Volume 2, Issue 42
October 15, 2009

How to diagnose and
treat thyroid problems

Last week, I told you that thyroid problems are the most mis-diagnosed conditions I see. That's because they typically don't show up on blood tests. But there is a reliable way to diagnose thyroid imbalances. And, fortunately, the way to diagnose it also provides the treatment. Let me explain...

As you may know, there are two thyroid hormones: T3 and T4. Doctors can measure these in the bloodstream. The usual range for T4 found in the general public is from 0.8-1.5 ng/dlý. For T3, it is 1.4-4.4 pg/ml. You can see that there's a large difference in the low and high levels of these hormones. If you have blood levels in the lower range, your doctor will still say your levels are normal. But if the amount of hormone your body requires is in the upper range, then you're not getting enough of the hormone. Yes, your levels are normal. But they aren't optimal. This is one reason why you should not completely rely on these blood tests to diagnose hypothyroidism.

There is another hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that doctors often measure. TSH is not a thyroid hormone; it's a pituitary hormone. And because of this, TSH levels are a very poor indicator of actual thyroid function. Many studies have shown that people with documented hypothyroidism have normal TSH levels as often as 15% of the time.

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If you can't totally rely on T3, T4, and TSH blood level measurements, how can you determine your thyroid function?

The most sensitive and accurate way to diagnose hypothyroidism is the basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the standard doctors developed more than 50 years ago. You can't determine BMR with blood testing. Instead, you have to use Bio-Energy Testing. You can find a description of Bio-Energy Testing in any of my books, or on my website. The BMR is a direct function of thyroid hormone activity. Therefore, a decrease in the BMR is a very strong indicator of thyroid hormone deficiency — even when the blood tests are in the normal range.

In fact, according to the results of a 2005 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the BMR is a much more reliable indicator of thyroid hormone deficiency than blood testing. In this study, the researchers found that thyroid hormone levels did not reflect the BMR in the majority of these people.

This study shows why doctors mis-diagnose thyroid problems. If blood tests are the only test your doctor uses, he'll likely miss the diagnosis. And, since most doctors rely entirely on blood tests, this makes it the most commonly missed diagnosis in medicine.

The bad news is most people don't have access to my Bio-Energy Testing. The good news is there are two other ways to diagnose the problem.

  • The first is the symptom pattern. Certain symptoms indicate a thyroid hormone deficiency. The most common ones are dry skin, water retention, fatigue, depression, menstrual problems, weight problems, and high cholesterol. Another common symptom is a morning under-arm temperature of 97 degrees or less (I have details on my website).

  • A second is simply using a clinical trial. That means simply taking the hormone if you have symptoms. If the symptoms improve, then you've confirmed a deficiency. And, even better, you've solved the problem.

So if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, tell your integrative physician and ask him to prescribe thyroid medication. You'll likely see a huge difference in your health.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

Reference:ÿ Meunier N, Beattie JH, Ciarapica D, et al. Basal metabolic rate and thyroid hormones of late-middle-aged and older human subjects: the ZENITH study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;59 Suppl 2:S53-7

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