5 Thyroid Patterns That Won’t Show up on Standard Lab Tests

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Reviewed by Christina Graham, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC

In medicine, the key to choosing the best treatment is an accurate diagnosis. If the diagnosis isn’t correct, the treatment will be ineffective—or even cause harm.

Unfortunately a misdiagnosis can happen in the management of hypothyroidism and other thyroid disorders. If you go to a doctor with hypothyroid symptoms, you may be given replacement hormones without first determining what’s causing your thyroid issues.

Or, if you have hypothyroid symptoms but your lab tests are normal, your doctor may not realize you’re experiencing thyroid issues in the first place. You may even receive treatment or medication to deal with the symptoms you’re experiencing—like an antidepressant to address depressive symptoms—but you won’t receive anything that will help your thyroid disorder.

The problem with this approach is that thyroid physiology is complex.

The production, conversion, and uptake of thyroid hormone in the body involves several steps. A malfunction in any of these steps can cause hypothyroid symptoms, but may not show up on standard lab tests.

All cases of hypothyroidism do not share the same cause—and, as you might guess, they require different treatments.

In this article, I’ll present five patterns of thyroid dysfunction that may not show up on standard lab tests. If you have one of these patterns, your thyroid isn’t functioning properly and you will have symptoms. But depending on the tests your doctor runs, you may not get a diagnosis of hypothyroidism; and, if that’s the case, you won’t receive the treatment you need.

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A standard thyroid panel usually includes TSH and T4 only (while some panels will also look at free T3, free T4, and check for thyroid antibodies). The ranges for these markers vary from lab to lab, which is one of two main problems with standard lab ranges. The other problem is that lab ranges are not based on research that tells us what a healthy range might be, but on a bell curve of values obtained from people who come to the labs for testing.

Now, follow me on this. Who goes to labs to get tested? Sick people. If a lab creates its “normal” range based on test results from sick people, is that really a normal range? Does that tell us anything about what the range should be for health? (For more on the problems with standard lab ranges, watch this great presentation by Dr. Bryan Walsh)

Are you experiencing hypothyroidism symptoms even though your lab work is normal? You may still have hypothyroidism, though it may not show up on standard labs. Check out this article for more. #functionalmedicine #chriskresser

The Five Thyroid Patterns

1. Hypothyroidism Caused by Pituitary Dysfunction

This pattern is caused by elevated cortisol, which is in turn caused by active infection, blood sugar imbalances, chronic stress, pregnancy, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance. (1) These stressors fatigue the pituitary gland at the base of the brain so that it can no longer signal the thyroid to release enough thyroid hormone. There may be nothing wrong with the thyroid gland itself. The pituitary isn’t sending it the right messages.

With this pattern, you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms and a TSH below the functional range (1.8 – 3.0) but within the standard range (0.5 – 5.0). The T4 will be low in the functional range (and possibly the lab range too).

2. Under-Conversion of T4 to T3

T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. It must be converted to T3 before the body can use it. More than 90 percent of thyroid hormone produced is T4.

This common pattern is caused by inflammation and elevated cortisol levels. T4 to T3 conversion happens in cell membranes. Inflammatory cytokines damage cell membranes and impair the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3. (2) High cortisol also suppresses the conversion of T4 to T3. (3)

With this pattern you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms, but your TSH and T4 will be normal. If you have your T3 tested, which it rarely is in conventional settings, it will be low.

3. Hypothyroidism Caused by Elevated TBG

Thyroid binding globulin (TBG) is the protein that transports thyroid hormone through the blood. When thyroid hormone is bound to TBG, it is inactive and unavailable to the tissues. When TBG levels are high, levels of unbound (free) thyroid hormone will be low, leading to hypothyroid symptoms. (4)

With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be low, and T3 uptake and TBG will be high.

Elevated TBG is caused by high estrogen levels, which are often often associated with birth control pills or estrogen replacement (i.e. Premarin or estrogen creams). To treat this pattern, excess estrogen must be cleared from the body.

4. Hypothyroidism Caused by Decreased TBG

This is the mirror image of the pattern above. When TBG levels are low, levels of free thyroid hormone will be high. You might think this would cause hyperthyroid symptoms. But too much free thyroid hormone in the bloodstream causes the cells to develop resistance to it. So, even though there’s more than enough thyroid hormone, the cells can’t use it and you’ll have hypothyroid—not hyperthyroid—symptoms.

With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be high, and T3 uptake and TBG will be low.

