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Jane's Blog Subclinical Hypothyroid : What your Thyroid tests aren’t telling you

Posted by Jane Jansen on

Have you been to the Doctor with all the symptoms of thyroid problems only to be told your blood tests are normal and there is nothing wrong with your thyroid?

Subclinical hypothyroidism—is where you have all the signs of hypothyroidism but your lab tests are essentially normal. It is also referred to as mild thyroid failure, is diagnosed when peripheral thyroid hormone levels are within the normal range, but thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is mildly elevated.

Beware excess biotin in the blood (B vitamin often taken for hair growth ) can block hormone binding causing thyroid testing to be measured inaccurately. Biotin can skew the results to be either falsely high or falsely low. It can also cause a lab’s assay for thyrotropin receptor antibodies (TRAb) to be falsely positive, which could lead to a misdiagnosis of Graves disease.

Dr. Danni Li, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota says, “The reason biotin supplements can mess up certain test results is because the tests contain their own biotin. Many lab tests rely on a strong bond between biotin and a protein called streptavidin to increase test sensitivity. Biotin and streptavidin are part of a process that creates a signal that is either proportional or disproportional to the amount of the substance the test is measuring. That's why the presence of extra biotin can lead to falsely high or low results.”

Biotin doesn't stay in a person's body forever: It leaves the body after some time although it’s uncertain exactly how long people need to wait for the vitamin to clear their blood. Some labs prefer 48 hours, however waiting 2 weeks before testing is best.

Statistics show that one in eight women between the ages of 35 and 65 and one in five women over the age of 65 have some form of thyroid disease. In the United States and other areas of adequate iodine intake, autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto disease) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Testing for thyroid antibodies (autoimmune) is not usually ordered by doctors even though up to 80% of hypothyroid patients test positive for this. Approximately 26 percent of women in or near perimenopause are diagnosed with low thyroid (hypothyroid) and after menopause puts women at a greater risk.

People who experience a combination of multiple symptoms including fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, cold intolerance, depression, anxiety, dry skin, muscle pain, forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating, constipation, irregular menstrual cycle, infertility, fullness in the throat and hoarseness, point towards thyroid dysfunction.

Women with thyroid problems often suffer from depression and/or anxiety. One explanation for this is that the most biologically active form of thyroid hormone, T3, is actually a neurotransmitter that regulates the action of serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA that affects depression and anxiety.

People with subclinical hypothyroid also often have elevated triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Most of all people with subclinical thyroid don’t feel great and no matter what they do they keep ending up feeling the same. Overweight, balding, tired, stressed, and out of balance.

With many of my patients I suggest doing a basal body temperature chart because the thyroid regulates metabolism and body temperature. If your reading is consistently below 97.8 and you have multiple hypothyroid symptoms, there is a good chance your thyroid in mildly underactive even if your blood tests are normal.

It is best to make an appointment with your Holistic Practitioner to guide you with dietary and lifestyle changes and other health issues that can influence thyroid function.

Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center  508-336-4242

Host of Holistic Healthline Radio


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