Normal Thyroid Levels

Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders

Normal thyroid levels are tricky these days. You have difficulty losing weight, you're losing hair, have a general feeling of malaise and your Dr. claims while you have symptoms of thyroid disorders, your numbers are normal.

The thyroid gland situated at the base of the neck as shown in the picture here, secretes hormones that control metabolic activity in every cell of the body. In a condition called hypothyroidism or under active thyroid, the thyroid fails to produce sufficient quantities of that hormone. This causes the thyroid to slow production thus slowing other bodily functions.

If you suffer from a lack of normal thyroid levels, you probably feel tired and weak most of the time. You move slower than you used to, and even relatively simple and routine activities like preparing dinner seem overwhelming; worse, you may feel depressed and lose hope. Most likely, you've gained weight and have a hard time digesting food. Your joints and muscles may ache, and because your body temperature has plummeted, you feel cold even when others are complaining of the heat.

Here is a detailed citing of the workings of the thyroid gland for your ease of understanding.

These, some of the most common thyroid symptoms of thyroid disorders.

Normal Thyroid levels are tested by your Dr. and please understand that there is a difference between normal and optimal.

The following are symptoms of thyroid disorders:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression & Irritability
  • Weight Gain
  • Aches & Pains
  • Sensitivity to Cold & Heat
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual Problems
  • Recurring Infections
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hair Loss & Eyebrow Loss (outer one-third)
  • Dry Skin & Hair
  • Brittle Peeling Nails
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety, Palpitations & Anxiety Attacks
  • Poor Memory and Concentration
  • Low Libido
  • Hoarse Voice
  • Tingling Hands & Feet
  • Water Retention
  • Blurred Vision
  • Anemia, Easy Bruising
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Raynaud's Syndrome
  • Lowered Immunity

Hypothyroidism is more common in Women than in Men. The balance of estrogen and progesterone can have an indirect influence on the thyroid glands. Most common is estrogen dominance, where relatively higher estrogen levels suppress thyroid function. Women on synthetic estrogen replacement therapy are highly susceptible.

If you have the above symptoms, it is wise to get to your Dr. right away and request thyroid testing.

Don't just settle for the standard TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test rather request the below thyroid panel:

  • TSH This diagnoses the pituitary
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Antibodies-Thyroid Peroxidase(TPO)
  • (If you suspect Hashimotos Thyroiditis or Hypothyroid) Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI) (If you suspect Graves Disease or Hyperthyroid)
  • Ferritin
  • (Losing Hair)
  • B-12 and Folate
  • Vitamin D referred to as 25-hydroxyvitamin D
(Many recommend the above two in addition)

Again, a word of caution. You may need to demand the above tests because many doctors rely on the TSH strictly to diagnose your hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, this test is extremely unreliable and often fails to catch a mild to moderate case of the thyroid disorder. If your basal body temperature is consistently low and if you experience the symptoms of thyroid disorders as lined out above, consider working with an Endocrinologist, Naturopath, Integrative or Anti-aging doctor. Be sure to print these out so you are well armed!

Some causes of less than normal thyroid levels:

  • Hashimoto's disease and other inflammatory disorders of the thyroid
  • Iodine Deficiency
  • Stress
  • Poor Diet, High Sugar Diet
  • Inactivity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone Imbalance; estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and DHEA
  • Surgery on or Radiation of the Thyroid
  • Certain Medications; notably synthetic estrogen, lithium
  • Failure of the Pituitary Gland

Nutrition is key to maintaining and elevating your normal thyroid levels. With all of the low fat dieting, we have down regulated the thyroid glands.

One of the most important steps in nutrition as related to the thyroid gland is the elimination of all soy protein in the diet. Isoflavones like genistein appear to reduce thyroid hormone output by blocking activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase. In other words, Soy actually down regulates the thyroid.

Cruciferous or goitrogenic vegetables are also implicated in down regulation of the thyroid gland. Like the isoflavones, isothiocyanates appear to reduce thyroid function by blocking thyroid peroxidase, and also by disrupting messages that are sent across the membranes of thyroid cells. You can eat your cruciferous veggies just make sure they're steamed, cooked or and don't consume them excessively.

These vegetables include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips

Following the Phase I plan can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy thyroid and Mary Enig, Eat Fat Lose Fat states that the synergistic effect of Coconut Oil and cod liver oil consumption will elevate thyroid activity. She also claims that rubbing a bit of Coconut Oil on the skin at the base of the neck can stimulate the thyroid.

Your symptoms of thyroid problems are not all in your head. Demand your testing because you have a right to feel well.

There are plenty of support groups on the internet but I think the one of most value is Stop The Thyroid Madness. Janie is a thyroid activist and highly respected in the thyroid blog community.

The Broda O. Barnes Foundation is a site that was developed for Professionals and Patients alike for the education of not only Normal Thyroid levels advice but medication descriptions as well.

Knowledge is Power!

The following book might just be what you're looking for if your Doctor is giving you the run around.

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism by Datis Kharrazian

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