hyperthyroid is a less common condition which speeds up the thyroid.

"Hypo"Thyroid Symptoms
· Brittle nails or nails with ridges
· Acne
· Dry hair and Skin
· Deeply cracked skin on elbows & heels
· Skin rashes
· Thinning eyebrows on outer portion
· Hair loss
· Slow healing
· Dry mouth/Dry eyes/Blurred vision
· Heat/Cold intolerance
· Cold hands & feet or being cold all the time
· Raynaud's Phenomenon (white fingers when exposed to cold)
· Low body temp of <98.2 when healthy
· Anxiety
· Depression
· Muscle & joint aches
· Weight gain with very little caloric intake
· Inability to lose weight
· Fluid retention
· Chronic infections
· Slow reflexes/Slow thinking/Indecisiveness
· PMS & Menstrual irregularities
· Infertility and Low sex drive
· High cholesterol
· High blood pressure
· Hoarse voice
· Asthma
· Allergies
· Gall bladder disease
· Chronic constipation
· Difficulty swallowing or Lump in throat
· Bad Breath

Diagnostic Tools
Blood tests are part of the testing process, but it is very important to discuss symptoms and a thorough medical history with the doctor. Many times blood tests appear to show normal results, but the patient exhibits symptoms which warrant further investigation.

Occasionally, a person who's blood tests show a hypothyroid condition have other hormonal imbalances which cause the thyroid hormones to be out of sync. Symptoms related to thyroid imbalance are not always caused by the thyroid. They could be caused by adrenal, pituitary, or other hormone imbalances.

Diagnosing a thyroid disorder is a complex task. Often times men or women can have symptoms for months, or even years, and their blood tests do not show that there is a problem.

It's important to work closely with the doctor to find the appropriate treatment for your individual condition. Supplementation, nutritional counseling, exercise and natural hormone therapy are often used as a holistic way to correct these imbalances.

Many people find that they prefer natural therapies to synthetic, and that they have less symptoms using a holistic method of treatment.


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