What Your Thyroid Lab Results Really Mean

Have you ever gotten your bloodwork done because you don’t feel like yourself to have your doctor call you and say that everything is “normal”?

I’ve been there and I know it’s frustrating. Especially when it comes to the thyroid because often they are only testing TSH. Unfortunately, just measuring TSH doesn’t tell us much about how your thyroid is functioning. I specifically like to see the conversion of the inactive hormone to the active hormone and a few other markers. 

Why? Because you can have a normal TSH and still have a dysfunctional thyroid that isn’t working optimally and leading to symptoms. 

Here’s a quick overview of the thyroid markers I recommend getting tested:

  • TSH: This is your thyroid hormone and is produced by your pituitary gland. The job of TSH is to tell the thyroid gland that it’s time to get busy making more thyroid hormone. When a healthy thyroid gets this message it produces two hormones: T4 and T3. The optimal range is 1.4-1.8. 
  • Free T4: This is the unbound inactive form of thyroid hormone. It gets converted to T3 the active form. Optimal range is 1.4-1.8.
  • Free T3: This is the active form of thyroid hormone and shows how you are converting your thyroid hormone. This conversion mostly occurs in the liver. Goal is 3.2 or higher. 
  • Reverse T3: Reverse T3 is like the breaks of a car. It stops your body from converting free T4 to free T3. This occurs when your body wants to conserve energy rather than burn energy. It takes active T3 and makes it inactive. This happens when you are under prolonged stress, have infections, or under nourished. Optimal range is less than 15. 
  • TPO and Thyroglobulin Antibodies: It’s important to have your antibodies tested because these tell you if your thyroid dysfunction is coming from an attack on your thyroid from your immune system. Optimal for TPO is less than 10 and optimal for thyroglobulin is less than 20. 

Dive further into the details of each thyroid marker here. 

Since I’ve been focusing on thyroid health, I wanted to share a foundational podcast episode by Dr. Aviva Romm. She has a great book called The Adrenal-Thyroid Revoluation (plus many others) and is a great resource for all things thyroid health. 

In this episode, Aviva discusses signs of hypothyroidism, why the medical community is ignoring this epidemic, and what we can do to change this. 

Hypothyroidism primarily occurs in women but it’s something that impacts all of us. This is an important disucssion. 

Please listen and let me know what you think!

Lesson of the Week

Removing Thyroid Disrupting Chemicals

Certain chemicals, specifically chemicals from the halogens group, can compete with iodine, which is also a halogen. ⁣

​Why? They have similar chemical structures and this allows them to interfere with thyroid function since we NEED iodine (as you learned in my previous post). ⁣​
​🚨The Halogens Group:⁣​
​🔹Chlorine: found in drinking water, pools, spas, bleach, and cleaning products. ⁣​
​🔹Fluorine/Fluoride: found in toothpaste, prescription medications, teflon, and non stick cookware. ⁣​
​*Fluoride was used up until the 1950’s to treat hyperthyroid–that tells you a lot about how it impacts your thyroid right there. ⁣​
​🔹Bromine: found in flour products, baked goods, breads, sugary beverages, and flame retardants. ⁣​
Some changes you may want to consider if you are struggling with thyroid health:⁣​
​1️. Get a vitamin c shower filter (they are pretty cheap on amazon) to block chlorine–we absorb a TON of chlorine from showers and baths. ⁣​
​2️.Take a look at your toothpaste. Struggling with oral health problems? Fluoride isn’t always the answer. Primal Life Organics has a ton of free resources to learn how to remineralize your teeth and support oral health naturally. ⁣​
​3️. Switch to cast iron, stainless steel, or ceramic pans. ⁣

4. Look at your water. Do you use a filter? You can use the EWG tap water database to learn more about your water. If you have well water or want to know if the pipes are impacting your water, you can do testing at home through a company called Tap Score. ​

​​Remember, the amount of exposure you have to these chemicals matters. Don’t stress about swimming in a pool every once in a while if you have a shower filter. ⁣​
If you’re minimizing exposure in most areas, you’re supporting thyroid health. ⁣​

​What to learn even more about your thyroid? Check out my FREE Thyroid-Mineral connection Webinar and listen to my podcast episode about supporting your thyroid for optimal health.

reminder: i’m currently taking on 1:1 clients. if you’d like to explore what it would be like to work together and if we are a good fit, fill out this form to get more details!​

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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