Decreased TBG is caused by high testosterone levels. (5) In women, it is commonly associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring blood sugar balance is the key to treating this pattern.

5. Thyroid Resistance

In this pattern, both the thyroid and pituitary glands are functioning normally, but the hormones aren’t getting into the cells where they’re needed. This causes hypothyroid symptoms.

Note that all lab test markers will be normal in this pattern, because we don’t have a way to test the function of cellular receptors directly.

Thyroid resistance is usually caused by chronic stress and high cortisol levels. It can also be caused by high homocysteine and genetic factors. (6)

Thyroid Treatment Depends on the Right Diagnosis

The five patterns above are only a partial list. Several others also cause hypothyroid symptoms and don’t show up on standard lab tests. If you have hypothyroid symptoms, but your lab tests are normal, it’s likely you have one of them.

Not only do these patterns fail to show up on standard lab work, they don’t respond well to conventional thyroid hormone replacement. If your body can’t convert T4 to T3, or you have too much thyroid binding protein, or your cells are resistant, it doesn’t matter how much T4 you take; you won’t be able to use it.

Unfortunately, if you have one of these patterns and tell your doctor your medication isn’t working, all too often the doctor’s response is to simply increase the dose. When that doesn’t work, the doctor increases it yet again.

As I said at the beginning of this article, the key to a successful treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Without understanding precisely what’s causing the problem, you may end up with a treatment that isn’t well-suited to your specific situation.

The good news is that, once the correct diagnosis is made, patients respond very well to treatment.

841 Comments

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  1. I just got back from the endocrinologist. I had a T3-T4 and THS test..all came back “normal” I went from weighing 145lbs to 200 lbs in a few months, I am exhausted all the time. I only eat 1x a day, I drink water only. My hair and nails are brittle. I have brain fog and am irritable. My thyroid was slightly enlarged, but not enlarged enough. I have a family history of hypo and hyper thyroid ism ( my 1st cousin had thyroid cancer n had hers removed) the Dr was very dismissive and told me that ” according to the American Thyroid Association my results were not indicative of a thyroid disorder”.He told me that i need to see someone else, such as a rheumatologist to help me.

    • I am a 53 year old women w/fibro, I all of a sudden went from about 125-130ponds or even less,always been a bit skinny- to 200 ponds in just a couple of months, my tests say there is nothing wrong, I have the same problem and it runs in my family, even my grandmother, aunt had to have theirs removed!1 Doctor thinks it’s my immagination,blows me off because it’s not showing on all tests….very frustrated :(…This has effected my life a great deal…also I am perm. disabled due to back problems and it seems like nobody wants to help me….

      • Your dr works for YOU!! It seems your thyroid isn’t working hard enough,, or you don’t have enough, He needs to do a whole Thyroid Panel with TSH

    • I have the same issue gained approximately 50 pounds in a matter of 5 months, I have no energy, I’ve been on anti depressants for over 10 years. I am constantly tired have back pain, totally unmotivated, I really need help with this. Anyone out there please let me know where to get help!

    • Remove Dairy Gluten and Soy.
      Add “Mega Food Thyroid Strength ” megafood.com
      Add IsAgenix Dairy Free Shakes to your diet. EVERY day.
      email me at [email protected] if you need more support. My daughter is a changed and happy girl and cysts continue to decrease in!

  2. Husband has fatigue, but had been taking Effexor for years for depression, but thinks it is not working any more because he wants to sleep all morning and afternoon after sleeping all night. No motivation for the last month. Doctor said he is not depressed, but just fatique.and gave him a regular tyroid test which came back normal. Wont give him another type test because insurance will not pay for it. What do you think we should do?

    • You can get a take home kit on amazon for less than $200, which includes the analysis. I’m about to do the same because the Dr tested TSH and isnt interested in doing more. Chronic fatigue since 08.

      • try vitamin B 12 and also sun / Vitamin D

        Also, sounds like what ever he is taking in the morning may be affective him. Is he having a good breakfast? I have found that I am not energized without having real pure orange juice first thing in the morning to get my juices working. To much fiber in the morning does not work for me.

          • I understand your position. I do not drink any caffeine. By having fresh OJ, I am consuming Vit C as well as fiber which preps my digestive system. Also, my joints feel better.
            Again I look beyond the sugar aspects that you pointed out and also consider its other benefits.

            w/r

    • Have the doctor ween him off Effexor, I was on it for a few years and ended up more fatigued, much weight gain, sleepy, etc. There are other methods of treating anxiety without all the side effects from Effexor. Do not stop taking rapidly, must be reduced by a doctor or there will be more negative side effects.

