In Canada, doctors rely on the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test (TSH) to determine if your symptoms are due to hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, you can still have hypothyroid symptoms even when your TSH results are “normal”, which can severely impact your health and quality of life.
The thyroid makes and stores the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 that affect nearly every cell in your body, and the varied symptoms attributed to hypothyroidism reflect that.
Common symptoms your doctor may look for include fatigue, weight gain, depression, hair loss, constipation, menstrual irregularities, and lowered body temperature, but there are many more! You must also look out for combinations of symptoms like poor circulation, muscle cramps, lowered immunity, slow wound healing, low stomach acid (indicated by poor digestion of protein, mineral deficiencies, risk of parasitic infection and food poisoning), dry skin, swollen face, and the loss of the outer third of your eyebrows.
TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in your brain in response to how much thyroid hormone is in your bloodstream. If there isn’t enough, the pituitary will produce more TSH to tell thyroid peroxidase (the enzyme that makes thyroid hormone in the thyroid) to produce more.