Guest Author - Jim Lowrance
Better qualified Endocrinologists, Thyroid Specialists and other types of MDs who treat thyroid disorders, believe in testing for thyroid antibodies.
Sometime ago, I was talking to a lady, whose husband was suffering symptoms that matched those listed for thyroid disorder, specifically those of "hyperthyroidism" (anxiety, insomina, weight loss, excessive energy, fatigue etc...). Her husband was tested for his TSH and thyroid hormone levels and the results were within the normal ranges however, the man's TSH was on the increase (his result was above 3.5), according to the new, revised TSH lab standards, set by the AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) in the year 2002. The new range set by the AACE for TSH is "0.3 to 3.0". In my discussion with this woman, who was seeking help on behalf of her husband, I told her that her husband's TSH would merit a test of "thyroid antibodies".
Following is what I told her:
"A TSH of "3.58" is not as normal as some Dr.s would have you believe. The AACE which is the organization that sets the standard for thyroid testing and treatment, released a new, revised TSH range in late 2002, having "3.0" as the cut off for high normal TSH.
Here's a quote:
"Now the AACE encourages physicians to consider treatment for patients who test outside the boundaries of a narrower margin based on a target TSH level of 0.3 to 3.0." (The AACE)
The National Insititutes of Health website actually states that a person testing with a TSH of above 2.0, should be monitored closely for development of thyroid disease.
Here is a quote:
"Some people with a TSH value over 2.0 mIU/L, who have no signs or symptoms suggestive of an under-active thyroid, may develop hypothyroidism sometime in the future." (NIH/NLM MedLinePlus.com)
My suggestion to you, is to find a qualified thyroid-treating Doctor and get your husband tested for thyroid antibodies. These can reveal thyroid disease going on, in patients with normal-ish hormone levels. The tests are for the "TPO, TG and TSI" antibodies, People with developing autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), can have elevated antibody levels that cause symptoms, even with hormones in normal-range. Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (most common cause of hypothyroidism), can go through a period of hyperthyroidism, before the onset of hypothyroidism and the term for this is "Hashitoxicosis".
Here is a quote:
"Hashitoxicosis is an autoimmune thyroid disorder, in which individuals with autoimmune hypothyrodism, usually Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), experience intermittent or sporadic periods where they also have symptoms of hyperthyrodism." (Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism Wiki)
Amazingly, some Doctors will argue these points, despite the fact that the most reputable medical sources in the world are stating them. Some Doctors believe and state that antibody testing is not necessary unless hormone levels are outside of the normal reference ranges but the fact is that autoimmune thyroid disease is usually present long before it affects the hormone levels.
This would be my suggestion; to get him tested for "thyroid antibodies". It may confirm or rule out thyroid disease but will be hard to move on to other possible causes of symptoms, if it is not tested for.
Some Doctors jump to snap-diagnoses of emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, before ordering more complete blood evaluation for patients and to me, this is a dis-service. I believe people with multi-symptom complaints, should not only be tested for thyroid hormone levels and antibodies but should also have a complete blood count (CBC) and glucose levels (A1C) tests, to check for diabetes and other blood disorders.