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Thyroid symptoms are on the rise. So many people suffer from fatigue, high cholesterol, joint pains, brain fog, thinning hair, cold hands/feet, constipation, depression and weight gain. Could your thyroid be the culprit?

Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland which sits like a little butterfly above the Adam’s apple in the neck. Its small size belies its importance. It’s one of the “Master Glands” in the body with its main role regulating the rate at which we burn energy. All the preceding symptoms listed are indicative of how fast we can produce energy to fuel the body’s processes.

Of course, there are “imposters” that can mimic low thyroid. Many drugs slow down metabolism or even affect how the thyroid gland produces hormones. Examples of the latter are statin drugs or beta blockers. Or some drugs, like the notorious PPI’s (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Dexilant and others) have side effects so bad that even though they don’t affect the thyroid per se, they cause such a disruption in the absorption of key nutrients that the effects are similar to low thyroid function.

Another common cause of fatigue is poor diet. Obviously, nutrition needs to be a major focus.

And yet another common cause of fatigue are one or more pathogens. Just like a computer virus can slow down function, viruses can also hide out in the body causing fatigue and slowing things down. Examples include Lyme and its co-infections, Ebstein Barr virus, and others.

Where many in mainstream medicine miss the boat, is testing. Thyroid tests, in order, to be complete, must include a TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies—the latter to rule out an autoimmune cause. Any testing short of these is incomplete. And since no hormones operate in a vacuum, I prefer to also test cortisol production and the sex hormones as well. If I suspect those other causes of fatigue, even further testing is warranted.

If you would like to get an answer for your thyroid symptoms, don’t settle for inadequate testing! At Wellness by Design, we’re able to provide the testing and interpretation you need to get to the bottom of your problems!