      • Weaned myself off that dreaded Effexor after being on it for 10 years+. I’ve been 6 months off and I have so many hypothyroid symptoms even though my tests are normal. It does run in my family. My latest, 2 small bald spots noticed by my hairdresser really has me wondering. The most debilitating is fatigue.
        Been to a thyroid specialist that saw my test results and immediately said I obviously didn’t have a thyroid problem, and that’s it!!
        Do I see another endocrinologist? How do I know he will be more understanding?

  3. Diagnosed with Hashimotos approx 15 years ago, on Eltroxin since then. Tested bi-annually and meds adjusted accordingly. New GP only tests TSH for past 2 years, all normal, no meds adjustment, started feeling exhausted, depressed, insomnia, foggy brain etc, demanded Free T3 and Free T4 tests with TSH, came back TSH normal, T3 and T4 elevated, suggested re-testing a month later, results came back same.(slightly different readingsm) GP shrugged it off. What do the results mean? Should I see an endo? I am 56 years old. Thank you!!

  4. Well, once again I walked out of a doctor’s office thinking I am crazy. Over the last five years, I have had all kinds of weird things happening. I gained some weight that I cannot lose for the life of me (I even ran a marathon, did crossfit and changed my diet to complete paleo), I have strange bloating with abdominal pains, I am forgetful, I have night sweats, but then I am cold… anyways, all kinds of things. My doctor finally ran thyroid anitbodies and they are elevated, but told me not to worry about it. I went to an endo today and basically heard the same thing, since my TSH is normal. He said I have Hashi’s, but I didn’t have symptoms and that my thyroid was normal, so there is no reason to worry. I also have a Vitamine D deficiency. I know things are not ok, but I don’t know where to go anymore. What should I do?

    • Janett- thank you writing this note. I have been trying to lose weight for over 7yrs, done everything hired several personal trainers, eat healthy and eliminate gluten, etc. 3lbs is the most I can lose and I have weight to lose.. Taking naps, feeling brain foggy at times and losing energy to flight this battle. My thyroid tested normal but had a ultrasound of the thyroid, several nodules were discovered. Went to ENT dr and he said while I need a biopsy he suspects that my thyroid levels are fine.I have 6 nodules and one over 1 inch in size all on my thyroid. I really don’t where to go from here . No seems to be listening and don’t know where to go from here… Please keep me posted if you discovered a solution.

      • Have you had your pituitary gland checked? And if the doctor is not looking for answers.. look for another doctor. A specialist typically only looks in his realm to treat. Don’t provide your old medical record.

      • My thyroid was functioning normal as well and I had a nodule that was pretty big like you. I went to get it taken out because there was no point in having a biopsy when they were going to have to take it out anyway, and it came back cancer so they removed the whole thyroid then. I will have to do radiation shortly.

        • Hi, Elisha
          I had cancer, lost my thyroid, radiation etc.
          It is a vey frightening thing to go through. By now you are healed and will continue feeling better I hope.
          Sorry I didn’t see this sooner.
          I hope you are doing well. 20 yrs for me.
          All great for 13yrs and then ? I felt on and off sick. Finally they modified the hormones and I feel much better. I never thought about it before, but they are some powerful, complicated drugs; the tiny pills are difficult because they slowly build up over 9 days and it would take that long plus another 9 for the last pill to be completely out of your system.
          So be consistent how you take them, empty stomach 1-2 hours before and 1-2 hours after – 5am works good for me – and with a FULL glass of water.
          good luck.

      • Honey, my thyroid levels were fine and I had enlarged nodules, when they did the ultrasound it was then that they did the biopsy of them that showed up as thyroid cancer.

    • One aspect that is not being addressed are underlying viral infections, like deep rooted Epstein-Barr. There are some who think EBV is actually the reason behind Hashimoto’s and a range of autoimmune disorders. In short, the immune system is attempting to destroy the EBV infection, which has set up camp in the thyroid.

      One thing that has really helped me is to use anti-EBV and anti-strep tinctures from NutraMedix faithfully (2x day), along with daily oil of oregano. I’m about four months into it with eight more months to go. Another option is to follow the Cowden protocol for Lyme disease with the NutraMedix products, if you would like to keep it simple and not have to create your own program.

