Today, the tables have completely turned. We now live in a lab-obsessed society. And though lab results are very helpful to figure things out, patients figure out that “being in the normal range” has nothing to do with anything! Instead, we’ve discovered that it’s “where” the result falls in the normal range, which is explained here. Bottom line, symptoms are the conductor of the orchestra, and understanding how to read your lab results give even more clues. You may have to teach this to your doctor, or find a better doctor who appreciates what patients have learned.
**These are also explained well in the revised STTM book, which you should have on hand and bookmarked at the doctors office. The book is in English, Spanish, German and Swedish.
- TSH: for diagnosis of hypopituitary, NOT to diagnose or dose your hypothyroidism (unless it’s high). If you allow a doctor to diagnose or dose you by this lab test and range i.e. to say you are normal simply because it’s in range or below 10…you’ll could still be hypothyroid.
- Free T4 and Free T3 (note the word “free”–important since it measures what is unbound and available.)
- Reverse T3: to be done at the same time you do the Free T3. Then calculate your ratio with the results and measurements.
- Thyroid Antibodies: anti-TPO and TgAb will help discern Hashimotos. You need BOTH, not just one of them. You can add TSI for the Graves antibodies–some have all three.
- Four iron labs: Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC and serum iron (sometimes the latter will just say Iron, or total iron). A high ferritin can also point to inflammation. Up to five days off iron supplements is necessary to see what your body is holding onto.
- Adrenal Cortisol levels: Saliva, NOT blood. Blood is measuring both bound and unbound cortisol and does NOT give results you can go by. See the facilities below, because you don’t need a prescription. You’ll need to be off all cortisol-containing supplements for two weeks before testing.
- B-12 and Folate
- Magnesium and Potassium, plus Calcium, Sodium, Glucose, etc (All the latter are part of the Comprehensive Metabolic Profile–CMP blood test–as well. You can also ask for the RBC (Red Blood Cell) versions of Mag. and Pot, which measures cellular levels. For potassium, make sure the rubber tourniquet is not left on more than 60 seconds, says this study. Also note that the Buccal Mg lab test is finally available and seems to be more correlated to cardiac health than RBC Mg, but is expensive and not always easy to get.) You will want to be off these mineral supplements for several days so you can measure what your body is hanging onto.
- Vitamin D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D lab test…)
- Sex hormones: progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, etc.
- MTHFR gene: if you have high levels of mercury, copper, iron or B12 and/or a strong family history of cancer, heart disease, stroke, miscarriages, IBS….
- …plus others your doctor may recommend, including tests for Lyme disease, heavy metals, Candida, etc. Direct Labs below has testing for Neurotransmitters, which can go low if hypo from low stomach acid.
- Have any suspicion of having thyroid cancer? The thyroglobulin test is a tumor marker (not the antibodies test. Just the thyroglobulin.)
***Click HERE to read what patients have learned about interpreting lab results. It’s not about “being in the normal range”.
Below are lab facilities, first the US, followed by other countries, which you can use without a prescription:
The first two US facilities below state they work hard to be legal in the way they do things, as well as practice HIPPA law. Saliva is highly recommended to test cortisol, but blood for the others. Many of us stopped using saliva for sex hormones, as we have found them to be strange. Some facilities require a prescription for RT3, sadly, so definitely talk to your doctor about it if you have reason to believe it may be a problem.
- LAB WORK packages designed specifically for readers of Stop the Thyroid Madness -STTM Thyroid and Adrenal Lab Packages You can choose just saliva for cortisol (which is six times in a 24 hour period), or use LabCorp facilities around the US for blood draws. You can also order a 4 times a day saliva cortisol for only $109!! My Med Lab designs a special area on the website just for YOUR lab results, making it all very personalized. I can highly recommend them.
- LAB WORK designed specifically for readers of Stop the Thyroid Madness…and includes Neurotransmitter testing besides other labs we value. IMPORTANT NOTE about using this page: you will need to use scroll down bar just to the right of the red “Add to Cart” to view all labs they offer. STTM Recommended Labwork
- There’s no STTM-recommended page on their website like the above facilities have, and you’ll have to search, but you can order the lab work recommended above, plus any others you feel you need and/or those results you want to share with your doctor. Click here.
Australia: http://www.healthscopepathology.com.au/ in Melbourne , Victoria Phone, 1300 453 688 to find a Doctor or Naturopath who uses their Tests. Also http://nutripath.com.au–they will send you the tests!!
Canada: MyMedLab ships saliva cortisol test kit to Canadians! But you need to use this number: 417-782-6169 Or, approach your pharmacist and ask him to order a saliva cortisol test kit from Rocky Mountain Labs.
Finland: Test kits from Genova diagnostics via MDD Terveyspalvelut: http://www.mdd.fi/
United Kingdom: http://www.adrenaltest.co.uk/order-adrenal-test