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5 Signs You May Have Low Thyroid Function

Hypothyroidism is a common condition that can make it challenging to live your life to the fullest. Check out these signs and symptoms below to see if your thyroid health needs a check up!

You’re tired

Fatigue is one of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism. This is because our thyroid is like our body’s internal thermostat – it responds to other cues from our body and environment and decides when energy needs to be conserved or when it can be expended.

You’re experiencing hair loss

Hair loss from your head or the outer third of your eyebrow can be a sign of low thyroid function. While there are other things that may cause hair loss, checking thyroid function as part of a thorough workup is important if this is a concern.

You experience brain fog

Just as your metabolism can be slowed by low thyroid function, so can your mental processing, You may feel that your thinking is unclear, or that you have trouble concentrating or remembering things.

You have trouble losing weight

Since the thyroid governs our bodies metabolic processes, you could be working incredibly hard at eating healthy and exercising and still not see the scale budge one bit if you have a thyroid problem!

You’re constipated

Chronically having slow transit time in your digestive system may be a sign of impaired thyroid function. If you are having less than one bowel movement a day, it’s worth checking out your thyroid.

Sound familiar? Here’s how to investigate

If you suspect you may have low thyroid function, the first step is to mention this to your primary care provider. Initial investigation typically involves testing your TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone levels. TSH is the signal from your brain to your thyroid, that tells your thyroid how hard to work. However TSH does not tell us the full story, and to get a comprehensive understanding of what is going on with your thyroid health, we need to look at a full thyroid panel.

What is tested in a full thyroid panel?

TSH

As mentioned above, TSH is the signal that your thyroid responds to. Typically this lab is measured first as a way to screen for thyroid dysfunction. This lab is also used to titrate doses of thyroid medications.

T4

Free T4 or thyroxine is one of two thyroid hormones. T4 is produced in large amounts but has low activity, and requires conversion into T3 to have activity at the tissues.

T3

Free T3, or triiodothyronine is converted from T4 and circulates throughout the body, giving your other organs and tissues the signal to upregulate metabolism. Understanding both T4 and T3 levels allows us to identify exactly where in the pathway there is a problem.

rT3

RT3 or reverse T3, is a storage form of thyroid hormone. It is created from T3, in times when our body is receiving cues to downregulate metabolism and conserve energy.

TPO Antibodies

Thyroperoxidase antibodies are a marker of autoimmune reactivity towards the thyroid gland. This measure allows us to identify the cause of low thyroid function, and if elevated indicates a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

If you suspect your thyroid health requires investigation, talk with one of our practitioners about what options might be right for you.

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