      I also have just recently eliminated sugar and most carbs, opting for a dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free ketogenic diet — and have already seen an uptick in energy and clarity, diminished cravings, along with significant reduction in digestive issues and inflammation.

      Eggs, dairy, soy and gluten feed EBV, as does sugar. Best to steer clear of these triggers. A good hydrochloric acid supplement is important too.

      Hope this helps!

    • One aspect that is not being addressed are underlying viral infections, like deep rooted Epstein-Barr. There are some who think EBV is actually the reason behind Hashimoto’s and a range of autoimmune disorders. In short, the immune system is attempting to destroy the EBV infection, which has set up camp in the thyroid.

      One thing that has really helped me is to use anti-EBV and anti-strep tinctures from NutraMedix faithfully (2x day), along with daily oil of oregano. I’m about four months into it with eight more months to go. Another option is to follow the Cowden protocol for Lyme disease with the NutraMedix products, if you would like to keep it simple and not have to create your own program.

      I also have just recently eliminated sugar and most carbs, opting for a dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free ketogenic diet — and have already seen an uptick in energy and clarity, diminished cravings, along with significant reduction in digestive issues and inflammation.

      Eggs, dairy, soy and gluten feed EBV, as does sugar. Best to steer clear of these triggers. A good hydrochloric acid supplement is important too, as well as a heavy metal detox (I like Bioray for the latter).

      Hope this helps!

  5. Question, I had a np that thought that my symptoms were Hypothyroid she gave me medicine even though I was on the high end of normal as far a levels. Raised medicine once and even though I complained of the same symptoms with not much change with the medicine, I was then put on a small dose of estrogen. Didn’t feel like I was getting the right answers. Went to PCP and he felt thyroid was fine would not give me anymore medicine. Went to women’s specialist and she stated that I am not going through menopause. I have gained 30lbs within the last two years. Crave sugar and have had very stressful life since 2011. For the most part I sleep good but don’t always wake up feeling rested. At times unable to sleep but this is something that happens every few weeks. Should I continue to search for answers , cause I don’t think I should. But I don’t know who to go to to get answers.

    • 1. Don’t go to a NP. 2. Not everything is due to thyroid. Consider pituitary gland. 3. Which tests did you have?
      4. seek out alternative / second opinion.

      • I’ve had 3 years of dift doctors who have ignored my symptoms. The np I am seeing now is the ONLY one who has listened, and referred me to the people I need to see. With the sad excuses I have seen for doctors in the last few years, I don’t care if it’s a np I am seeing now. What I care about is feeling better!

  6. I find it interesting that thyroid issues occur during changes of life. Thus, regarding testing methods, I suggest that the function of the pituitary gland also be conducted.

    • Go to a ear nose and throat instead of an endocrinologist. Doctors typically look for things within the specialty field. Try Mayo or john Hopkins. consider dental or lymphatic… eye ear nose and throat. allergies??

  7. I’ve had a complete, 99%, thyroidectomy in 1996. Testing usually falls in the “normal” range but several things aren’t right. I exercise have considerable trouble with insomnia, weight gain or no weight loss, mental health issues, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, lethargy just to name a few. I’m having a complete physical with total CBC. Are there any testing that can be done to get a COMPLETE thyroid panel done?

    • it is called thyroid panel with TSH, it test: TSH, Thyroxine (T4), T3 uptake and Free Thyroxine Index

  8. If T4 is at 1.99 and diet, sleep, and exercise are good, though coffee intake is high and glucose level is 98, would the culprit likely be cortisol or blood sugar or both? What remedy would be suggested?

  9. I suspect that I have hypothyroid symptoms either due to high homocystine (I’m homozygous for MTHFR 677C and tested high on blood test), adrenal fatigue (awaiting results of saliva cortisol test but hair mineral analysis indicates this), or pituitary function. All of my thyroid tests results are in the functional range (no antibodies) except TSH (.813) but I have hypo symptoms. How do I know if it’s any or all of these things? Can thyroid medication help this or can it only be treated through diet, lifestyle, and supplements? I’ve been working on those things for a long time with no results and I wonder if conventional medicine could help.

  10. I have been telling my PCP for over two years that something was going on with my thyroid. She would run a TSH and say, It’s normal. always between 1.0 and 1.4. Recently I had a CATscan for jaw pain and they found four nodules on my thyroid, two of them are 2.0 cm and 2 are less than 1.5. The surgeon I met with said my T3 and T4 are good. Next step and a fine needle biopsy. I think I am going crazy. I have symptoms of both Hyper and Hypo…. Anyone else have double symptoms?????

