Hey everybody Dr Hagmeyer here and today’s video is on the 12 Symptoms Of Low Thyroid. Maybe you have been suspecting a thyroid problems for a while and you went to your doctor complaining of low thyroid symptoms- only for your doctor or the nurse to call you and tell you that your thyroid is completely “Normal.”
Is it possible to have a thyroid problem with normal thyroid testing. This is tricky question and a question I am asked daily. So lets dive into why this is a tricky questions and why more complete thyroid testing is usually needed.
12 Low Thyroid Symptoms You Should Be Familiar With.
#1 Do you feel Tired, Run Down and Sluggish Despite A Good Nights Sleep?
This is pretty common complain by many people so this one is easy to write off and think life is just busy.
For many woman, perhaps you work, you own your own business, you have kids, you have sports, you have lunches and dinner to prepare and you have homework. So its easy to see that many of us could argue that we are all tired and feeling sluggish.
#2- Do you Feel Cold all the time?-
Cold intolerance is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. You may find yourself constantly reaching for a sweater or turning up the heat, even though others around you seem unbothered. Perhaps you are avoiding outdoor activities for fear of feeling uncomfortably cold. With hypothyroidism, metabolism slows, body temperature drops, cutaneous (skin) vasoconstriction occurs, and the patient may feel cold even in a warm environment
#3- Require excessive amounts of sleep in order to function properly–
Do you go to sleep at 9 or 10 pm and wake up feeling just as tired as you were when you went to bed?do you feel like you never rested? Do you feel that without your morning coffee- you will never make it through the day-
#4 & #5 Weight gain.
In the last 5 years I have seen so many patients do a fantastic job eating super clean- cutting out all the junk foods, cutting out gluten, drinking only water, exercising 4-5x a week and yet still struggle seeing the weight come off or keeping the weight off. I would add to you gain weight one month and a couple months later lose weight- that to me is sometime a tip off that the underlying may be a condition in which you have autoimmune Hashimoto’s.
#6-Depression or Anxiety
The association between thyroid function and psychiatric disorders particularly mood disorders has long been recognized. This is an incredibly common problem I see in many of my patients who are suspected of having thyroid disease. I would also argue that in all the patients I have worked with, I almost always see some degree of thyroid impairment. The most common lab finding I see include Elevated TSH, Low T3, Low Free T3, High Free T4, TPO antibodies and elevated Reverse T3.
#7- Constipation, Bloating or IBS
Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Other than the frequency of defecation, other criteria used to define constipation include symptoms like needing to strain during bowel movements, lumpy or hard stools, pain during elimination, a sensation that bowel movements are incomplete or blocked in some way. Low thyroid hormone levels (T4 and T3) slow all of your body systems, including gastric motility, leading to constipation. Do you find yourself constipated and bloated? This is also a common consequence of low thyroid function. If you notice this happening you may not have enough stomach acid to properly breakdown food.
A recent study published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain found that thyroid and Migraines had a strong connection with 21% of people who suffered a pre-existing headache condition were more likely to develop hypothyroidism. For migraine sufferers, that number jumps to 41%.
This isn’t surprising considering past research has shown that people who suffered from migraines in early childhood often developed hypothyroidism as an adult. Research has also shown that once hypothyroidism has developed, migraines and headaches become more frequent and severe.
Furthermore, other studies have found that as hypothyroidism increases in severity, it may result in even more frequent headaches.
#9 and #10 Hair loss.
Most people with hypo- or hyperthyroidism have autoimmune thyroid disease. If a person has one autoimmune disease he/she is more likely than others to develop some other autoimmune condition.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss that occurs in people with autoimmune thyroid disease more often than expected by chance.
Unlike the types of diffuse hair loss described above, alopecia areata causes discrete, often circular, areas of hair loss. In most cases, this is transient and does not progress, but unfortunately, it can cause significant baldness. There are other rare autoimmune conditions that can cause hair loss through scarring (e.g. lupus erythematosus), which are associated with autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is also associated with autoimmune thyroid disease and may manifest as diffuse hair loss; other features are irregular periods, obesity and acne.
