Posts Tagged ‘thyroid blood testing’

Dietary Changes that Can Help your Thyroid

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The thyroid gland performs one of the most important roles in the body:

  • produce hormones that regulate the metabolic rate,
  • assist with heart and digestive functions,
  • development of the brain, and
  • maintenance of your bones.

Women tend to have hormone imbalances while pregnant and during menopause which makes them more susceptible than men to have a thyroid condition. The thyroid gland is often mismanaged which can lead to a lot of health issues, so it is important that the thyroid is working correctly.  One of the things you can do to help your thyroid is make dietary changes which can increase your overall wellness and the health of your thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland requires certain minerals and vitamins to function properly and since everyone’s different, the best way to find out what your body needs is to get a thyroid panel blood test. The thyroid panel is offered on our website for $49.95 and will help you determine your levels and if they are within the proper reference ranges. The following are nutrients you should be getting to help with your thyroid:

  • Iodine: It is a crucial element required for thyroid hormone production, if your lab results say that your thyroxine(T4) and Triiodothyronine(T3) levels are low you should seek to include more iodine-rich foods. Some iodine-rich foods are sea vegetables(kelp), cranberries, organic strawberries, and organic potatoes. Iodine blood test is offered on our website for $49.95
  • Selenium: This element contains enzymes that protect the thyroid gland when you are under a lot of stress. Selenium helps to control hormone synthesis converting T4 into T3. The proteins and enzymes from Selenium also helps to manage metabolism in the body and preserve the right amount of thyroid hormones in the blood and organs. Foods that are high in selenium are halibut, yellowfin tuna, sardines, and chicken. Selenium blood test is offered on our website for $99.95
  • Zinc and Iron: Low levels of these trace metals can cause low levels of T3, T4, and thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH) which we know are very important for the thyroid gland to function properly. Underactive and overactive thyroid glands can cause zinc deficiency thus causing lowered thyroid hormones. Some examples of food that are rich in zinc are flax seeds, oysters, shrimp, and beef. Some foods high in iron are nuts, beans, whole grains and dark leafy greens such as spinach. Zinc and iron blood tests are offered on our website. Zinc is $39.95 and iron for $19.95

Have a happy and healthy 2017!


Why Am I Gaining Weight? Maybe It’s The Weather

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In many parts of the country, hibernating animals are busily preparing for the winter, eating and eating and eating as they build up the energy stores that will sustain them until spring. And many humans are doing something similar!

What happens during hibernation?

During hibernation, animals’ metabolism, oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all decrease to ensure that the animal burns as few calories as possible thus extending their energy stores. In this state of decreased metabolism, the animal’s body uses lipids (fatty acids) rather than carbohydrates to produce energy. During the hibernation period, an organism will lose about 40% of its body weight.

Can humans hibernate in winter?

As much as some humans might want to curl up in a ball and hibernate during the cold months of the winter, our bodies are not made to undergo the drastic metabolic changes necessary to enter a true hibernation. Many humans, however, do notice bodily changes associated with the drop in temperatures.
People who suffer from a specific kind of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, often liken their condition to hibernation, and researchers have suggested that SAD is in fact a bodily reaction to the shorter daylight hours in winter. But unlike major clinical depression, where people typically lose their desire to eat and have trouble sleeping, people with SAD frequently sleep more than average and note an increase in their appetite and food consumption, often leading to weight gain.

Have you put on some extra “insulation” for winter?

As winter approaches, if you find you are putting on pounds, be sure to consult with your doctor. In addition to talking with you about a healthy diet and exercise, your doctor may want to run some blood tests to see if there is any cause for concern related to your weight change. Some of the tests your healthcare provider may recommend include:

  • Cortisol: Also called the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone,” cortisol increases adrenaline production in stressful situations. While it can benefit the body, increasing awareness and immunity as well as reducing pain in the short-term, too much cortisol on an ongoing basis can damage the thyroid, bone, and muscle. It can also decrease long-term immunity and contribute to the production of belly fat.
  • Homocysteine: A risk factor for heart disease, this protein is typically elevated in people with insulin resistance.
  • Insulin and Glucose: Those with diabetes do not produce sufficient insulin to process the body’s glucose. But high insulin is also problematic, causing the body to accumulate glucose as stored fat but not allowing the body to metabolize that stored fat for energy.
  • Liver Function:  If liver function is compromised, the body can struggle to remove hormonal waste and burn fat.
  • Testosterone: This hormone (found in both males and females) is responsible for sexual function and development, but it is also crucial for brain, bone, muscle, and vascular health, as well as fat dispersal.
  • Thyroid Tests: The “master gland,” the thyroid produces hormones that are crucial for healthy metabolism. If it is not functioning properly, the body will not be able to properly process food’s energy.
  • Vitamin B-12 and Folate (also known as Folic Acid): In order for the body to work effectively as a fat burner, insulin levels must be steady, and these are key ingredients for creating that stability.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can cause the body to accumulate belly fat, as well as improperly process food. It is also a crucial element for bone health.

