By Josh Redd, DC on January 25, 2017
Lab testing is fundamental when you have Hashimoto's low thyroid and use using functional medicine to manage it. Lab testing shows you the cause of symptoms, if you are headed toward other diseases, track how well you're doing on your protocol, and help you be compliant with your protocol.
There are many different types of lab tests. Examples of testing used for Hashimoto's patients on a functional medicine protocol include:
Thyroid antibody testing. Most doctors typically only test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). In most cases of hypothyroidism, an autoimmune attack against the thyroid causes it. You may still need thyroid hormone replacement if you have autoimmune Hashimoto’s low thyroid, however a functional medicine protocol will slow down or prevent thyroid damage. Testing TPO and TGB antibodies is one way to screen for Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Food intolerance testing. If a food causes inflammation, this triggers autoimmune attacks. Studies show a link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Gut health testing. Poor gut health contributes to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Tests screen for leaky gut, gut function, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, and autoimmune reactions.
Blood chemistry test. This is a great starting point in functional medicine testing for Hashimoto's low thyroid. An important aspect of it is functional medicine ranges (versus lab ranges). Blood tests can catch a pattern of disease while there’s time to reverse it.
Chemical and metal sensitivity testing. As with foods, an immune reaction to chemicals or metals can trigger Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares.
Adrenal function testing. Adrenal testing shows the link between health and stress handling. The second test is important because it shows whether your protocol is working. If not, you need to dig deeper to learn what is underlying Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares.
Hormone testing. Hormone imbalances affect thyroid health. Testing screens for excesses, deficiencies, feedback loops, and how well you metabolize hormones.
DNA genetic testing. Genetic testing helps give you insight into your disease risk and genetic variations that can affect health. An example is the MTHFR variance.
These are just a few examples of the types of testing used in functional medicine when working with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. What type of testing you need depends on your symptoms and health history.
The importance of lab testing when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Functional medicine is based on science and searching for the root cause of your symptoms. Many different factors can lead to Hashimoto’s, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, poor function, and other chronic health disorders.
Functional testing shows a trend toward disease
Conventional doctors use labs to screen for disease. However, once a condition is disease, the damage is significant. For instance, you may not be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s until your thyroid is largely destroyed, despite years of symptoms.
Functional medicine uses lab testing to catch a health trend that is on the way to disease but that can still be slowed, halted, or reversed.
By testing for antibodies against tissue and catching it before it becomes a disease, autoimmune progression can be slowed or stopped in its early stages.
Functional lab testing tracks Hashimoto’s protocol
The first test identifies health problems, however, follow up testing lets you know whether your protocol is working. If there is no improvement, it means you have not hit on the right protocol or discovered all the underlying causes.
Lab testing improves compliance and support
Seeing lab test results makes it easier to stick with a protocol. It also helps a disbelieving spouse, family member, or friend to support you. Many people think gluten sensitivity
is a fad, or that you're imagining your symptoms. A lab test validates your symptoms and helps others better support you on your journey to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Ask my office about functional lab testing to help you better manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center
with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto's disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto's, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here