Did you know that January is Thyroid Awareness Month? The thyroid gland secretes a specific set of hormones and is very important for overall health and fertility. An under active or overactive thyroid gland can have serious health implications in the body. Of most importance, it has a huge impact on your menstrual cycle, and your ability to become and stay pregnant.
How do you know if your thyroid is functioning properly?
Key symptoms of an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism include:
-unexplained weight gain
-heavy menstrual periods
-**undiagnosed hypothyroidism can also cause early pregnancy loss
Key symptoms of an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism include:
-increase in appetite
-**hyperthyroidism can also cause complications during pregnancy
Symptoms of a thyroid disorder can mimic many other diseases, including depression and anxiety. This is why it is so important to rule out any underlying causes of your symptoms, before being prescribed medication that may not be appropriate.
How do I get Tested?
Medical doctors will run a blood test called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, or TSH, to determine how well your thyroid is functioning. The problem is that TSH is only part of the picture. There are other blood tests available that measure the active level of thyroid hormone (T3,T4) in your body, and look for antibodies (Anti-TPO) that attack and destroy your thyroid gland.
In my clinical experience, only testing TSH is not enough. I’ve had patients whose medical doctor tells them their ‘thyroid is fine’ because of a normal TSH, but their symptoms tell otherwise. I prefer to run a comprehensive thyroid panel to get to the root cause of my patient’s concerns.
If you are concerned about your thyroid function, or are experiencing infertility, let’s work together to ensure you are receiving a proper diagnosis and workup. As a reminder. I am now serving two locations in Toronto, one in Little Italy and Higher Health Centre in North Toronto.