    • Yes ,I go from hyper to hypo, it is pretty common. I had close to the same thing happen to me as you described. And after years of being told my thyroid was fine because the tests said so. I had a fine needle biopsy on a nodule and it showed up in the biopsy report that I have hashimotos thyroiditis. My tsh as of yesterday showed I am hyper,, yet my symptoms say I’m very much hypo. Very frustrating when you have a endo. Dr. as I do that goes by the numbers rather than symptoms. And only runs tsh and t4 and not a full panel. So yes, you are not crazy,I hope you don’t have hashimotos, but going between hyper and hypo can be a sign of it ,and its the process of h thyroid gland being destroyed. If you are on facebook, go to a sight called Thyroid Sexy. lots of good info. Good Luck!!

    • I’ve been having episodes the last several months. Thinking it was onset of flu. Went to dr and was infected sinuses. Given antibiotics that didn’t set well on the stomach. But experiencing aniexty, shakiness, body jerks, feverish, coldness, skin on pins and needles, diahera, have lost 15 lbs, nausea. Dealt with it while on antibiotics. After meds thought it was easing up but week to 10 days later, making supper and aniexty attack appears. Flushing, heart racing, super anxious, and all the other above. Had this in my younger years after my surgery for ovarian cancer. At the time just thought it was happening because of not producing hormones. Was put on hormone therapy, then 2 yrs later taken off because of possibilty of blood clots. Then some time later the aniexty began again with racing heart and literally feeling my heart pounding in my back. Dr excused it as aniexty of empty nest each and every time. Finally went to an internist. Told me I had an irregular heart beat after running a gamet of tests. Put me on BP med. Seemed to work for quite awhile. Then the aniexty returns. Each dr visit i made BP was up so he added a fluid pill and Ativan. Ativan worked great for few yrs. And then it begins again. Put me on Paxill. Took for a yr. Went for physical and asked if I could be taken off. Off of it for a yr and it all starts again. Thinking it was the flu as I mentioned above. Had to go back to original family dr due to loss of internist. No flu just sinsus. Put me on zpack. Could not handle it. Month later starts again with all symptoms above. Sinuses got worse. Gave me steroid and antibiotic shots. Along with cefdinir and 2 antideppessants. And the whole time still having all the above symptoms. Cefdinir made me nauseated with loose bowels. Finally eased up until the other when cooking. Started one of the antideppressants that day. That evening remembered when I had my cancer surgery my OBGYN thought I was having thyroid problems. Ran tests and radiation scan. All clean. But he wasn’t satisfied. Felt I would be having problems later on in life.
      Remembering this I went to dr yesterday and asked that that tests be run. Did cat scan of thyroid, ekg. All good. Took blood. Told him I know that tests can come back in normal range but that doesn’t mean there may not be something wrong. So waiting on results (which I feel will be normal) then will have him recommend me to a specialist.
      Also told the dr this is not me. Am not one to be in and out of dr office. Only time I would go would be for my yearly physical and blood work 6 mos later. My body is telling me somthing is wrong.
      So sorry for this being so lenthly. But thank you for listening.

      • Finally am not crazy just got call from drs office thyroid scan showed nodules setting up appt with specialist

        • I too have been dealing with thyroid nodules for years, have had two biopsies, both coming back normal. Have had thyroid symptoms for several years, even though labs always come back within normal range. If you could please post what the specialist tells you, I would appreciate it. I’m beginning to wonder, if I would be better off having my thyroid removed.

          • Had appt
            Dr said everything looked good
            Nodules ok
            Bloodwork good
            Doing more bloodwork
            Went in for that today
            Wants to see me in 4 mos after more bloodwork and Cat scan
            I just can’t buy it
            I feel if you have nodules on either side of thyroid that has enlarged that is NOT normal
            That is something foreign that you were not born with and has to be sending you symptoms of different sorts

    • The medical school question is if a patient is having signs and symptoms of both hyper and hypo thyroidism, what disease does the patient have: Hashimoto’s.

  11. Found out the “thyroid clinic” did not have an MD, let alone an endocrinologist, on staff. Been there, done that. Cancelled appointment. Doubled my dose myself and lost ten lbs but haven’t told MD yet…I’m sure he won’t give me my own way.

