It’s amazing that this sort of thing still exists in medicine today, as though one lab test is the answer to everything. Your lab tests being ‘normal’…
- Does not mean that you are not struggling with symptoms.
- Does not mean that you are in good health,
- Does not mean they have got to the bottom of your issues.
Firstly ‘normal’ in most conventional medicine tests means nothing anyway, the ‘normal’ bracket is often far too wide and looks at what the average person would need to be well, but if you have something wrong with your health you are not the average person.
Let’s take B12 for example, depending on the lab used there can be slight variation, but the normal range is around 190 and 950 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
Functional medicine tests look to optimal ranges and then on top of that your functional medicine practitioner will read your results in line with other imbalances in your body and diagnoses.
Secondly looking at one marker in many diagnoses misses a massive part of the picture. Let’s take the thyroid for example.
Most commonly TSH will be measured, and you may be told your level is normal. But you may still feel rubbish! Why? Because TSH is one aspect of Hashimoto’s, there are three other ways that damage can be caused.
- High levels of TPO and TG antibodies, these are often not measured when blood is taken. But they are actually very stable markers and show an entirely different side of the Hashimoto’s. They also often show up long before other markers like TSH will change. TPO and TG antibodies let us look at the autoimmune response, these antibodies destroy the thyroid gland, which in turn mean that the gland doesn’t produce the right levels of T4, so TSH goes up. So looking at the autoimmune response can mean earlier detection and also allow us to assess how much the actual gland is being damaged.
- Inflammation in the body is another aspect that needs to be considered as the inflammation can affect the conversion in the body of T4 to T3, T3 being the form that can be used by the body. So the initial part of this process the production of the T4 may be working ok, your TSH levels may be normal, but the inflammation may be halting the conversion of the T3 to T4. So your TSH may be normal but you may not be feeling better on your medication or you may not be getting a diagnosis.
- This inflammation also has another impact, it can affect the thyroid receptor sites, these receptor sites are on cells in the body, if the inflammation damages these receptor sites your cells won’t be able to use your thyroid hormones whether naturally from your thyroid or from your thyroid via medication.
So if you still feel rubbish but one marker has shown that you are ‘normal’ and there’s ‘nothing wrong’, don’t just accept it and give up. Don’t accept that you have to live with these symptoms and take that as your new normal life. Find a practitioner who will look at the full picture and your whole body.
Find a practitioner who will look at the full picture and your whole body.