Quote:  Don’t defy the diagnosis, try to defy the verdict – Norman Cousins


In this article, you will read about the complex problem of diagnosing a thyroid problem? It is not easy to pinpoint this condition and we will share with you how to be more knowledgeable:

  • How to ask the right questions?
  • Notice the signs of what a thyroid problem is
  • Discover a few tips on what tests you should ask for

As we have mentioned in previous articles, please consult with your doctor on all health related problems.

The Thyroid Function:

The thyroid is a small butterfly gland located in your neck around the windpipe. It’s function is to produce two hormones:  T3 – triiodothyonine and T4 – thyroxine which move oxygen through your bloodstream to your cells to produce energy for your body.  The thyroid gland is known as the “Master Gland of Metabolism” 

When the thyroid is functioning properly, approximately 80% should be T4 the storage hormone and approximately 20% should be T3 the active hormone.  Once released by the thyroid, the T3 and T4 hormones travel through the bloodstream to the cells releasing oxygen and calories.  This is then converted into energy to serve as fuel for your metabolism.

Two of the most common conditions is:

Hypothyroidism – (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) – The thyroid is producing too many thyroid hormones

Hyperthyroidism – The antibodies cause an excessive amount of the thyroid hormones to be produced

The pituitary senses control the amount of hormones to be released into your body.  If the thyroid malfunctions or does not process this exchange properly, then you will develop a thyroid condition.

Some of the Possible Risks that are a Factor in Developing a Thyroid Condition:

  • If you have a family member with a thyroid problem
  • Family history of autoimmune disease
  • You are or were a smoker
  • In the past you have had a stomach infection or food poisoning
  • Allergies to gluten / celiac disease
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to heavy metals such as mercury
  • Over 60 years of age
  • You are a female
  • You are in a period of hormonal change
  • Trauma to the neck / whiplash

Ask for the Thyroid TEST:

If you have a thyroid problem, you may experience low body temperatures. For instance, in the morning upon awakening, you may discover that you are really cold.

One of the tests that you should ask for from your doctor is a blood test that measures the thyroid for the stimulating hormone (TSH).  This may rule out or diagnose a hypothyroid problem.  Many other blood tests for hypothyroidism could be initiated and this is up to your family doctor.  Tests such as Total T4 / Total T3 and Free T4 / Free T3 – if you are aware of these tests – you can insist to have them!

A study reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that TSH levels for people who don’t have a thyroid condition is actually 1.5.

Questions to Ask your Doctor so that you get the RIGHT TEST!

Question: I’m tired all the time. What can I do?

But ASK?

I’m tired all the time BUT I get ten hours of sleep every night and I am still exhausted all day.  DO I have a thyroid problem?

Question: I can’t lose weight.  What can I do?

But ASK?

I can’t lose weight. I eat approximately 1,500 calories per day on a low fat diet and exercise three times a week for an one each time.  I still gain two pounds per week.  DO I have a thyroid problem?

The problem most times with the diagnosis is that we are not asking the right questions ourselves.  Document your symptoms and be prepared to discuss them with your doctor.  Be persistent!

Signs or Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

One of the most important things to remember when you are keeping track of possible health concerns – is to know your body!

Some of the possible symptoms of thyroid problems may include:

  • Your neck looks and feels swollen
  • Your neck area is tender to the touch
  • You may have a tight feeling in the throat
  • Coughing frequently
  • Voice is hoarse
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Food feels like it is stuck in the throat

Self Test for Thyroid:

A quick, and by no means conclusive, and easy self test.  Try to hold a mirror in your hand, tilt your head back and take a drink of water.  If you notice a larger than normal bulge at the lower part of your neck – closer to the collar bone – you may have some thyroid issues.  Please don’t be confused by your Adam’s apple which is at the front of your neck.  Always consult your doctor if you feel that you may have some thyroid problems.

Key Factor for Thyroid Sufferers

One of the key factors for thyroid sufferers is to take your medication on a regular basis and some helpful tips to remember are:

  • Record each day the time and date when taken and repeat this daily
  • Schedule reminders for yourself
  • Keep the pill container in a handy place
  • Link taking pills to daily activities
  • Enlist the help of family and friends
  • Add a reminder on your fridge or on a calendar

Thank you for reading through this article and are hope is that you can benefit from the information that we have provided.  Remember!

Treatment and Hope!

He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything!

– Arabic Proverb

Take care and stay safe.

Jane Brown

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