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My Thyroid Tests Results Are So ‘Exceptionally Normal’ That They Are ‘Fairly Uncommon’


I wonder how many people actually know where their thyroid glands are

I’ve heard it over and over again over the years from so many well-meaning people, especially women, who have struggled to get their weight under control: ” I just can’t seem to lose any weight at all, so it must be my thyroid.” The frustration of doing everything right you can possibly do to produce weight loss only to have it fall flat on its face can make you assume that there is something wrong with your thyroid. And, quite frankly, many times that is indeed the case. But rather than assuming it’s your thyroid rather than something else, the best way to find out for sure is to have your thyroid function tested.

I recently blogged about my personal battle with a slight weight regain that has me taking on the task of shedding 50 pounds that have come on me over the past couple of years. It began with a sudden 30-pound rise in 2008 and then another 20 pounds came on in 2009. If you will visit my daily menus blog then you will see the strategy that I’m using to bring that weight back under control. In less than two weeks on this new plan, I’ve already dropped over 10 pounds. So I’m well on my way and am hopeful that it will continue to progress downward.

Even still, I wondered in the back of my mind whether my struggle with this weight had anything to do with my thyroid function. After all, it is a possibility and it’s always better to eliminate as many things as possible so that the ultimate culprit will eventually be found. That’s why I turned to a cardiologist physician friend of mine named Dr. William Davis from “The Heart Scan Blog.” His mission at Track Your Plaque is heart disease prevention and reversal by providing some simple and affordable at-home blood tests for people who are interested in having various health markers tested including 25-hydroxy vitamin D, C-Reactive protein levels to measure inflammation, cardiometabolic testing to track your lipid panel and A1c levels and so much more! The one that I wanted to check out the most was the Complete Thyroid Profile Home Blood Test Kit.

When I got the kit in the mail, I was excited to prick myself (I know that sounds sadistic, but I was anxious to get the results), put a few drops of blood on the card and mail it in. And I must say I was quite impressed with how quickly the kit arrived at my doorstep after placing the order. As soon as you checkout, the process kicks into high gear and within just a few short days you’ll have everything you need to have a full thyroid panel run. Dr. Davis says this test has been “yielding excellent values that correspond very closely to full blood draw assessments.” This is good news for people who don’t have medical insurance that pays for this test to be done. Now they can!

The kit itself has everything you need to provide the technicians with enough blood to give you optimal results: instruction manual, alcohol swabs, gauze sponges, lancets, blood spot card, bandage, and a 2nd Day Air label with envelope to mail back the blood test. Everything was packaged very well in a nice concise container that is used to house the blood spot card and test requisition in the envelope back to the ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton, Oregon.

The test requisition gives the lab some basic information about you and asks about any symptoms that you may have been experiencing to warrant this blood test. It’s just about anything and everything under the sun dealing with a wide variety of health conditions that you answer on a scale using the bubble format based on your own individual results. I assumed they had a computer that spits out an analysis of your answers to include with your blood test results.

Now, about that blood draw. As you can see from the photo above, there were 12 circles that needed to be filled with enough blood for the tests to be run. If you provide too little blood, there would be delays in receiving your results. So I pricked and squeezed and filled as much as I could out of each finger until I filled up all of those circles with blood. It took me over half an hour to do this with about 15 sticks, but my blood was running slow that day. Yes, I rubbed my hands together, put them under warm water, did jumping jacks to get my blood flowing and it still wouldn’t go any faster. But as we say in the South, I got ‘er done and off in the mail!

It took a couple of weeks for the results to arrive, but I was anxious to see them:

As you can see my Free T4 level is at 1.4 which is in the range of 0.7-2.5ng/dL, my Free T3 is 4.6 within the range of 2.5-6.5pg/ml, my TSH lands at 1.3 falling easily within the 0.5-3.0uU/ml, and finally my TPO was just 6 on a scale of 0-150IU/ml. Now that I’ve got your head spinning wondering what the heck all of this means, I decided to take these numbers directly to Dr. Davis for somewhat of an interpretation. Sure, they all came back within a “normal” range, but does that mean my thyroid is okay?

