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Thyroid hormone is responsible to a great extent for our metabolism, for energy being produced within the cells. In fact, nearly every cellular process requires optimal functioning of thyroid hormone.
It is accepted among the more forward-thinking medical community that hypothyroidism that is not detected by standard blood tests is rampant. Not very many years ago, hypothyroidism was diagnosed by symptoms. Interestingly, one of the symptoms of low thyroid was high cholesterol. Today, the cause of high cholesterol is generally not considered. It is simply treated with drugs.
Doctors rely almost solely on a measure of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to diagnose hypothyroidism. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in response to a need for thyroid hormone. What happens if the thyroid hormones are being produced, but not working properly? What happens if the system is so out of whack that TSH does not reflect what is actually going on?
Testing thyroid hormones including Triiodothyronine, Free (FT3), Thyroxine, Free (FT4), and Reverse T3 (RT3) provides more valuable information. Even then, lab ranges for thyroid hormones have been reduced from almost double what they are today based on test results from an unhealthy population. Does this mean we need less thyroid now than 30 years ago? There is no reason to think so.
A properly functioning thyroid is essential to being healthy and feeling well. Low thyroid is responsible for a long list of symptoms. Not everyone will have them all, and many low thyroid symptoms overlap with other imbalances and deficiencies. Regardless, no one with inadequate thyroid function will feel well and energetic and have long-term good health.
The goal of all other support discussed on this site is ultimately to have thyroid functioning at optimal levels. Optimal thyroid functioning will result in a total relief of symptoms, normal heart rate, normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol and an average daily temperature of 98.5 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Centigrade.
Thyroid testing is discussed here