While there are many potential causes of weight gain, the results of these lab tests can help your healthcare provider assess the condition of your body and offer suggestions on the best approach to weight loss.

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through


Thyroid Testing – Thyroid Antibodies Test

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Why Do I Need a Thyroid Antibody Test?

Over 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.  The thyroid gland can produce too much hormone, hyperthyroidism, or too little hormone, hypothyroidism.  To help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease, a thyroid antibody test is ordered.  This tests helps diagnose thyroid dysfunction and determine causes of goiter or other reasons for low or high thyroid hormone levels.  The thyroid antibody test is usually ordered along with the thyroid panel.

Typically, when the test results indicate the presence of thyroid antibodies there is an autoimmune thyroid issue.  Furthermore, the higher the level, the more likely that there is an autoimmune thyroid issue.  Testing over time helps establish a baseline since increasing levels autoimmune activity is more significant than stable levels.  Lastly, if antibodies are present in a pregnant woman there is an increase risk to the fetus and newborn to develop hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.  The Thyroid antibody test is a simple and inexpensive blood test.

thyroid blood test

What are the Diseases Typically Associated with Thyroid Antibodies?

Thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, etc., are likely to have mild to moderately elevated thyroid antibodies.  High concentrations of thyroid antibodies are frequently indicated in thyroid autoimmune diseases such as as Hashimoto and Graves diseases.

Negative test results means that the autoantibodies are not present in the blood at the time of testing.  This does not indicate that you do not have an autoimmune disease, so repeat testing may be done at a later date to see if antibodies develop.  There’s a small percentage of people who have autoimmune thyroid disease but do not have autoantibodies.
Conversely, a certain percentage of people who are healthy may be positive for one or more thyroid antibodies.  The risk of developing thyroid disease may increase with time so a doctor may track and test to ensure thyroid disease can be diagnosed and treated early.


Hypothyroidism : Get a Thyroid Hormone Test

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 What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small shaped gland that is located in the neck near the Adam’s apple.  The gland has several functions including:

  1. controlling the body’s metabolism
  2. producing thyroid hormones (thyroxine/T4, triiodothyronine/T3)
  3. producing calcitonin to regulate calcium levels in the blood

Thyroid Gland Location resized 600

As with most hormones, there is an elaborate communication network that controls the amount of thyroid hormones released into the blood stream.  When thyroid hormones decrease, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to release more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).  TSH tells the thyroid gland to produce and secrete more thyroid hormones.   When enough thyroid hormones are in the blood stream, TSH decreases and the thyroid hormones, T3/T4 would remain constant.

Thyroid Diseases

It is estimated that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.  Since some people are asymptomatic, it is believed that even more people have thyroid disease but do not know it.  Both men and women can have thyroid problems, but women are more likely than men to have thyroid disorders.

Symptoms for Thyroid Disorders

Many of these symptoms could be indications of thyroid disorder, but they could also be related to other health issues, so be sure to discuss all your symptoms and test results with your health provider.

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Heavier menstrual periods
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Joint or Muscle Pain


Hypothyroid is when the body has too little thyroid hormone.  Untreated hypothyroidism is serious, so early detection and treatment should be conducted.  Hypothyroid is determined by taking a Thyroid Panel Test which will test for TSH, T4 and T3.  Additionally, it is recommended that the individual test for

Certain drugs such as lithium and amiodarone can promote hypothyroidism.


Levothyroxinen is the most commonly used medication to replace the thyroid hormone that is lacking in the body.

  • Doctors typically prescribe the lowest dose that will bring your hormone levels back to normal while relieving any symptoms.
  • If you are an older patient and/or have heart disease, your physician may prescribe a very low dose as well.
  • Since a thyroid disorder is usually permanent, most individuals will receive thyroid replacement therapy for their entire life.

It is important to monitor your thyroid levels once you start taking synthetic thyroid hormones.  Most physicians will want to check your hormone levels every 2 months but some may want testing done more frequently until the level of medication is well established.

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 Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.