An estimated 25,000,000 Americans suffer from a thyroid problem. Half of them aren’t even aware they are sick. Out of all the cases reported, 90 percent are hypothyroidism-related (underactive thyroid). How is this possible? It all goes to how the condition is diagnosed.
The Top 10 Signs of a Thyroid Problem
According to MyBodyGreen.com, the top 10 signs of a thyroid problem are:
1. Fatigue after sleeping 8 to 10 hours a night or needing to take a nap daily.
2. Weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
3. Mood issues such as mood swings, anxiety or depression.
4. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, irregular periods, infertility and low sex drive.
5. Muscle pain, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis.
6. Cold hands and feet, feeling cold when others are not, or having a consistently low basal body temperature.
7. Dry or cracking skin, brittle nails and excessive hair loss.
9. Mind issues such as brain fog, poor concentration or poor memory.
10. Neck swelling, snoring or hoarse voice.
Unfortunately, the condition is harder to diagnose that it might appear.
This diagnostic difficulty stems from two main reasons:
1. The way the symptoms initially present
2. The technique used to detect and diagnose thyroid conditions
There are several things patients can do to address these shortcomings.
Have you ever wondered why 98.6° is considered the ideal body temperature? The answer, at least partially lies within biochemical reactions.
Your body needs to maintain a certain baseline temperature to support biological messages being sent back and forth and those messages being received and activated by the body. This core temperature reading is called your basal body temperature. This temperature can also clue specialists into how well your thyroid is functioning.
72 Hours to a Diagnosis
One of the most frustrating aspects of living with a thyroid condition is getting it properly diagnosed. Blood tests can only tell you so much, and when it comes to your thyroid, that’s not much.
A standard thyroid blood panel only looks at half of the hormonal reaction and your current TSH level. These levels have to be out of balance for an extended period of time before they actually indicate how well your thyroid is functioning. In the meantime, patients suffer through a lot of the telltale symptoms while waiting for tests that reflect them.
Waiting periods, like the one described above, have prompted patients to ask if there is a more effective way of diagnosing a thyroid condition. Answer: the low basal body temperature reading.
What your Body Temperature says about You
Using A few simple tools, which include:
• Digital thermometer
• Pen or pencil
• Watch or stopwatch
You may be able to predict your own level of thyroid function.
When taking your basal body temperature, it is important that you do so before you get out of bed each morning. Your body temperature will start to fluctuate as soon as you begin moving. The most accurate readings are achieved before your daily activities start.
Simply place the thermometer under your arm for 10 minutes and record the resulting temperature on your notepad. Repeat this process for 3 to 10 days, as directed by your doctor. A low basal body temperature averages out to less than 97.6°, which means that it is likely your thyroid is underactive.
The low basal body temperature will be added to other diagnostic findings, like a reflexology test that can be used to diagnose thyroid conditions in the early stages. If all findings indicate the presence of a thyroid condition, your specialist will discuss how to move forward with treatment. Early detection matters.
The Proactive Patient Prevails
It is very easy to misdiagnose a thyroid problem, at least at first. Patients can be treated for anything from a vitamin deficiency to endometriosis to chronic fatigue syndrome. It takes a well-versed specialist to detect and follow the symptom pattern.
Of course, the longer it takes to diagnose, the more pronounced – and harder to miss – the symptoms become. They also become harder for a patient to manage without treatment. The fatigue alone may cause you to sleep 13 to 16 hours a day.
If your test results continue to come back within normal range using a standard blood test, it is time to find a specialist who will test every process of your thyroid function.
According to the aforementioned website, those tests should look something like this:
• Free T4
• Free T3
• Reverse T3
• Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
• Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)
Treatment goes beyond hormonal balance. Talk to a specialist about adapting thyroid-healthy habits.
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