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How To Know If My Thyroid Is Low

How Do You Test For It

Hypothyroidism | Under-Active Thyroid | What All Patients Need to Know

Is it possible to test for thyroid conversion issues?

Yes, it’s actually quite easy.

Why haven’t you heard about it before then?

Because your doctor has probably only ever ordered tests such as the TSH and free T4.

And these tests do NOT give you enough information to reliably assess whether the conversion process is working.

This puts you as a patient in somewhat of a bind!

The only way to determine your conversion status is to order the right tests and the only way to get those tests is through your doctor .

Even if you can get your doctor to order these tests, though, it will still be up to you to interpret the results.


Because doctors are not accustomed to ordering these tests and don’t really understand their significance or their importance.

But don’t worry, it’s actually not that hard to understand the conversion process and we will explain that more below.

What you need to know right now is that in order to test your conversion status you need AT LEAST the following thyroid lab tests:

*Indicates that these tests are helpful but not absolutely required.

I have detailed information on each of these lab tests and you can look at them individually but here I am going to take a look at these tests in specific patterns which can indicate conversion issues.

Irregular Menstrual Periods Could Be An Underactive Thyroid Symptom

Did you know women are thought to be 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems?

One well-known symptom is large changes to menstrual cycle length and blood flow, even Amenorrhoea.

Studies have found that 8-12% of women with healthy thyroid function experience irregular periods, compared to 23-68% of women with hypothyroidism .

Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover

The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover has been a huge success in terms of spectators, attractions, sustainability.

11th Hour Racing was a Port Sponsor for this Stopover, which became the perfect occasion for many 11th Hour Racing Ambassadors to meet, connect and brainstorm on sustainability and clean health topics.

One of the educational highlights of the Stopover was the Exploration Zone sponsored by 11th Hour Racing and SCA, which attracted thousands of local students and spectators. The Exploration Zone aimed to educate and inspire visitors about the sport of sailing, the oceans, and to discover continents and cultures around the world through the lens of the worlds most grueling sailboat race. Along with sustainability, Exploration Zone themes included marine science and technology, geography and culture, and mathematics.

The final visitor count of approximately 125,000at the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover exceeded all expectations for the 12-day celebration. The stopover has been so successful that Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad changed protocol and announced that Newport has been awarded an exclusive two-month negotiating period to secure the North American stopover in the next race, which could visit in May 2018.

For the Newport Stopover, sustainability was defined as optimizing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of all event activities, leaving a positive legacy on the local community and attendees, and protecting our natural environment.

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Signs That Your Thyroid Medication Is Not Working


If you are on thyroid medication for an underactive thyroid, it is routine procedure to have your blood work done every 2-3 months to monitor your thyroid hormone levels. Most practitioners will measure TSH and T4. TSH is a pituitary hormone that signals the thyroid to increase production of both T4 and T3. Thyroid medication such as Synthroid is a synthetic version of T4 . When T4 is administered, TSH level decrease. This is what leads to your labs appearing normal. Unfortunately, this is not where the tale of thyroid hormone ends. This article will discuss some important concepts with respect to thyroid hormone conversion.

A healthy thyroid mostly makes T4. In fact, the thyroid makes 90-95% T4 and 5-10% T3. T3 is the metabolically active thyroid hormone. It has a much shorter half life and is used up within a few hours. T4, on the other hand, has to be converted into T3 in the liver, kidneys, and by the gut bacteria. One iodine molecule is removed from T4 to convert it into T3. The enzyme requires both zinc and selenium to function optimally. Zinc is one of the most common nutrient depletions we see clinically in thyroid patients. In fact, taking thyroid medication , can further deplete both zinc and selenium levels since it calls for increased activity of the converting enzyme .

Your doctor swears everything is fine and life goes on. Sadly, many women trust that everything is okay and this is as good as it gets. This could not be further from the truth.

How Is An Underactive Thyroid Treated

10 things you need to know about your thyroid

Treatment depends on the cause of your underactive thyroid. If you have low thyroid hormone levels but no symptoms, your doctor might suggest more blood tests every 6 or 12 months to monitor your thyroid function. If you have symptoms of underactive thyroid, your doctor might recommend you take regular tablets of thyroid hormone .


  • Thyroxine needs to be started slowly, so the dose you take and how often are gradually built up to reach the right level. This usually takes about 6 weeks.
  • Your symptoms will probably go away within a few months but may stay for up to 6 months after starting the medicine.
  • Having regular blood tests every 612 months allows your doctor to check your thyroid hormone level and adjust the dosage of your thyroxine if necessary.
  • The amount of thyroxine you need can change over time because the function of your thyroid gland may change over time.
  • It is also important not to take more thyroxine than has been recommended by your doctor because this can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism and contribute to osteoporosis.

Talk to your doctor if you are using thyroxine and are planning to or have become pregnant. This is because the amount of thyroxine you need may need to be increased.

