Thyroid Test Lab Interpretation

in Raleigh, NC

Think you have a thyroid problem but no one is listening to you?  You’re not alone!  So many people, particularly women, are not being taken seriously when they discuss classic symptoms with their medical providers and thyroid disease is often overlooked.  The most common medical mistake made is not running proper thyroid testing in the first place.  That’s simply not ok – thyroid disease is incredibly common! 

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Thyroid disease is incredibly common!

The most common thyroid dysfunction is a slow (under-active) thyroid or hypothyroidism rather than a fast (over-active) thyroid or hyperthyroidism. Standard symptoms of Hypothyroidism are fatigue, brain fog, inability to lose weight, constipation, slow metabolism, dry skin and intolerance to cold temperatures – leading people to seek medical attention.

Let’s talk basics! The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland over the throat that acts to regulate body temperature, metabolism and mood. It is regulated by two glands in the brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary glands) that tell it what to do via TRH (Thyroid-Releasing Hormone from the hypothalamus) and TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone from the pituitary). When TSH is released from the pituitary and reaches the thyroid, the thyroid responds by releasing two hormones called T4 and T3 – which then act on tissues in the body and also feed-back to the pituitary. However, T4 can also directly convert to T3 outside of the thyroid in other tissues. Of the two hormones, T3 is the most biologically active form of thyroid hormone – the one that matters the most in how you feel. However, this hormone is rarely tested in conventional medicine leaving patients to assume they do not have a thyroid problem.

Swelling or enlargement of the thyroid (known as a goiter) is a very common presentation. This enlargement can be a smooth, even enlargement or can be made up of smaller thyroid nodules – all of which can often be palpated by your practitioner. However most people with thyroid disorders have no thyroid enlargement or nodules at all. I do strongly recommend thyroid ultrasound and fine-needle aspirate (if indicated) to identify the types of nodules

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland

Thyroid Conditions

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is one of the most overlooked thyroid conditions today.  It can be with or without active Hypothyroidism.  It is overlooked often because it requires additional testing beyond the standard conventional TSH test.  There is no conventional treatment for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis unless it occurs with or causes hypothyroidism – then conventionally only hypothyroidism is treated – not the underlying CAUSE of autoimmunity.

The main reason so many go untreated or improperly medicated is inadequate testing.  Conventional testing often only includes a TSH test – occasionally a T4 is ordered.  I cannot express how many times I review a full thyroid panel result (10 tests) to tell my client that had you gone to a practitioner who doesn’t fully comprehend thyroid testing and only tested TSH and T4, you would have left not knowing you had an active thyroid disorder and would have continued to decline in health with no answers.

Thyroid Lab Testing

Accurate and comprehensive thyroid lab testing is crucial to fully understand if the thyroid gland is functioning properly.  It includes at a minimum a TSH, Total T4, Total T3, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Reverse T3 and T3 Uptake.  These results give a practitioner a well-rounded view of thyroid dysfunction.  If there is dysfunction with any of these labs it can point you in a better direction to further assess what might be causing the thyroid dysfunction.

Improper medication dosage is also very common.  Most common medication given is Synthroid or Levothyroxine – this medication contains only T4 hormone and relies on the body’s ability to convert T4 to bioactive T3  – failing in at least 50% of clients who are “poor converters”.  They are left getting regular TSH and T4 tests which show the dosage appears correct but no T3 test to show a low value – so they remain undermedicated and symptomatic.      

Thyroid dysfunction must always be assessed thoroughly and accurately so the right treatment can be started that truely addresses the root of the problem!

Better understand your Hormones & Food Sensitivities?

If you are interested in getting results and understanding your Hormones better or identifying your Food Sensitivities, consider these test options:

Dutch Lab Test ($699)

WHAT YOU GET FROM THE TEST:
✓ An extensive hormone picture with a comprehensive breakdown of sex and adrenal (stress) hormones.
✓ Understanding of how you use and balance your own hormones.
✓ Much more accurate assessment of hormone values.
✓ Extensive estrogen and cortisol metabolite testing.
✓ Better understanding of how balanced your hormones are (or aren’t).
✓ Great information on hormone health without the commitment to a more comprehensive health approach.
✓ Results in 2-3 weeks after collecting.
✓ Actionable results.

WHAT YOU GET FROM INTERPRETATION:
✓ A thorough breakdown of your hormone results.
✓ A discussion on what these results mean for your health.
✓ Expert treatment strategy and recommendations based on YOUR result.

Biome FX Test ($799)

WHAT YOU GET FROM THE TEST:
✓ Most comprehensive and accurate gut health stool test on the market.
✓ Expedited results in 2 weeks.
✓ Most advanced and accurate technology to truly assess the microbiome.
✓ Get the digestive results you’re missing from other testing.
✓ Answers to your gut health problems – bloating, Constipated, Diarrhea, Reflux, IBS.
✓ Evaluates multiple aspects of microbiome balance, strength, and resilience.
✓ Provides an insight to actionable nutrition, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations to more favorably support the ecology of your microbiome.
✓ Useful info on not only pathogens but on healthy gut bacteria.
✓ Great information on how well the gut clears estrogen.
✓ Great information on how well your body is able to make and utilize numerous crucial nutrients.

WHAT YOU GET FROM INTERPRETATION:
✓ A thorough breakdown of your hormone results.
✓ A discussion on what these results mean for your health.
✓ Expert treatment strategy and recommendations based on YOUR result.

DUTCH and Biome FX Test ($1349)

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS:
✓ Gives a much more comprehensive view of 2 major health determinants (gut and hormones) that play an enormous role in overall health.

If you feel you need more help than testing alone, inquire and book your

 

“I believe that all physical disease has an emotional, mental and spiritual component therefore healing must take place on all of these levels. This involves a strong commitment on the part of my patient because all healing occurs from within. Utilizing a comprehensive approach based in functional medicine, full diagnostic testing, nutritional planning and common sense, I partner with my patients to educate and support them on how they can truly improve their health and their life on all levels.”

Dr. Kelley Reis is a Board-certified Naturopathic Physician, Functional Wellness Expert and a Kentucky native.  She graduated from The National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and has been in practice since 2004  – successfully helping clients reach their goal of optimal wellness and vitality. Dr. Kelley’s passion is to help patients heal through highly effective wellness programs combined with simple, self-care practices designed to create optimal health.  What makes Dr Kelley’s programs so incredibly successful is that they are proven to resolve the underlying inflammation and stress that cause the breakdown of health, resulting in chronic, degenerative diseases that are so prevalent in today’s society.

Driven to truly help patients get to the root cause of their health issues, Dr. Kelley’s functional approach focuses on the WHOLE person –  addressing 5 pillars of health – nutrition, mindset/stress management, hormone balance, gut health, and detoxification.  Another reason making her approach so unique and wildly successful is the active mentoring role she plays in all of her wellness programs. While she does utilize nutritional supplementation in her practice, she does not just manage patient symptoms with supplements. She believes that a person CANNOT simply be “supplemented back to health” – an individualized and comprehensive approach to treat the whole person is the key!