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It's January...Do You Know Where Your Thyroid Is? Thyroid Awareness Month Focuses on Millions of Undiagnosed Americans with Thyroid Problems
Date:1/12/2010

"postpartum" thyroid disease
  • Millions of women are offered hormone treatments to manage erratic periods or hot flashes, when thyroid problems -- not perimenopause or menopause -- may be the actual cause of the symptoms.
  • Patients continue to struggle with panic attacks, muscle aches/joint pains, hair loss, puffiness, constipation, and low sex drive, and many doctors never bother to test for the underlying problems that could be causing these symptoms.

  • KEY TIP: Don't assume that an annual physical or blood work includes thyroid evaluation or blood tests, because most do not.

    2. Do You Know What Tests to Ask For?

    Many people have been told by the doctor, "We've tested your thyroid, and it's normal."

    The public needs to be aware, however, that this is not enough information, and does not mean that a thyroid problem has been definitively ruled out.

    Many doctors rely on the TSH -- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone -- as their go-to test for thyroid disease. Sadly, however, doctors can't even agree as to what levels are normal for the TSH test! Some endocrinologists and physicians are behind the times, and believe that .5 to 5.5 is the normal level. (This is the range that most labs use as well.) Other physicians believe that levels above 2.5 are evidence of a thyroid condition and warrant treatment. With MILLIONS of people falling into that limbo -- a TSH between 2.5 and 5.5 -- there are many undiagnosed people with thyroid problems out there who are being told "your thyroid is normal" solely on the basis of a TSH test.

    Forward-thinking doctors also don't just test TSH, they test Free T4, Free T3, and autoimmune thyroid antibodies to get a more complete picture of thyroid function.

    Says Shomon, "If your doctor is using the old 0.5 to 5.5 TSH range, ignores your symptoms and relies only on the TSH test, or doesn't understand the
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    Source: PRWeb
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