Expert Guidance From Louise O’Connor - The Thyroid Naturopath { Discover More! }

What Should You Do If Your Doctor Refuses To Test More Than TSH?

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What Should You Do If Your Doctor Refuses To Test More Than TSHThe single thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test is not enough to properly assess thyroid function. Here’s what you should you do if your doctor refuses to test more than TSH.

TSH Is Not The Best Indicator Of Thyroid Function

Although TSH test is considered the ‘gold standard’ for testing it’s NOT a reliable indicator of overall thyroid function.

It’s why the conventional approach to testing is causing a great deal of anxiety and frustration.

It’s vital to run more than the TSH test if you want to get a much clearer picture of  overall thyroid function. You see, the TSH test just measures circulating levels of TSH in your bloodstream.

TSH is the hormone made by the pituitary gland which is located deep within your brain. That’s right, TSH is not a hormone produced by the thyroid!

TSH travels from the brain to the thyroid via the blood stream to stimulate thyroid hormone production. This makes TSH an essential messenger hormone as it works on a feedback system to control thyroid hormone production. But testing TSH does not tell you if the thyroid is responding to the TSH message, and thereby producing the much needed thyroid hormones.

What Should You Do If Your Doctor Refuses To Test More Than TSH?

Here are four tips to help you get more than TSH tested.

+ Take Along A List Of What You Want Tested

As a patient you have the right to be heard! Don’t let doctors ignore your symptoms.

In many ways you need to be your own health advocate. Before you visit your doctor have a plan of what you would like to discuss on the day…definitely think of the reasons WHY you would like more than TSH tested.

I suggest you take in a list of the tests you want done. To make it simple, here are the five basic thyroid tests you should be discussing with your healthcare practitioner;

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Free T4 (FT4)
  • Free T3 (FT3)
  • Reverse T3 (RT3)
  • Thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase Abs (aka the TPO test), and antithyroglobulin Abs (ATG Ab).

You can learn more about thyroid testing here: The Top 5 Thyroid Blood Tests. These Thyroid Tests Are Essential. Find Out Why!

+ Don’t Let Your Doctor Fob You Off

If you feel your doctor is ignoring you it’s time to find another doctor. It’s not unreasonable to expect your doctor to listen, and take your concerns seriously. You certainly shouldn’t feel intimidated when it comes to discussing treatment.

+ Seek A Doctor Who Has An Interest In Thyroid Health

Due to restraints within the current medical system most doctors only want to test TSH. Seek a doctor who is more proactive, and willing to test more than TSH at your first visit. Doctors who practice functional medicine are usually more open to discussing comprehensive testing.

Comprehensive thyroid testing can provide the answers you are seeking, and can assist in diagnosing a specific thyroid disorder. A skilled holistic practitioner will interpret your test results within the context of how you feel, your health history, and the symptoms you are experiencing. It’s very likely they will use a narrower reference range for each test than what’s listed on the pathology report.

+ Consider Private Testing

There are online providers who provide direct access to the laboratory testing you need.

In the USA?

You can order a complete thyroid panel with True Health Labs. It’s recommended that you get a complete thyroid panel done if you have any thyroid health concerns, especially if your doctor only ran the TSH test and said everything’s ‘NORMAL’! > > Click here to find out more.

In Australia?

You can order comprehensive testing with i-screen, Australia. Their Advanced Thyroid Check tests TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies. Note the reverse T3 test is separate. No doctor referral is necessary! > > Click here to find out more.

what should you do if your doctor refuses to test more than TSH

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  1. Should I get my glands removed? My levels are normal. I have goiters. The doctors say there is no treatment. I had a biopsy done. It was not cancerous but causing hoarseness and food sticking in my throat.

    • Louise O'Connor says:

      Hi Hazel, this question is best discussed with your Dr. I suggest you find out as much information as possible about your thyroid disorder and the possible cause of the goitre. There are treatment options for goitre. Worldwide goitre is one of the earliest and most visible signs of an iodine deficiency. If you are not low in iodine then the formation of a goitre is more than likely due to a thyroid autoimmune disorder such as Hashimoto’s. You will only know if you have Hashimoto’s if your thyroid antibodies are raised when a thyroid blood test is done. Hashimoto’s is also treatable. Once you know more about your thyroid disorder it can help you chart the most ideal treatment plan with your Dr. As a patient you also have the right to get a second opinion. Best wishes, Louise O’Connor

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