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Common Causes Of Low T3 Thyroid Hormone

Hypothyroidism is a common cause of fatigue, anxiety, depression, brain fog, hair loss, weight gain. But what many doctors fail to evaluate are the levels of Reverse T3. High Reverse T3 will cause many low Thyroid symptoms. Dr Hagmeyer here and today we are talking about Low T3, or T3 syndrome or Poor T4 to T3 conversion- you may see many different names given but ultimately this low T3 is a common reason why you suffer with fatigue, depression, weight gain, brain fog, hair loss, bloating, acid reflux and many other symptoms that are associated with low thyroid. Todays video you will learn

  • Reasons why you are a poor T4 to T3 converter and have Low T3 and
  • My favorite tests that can help us understand T4 to T3 conversion.

You will remember that T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and T3 is the active thyroid hormone. When you take Synthroid, Levothroxine you are taking T4.

Some of you watching this video might be thinking, If I am low in T3, cant I just take a T3 replacement hormone or a combination of T4 and T3? While this makes sense on the surface, this approach still fails to address the reason for why you have low T3 in the first place. You can learn how to calculate your T3/rT3 ratio and understand why this ratio is so important here

Hypothyroidism Is The Most Common Thyroid Disorder

The thyroid does a lot for your body. It makes hormones that keep organs running properly. It also controls the way you use energy: for example, how you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.

But sometimes this powerful gland doesnt work like its supposed to.

One common thyroid condition, called hyperthyroidism, causes the thyroid to make more hormones than the body needs.

But the most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism, which affects about 4.6% of people in the U.S. This condition causes a lack of hormone, which leads the thyroid to slow down. People with hypothyroidism often gain weight and feel tired, but some may not have any symptoms at all.

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Weak Nails And Thinning Hair

Your hair and nails are constantly growing. One important function of the thyroid gland is sending hormone signals to trigger hair and nail growth. With hyperthyroidism, the extra hormones tell your body to increase the growth of your hair follicles and nails in a shorter period of time. While it would seem that your nails growing fast would be a positive side effect of thyroid dysfunction, that isnt the case. This forced growth is too fast. As a result, your body has to stretch its natural resources, which can lead to thin and brittle hair and nails.

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Thyroid Disorders That Cause Hyperthyroid

How Can I Find a Solution for my Low Thyroid Symptoms and Issues

Your thyroid can work overtime for various reasons.

Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks the thyroid. Instead of destroying the tissue, it binds to thyroid receptors which activates hormone production. Then, it floods your body with too much hormone.

Subacute thyroiditis. When your thyroid gland is inflamed, thyroid hormone can seep out. This form of hypothyroidism is temporary usually, it lasts only a few weeks.

Hypothalamus and pituitary miscommunications. When the hypothalamus detects low thyroid hormone levels, it releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone , which tells the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH then tells the thyroid to ramp up thyroid hormone production. When one of these misfires, you dont make the right amount of thyroid hormone.

Adenomas, or nodules. When bumps develop on the thyroid, they can become active and secrete thyroid hormone. Nodules can be benign or cancerous, so if you have them, get them checked out by your functional medicine doctor.

Thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer can cause hyperthyroidism, or it can decrease thyroid function and cause hypothyroid symptoms.

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Surgery On The Thyroid Gland

You can get hypothyroidism if you’ve had a procedure to remove part or all of your thyroid gland. You may have that done if you have a growth on your thyroid, or if it’s making too much hormone .

If you have the entire gland removed, you will get hypothyroidism. For some people, if only part of it is taken out, the part that’s left behind may still be able to make enough thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Nodules: When To Worry

Suppose you go to your doctor for a check-up, and, as shes feeling your neck, she notices a bump. Then, suppose she tells you theres a nodule on your thyroid. Is it time to panic?

No, say experts at Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Thyroid nodules even the occasional cancerous ones are treatable.

Heres what you need to know about thyroid nodules and how concerned you should be if you develop one.

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Are There Any Foods I Can Eat To Help My Hypothyroidism

Most foods in western diets contain iodine, so you do not have to worry about your diet. Iodine is a mineral that helps your thyroid produce hormones. One idea is that if you have low levels of thyroid hormone, eating foods rich in iodine could help increase your hormone levels. The most reliable way to increase your hormone levels is with a prescription medication from your healthcare provider. Do not try any new diets without talking to your provider first. Its important to always have a conversation before starting a new diet, especially if you have a medical condition like hypothyroidism.

Foods that are high in iodine include:

  • Eggs.
  • Edible seaweed.
  • Iodized salt.

Work with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to craft a meal plan. Your food is your fuel. Making sure you are eating foods that will help your body, along with taking your medications as instructed by your healthcare provider, can keep you healthy over time. People with thyroid condition should not consume large amounts of iodine because the effect may be paradoxical .

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What Does Treatment Involve

10 Signs You Have A Thyroid Problem And 10 Solutions For ...

Hypothyroidism has many different symptoms ranging from mild to severe that can affect your quality of life. If left untreated, it can result in serious problems, like heart disease, infertility, and rarely, even death. Treating hypothyroidism lowers the risk of permanent problems and can also significantly improve your symptoms.

