Imagine this for a minute…
You have this nagging cough that just won’t go away.
So, you make an appointment with your doctor.
After listening to your lungs, your doctor removes his stethoscope, looks you in the eyes, and says… “There’s a 50% chance it will clear on its own and a 50% chance it’s lung cancer.”
Then he shakes your hand and tells you to make a follow-up appointment in two months to be re-evaluated.
You’re probably thinking… “Wait… What?!?!?”
You’d want to run some more tests to know for sure whether you have lung cancer or not, right?
If some of these other tests point to cancer, then the odds of you actually having cancer is much higher.
Most medical conditions can’t be diagnosed with 100% accuracy.
Some medical tests, such as the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test, are highly inaccurate.
(Note: Want to learn why TSH Testing is so inaccurate? Take a look at this post on “Why the TSH Test Is Failing 58,645,496 Hypothyroid Women Today”.)
So, instead of relying on a single and highly-inaccurate thyroid test, there are better ways to test your thyroid.
This includes using three alternative thyroid tests that I’ll share with you in a minute.
How to Properly Assess Thyroid Function: The More Data, the Better
I see too many thyroid sufferers go undiagnosed.
I also see too many thyroid sufferers treated with medication alone, whose blood tests show improvement, while their thyroid health continues to worsen.
When it comes to thyroid testing, whether you’re treated or not, relying solely on blood tests is an accident waiting to happen.
Instead, you have to look at all the data you have available to properly assess your thyroid function.
The more data you have, the better.
When I work with a client, I don’t only look at blood tests.
I also look at their symptoms.
Often blood tests appear to be normal, while my clients complain of thirty-plus thyroid symptoms. That’s not normal.
Most importantly, I always look at clients’ temperature and pulse, which is essential to interpreting thyroid tests.
(Note: Want me to walk you through how to properly interpret your blood labs and test your thyroid using temperature and pulse? I give you step-by-step instructions on how to do just that in our Ultimate Thyroid Testing Training Protocol.)
There are also a number of other test markers I use, including alternative thyroid tests, to get even more data.
Then I take all of this data and piece it together, like a detective creates an evidence board to rule out suspects and pinpoint the real culprit.
One of the biggest problems I see is people depending on one (or even a few) numbers printed on a lab result sheet. Those are just numbers.
You have to look at all the evidence.
Otherwise, you’re just throwing darts in the dark.
So, if you want to further investigate your own thyroid function, here are a few alternative thyroid labs you can look at.
3 Alternative Thyroid Tests You Can Use to Assess Your Thyroid Function
Just as it’s important to not rely on thyroid blood tests alone, it’s important to not rely on these alternative thyroid tests alone either.
If one or more don’t indicate a problem, that doesn’t rule anything out.
We have to look at all the data collectively.
Alternative Thyroid Test #1: Carbon Dioxide (Bicarbonate)
Odds are you’ve already had this test done whether you realize it or not.
It’s typically included with standard blood-work as part of the metabolic panel.
In hypothyroidism, your body’s production of carbon dioxide production decreases while lactic acid increases.
The reference range for this test varies, but is typically around 23 to 29 mmol/L.
Carbon dioxide (bicarbonate) levels should be around the very top of the reference range.
Anything lower can indicate poor thyroid function.
Alternative Thyroid Test #2: Total Cholesterol
This is another test you’ve likely had done, which is part of a standard lipid panel.
Keep in mind that we don’t care about HDL vs. LDL. I’ve written about why those don’t matter in this post here.
We only care about total cholesterol.
Total cholesterol was one of the tests used to diagnosed hypothyroidism before TSH testing was developed.
The following cholesterol levels can indicate poor thyroid function:
- Above 230 mg/dL (6 mmol/L) when not using a thyroid medication or supplement.
- Above 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) when using a thyroid medication or supplement.
Alternative Thyroid Test #3: Ferritin
While many mistake ferritin to be a sign of iron deficiency, it can indicate issues with thyroid function.
(Note: Want to learn more about how your thyroid influences your ferritin levels? Take a look at this post on “Hypothyroidism and Ferritin: Why You’re Not Iron-Deficient”.)
In hypothyroidism, ferritin levels are commonly low. Normalizing thyroid function has been shown to normalize ferritin levels.
Good thyroid function is often associated with ferritin levels in the range of 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL.
So, there you have it.
Those are three alternative thyroid tests you likely already have results for that can help you better assess your thyroid health.
That’s not to say that any of these tests will necessarily be out of range. That’s not always the case.
This is about collecting more data.
Remember, the more data-points you have, the better.
Just don’t make the same mistakes as your doctor.
Most medical professionals have become so obsessed over lab numbers that they no longer see the bigger picture.
Instead, make a list of your thyroid symptoms.
Look at your results of the three tests we just covered.
Most importantly, use our Ultimate Thyroid Testing Protocol to gather the most important data you need to assess your thyroid function.
In this testing protocol, I even walk you through how to properly interpret your thyroid blood tests, which you’re doctor isn’t likely doing.
Then, look at all this data collectively and see where the signs point to.
You might be quite surprised with what you find.