Over the past several years, women have been seeking out the happy hormone cottage to get their hormones checked and then balanced. Their focus has for the most part has been on balancing estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Part of our strategy is to educate our women on the 3 major hormones of the body: Insulin, cortisol, and thyroid. Up until now, we have been successful with testing cortisol and discussing insulin resistance and control. Thyroid has always been a challenge as we have been limited by using current blood testing of TSH, T3 , and T4. Most women have “had” their thyroid checked by blood and have often been told that they are “normal”. Worse than that, women have often been diagnosed with low thyroid or hypothyroidism, but have been inadequately treated. Relying on these same tests to determine dose has left most women undertreated and left with not feeling any improvement when taking thyroid medication. Symptoms of low thyroid include: cold body temperature, fatigue, hair loss, tendency to gain weight, dry skin, low sex drive, brain fog, and poor sleep. Chronic low thyroid disease can lead to heart disease, insulin resistance, arthritis and inflammation, and even alzheimers disease.
The problem with current thyroid blood testing is that it doesn’t acknowledge the role of thyroid in the body. Thyroid does not have any effect in the blood. In order for thyroid to be effective, it must leave the blood and enter the cells. Once inside the cells, thyroid (t3) travels to the mitochondria (think energy factory) and is involved in a complicated chemical reaction to produce energy for the cell. Without thyroid, there is a significant lack of energy and the cell either loses function, or dies. There are a great many processes that effect thyroid’s ability to get in the cell and work its magic. When testing only blood, the assumption is that all these processes are working effectively and this clearly isn’t the case. This is why so many women don’t feel their thyroid medication is working.
In an effort to solve this issue, the happy hormone cottage has begun testing thyroid function. Instead of relying on blood levels of TSH , T4, and T3, we have begun testing the effectiveness of thyroid inside the cells. The machine we are using to test thyroid function is called the Thyroflex. The Thyroflex is an FDA approved, non-invasive test that measures the speed (in milliseconds) of the brachioradialis reflex in the arm. It is a simple, painless test that takes only about 4 minutes to administer. The value of the Thyroflex is that it can accurately measure the function of the thyroid. We find that women that have been told in the past that they had “normal” thyroid function test for low thyroid function on the Thyroflex machine. Once thyroid therapy has been initiated, retesting of the Thyroflex can be used to titrate to the proper and effective dose of thyroid. Having the proper amount of thyroid entering the cells is critical to improve symptoms of low thyroid.
Our current strategy is to include thyroid testing at our initial consults or at our follow up. It is important for cortisol issues and estrogen/progesterone balance to be addressed simultaneously because they can have a dramatic impact on thyroid function. Although not our current recommendation, we will test new clients for thyroid function if they are symptomatic of low thyroid or feel they have been inadequately treated with thyroid therapy. As always, the Happy Hormone Cottage’s mission statement is “women helping women for wellness.” We are all about educating women so they can own their journey to their best health naturally. For further information, or to schedule an appointment at one of our 5 area locations, please visit www.happyhormonecottage.com. We look forward to serving you.