Testing Your Thyroid


If your thyroid is underactive, you are not alone. Of all the problems that can undermine health, none is more common (or more likely to be overlooked) than an underactive thyroid gland. And, unfortunately, if your thyroid doesn't work right, the rest of your body doesn't, either.

The incredibly broad range of symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland emits makes it really hard for even a physician to diagnose without a proper lab test. Often lab results do not help either.

There are many people that suffer from hypothyroidism, the medical term for the condition, that do not have lab results out of the norm. They may have a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level that falls in the normal range, but still suffer from an underactive gland.

An underactive thyroid can certainly lead to other health problems and to our efforts to achieve a maximum life span. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy can safely, effectively and inexpensively treat your condition.

A simple 10-minute test performed at home can indicate if you are suffering from a subclinical thyroid condition. It will measure your Basal Metabolic Temperature, known as BMT. Provided you have no infections or other conditions that may affect the test, here's how you can check:

1. Before going to sleep, shake a thermometer and place it within reach of your bed. (Shaking it in the morning, when you awake, will raise your temperature and affect the test.)

2. Make sure it is a Basal Thermometer (more acurate thermometer), not a digital instrument.

3. When you awake, place the thermometer under your armpit; leave it there for 10 minutes. Lie as still as possible. Do not get up or move around, as this would also raise your temperature.

4. After 10 minutes, record your temperature. Do this for at least three days.

If your temperature consistently falls below 97.8º, you likely have an underactive thyroid. A normal BMT reading will be between 97.8º and 98.2º. If your self-test indicates a low thyroid, it is time to go see a good physician.

Thyroid Function

So, why would your thyroid gland's function be so important to your health? The hormone produced by the gland travels to each cell of your body and establishes the rate of that cell's metabolism. In other words, it tells the cell how fast to work.

If you produce too little of the hormone, your cells get sluggish. If the cell is a nerve cell, your thinking may slow down or depression may set in. If the cell is a muscle cell, your strength declines. If the cell is an intestinal cell, your digestion may be affected.

The immune system is especially vulnerable to low thyroid performance. White blood cell production may slow down and cells that fight infections may lose their aggressiveness.

If you feel you have a compromised thyroid, see your doctor. They will order a test that measures your level of TSH and a test for your antithyroid antibody, which will determine if your immune system is trying to fight your thyroid.

If this test falls out of the norm and there are symptoms that indicate to them that you might have hypothyroid, it will more than likely confirm the diagnosis.

Thyroid Treatment

"Iodine has many positive therapeutic actions. It is a potent anti-infective agent. No virus, bacteria or parasite has been shown to be resistant to iodine therapy,” writes Dr. Brownstein. This is an incredible statement but one that can easily be backed by hardcore medical science. It is the reason hospitals use iodine by the gallon and in reality the only reason hospitals are not like ground zero sites contaminated in an infectious sense is because of iodine's broad spectrum anti-infective power.

Few are the doctors who have realized that iodine can be taken internally in large quantities and that it will have the same effect internally as it does on external surfaces. The fact that the entire focus of vaccines is anti-viral, that bacterial infections are becoming more threatening and more antibiotic resistant, we might begin to realize how iodine can again become a doctor’s best friend.