Can I Have an Underactive Thyroid With Normal Blood Tests
Yes, it is possible to have an underactive thyroid and have your blood work come back normal. In fact, this is something that patients who may have thyroid problems need to know more about. To that end, we will focus on this phenomenon for the remainder of this article.
The Blood Work Loophole
Some of you may know that it isn’t enough to suffer from a hormonal imbalance to qualify for treatment. Your medical tests have to back up the necessity of that treatment, but there is a lag between how you feel and what your tests show.
Patients can feel the effects of underactive thyroid long before there are biological indicators in their bloodstream. Your gland may have been under producing or overproducing hormones for a while, but without supporting evidence of that fact in the labs, the standard thyroid test will come back “within normal range.”
There are couple of things to realize about the words, within normal range:
- The thyroid test isn’t standardized; meaning the ranges differ by lab.
- The fact that there’s a range means you could have borderline results and still come back within normal range.
For some patients, these facts are enough to cause them to seek a specialized second opinion.
A Specialized Difference
Thyroid specialists know that the best way to diagnose an underactive thyroid is to listen to the patient first and then evaluate the gland.
Specialists have access to a different set of diagnostic tools then you will find at a general practitioner’s office. One of these tools is a quiz designed to clarify and classify your symptoms to find out if they indicate that you have an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Based on your responses, a specialist can more easily identify what stage of thyroid malfunction you are in. Unlike a traditional doctor’s office; a specialty clinic has developed tests that can detect the earliest stages of thyroid malfunction using markers that involve investigating your coordination and metabolic responses.
This can be a more effective preventative measure for certain patients, but it can also be used to more effectively treat a thyroid condition, as the protocol used can be customized for every patient. This often works better than using a broad spectrum prescription for hormone replacement therapy.
Thyroid specialists can narrow down a more specific cause and treat:
- Genetic diseases
A general approach to diagnosing a thyroid condition only gets you so far.
If the traditional blood test is not showing your condition, but you feel that your symptoms tell a different story, ask for a referral to a thyroid specialist. Never be afraid to get a specialized second opinion, that’s why there are specialists; consultations available.