  12. When I was having such constant diarrhea that my body did not absorb any food (it came out looking exactly the way it did when it in), I was losing weight uncontrollably and using Lomotil ten or more at a time just to work, my TSH was 5.8. Theoretically low, yes? Yet all symptoms were HYPERthyroid. So I stopped my med. Then my body did a flip-flop and I gained 30 lbs in 4 weeks, and have not been able to get it back off no matter what I do. Last TSH was 0.02. Theoretically high, yes? Yet all my symptoms are HYPOthyroid My heart rate is slow normal, my body temp is 97 degrees, my weight will not budge even though I eat NO grain and not many carbs. I’ve seen (and discarded) two so-called endocrinologists in three months. I have an appointment with one I found advertised on a user group on 9/10. I pray to God this one will know what to do. This sucks.

  13. For those whose blood test keep coming back normal, ask the doctor to order a Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase blood test for you. I asked my Rheumatologist for one and I tested positive.

    This means that I have Anti-Thyroid antibodies in my blood proving that my autoimmune system has attacked my Thyroid and that I suffer from Hypothyroidism. This is after a prior Thyroid hormone function T4 blood test showed that I tested moderately negative for this condition.

    I am now seeing my regular GP on Wednesday, showing him my new blood test results and requesting an RX for Synthroid. Hope that I will be successful

  14. I have been hypo for over 20 years now and just found out I have Lymes disease. Of course this is going to make testing my thyroid even more questionable now when my lab work comes back. Upon reading about Lymes and thyroid it seems that the symptoms that we all have with thyroid really could be Lymes in the first place. We could have been bitten by a tick, spider or even mosquito years ago and now have Lyme/Thyroid symptoms. Even the CDC is slow in admitting how many cases of Lymes across the US really exist. It really bothers me that the drs. and that includes the specialists think that our symptoms always need an antidepressant or psychiatrist. They don’t seem to get it.
    I am one to question everything my doctor tells me and then go look at alternative ways to combat whatever.
    Best of luck to all of you suffering from these chronic symptoms.
    Ann
    Ann

    • Hi Ann,

      I went for over 3 years with symptoms of hypothyroidism but the tests kept coming back normal. I couldn’t sleep, was cold even when it was 75 degrees, gained 45 lbs. in 6 months while trying exercising and watching my diet as I always had. Every time I went to the doctor, I was told there was nothing wrong- I was over-stressed and depressed and they would give me a Rx for antidepressants, which I would throw away. I would beg with them to listen to me and consider my symptoms, not just look a test results. I got no where. My husband even went with me, after I collapsed in the floor, sobbing because I felt so bad. I am a dental hygienist so I have a healthcare background, I would ask questions and get patronizing responses. Finally, one of my patients came into the office to see me and asked what was wrong. I asked her why she thought something was wrong, she replied, ” Because you look like hell, and in 15 years I have never seen you not put together.” She referred me to a doctor specializing in alternative medicine who, at my first visit spent 2 hours with me. He did a complete physical exam, not just taking my vitals. He also carried on a conversation with me, not just ask me what was wrong. Then, he told me what he thought was wrong, what and why he wanted certain tests.

      After my blood work was returned, they revealed what he had suspected, I had Lymes’ Disease, along with defiencies in Vitamins B, C, D and magnesium, etc. My body was totally depleted yet everything was normal on the blood work my GP took. My new doctor also said my thyroid was not functioning properly, in spite of the test saying it was normal. He stated he rely more on the symptoms than blood work for thyroid diagnosis because there are so many variables in the tests and in the body. But the lbs rely on averages of sick people not well ones, so the results will always be skewed. He advised me if I had not come to him when I did, at the rate my body was declining, I would have been institutionalize or dead in 6-8 months. Basically, my body was trying to fight against the Lymes’ Disease that was attacking every system, but was losing.

      This was in 2009. Here I am 6 years later, after following his treatment regimen, 40 lbs. healthier, strong and happy with life. Doctors who don’t know or don’t care or both were killing me because they could not think out of the box or even look for the possibility of something other than depression. If I had listened to them and taken the anti-depressants I would have just continued to decline. I have no respect for most doctors anymore. If it takes them more than 5 minutes and a Rx to treat you, they do not have the time. I call that malpractice!

