How do I know if I have Hypothyroid?

How do I know if I have Hypothyroid?

Thyroid disorders are on the rise, we're not exactly sure why, but more and more are struggling. It's estimated that 20 million Americans are suffering from thyroid disorders. And yet so many have yet to discover that their thyroid is suffering. 

Interestingly, women are much more likely to have thyroid issues than men, 5-8 times more likely in fact.

Why Thyroid tests need updating

If you've struggled to get your hypothyroid diagnosed then you know all to well the battle it can take to get your doctor to pay attention to your symptoms, even when your lab tests are showing up normal.

It's estimated that 60% of thyroid disorders are undiagnosed. This is horrifying, especially when you go beyond the number and look at the women who are included in this number (thyroid disorders afflict women 5+ times more than men). It's horrifying because untreated hypothyroid issues are not easy to navigate.

Issues like extreme fatigue (can't get out of bed in the morning despite sleeping 8 full hours tired), weight gain despite an hour busting your butt on the elliptical everyday, hair falling out, not being able to remember where you put your keys (every.single.time). It's a hard world to navigate when your thyroid is sluggish. Not to mention most of us with low thyroid are moms. And guess what, being a mom doesn't end at 5 pm!

Learning you have low thyroid issues is the first step to healing. 

But the standard testing process is missing a whole lot of cases. Here's why...

The standard test doctors will run to check for thyroid issues is to check Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, or TSH, levels. If these levels are in the 'normal' range then doctors will often send you on your way and chalk your symptoms up to standard complaints.

There are 2 things wrong with this:

  1. TSH levels tell only one part of the story. A basic overview of how our thyroid system works:
    The Pituitary Gland stimulates TSH --> TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to then release thyroid hormones T4 and T3 --> When the thyroid hormones are low, more TSH released and the cycle continues. So if the thyroid hormones are low more TSH is needed, elevating TSH levels. This is what the TSH test is checking.

    The problem is the difference between T4 and T3. There is more T4 produced than T3, but T3 is the more active form (does the work within the cells). Most of T4 is converted to T3 when needed. But for some of us the conversion can't happen. There are a number of factors that cause this, I'll go into that in a different post. 

    When T4 isn't being converted to T3 we don't have enough active thyroid hormone to work in the cells. But the T4 levels don't drop so TSH isn't effected, thus the levels look normal!
     
  2. The range is too wide. These ranges were set based on an average of thyroid tests. Researchers determined that the range 0.5 - 4.5 mlU/L is normal based on reviewing a whole gammit of thyroid TSH tests. The thing is these tests weren't from 'healthy' individuals. These tests were mostly from those with probable thyroid issues. Somehow this detail was missed, and the range was still passed through. 

    Many believe a better range to use is 0.5 - 2.0 mlU/L. Anything above 2.0 indicates thyroid issues (or the beginning of thyroid issues). 

    I should note, hyperthyroid TSH levels are lower, indicating underproduction of TSH and overproduction of the thyroid hormones.

Thankfully many doctors are updating their standard protocols. But it's important to bring in your own information and request further testing and review the numbers yourself, especially when your symptoms are matching up with thyroid issues.

My 3 staples for a delicious superfood smoothie

My 3 staples for a delicious superfood smoothie

I feel like we live in a day and age that is so focused on everything you CAN'T have. All of the hype around the latest health documentary proves my point. The main takeaway for a lot of people...everything you eat will cause cancer or diabetes! 
Of course this isn't true, but it can seem true. It's overwhelming, and we're all left wondering what the heck we can eat. 

Are toxins making you fat?

Are toxins making you fat?

In a world focused on calories in vs. calories out, we’re still left with so many questions regarding our struggles with weight. I think it’s time to turn our attention and start looking at all of the other issues that are causing weight gain, or preventing weight loss.

Did you know that researchers have learned that environmental toxins are connected to weight gain?

4 Reasons You're Not Losing the Weight

4 Reasons You're Not Losing the Weight

So you've been hitting the gym everyday, sweating your butt off, staying away from ice cream like it's the plague and eating salads like it's going out of style.

And yet that scale just won't budge. And, yes we all know that the darn thing can lie but pants don't and those things still won't button all the way up. Let me tell you, I feel your pain. I wore a pair of pants the other night that were so tight I had to unbutton them halfway through dinner! No joke. It just ain't worth the pain!

4 Tips to Ditch the Sweet Stuff

4 Tips to Ditch the Sweet Stuff

So you're trying to cut back on sugar, and you're realizing you might need a little assistance when those dang cravings hit. Don't worry, you're not alone!

Sugar can be pretty dang powerful.

But I've got confidence in you, and I want to support you as much as I can. So I've come up with a few of my favorite tips for cutting out sugar. Try some out and let me know what you think!

Simple Zucchini Arugula Salad

Simple Zucchini Arugula Salad

Zucchinis have been a hard sell for me. Its usually the texture that throws me off. But I've found a trick for most things with texture issues...slice them really thin or chop it up. Its a whole new ball game now!

That's what I did with this zucchini salad. The key is the thinly sliced zucchini. For me, the thinner the better. But hey, if you love zucchini and all its texture attitude, then by all means forgo the slice and simply chop it into chunks. 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Boy do I have a treat for you guys today! Fall is here and we all know with that comes pumpkin flavored everything. And for a good reason, pumpkin is delicious. But so much of that stuff is filled with sugar, and chemicals, most of them don't even use real pumpkin. 

I've put together a delicious and uber healthy pumpkin treat for you. You can use this for breakfast, your midday snack or when you need a sweet fix.

Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

Looking to shake things up a bit? Find some alternatives to the over-used white potato? How about you give the sweet potato a try? 

It's loaded with nutrients: vitamin A, some of the B's, niacin, riboflavin, and given it's bright orange color I'm sure you already figured carotenoids were on the list too (cause you're smart like that!).

Fructose Overload

fructose overload infographic

Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "Fructose Overload." Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/fructose-overload-infographic.jpg" alt="fructose overload infographic" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/fructose-overload.htm">Fructose Overload</a>." Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>

5 Strategies for effective goals

5 Strategies for effective goals

We're coming up on that on that time of year again...you make your goals with so much hope and enthusiasm: this is going to be your year to finally lose the weight, or gain the energy, or kick the cravings.

This is going to be the year that you achieve your goals. But every year in the past you've gone through the same process with the same hope and enthusiasm, only to have everything fizzle out. And by February you're back to the same old routine and habits. The goals have been given up on and seem once again like another hopeless pipe dream.

THE REAL REASON FOR THOSE CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS

THE REAL REASON FOR THOSE CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS

I know you all know about SuperFoods and all the rage they bring. Well, there's another health craze, not quite as rage filled but still very enthusiastic. I'm terming it the SuperNutrients craze. 

A few decades ago the SuperNutrient was calcium. And this was great because we all want healthy bones of course.

And then the SuperNutrient moved onto Vitamin D, especially for those of us who are strangers to the sun majority of the year. Vitamin D became the king of all vitamins for immune support, fighting diseases, and healthy bones. 

THE STRESS EFFECT: and a counter-intuitive approach to deal with it

THE STRESS EFFECT: and a counter-intuitive approach to deal with it

STRESS: Webster's definition

  • a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
  • something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
  • physical force or pressure

We've been warned of the negative effects of stress for awhile now.
On your mental state, your blood pressure, your heart health.
And now we can add to that list your digestive health.