Thyroid testing is a controversial topical, especially between conventional and natural medicine providers.
Conventional OBGYN’s and Endocrinologists have been taught to screen for thyroid disease just using the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test. If that number is “normal” (aka between 1-4.5), then there’s no thyroid disease. However, if you go back to our Thyroid & Fertility 101 post, you’ll see that TSH is a reflection of what the brain thinks is happening with the thyroid. It doesn’t actually tell us how much T4 and T3 is being made. And if we don’t know about T4 and T3 levels, we can’t know about what is happening inside the cells, especially the ovaries and the uterus for our fertility patients.
Given how devastating infertility and miscarriage can be, we believe in doing a thorough workup from the first visit. If our patient has thyroid symptoms, we want to know right off the bat so we can do everything possible to help her get pregnant and stay pregnant.
Here’s what we like to test for:
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels between 1-2.50
Free T4 (Thyroxine) levels between 0.8-1.4
Free T3 (Tri-iodothyronine) levels between 2.5-4.0
Thyroglobulin & Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (to screen for autoimmune hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s)
Reverse T3 (to see if stress or non-thyroid problems are causing thyroid symptoms)
Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (to screen for Grave’s disease)
Sometimes, we’ll even order an ultrasound of the thyroid so we can see if there are tissue changes or nodules that might be causing the thyroid testing to be abnormal.
Once we have all the test results in, we can start to piece together what type of thyroid imbalances our patients have and talk about the various ways we can treat them. Some patients will need medicine for T4 replacement, others might need both T4 and T3 medicine. Many of our patients will need just herbs, nutrients and some dietary changes.
Whatever we do to treat our patients, we will repeat their thyroid panel 6-8 weeks later so we know that we are being effective. We want to see their thyroid testing normalize and hear that their symptoms are improving.
Especially for our fertility patients, we want to know that this incredibly important hormone is right in the optimal range. It’s such an easy thing to diagnose and treat, and yet for so many patients, thyroid imbalances get missed or ignored.
What has your experience been? Did your doctor do a full thyroid assessment before telling you if your thyroid was affecting your fertility? Did they walk you through the results and explain what your brain, your thyroid and your ovaries were saying to each other?
If you want this type of communication and clarity from your fertility providers, schedule a call with us to see how we can help you get tested and understand your hormone balance.
Are you ready to kick off your fertility journey?