Guest Post: Should You Get Your Thyroid Tested?

credit: iStock @hartphotography1

credit: iStock @hartphotography1

One of the growing epidemics in the U.S. is a disease called hypothyroidism. The thyroid is an organ that influences and inevitably controls every aspect of our being. In light of its critical role, it may come as a shock that as many as 50% of the more than 25 million people with thyroid problems remain undiagnosed.

The word “thyroid” comes from the ancient Greeks and appropriately means, “shield.” The thyroid gland not only shields the body from wearing down from stress and disease, but also serves as the major catalyst for stimulating energy, muscle growth, and a clear and sharp brain. A poorly functioning thyroid, for example, will interfere with exercise by either eliminating the possibility of building muscle or causing you to cancel your workouts altogether. As for keeping off the pounds, despite hours in the gym and low caloric intake, the body will be unable to lose weight. Even under otherwise ideal performance, the body will not be able to burn fat when the thyroid slows down. All in all, how the thyroid functions either makes or breaks performance in all areas of your life.

The Problem With Determining if You Have a Problem

As you may imagine, it pays to be able to pick up on a dysfunctional thyroid as early as possible. However, there’s a problem: a malfunctioning thyroid can manifest into more than 100 different symptoms. In addition, these symptoms usually occur gradually and worsen over many years. Various symptoms mimic other illnesses, which makes diagnosis even more difficult. In general, though, the main features of the more common low thyroid state include:

  • Low energy and never feeling rested

  • Feeling cold

  • Depression

  • Loss of concentration

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Chronic digestive problems

  • Itchy dry skin

  • Possibly increased hair loss

Another avenue to assist in the diagnosis of a thyroid problem is the use of specific blood chemistry tests. This is where the science has not always served us as well as it could. Breakthroughs in medicine have always been hard to accept. Many times the profession is entrenched in dogma and it can take years for new research and clinical discoveries to percolate through the actual practice of medicine.

The most common and officially recognized gold standard to evaluate your thyroid is based on a measure called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), which is a baseline thyroid test that can’t always pick up when a person’s thyroid is malfunctioning. Meanwhile, people continue to feel lousy while being trapped inside outdated and archaic standards of healthcare.

Looking Deeper

Fortunately, there are effective and more precise tests available; you just have to know where to find them. It was for this reason that WellnessFX decided to launch its new thyroid panel. By consulting with an experienced thyroid practitioner, you can use this package to rule in or out a possible thyroid problem as a source of your symptoms.

While a comprehensive panel is needed to begin identifying those with malfunctioning thyroids, it is important to remember that diagnosis is only the beginning. After finding the problem, one has to look for the potential causes, which can range from:

Live Life To The Fullest

In sum, keep a close eye on your thyroid gland with regular blood tests. Be diligent in supporting its function through all the key lifestyle pillars of health such as proper sleep, a well-programmed exercise routine, a low glycemic and anti-inflammatory diet, and some targeted relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. If you do start to experience some of the above mentioned symptoms, then the WellnessFX thyroid panel is a strategic way to figure out the problem and keep you performing at your best.


Charles Carpenter, M.D., M.P.H.    
Dr. Carpenter is the founder and Medical Director of the Sacramento Center for Health and Healing. Dr. Carpenter is a specialist in Preventive and Integrative Medicine. He received his Board Certification from the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is also Board Certified by the American Board of Holistic Medicine. He is a medical educator having taught medical students, residents, physicians and the public. He also is a motivational speaker, radio personality, tai chi and qi gong meditation teacher.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.