After sharing my results with him, Dr. Davis jokingly stated, “I’ve got bad news: Your thyroid is normal.” He explained that had my number truly been out of range, then correcting a low thyroid function “can really, really jump start weight loss or at least make it far easier.” However, my results showed just the opposite. Noting that my thyroid panel is “exceptionally normal” explaining that my Free T3 and Free T4 levels fall within the upper half of the normal range and my TSH near 1.0. Additionally, the paltry TPO of just 6 is outstanding “since it represents the level of antibody attacking your thyroid.” He added, “Thyroid values this good are actually fairly uncommon.” WOW! In the case of Jimmy Moore dealing with a slight weight gain issue, it most certainly is NOT a thyroid problem. And that’s good to know!

If you suspect that you might be dealing with a thyroid issue and want to get it checked out, then I highly recommend Dr. Davis’ Complete Thyroid Profile Home Blood Test Kit to see where you stand. Don’t just assume you have poor thyroid function anymore…find out for sure! Special THANK YOU to Dr. William Davis for donating one of these test kits for me to try for myself and for providing such an outstanding service for people seeking to be healthy.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: http://cmp.ly/2

  • Elenor

    Congrats Jimmie, on your UNusually healthy thyroid! {wink} (Have you done a 24-hr saliva test for cortisol and hormones?)

    Let me recommend, though, for those of your readers who have not checked or, as I did for years, disparaged the idea that “it’s my thyroid” (when it turns out it IS my thyroid!) two great resources. (There are many more, but these are the two I use.)

    First is the Stop the Thyroid Madness forum (http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/), where thousands and thousands of people have been providing info on what works, what doesn’t work, and what to try, check, and do to address adrenal and thyroid problems. (Fantastic, useful, information-filled site!)

    Second, there’s a Yahoo! group called the Coalition For Desiccated Thyroid (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CoalitionForDesiccatedThyroid/) (One of several such groups, where people discuss the same sorts of info.) The Coalition does monthly phone calls (podcasts!) with various folks too.

    Glad your thyroid is well, Jimmie… Keep looking!
    Elenor

    Thanks for the resources!

    –Jimmy

  • http://www.180degreehealth.blogspot.com Matt Stone

    Thyroid blood tests do show how well the gland itself is functioning. Still, other hormones and factors can block the action of the thyroid hormones, or the receptors are not functional – similar to insulin resistance, which no one would blame on the pancreas. That’s why Mark Starr has identified a type of hypometabolic state called “type 2 hypothyroidism.” The only way to get a true test of your overall metabolic performance is to take the body temperature first thing in the morning. Bringing that temperature back up to normal is one primary specialty of my site, and I’m one of the few that believes that diet and lifestyle can bring it back up most quickly and most safely.

    Interestingly, my basal body temperature in the mornings has averaged about 97.5 since I’ve been checking it the past two weeks. Not sure exactly what this means, but would love to interview you on my podcast about this if you’re interested. Lemme know.

    –Jimmy

  • http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog Diana Hsieh

    Hi Jimmy,

    (I just posted this in the comments on Dr. Davis’ blog, then I realized that I should post it here too.)

    I’ve been reading up on your thyroid testing, and I’m curious as to whether you have any of the other classic symptoms of hypothyroidism apart from the weight gain — like lethargy, poor memory, feeling cold, muscle pains, depression, etc.

    I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in November. I’ve been on 50 mcg of Synthroid, with absolutely zero effect so far. (I got new labs done last week, including a reverse T3. I’m waiting to hear from my doctor about the results.) My numbers aren’t terribly bad, although my TSH was 3.23 in November. And I have those symptoms I mentioned above in spades, such that I’ve been unable to work. (I’m very unhappy about that!) Also, I have a single-nodule goiter. My temperatures are similar to yours — averaging 96.5 a few weeks ago, and now just slightly over 97.

    I posted more details here:

    http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2009/11/lethargic-fat-pained-and-cold.shtml

    http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2009/11/thyroid-update.shtml

    http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2010/01/another-thyroid-update.shtml

    I’ve found a local source of desiccated thyroid, so I definitely want to switch to that.

    I’ve learned that hypothyroidism is rampant in the women of the family, and both my mother and sister have a goiter. I suspect that iodine deficiency — brought to my attention by Dr. Davis — is part of my problem.

    A friend of mine has similar symptoms (albeit milder), but her TSH is normal. And I’ve read tons of accounts from people with fairly normal lab values, but with pretty clear hypothyroid symptoms. (I’m not sure if their Free T3 and T4 were good, or if just their TSH was normal.) Oddly, my Free T3 and T4 aren’t terrible, although in the lower-middle of the reference range, despite my elevated TSH.

