We’re in the midst of a podcast series all about thyroid health. In this episode, I’m excited to introduce you to thyroid specialist Dr. Izabella Wentz. Dr. Wentz’s expertise has been spurred on by her own personal struggle with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Through extensive research as well as trial and error on herself, Dr. Wentz has greatly improved her condition. And she will be sharing her knowledge with us on the podcast for the next three episodes!
Getting a Correct Diagnoses for Thyroid Disease
Dr. Wentz and I have had similar journeys with thyroid disease. Both of us experienced the frustration of recurring symptoms while receiving “normal” test results from doctors. For me specifically, stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy eating and pregnancy all acted as triggers for thyroid disease symptoms. I felt cold all of the time, experienced hair loss, and I had trouble losing weight after the baby was born. I actually went through 8 doctors before I was able to get a correct diagnoses for thyroid disease.
The primary way doctors will check thyroid function in a person is with a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test. This test is ideal in advanced stages of thyroid disease, but can actually vary in accuracy for someone in their first 5-10 years of thyroid disease symptoms because of the fluctuation of thyroid hormone levels.
There are alternative tests that Dr. Wentz recommends, however. She first mentions testing thyroid peroxidase antibodies, which are elevated in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Another valuable test is a thyroid ultrasound, for people who may have seronegative Hashimoto’s. So even if your TSH levels appear normal, it is worth taking additional tests if you’re experiencing the symptoms of thyroid disease.
If you’re looking for a doctor who will test your properly for thyroid disease, Dr. Wentz recommends asking the following questions:
- Does the doctor test for thyroid antibodies?
- What kind of thyroid medications do they prescribe?
- Does the doctor have a root cause approach?
If the doctor’s office only gives one type of test and one type of medication, that is a red flag, because there is such a diversity of causes and corresponding effective treatments.
Different Types of Thyroid Disease
Understanding the different types of thyroid disease will help you get a correct diagnoses. These types include Hashimoto’s, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a state of not having enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include hair loss, fatigue, cold intolerance, eyebrow loss, difficulty losing weight, and depression. This condition can be cause by an iodine deficiency, or as is common in the Western part of the world, hypothyroidism is actually caused by Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition that results in the breakdown of thyroid tissue to the point where the person can no longer produce thyroid hormone.
Hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid, is a condition of having too much thyroid hormone. Common symptoms include palpitations, excess sweating, excess anxiety, tremors, excess weight gain, and protrusion of the eyes. The primary cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Graves disease, which essentially causes the thyroid gland to lose control of hormone production.
Resources I Mention
- Dr. Izabella Wentz
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause
- Dr. Alan Christianson
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