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Treatment Options When You Have A High TSH

TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. The TSH level in your blood reveals how much T4 your pituitary gland is asking your thyroid gland to make.. Todays article and video were going to review some of the different treatment options for High TSH as well as some of the Pros and Cons of each treatment method, when you have High TSH levels.

In my last couple of videos I talked about

  1. Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  2. 5 causes of High TSH in woman 

I want to talk to you about some of the different treatment options you should be aware of if you have High TSH-What do you do? Is taking thyroid medication the only solution for you?  Do you have to take thyroid medication for this problem? Are there natural treatment methods for Thyroid Disease

I receive a lot of emails regarding my last video, asking me what are the treatment options if I have a high TSH. For many men and woman taking thyroid replacement causes new symptoms like depression brain fog, or just a worsening of their existing symptoms.

So, in today’s video I want to talk about treatment options for woman who have high TSH lab levels.

Rule #1 and I want you to commit this to memory.  You can’t fix what you don’t know.

While we talked a lot about the Symptoms of High TSH, it is important to understand that the standard testing for thyroid problems is in my opinion 100% inadequate and is very often misleading.

You can learn more about Why the TSH Test is Misleading.

So, the very first thing that needs to happen is that you need to have a complete thyroid panel- Not a TSH, not a TSH with reflex and not a TSH with just a free T3….. But a Full Thyroid Panel.

Chances are, your doctor will not order a full thyroid panel, so If you haven’t already obtained a Complete Thyroid Panel, you can visit my clinical testing page and my office can help you with this. If you already have a complete Thyroid panel you are already one step ahead of the game!

Remember, You can’t fix what you don’t know

So What Are Your Treatment Options For A High TSH or High Normal TSH.

Treatment Options When You Have A High TSH 2

Let’s say for the purpose of this video you have a TSH of 5.0 (the reference range for most labs fall between (.5-5.0)- what are your treatment options.

1st Treatment Option For High TSH

#1 Thyroid Hormone Replacement. This is the standard operating procedure in the medical world for elevated TSH. The problem with this is that while this may work in lowering your TSH, it doesn’t address the Root Cause of the elevated TSH. We still haven’t figured out the cause of the high TSH. All you have done is topped off the levels. This doesn’t fix the problem.

But it can work in reducing some of your symptoms. The downside to this is that Thyroid replacement does have side effects– Osteoporosis is just one of them but being overmedicated is incredible common.

Thyroid Over Medication is incredibly common and happens more than you think

2nd Treatment Option for High TSH

The 2nd treatment option for a high TSH includes the use of Natural or Desiccated Thyroid Replacement or a combination of both thyroid hormones T3 and T4.

This is where you might hear about medications like Cytomel which is given when T3 levels are low or Armour which is a combination of both T4 and T3.

In this treatment option, there is a good chance that the testing ordered by your doctor will include additional thyroid markers like T3, Free T3 and Reverse T3.

But the biggest problem I see here is that this is still not addressing the ROOT cause of why that T3 is low in the first place.

It is still just topping off thyroid hormones that are low. The premise is the same- it’s a replacement model of treatment rather than a root cause model of treatment.

There are many reasons why your T3 levels are low or why you might have one of those 6 patterns of thyroid disease, but simply taking T3 or a T3/T4 combination still does not address the real problem and so that brings us to treatment option #3-

3rd Treatment Option For High TSH

This thyroid treatment option, requires you to work with a doctor who thinks outside the box- Your best bet is to find a doctor who is certified in functional medicine.

If you have never heard of functional medicine, I will leave a link in the description that can provide you with more about a Functional medicine approach for thyroid problems.

If you decide to work with a certified Functional medicine doctor, he or she is going to obtain a complete thyroid panel to look at the pattern of thyroid disease that is showing up.

There are 5 main patterns of thyroid disease well…(actually 6 patterns if we include Hashimotos) that could show up when you order a complete thyroid panel.

What’s important to understand is that, You can’t identify any of these 6 patterns of thyroid disease with a TSH and a Free T4 test only. There is just not enough information to understand what the cause of the problem is.

Keep in mind if your doctor is only running a TSH and free T4 testing, he or she is not looking at the Big picture or the root cause of why you have thyroid disease.

TSH and Free T4 is only useful if you plan to try to treat the thyroid disease with the topping off method of thyroid replacement.

5 Causes of Your High TSH in Woman (Hypothyroidism)- That No One Is Talking About 3

One thing you should be aware when it comes to thyroid testing and you might want to write this down, is that when testing for autoimmune thyroid disease it is important that you get tested for both Thyroid antibodies.

Remember you can’t treat what you don’t know. One thing I want to mention is that once the pattern is identified, functional testing should be implemented to determine the best course of treatment possible-

This might include testing and investigation into things like

  • Gut microbiome,
  • Cortisol levels,
  • Liver function,
  • nutritional deficiencies,
  • Methylation capacity,
  • Genetic SNPS,
  • Food sensitivities,
  • Oxidative stress levels,
  • Hormonal imbalances –

This is where the expertise and clinical training of your Functional Medicine Doctor will come in. They will be able to determine the most appropriate testing for your symptoms, as well as pattern of thyroid disease.

Things To Remember About Today’s Article and Video

So just a quick summary as we wrap up today video on treatment options for High TSH.

  1. There are really three ways to approach thyroid disease and High TSH levels.
  2. You can treat thyroid disease with synthetic medications like Synthroid and levothyroxine, You can treat thyroid disease with Natural thyroid replacement, or you can treat thyroid disease from a Root cause perspective using the premise of Functional Medicine.
  3. If you treat your thyroid disease with Synthetic thyroid replacement or natural thyroid replacement, you are only addressing the symptoms. Whether you take synthetic thyroid replacement or natural thyroid replacement you are still only topping off the thyroid levels, you have not addressed why the TSH is High and the thyroid levels are low.
  4. If you decide to work with a doctor who looks at the Big Picture, this approach will give you the best chance at not only feeling your best, but also addressing the Root cause of the problem, preventing many future problems.

Whether you need help with implementing a certain diet or you are looking to dig deeper into the Root cause of your health problems with Functional Testing, we can help you!.

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