Today, I want to talk to you about some of the Common Symptoms Experienced In Woman With High TSH.
Understanding High TSH- Why The Confusion
High TSH, confuses a lot of people. Many people think that a High TSH is associated with Hyperthyroidism and a low TSH is associated with hypothyroidism. Let me explain….
The thing you want to understand about TSH is that TSH Is a response to low thyroid hormone levels in your blood.
So, if you always remember that TSH is a response to the amount of thyroid levels in your blood, then it makes sense.
Remember that TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating hormones, so it’s job is to stimulate the thyroid gland or kick it into gear because the thyroid hormone levels are low.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the TSH levels, the more severe hypothyroid symptoms we would expect to see. But this again, would be verified by what is happening with the levels of T3 and T4.
Let me give you an example- Let’s say you have a TSH of 11 (normal functional range for TSH is 1.8-3.0) so if you have a TSH of 11, we would probably expect to see more symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, weight gain and hair loss then someone who has a TSH of 4.
Learn more about Understanding Your Thyroid Lab ranges
Learn More about Functional Thyroid Lab Ranges
- Weight gain– if you are having trouble losing weight and you are eating clean, exercising and this weight is just not coming off- then I am very suspicious of an elevated TSH.
- Feeling cold– If you are that person reaching for that sweatshirt or jacket when everyone around you is comfortable- then again that’s a red flag. Your Thyroid is the metabolic furnace of the body. When the furnace slows down, we have less heat- when the thyroid shuts down, we often experience that sensation of being cold all the time.
- Fatigue– This is one of the most troublesome symptoms with High TSH. Nobody likes to feel burdened with this overwhelming sensation of being nonproductive. If you have to take a nap every day because of fatigue, this is a red flag to me that should be tested for High TSH.
- Changes to menstrual cycle or symptoms of a sex hormone imbalance– We tend to think of sex hormones problems (estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone) being a separate issue from a thyroid problem, but in reality, I have seen very few women with thyroid problems who don’t have sex hormone imbalances. This might be the woman who has zero libido, she is never in the mood to make love to her husband, this is the woman who might have heavy or painful menstrual cycles, So for you ladies out there, never rule out a thyroid problem as a culprit to your menstrual cycle changes or menopausal symptoms.
- Cold Hands and feet or low body temperature –If you check your temperature and you are finding that your temperature is on a regular basis below 98.6- Red flag! A high TSH can cause this.
- Hair loss or Changes to the texture of your hair, skin and nails. Does your hair feel brittle, are your nails splitting, is your skin feeling drying and cracking? has your hair stylist noticed that your hair is different. If so, these again are all red flag for a high TSH.
- Changes in gut function– are you finding yourself belching more often, burping, feeling bloated, or constipated.
- Brain fog, having problems with names and memory. Are you finding yourself reading a paragraph only to have to go back and read it all over again? Do you forget where you parked your car, are you noticing that you are not as sharp as you once were?
- Feeling Sad, depressed or melancholy.
The reason I mention these symptoms is because if your doctor has prescribed you thyroid replacement, we expect the TSH to go down and these symptoms should improve very quickly. But if they don’t improve quickly within a few weeks, then there is something much more going on with this picture. If the cause of all these symptoms is a High TSH, then correcting that TSH should improve these symptoms.
So, I hope you found todays video helpful, I hope you now have a better understanding of TSH, that it no longer confuses you.
If you are one of those women out there and your symptoms have gotten worse after taking thyroid replacement or you continue to suffer with thyroid symptoms, further testing will help you get to the bottom of your symptoms.
One thing I forgot to mention is that when we talk about thyroid markers, please keep in mind that there is much more to understanding thyroid function than just a TSH.
Woman with thyroid symptoms should always be checked with a full thyroid panel not a TSH alone which is what most doctors run. That’s nothing more than a screening and in my experience, it misses about 80-90% of the woman out there who struggle with these symptoms.
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