If You Think You Have a Thyroid Imbalance: Medical and Alternative Testing:
The first step in investigating thyroid symptoms is standard thyroid labs. Medical offices usually measure TSH, T3 and T4. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH, is produced by the pituitary and stimulates the thyroid to produce hormones. Although the interpretation of TSH can be complex, it is considered to be the best test for diagnosing hypothyroidism.
Most American laboratories have a normal TSH range of around .5 to 3.5 One problem that doctors have had in the past is that the range of thyroid lab values considered “normal” is changing. A person with a level of 2.5 is now considered borderline. In the past, 2.5 was considered normal and doctors lost their licenses after prescribing thyroid hormone to symptomatic people with TSH values between 2.5 and 5.5.
Alternative Evaluation of Thyroid Function:
In addition to hormone levels, many practitioners use basal body temperature to indicate thyroid function. Low basal body temperature indicates that the metabolism is sluggish. It is therefore often interpreted to indicate dysfunction of the master gland of metabolism, the thyroid.
**Menstruating women should perform the test on the second, third, and fourth days of menstruation.
Normal Labs but Symptoms of Hypothyroidism: