Once you have checked out the symptoms list and have noted several that you display, it is time to take action. You will need to get your list organized and make an appointment with a doctor. Depending on how your health insurance works, you may first need to see your general physician for a referral to a doctor who specializes in the functioning of the thyroid. I recommend the web site www.acam.org to find a doctor who uses a holistic approach to treatment.
It might be valuable to record a series of ‘Temperature Tests’ before your doctor’s appointment. To do this test, leave a thermometer by your bedside. Each morning when you wake up, take your temperature before getting out of bed and record it. This tracking sheet may give your doctor useful information about the function of your thyroid. It is very common for individuals with a low-functioning thyroid to display low morning body temperatures.
When you visit your doctor, be prepared to request specific lab tests. Important levels to get tested are: TSH, Total T3, T3 Uptake, Total T4, Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3. It may also be necessary to have other hormone levels tested depending on your symptoms. For example, if you are having troubles with your reproductive system it might be necessary to also test your Progesterone, Estrogen, and DHEA levels. In addition, doing some symptom-based research may help you show up to your appointment with a lot more knowledge and legitimate questions that may otherwise be overlooked by your doctor.
Along with blood tests, you may also want to consider taking an Iodine loading test. This is a 24-hour urine collection test that allows the doctor to see how well your body is absorbing and utilizing iodine - a critical element in the function of the thyroid gland. A good company that offers this test is Metametrix. This test must be requested by a doctor or health care practitioner.
Once your doctor has performed the proper tests, your appropriate treatment can begin.