Have you been told that all of your thyroid labs are normal, and yet you’re still having symptoms? Do you know deep down that something is wrong, but your doctor keeps telling you everything is “fine”?
I had a similar experience back when I was struggling with severe symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. I had at least five different doctors dismiss me and say I “just had dry skin” when my face and neck were covered in hives and I was having an allergic reaction to every kind of food.
As upsetting as it all was, I’m so thankful I didn’t give up. I eventually found a doctor who listened and ran tests and diagnosed me. And, as scary as a diagnoses can be, it was so much better to have an answer than continuing to run in circles.
If you are in a situation where you know something isn’t right, I want to encourage you to keep looking for answers. The time, effort and frustration it can take to get the answers is always worth it!
I also have some tips to help you figure out what’s going on:
1. If your doctor won’t listen to you, or tells you you’re “fine” even though you know something is wrong, get a second, third or fourth opinion.
It can also be helpful to seek out a good Functional Doctor or Functional Nutritional Therapist. Someone who will look at all of your symptoms, hear your full health history and spend more than 15 minutes with you can help get you the answers you are looking for.
The best way to find a good practitioner to work with is to ask around. That’s how I’ve found every good practitioner that I’ve worked with over the last 12 years!
2. Ask for a copy of your labs and make sure they are testing for more than just TSH. TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone. You have to test thyroid hormones to know how the thyroid is actually doing.
Here’s a list of labs that will give you a nice snapshot of how your thyroid and is doing:
3. Order private testing if no one will run labs for you. Yes, this is a cost out of your pocket, but it could save you months or possibly years searching for answers. TrueHealthLabs or LetsGetChecked are two good options.
4. Once you have labs, read this article about Optimal Thyroid Labs. There is a difference between “fine” and “optimal”. Compare your labs to the numbers listed and see if you can find something.
If your doctor did run additional labs such as CBC, CMP, Vitamin D, iron, etc. and you see that a level is too high or too low, look these values up to understand what they are. Then make a list of these things to talk to your doctor about.
Sometimes the simple act of looking up various values can give you small clues. For example, if your Vitamin D is low, then you’ll know you need some more D in your diet while you’re trying to figure things out. Or if your white blood cells are low, you could take steps to support your immune system.
Every time I’ve ever seen a practitioner, I always come with a pen and paper and a list of questions to ask. This is so helpful so you don’t forget to ask the questions that have been keeping you up at night!
5. Remove processed foods from your diet. This will help reduce the stress and toxic load on your system and help improve your health while you continue looking for answers. Here’s a good outline of foods to eat and foods to avoid to get you started. I also have hundreds of recipes here and in my cookbooks.
6. Take steps to support your adrenals. Why? Adrenal imbalance is almost always one of the root causes of thyroid disease, autoimmunity, hormone imbalance, blood sugar imbalance, etc. and when most people start supporting their adrenals, they begin to feel better. Even feeling just a little better can help as you continue to look for answers.
You can also get your adrenals tested. An at-home saliva cortisol test is a great way to test cortisol patterns throughout the day.
I hope these tips help you on your healthy journey!