Stubborn Weight And Your Thyroid: It’s Time To Take Another Look

You’re struggling with your weight and you get your thyroid tested. You’re told every thing is normal.

Is it really?

Unless you’ve had a comprehensive thyroid panel performed, and have had it evaluated with a set of eyes that look beyond the “normal” lab reference ranges, you could be fighting an uphill battle with your weight that you’ll never be able to win.

Top 6 tests that need to be included if you want to see the whole picture:

  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
  • Free T3 — your active thyroid hormone
  • Free T4 — the main hormone made by your thyroid
  • Reverse T3 — an inactive thyroid hormone that can interfere with T3 doing its job
  • TPO Antibodies (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies)
  • TG Antibodies (Thyroglobulin Antibodies)

Next time you have your thyroid function tested, make sure to request that all of these tests are included. If you’ve recently had your thyroid checked, you’ll want to call your doctor to find out whether this type of comprehensive panel was run.

Most routine thyroid tests simply look at TSH using the standard lab reference range. This is like looking through a keyhole and thinking you’re seeing the whole picture. The truth is, you’re not!

2 reasons why TSH alone is not enough to say your thyroid function is normal

1. TSH is a hormone that comes from your brain and tells your thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. Just measuring TSH does not tell you anything about whether your thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are normal. You MUST have your actual thyroid hormones measured too!

2. The “normal” lab range for TSH is not accurate. FACT:  In 2003 – fourteen years ago – the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists set the upper limit of TSH at 3.0. In spite of this fact, all of the labs in the United States still report the upper limit of normal TSH to be in the range of 4.5 – 5.0. So…how many of people are told that their thyroid is normal, but are still struggling with weight gain, weight loss resistance or just not seeing the results that they should from their exercise program??!!

Going further, many experts believe that the upper limit of TSH should actually be in the range of 2.0 – 2.5. In the research looking at people with completely healthy thyroid function based on the most rigorous and comprehensive testing, their TSH falls in this range.

But what do these results mean?  

Having the top 6 thyroid tests run is just the first step.

To figure out what’s really going on, these tests must be interpreted properly, and they need to be considered in tandem with other major hubs in your hormone network like your adrenal hormones, insulin and your sex hormones. Once you do this, you’ll be able to start making solid progress in reaching your weight loss goals.

If you’d like additional support with stubborn weight, please reach out to me – I’m happy to help!

Want to Meet with Dr. Karen?

Dr. Karen is currently available on Wednesdays at CrossFit Sanitas. You can book online directly or through the front desk at 303-449-4635.

*Through the month of October, Dr. Karen is offering a $155 discount on your first two appointments.*


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