Expert Advice From Louise O’Connor, Australian Naturopath + Wellness Coach { About the book }

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 TSHIf you are worried you have a thyroid problem it’s crucial to get proper testing.

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

Firstly, let’s take a closer look at thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

This hormone is made by the pituitary gland which is located deep within your brain. TSH travels to the thyroid via the blood stream to stimulate thyroid hormone production.

This makes TSH an essential messenger hormone that is central to the feedback system that controls thyroid hormone activity. When the body requires more thyroid hormones the pituitary releases more TSH. A consistently high TSH result therefore indicates a hypothyroid problem.

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

The TSH blood test is considered the gold standard when it comes to thyroid testing. BUT this conventional medical approach is causing a great deal of anxiety and frustration.

To get more than TSH tested you need to be your own health advocate. Speak up, ask questions! If you don’t, who will?

4 Tips To Getting More Than TSH Tested

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

+ Take Along A List Of What You Want Tested

Take a written list of the tests that you would like to get tested. I list the 5 thyroid tests to ask for here. As a patient you have the right to get comprehensive testing. When you get more than TSH tested you get a much clearer picture of how your thyroid is functioning. However be prepared to discuss WHY you would like more than TSH tested.

+ Don’t Let Your Doctor Fob You Off

If your doctor is not listening, or is talking down to 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 proper thyroid testing.

+ 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.

+ Speak To Your Naturopath

In Australia, Naturopaths can organize private testing with pathology companies such as NutriPATH Functional Pathology. As a guide, a comprehensive thyroid panel measures TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3 (RT3), anti-TG antibodies, anti-TPO antibodies, and provides the T3/RT3 ratio. This testing is not done under Medicare so you will need to pay a private testing fee.

You Got More Than TSH Tested. Now What Is The Next Step?

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.

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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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