      • I also am a Dental Hygienist and had to retire 10 years ago due to pain in my arms. I thought it was from working in a Perio office for too many years. 3years ago, after going to many Drs., I tested positive for Lyme disease. I’m having a very hard time getting control of this. I did the holistic route, then the oral antibiotics with no help. Switched llmds and went a whole different route of antifungals, then Hcg shots and then high doses of Iodoral. Nothing helped. Now I’m back to the original office and they put me on Cortef, (for adrenal fatigue) and setting me up for a picc line. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing it. I have been taking 240mg. of Armour and my body temp never gets into the 98’s and still have all symptoms. T3 and T4 are high on blood test so I should be feeling better. Very frustrating!

      • Hello Debby! Can I ask what type of specialist did you go to that finally helped you? My Dr. Does the same thing! Antidepressants! Antidepressants for everything and anything! Will not listen to me! So here i continue being miserable, hair loss and all!

      • Oh you are so correct, i work in the health field , and i too have lose all respect for the drs.i see today. .most do not look at s/s..nor take time to listen to there patients..you wait hrs. on a office, vist then he/she’s in and out in 10mins
        And charging these outrageous fees…

  15. For thyroid:

    stopthethyroidmadness.com, and the book is excellent

    For autoimmune:

    Sarah Ballantyne’s book The Paleo Approach

    • “For autoimmune:”

      LDN, Low Dose Naltrexone is doing wonders for a friend’s autoimmune issues.

      From my symptoms, I think I may have Hashimoto’s along side my CFS but can’t get my doc to test. It even runs in the family.

  16. I’m 18 and when I was 1 1/2 I was diagnosed with JRA. For my whole life I’ve been struggling with anxiety (as long as I can remember), chronic pain, terrible forgetfulness and weight gain among many many many other symptoms. All of my doctors seemed to be passing me off to different kinds of specialists for my separate issues but never once was a thyroid issue brought into question. Then about a year ago I discovered from doing some research that a lot of the symptoms I seemed to be experiencing were very similar to those of hypothyroid. So I brought it up to my doctor who shrugged it off as thinking that I was just a complaining teenager but I literally never complain even when I’m in ridiculous amounts of arthritis pain. Then I finally got fed up with her and started to search around for a better doctor that would actually help me and listen to me because I’m tired of living like this. I then found one who diagnosed me hypothyroid and started me on meds. Since then I’ve felt a bit better, mood has been up and I’ve lost 15 pounds. This man single handedly saved my life. I wouldn’t know what to do anymore if it wasn’t for him. True no one should have to deal with such horrific medical issues but it sure helps having a doctor who has a clue!

    • I also have very active RA and suddenly started gaining weight and showing signs of hypo several years ago. My Endo keeps telling me my levels are within range but I keep gaining weight and feel worse despite eating less than 1500cals a day and exercising the same as I always have. I have now gained 100lbs in less than 3 years and it’s driving me insane that there seems to be no reason. I know something is not right. What’s the best way to get help to find a d rather than keep getting blown off?
      -TSH values 0.66-1.3 prior tests before weight gain etc show levels above 1.78)
      -T4 values 0.86-1.08 (prior tests before weight gain etc show levels above 1.6)
      -TPO values 6 prior tests before weight gain etc show levels 10-14)
      -Creatinine Low

    • I also have very active RA and suddenly started gaining weight and showing signs of hypo several years ago. My Endo keeps telling me my levels are within range but I keep gaining weight and feel worse despite eating less than 1500cals a day and exercising the same as I always have. I have now gained 100lbs in less than 3 years and it’s driving me insane that there seems to be no reason. I know something is not right. What’s the best way to get help to find a dr. rather than keep getting blown off?

      -TSH values 0.66-1.3 prior tests before weight gain etc show levels above 1.78)

      -T4 values 0.86-1.08 (prior tests before weight gain etc show levels above 1.6)

      -TPO values 6 prior tests before weight gain etc show levels 10-14)

      -Vitamin D Deficiency : take 50,000 IU/week

      -High Insulin (not diabetic)

      -Creatinine Low

      -Periodic Anemia

      • I had been experiencing the same symptoms. I had been to 4 different doctors that told me my levels are normal go home. I finally found a doctor that was willing to put me on levothyroxine (under active thyroid medication) and all my symptoms went away. My vitamin D deficiency and my insulin resistance and all my levels literally stayed the same. You just need to find a doctor willing to work with you. Biggest factors of under active thyroid is low body temp and lowered heart rate and blood pressure. (Which I had) if you don’t have these symptoms you might consider looking into a different diagnosis. My suggestion is doctor hop like I did and hopefully you find a doctor willing to work with you. Hope this helps

    • Forgot to add I have

      -Three benign neoplastic(?) nodules on my thyroid – they u/s and biopsy once a year. They are growing but not significantly.