Sometimes the hair loss is on the head, sometimes it’s the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow or sometime is the hair around the genitals. Hair loss is a very common problem- If you have not seen my video on hair loss and the hormones that cause it I recommend that you watch that. If that’s something you are struggling with.
#11- Dry skin, and Scalp–
Hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone, can cause a number of symptoms that may be overwhelming for people who live with the condition — including skin irritations and disorders that can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. Hypothyroidism, in general, causes dry skin, but other skin changes can be seen at times, such as decreased sweating and coarse skin. Here again while this may not be caused solely by low thyroid- its hard to correct these problems when you are hypothyroid.
#12- Brain Fog-
This is very common problem I see in my patients with low thyroid. Can’t focus, cant concentrate, you head just feels heavy. You make mistakes at work. You have to read a sentence 2 or three times to understand what you just read- this is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. In fact in a survey of 2409 participants who had hypothyroidism, (79.2%) participants experienced brain fog symptoms frequently. Of the symptoms listed, participants associated fatigue and forgetfulness most frequently with brain fog.
Some Final Thoughts….
So here’s the deal, When you look at any of these symptoms by themselves, They are very common problems and they are easily dismissed by doctors. But when you can identify with more than 3 of these, it is time for a Complete Thyroid Panel
1 in 8 woman Develop Thyroid Disease-Your Not Alone!
My bet is that if you can relate to more than three of these, you need a more thorough workup including T3, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies. If you are a man or woman suffering with these problems- #1 realize that you are not alone. According to American thyroid association, An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
1 in 8 women develop a thyroid disorder and Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. They have no idea. They are suffering with these symptoms day in and day out- not enjoying a quality of life they had hoped for.
So right about now you may be thinking- how is that so many people have a thyroid problem and don’t know it.
One word- MISDIAGNOSIS.
Here’s what happens in doctors office throughout the country. You complain to your doctor about these symptoms and you ask your doctor to check you thyroid.
He or she agrees to check your thyroid. You get a phone call form the nurse of the doctor and he or she goes on to tell you that your TSH is normal. There are couple of problems with this that I want to point out to you.
#1- TSH and T4 is a screening test- this is what most doctors are using to determine whether a person has a thyroid problem or not- in my opinion and many other doctors- looking at ONLY these two tests by themselves is- USELESS- this is a far cry of what should be tested.
#2- the laboratory reference ranges for these two thyroid lab markers is extremely broad and not specific enough. Take for example the TSH range (0-5.5)
When it comes to the Thyroid- The reference ranges you want to use are called Functional Thyroid Ranges
The reference range if you have a copy of your blood work may go from .5 up to 5.0. there are a lot of numbers between .5 and 5.0. This is why you want to familiarize yourself with Functional Thyroid ranges. Functional Thyroid ranges is what you want to use an monitor the function of your Thyroid.
Recommended Thyroid Testing
- Free T4,
- Total T3,
- Free T3,
- Reverse T3,
- TPO antibodies and TGB antibodies-
The T3 and Reverse T3 markers are used to look at the T3/Reverse T3 ratio and the last two markers (TPO and TGB) help in identifying an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s which incidentally accounts for the majority of hypothyroid cases in the US.
If you don’t have these Thyroid biomarkers or your doctor wont run a Complete Thyroid Panel you can purchase a complete Panel and consult here
If you have a free T3 and Reverse T3 levels you can go to my website watch a video that explains how to calculate your ratio.
So there you have it folks- hope you found today’s video helpful I hope it sheds some light on why your levels might seem normal range despite having symptoms.
I hope you understand why its so important to have more than a TSH and T4 test done.
If you are looking for more information in understanding your thyroid lab values I put together a free guide titled “5 patterns of thyroid disease that don’t show up on standard blood testing”– If you want to see that I will put a link in the description- click on the link and you can download your free copy.
If you want to order a complete Thyroid Panel and consultation with me use the link here