    In any case, I just wanted to encourage you to keep us apprised of what you discover.

    Thanks!

    I appreciate it, Diana! I have felt cold, had a bit of sluggishness, and other such symptoms. I have been taking my temperature in the morning and the average is around 97.5…a full degree lower than normal. I’m still exploring this and will report what I find. Incidentally, I recently added iodine to my supplementation.

    –Jimmy

  • Peter Silverman

    Normal people (95% of everybody) eat more after they lose weight, so your weight gain proves you’re normal, and the test confirms it. If you didn’t gain a bunch of weight back you would be weird.

    I think that’s too simplistic an explanation, Peter. Perhaps there is some validity to what you are saying, but I’m of the belief that once you’ve already been obese in your life that your body will work tooth and nails to make you that way. Yes, I lost 180 pounds in 2004, but it has been a battle for the past five years to keep all of that weight off beyond a serious reduction in calories. These bodies of ours are quite peculiar and I’m bound and determined to figure it out.

    –Jimmy

  • Amanda Wood

    Have you looked into leptin resistance? There’s a great group which has been started on yahoo.com with a lady doing a “Symlin” experiment on herself.

    She is a low-carber but had had a 2-year stall. Finally, she is now getting the last few pounds off.

    Or you could raise your carbs to about 40-70g per day. That actually helps some people.

    amanda

    THANKS Amanda! I’m looking at a lot of options right now. :)

    –Jimmy

  • Lynn Dunning

    Hiya Jimmy

    I had actually been re-reading old posts and thought of you and your weight. I STRONGLY disagree with Dr. Davis’s opinions on the thyroid. Docs you might want to check out that know a lot about the thyroid are: Dr. Mark Starr, Dr. Barry Durant-Peatfield and Dr. John Lowe.

    Firstly, truly healthy people with NO thyroid symptoms tend to have at least midi range T4 (yours is low considering the range is 0.7-2.5) and a Free T3 at the top third or even slightly range. Your Free T3 is only at 4.6 with the top of the range being 8.5. Finally, you have 6 TPO antibodies. TPO antibodies signify that the body is attacking the thyroid tissues. ANY thyroid antibodies signify a problem in my and many thyroid expert’s opinions. I mean why would a healthy body have ANY antibodies to any of its glands?

    In the old days they actually diagnosed hypothyroidism via high cholesterol. My TC was 269 prior to thyroid treatment and is now 177. Not that TC matters in terms of health, but it is a useful DIAGNOSTIC tool. In the old days they also considered SYMPTOMS more important than bloods as bloods vary so much throughout the day. Also, these tests only tell you what is in your bloods and cannot tell you whether thyroid hormone is reaching your cells.

    You DO have thyroid symptoms: feeling the cold, low body temp, high cholesterol, sluggishness.

    The crux of the problem is that doctors know as much about the thyroid as they do about nutrition. Even the good ones who know lots about LC usually know little about the thyroid. I was told by an American doctor that he only got 1 hour on the thyroid in med school and that endos only receive four.

    If you want to learn more and investigate this as an issue for you I can recommend some docs in your area. Also, go to: http://www.stopthethyoridmadness.com and http://www.relathyrodihelpo.com

    I have Hashimotos and was diagnosed with:
    TSH: 1.64 (0.4 -4.0)
    Free T4: 12.0 (9.0 -19.0)
    Free T3: 4.3 (4.0-6.8)
    TPO 180

    My life has changed since I got on desiccated thyroid. I no longer gain weight at the drop of a hat and have lost 20lbs since July. Only 20 to go.

    There IS hope Jimmy, but you need a doc more clued up on thyroid to help you.

    Thanks Lynn! On the advice from Dr. Davis, I am trying to get a doctor to prescribe me a low-dosage T3/T4 medication to see what happens. I’m not giving up on this!

    –Jimmy

  • Lynn Dunning

    Oops, that should be:

    http://www.realthyroid.help.com

    I spelled it wrong!

  • Kelly A.

    ^ Actually it’s http://www.realthyroidhelp.com (no dot before the help). One of my favorite sites.

  • Lynn Dunning

    Jimmy

    I sent you an email with the name of a good thyroid doc in S. Carolina. Sadly, there is nobody else on my list in S. Carolina. So, I have sent you doc info on neighbouring states also.

    The reality is most docs are clueless about the thyroid, hence we share good doc contacts with one another.

    Thanks for the info, Lynn!

    –Jimmy