Why this common cause of fatigue is misdiagnosed 75% of the time

Why is it that most doctors don’t know how to properly test for this problem? And what if even when numbers fall in the normal range this can still be a problem - but your doctor probably won’t know? I have seen this affecting people, especially women suffering from painful fatigue unnecessarily for years because the problem may not show up in lab results. What is it?

Hypothyroidism. This is so common. I see it all the time. Unfortunately most doctors are unable to recognize when the thyroid may be causing a problem, unless the lab values TSH (being elevated) and T4 (being low) show up out of range. What you may not know is that how labs get their normal ranges is by accepting 95% of all values as normal. They throw out the top and bottom 2.5% of numbers and categorize them as abnormal. So if you fall within the range of 95% of people, your values are identified as normal. 

If you look around, it’s pretty evident that there are a lot fewer than 95% of the population that are adequately healthy. So why would we compare ourselves to a bunch of sick people and use that as our barometer? Not something I need to get on a soapbox about right now, but if I were you, I would definitely not want to gauge my level of health on the sick guy sitting next to me. 

There are several reasons why your “thyroid” may not be working properly:

  • Nutrient deficiency – iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and iodine. these are required for function and synthesis of hormones and function 
  • Infections/Toxicity – cells are inflamed and cannot read the signals of the thyroid hormones
  • Auto-immunity – this starts in the gut – the body may be attacking different aspects of thyroid function

There are several fixes for these problems:

  • Fix the nutrient deficiency
  • Resolve the infection or remove the toxin
  • Use medication or supplementation

The trick is to find someone who can identify if your labs are less than optimal – and the key word is optimal. And someone who looks at the following:

  • TSH
  • Free and Total T4
  • Free and Total T3
  • Reverse T3
  • T3 Uptake
  • Anti-TPO
  • Antithyroglobulin

These are symptoms to look out for:

  • Tiredness
  • Being sensitive to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Muscles aches and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Loss of libido
  • Pain, numbness and tingling sensations
  • Irregular or heavy periods

Arm yourself with this information and you’ll be a lot further in figuring out whether thyroid is the cause of your fatigue!