Have your Thyroid Checked


The thyroid gland plays a role in regulating your metabolic rate and body temperature.  Some studies suggest that as many as 80% of adults in the U.S. have a thyroid deficiency.

The blood test for thyroid function measures thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.  This is what your brain releases to get your thyroid to work.  If it is high, it is interpreted to mean that your thyroid is not responding, causing the brain’s pituitary gland to secrete more TSH.  A value greater than 2.0 is considered abnormal (although you may be told that 4.5 is the threshold).

Free T3 and T4 (the main hormones the thyroid gland produces) are also measured in a thyroid blood test.  They are typically low in patients with hypothyroid, even if TSH is normal.

The thyroid also produces a hormone called calcitonin, which helps regulate blood calcium levels (recall that calcium is needed for proper nerve and muscle function).

The standard prescription for hypothyroidism is synthetic thyroid hormone (T4) such as Synthroid and Levoxly.  However, I recommend trying the actual desiccated (porcine) thyroid supplement Armour, as it contains both T4 and T3.

If there is an abnormality (hypo or hyper), treating your thyroid may reduce fibromyalgia pain.   Supplements to support the thyroid gland include selenium, desiccated thyroid gland, ashwagandha, kelp and fish oil.    Avoid soy, and reduce stress.

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