Before you embark on that weight loss journey, make a commitment to have your thyroid checked.
The thyroid is the organ that sits right next to your Adam’s apple, at the base of your neck, and it controls your metabolism. It also happens to be a critical part of your immune system.
When it comes to thyroid health, you often hear of the thyroid being underactive—which is the case 95 to 98 percent of the time—or overactive, which can lead to Grave’s disease.
Up to 14 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism and millions more suffer from the sub-clinical hypothyroidism that has yet to be diagnosed by their doctor or health care provider.
One of the reasons for these non-diagnoses is the fact that many doctors only test for TSH, which is only one of four thyroid hormones. Worse yet, millions of people fall into the “normal range” when it comes to TSH, but still suffer from all the symptoms associated with an under-functioning thyroid gland.
This year, get the real story with your thyroid. Ask your doctor to test you for all four thyroid hormones, including:
- TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone)
- The normal range for THS is 0.45 to 4.5 (see the problem!). The reality is that anything over 3 is too high. Ideally you want you fall between 1 and 2.
- Free T3
- For T3, 2.0 to 4.4 is normal. The higher end of this spectrum is ideal, with numbers between 3.0 and 4.4 being the goal.
- For T4, the range is a bit tighter—0.82 to 1.77. Again, the higher within this range, the better.
- Thyroid antibodies
- When it comes to thyroid antibodies, there are two in particular to pay attention to: thyroid peroxidase (range is 0-34) and antithyroglobulin Ab (range is 0-40). In this case, lower is better. Numbers that fall above these ranges (especially in the 100s) is a key sign of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition.
So forget that new diet or weight loss pill. This year, resolved to get your thyroid checked properly. It will create a foundation of health all year long.