Tag Archives: hormones

Why Only Testing TSH is a Model for Failure

Measuring TSH is the most common way to assess thyroid function, and many doctors will prescribe thyroid medications based on TSH alone. When they see that a person’s TSH level is high, most physicians assume that the pituitary is producing extra hormone because the thyroid gland isn’t doing its job. The solution? Giving medication to boost thyroid performance. But numerous other factors come into play. For instance, measuring TSH alone does not convey pituitary function, whether thyroid hormones are working normally throughout the body, or whether an autoimmune disorder is the culprit.

Our thyroid, Our shield

The thyroid gland got its name from the Greek word thyreos, which means shield, and it is a fitting description. The thyroid gland is located over the area of your Adam’s apple and not only is it shaped like a shield it also serves as one, by setting the body’s speed limit. If you are cold your thyroid will turn up the heat. If you have a virus it will boost your immune system. If you are overly stressed from working too hard and not eating good food to fuel your body then the thyroid will make sure that you slow down.

The thyroid is highly sensitive to the slightest alterations in the body because that is its job. When the thyroid malfunctions, as it eventually does for an estimated 27 million Americans, people always seem to ask “What is the quickest fix?” when people should be asking themselves “Why is my thyroid malfunctioning in the first place?”

The thyroid happens to be one of the most complex hormone-producing, or endocrine, glands in the body, which is probably why many people don’t fully understand how it functions. I hope to be able to help answer some of these questions.