This is the fifth and final part of my series on Getting the Most from your Doctor. In part four of this series, I talked about diabetes and Hemoglobin A1C, and gave you tips on how to decrease the risk of diabetes with effective lifestyle changes. In part five, I’ll discuss TSH and Thyroid Function.
There are so many people out there walking around with undiagnosed hypothyroidism. And they’re fatigued, they can’t lose weight, they lose their hair, they’re constipated, they have dry skin, dry brittle nails and hair.
And these people can be so easily helped – they can look and feel so much better – with just a little thyroid hormone.
TSH and Thyroid Function
To check your thyroid function, you need a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test at the minimum.
Personally, I recommend a full thyroid panel for patients, because I want to know what’s really going on with their thyroids. But some people don’t even get a routine TSH check! And that’s the first place to look for hypothyroidism.
What are the optimal numbers for your TSH?
The normal level for TSH is a controversial number. It used to be considered normal if your TSH level was under 10 (measured in mIU/L). That number has changed over the years, and now many doctors – and even the endocrine society – say that we should really be looking for a TSH cutoff of around 3.0.
But really, for people to feel their best – for those optimal levels – we should be looking for TSH levels under 3.0. Most patients really do feel their best with a TSH of under 1.0, which is much lower than the usual cutoff.
Make sure that next time you visit your doctor, you get your TSH tested. And have your doctor look at all the other numbers we’ve talked about in this series – your blood pressure, your inflammation level, your Vitamin D, your Hemoglobin A1C – to make sure you’re at the optimal levels I’ve shared with you.
Because normal’s not enough. For disease prevention, for you to look and feel your very best, go for optimal!
Getting the Most from Your Doctor – Prevention vs. Disease
A doctor’s training goes something like this: here is a disease and here is the medicine to treat that disease.
This may sound simplified, but most doctors are not trained in how to keep people from becoming unhealthy or how to prevent unwanted medical situations from happening. In a word, they are not trained in prevention.
It’s up to each of us to become educated in disease prevention – and practice it on ourselves and our families
Wishing you health, happiness, and great moments,
Dr. Jen, Hormone Expert MD