The main treatment for hypothyroidism is a thyroid-replacement pill called . Levothyroxine is a chemically made thyroid hormone, and works just like natural thyroid hormone in your body. It is taken every day, and your healthcare provider will adjust your dose based on your symptoms and blood tests. Once you find the best dose, your provider will continue to monitor your blood levels.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about your specific symptoms and questions before starting any new treatment.

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Low T3 Free T3 Thyroid Hormone Levels And Your Gut

The health of your gut is one of the most critical systems to properly evaluate when you have hypothyroidism, Hashimotos or if you have low T3. The gut can interfere with thyroid function in many ways- the most obvious one is nutrient absorption. This can become a vicious cycle. Poor gut function causes poor thyroid function and poor thyroid function causes Low HCL production and when you have low HCL production you cant absorb things like anybody out there with low Vitamin D?

Probably most of you watching this have or have had low vitamin D prior to supplementation. Anybody out there with acid reflux or bloating? sure you do. this is the result of low levels of HCL production and not that I want to gloss over these other symptoms, but what I really want to talk to you about today is the importance of the GUT microflora. When that gut flora becomes unbalanced we often see problems like bloating, IBS, Yeast overgrowth, inflammation, and low levels of pancreatic enzymes which can impact fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K.

We often see parasites, yeast, bacterial overgrowth and because of that you can lose up to 20% of thyroid hormone conversation. If you are like most people with low T3, you cant afford to loose another 20% of your thyroid hormone output.

T3 And T4 Interpretations

  • A normal TSH and normal T4 show a normal thyroid
  • A low TSH and high T4 generally means an overactive thyroid
  • A high TSH and low T4 means an underactive thyroid
  • A low TSH and low T4 mean low thyroid function because of another problem, such as with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus of the brain

A low T3 value with a high TSH value is diagnostic evidence of low thyroid function. By contrast, a low TSH value with a high T3 value is the opposite, and means an overactive thyroid.

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Excessive Fatigue Is The Most Common Underactive Thyroid Symptom

This symptom may seem very vague and general, but its not.

In the renowned DanThyr study from Denmark, 4 out of 5 men and women with hypothyroidism reported experiencing chronic fatigue. This is actually the number 1 most commonly reported symptom .

Excessive fatigue and weakness can be described as extreme lethargy, where you are feeling too weak to do your regular everyday activities. Its also a common early sign of type 2 diabetes.

What Are The Symptoms

How Low Thyroid (Hypothyroid) Shows up on Your Face

As thyroid hormones deal with every cell in our bodies, symptoms of low thyroid can be wide ranging. The most common ones are

Fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, memory loss, depression, hair loss, cold hands/feet, dry skin, brittle nails, PMS, anxiety, mood swings, puffy face, aching joints, sex drive, constipation.

As we age our thyroid gets less efficient and is also affected by other stuff going on in the body , and because this is a gradual process, symptoms can slowly get worse and if left untreated can increase the risk of more serious conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

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Normal Thyroid Blood Test Despite Low Thyroid Symptoms

Comments: 9 | December 4th, 2017

Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism but your doctor told you your blood work was normal? Learn why you can have a normal thyroid blood test despite low thyroid symptoms, and how you can get the RIGHT diagnosis. Watch as Dr. Hotze explains why a blood test often fails to detect hypothyroidism.

Video Highlights

0:42: The best way to determine whether or not an individual has hypothyroidism, thats low thyroid function, is to listen to them. To listen to them tell you their symptoms.

1:09: The thyroid gland in the neck produces the thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones are secreted in the blood. They dont do anything in the blood, they have to enter the cells. In the cells, they go to an area of the cell where you make energy.

1:49: if you dont get enough thyroid hormone into your cells, then the energy production in your cells is low and your metabolism is low.

2:27: Commonly, people with joint and muscle aches and pains go to see the doctor and he tells them they have fibromyalgia. Has anybody ever told you that? Fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis, its description of a symptom. Its a Latin term for Joint and muscle aches and pains

3:15: It also affects womens menstrual cycles so that oftentimes women have irregular menstrual cycles when theyre low thyroid. They oftentimes have an inability to conceive so theyre infertile.

Video Transcript

How to Properly Diagnose Hypothyroidism

Thyroid Hormones Needed for Energy

Learn What Optimal Lab Results Are When You’re On Ndt And Be Able To Translate Lab Results Yourself

Being on NDT will affect your thyroid lab results in significant ways. You will need to educate yourself about those expected changes. For instance, TSH plummets while on NDT, so you and your doctor should expect to see that lab result change after you are put on NDT. These are other changes too too many for me to go into in this post, but suffice it to say that the biggest mistake patients make after going on NDT is to rely completely on their doctor to interpret what the lab results mean. Being on the lab range is definitely not the same as being optimized. If you are still feeling hypo symptoms then work with your doctor to optimize. Track temperature, report symptoms, and learn how to read your results HERE.

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