  17. You and your daughter should make sure to also consider a body cleansing. There are several systems available via a drugstore, online pharmacy, and also natural foods stores.

    My blood pressure, cholesterol, puffy ness and water weight started falling within 48 hours of starting one. This is part of changing your food intake. For me, it has meant no more soda, or caffeine, white bread, commercially processed meats. veggies/ or fruit. The stress on your gall bladder, kidney, liver, and heart will improve. Also, not all thyroid replacements work the same. natural vs synthetic.

    My son finally understood that this is inherited and becomes exacerbated when you activities change as you become older. Thus, there will always be adjustments to your treatment as you age.

    Also, check out your water supply chlorine, salt intake will have an effect, especially if you live in gulf or ocean environments.

  18. I just had a lab test result and my doctor says that it is ‘perfect’ even though I have puffy eyes, puffy feet, constantly sleepy and fatigued. I am under a lot of stress and think that I may have resistance. Looks like I will have to find another doctor – which makes me sad since I like my doctor. Cannot keep living like a zombie!
    Would switching to natural hormone, rather than Synthroid cause resistance?
    I’ve been on Armour for about seven months.

    • YES! Switch. I had A HORRIBLE reaction to synthroid. I was so swollen, hair was falling out in patches, stomach pain, looked and felt miserable. I wouldn’t even leave the house for a month. I switched had a doctor add T3. Cytomel to take along with the synthroid. MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE in just a few days. I now am on Armour but absolutely make sure you can find a doc that will try Cytomel with the Synthroid or Armour. An obgyn will prescribe it a lot easier than an endocrinologist will. God bless and hope you find some help with this soon.

    • Have you had a sleep study done? You sound like me and I am piecing together sleep apnea is occurring.

  19. Hello,

    My eldest daughter (now 11) has been diagnosed with ADHD and mood disorders. In August of last year, I had her T4 tested by her pediatrician. Her results>
    Component Standard Range Your Value
    T4, FREE m 0.8 – 2.5 ng/dl 1.2

    Her paternal grandmother has been treated for thyroid disorders for many years. Unfortunately, she lives in Peru and we can’t be certain of an accurate diagnosis for this reason. Anyway, I feel my daughter has something wrong with her thyroid despite her above normal result. Without seeming too pushy and like I’m trying to find something wrong where there isn’t, what can I do to get additional testing that is more accurate?

    Also, my soon to be 7 year old daughter was just recently diagnosed with ADHD, has low muscle tone, only just reached 40 pounds and frequently has hand tremors, outbursts, mood swings (many of the symptoms of thyroid issues). I haven’t even asked yet for testing for her because I’d like to figure out what a more accurate test is before I bother.

    Any advise or suggestions, please respond. Thank you!!

  20. I’m reading these comments and you all sounds like you have gone through or are going through exactly what I went through almost 2 years ago. I went to a doctor and told him all about my symptoms and he told me that my thyroid was normal. I was suffering from swollen hands, swollen ankles, severe muscle fatigue, extreme exhaustion, anxiety,depression, my hair is falling out, weight gain and insomnia. My fatigue was so severe I had to crawl up my two flights of stairs. I could sleep 12 hours and wake up and crawl right back into bed. I was told my vitamin D was low. I finally went to a place called Bio Restoration in Draper, Utah and was able to get help. They read my lab results that my GP had drawn and concluded that my thyroid panels that they looked at were borderline low and all my symptoms were hypothyroid and they immediately treated me with Armour Thyroid. Once we got me on a therapeutic dose which was 90 milligrams I started to feel completely better and my symptoms slowly disappeared. the weight started to come off slowly over 2 years my fatigue has gotten better and I feel like me again. you have to find a doctor that will treat the symptoms and not always look at the numbers.

    • Hi! I’ve been reading everyone’s comment. I thought I was crazy. I recently was seen by the door to get my thyroid check and it came back normal. I every symptoms of a thyroid condition would. The doctor was seeing asked me if I was depressed and that. Ah be I should go see a therapist. I’m suffering everyday and I feel like no one can help me. I made an appointment to see an acpunturist I don’t know what’s going to help. I just requested to see if I can get a Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase blood test . I know my body is not normal. I go into break down almost everyday

      =(

      Kelly

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