The Key Lab Tests For Hormonal Issues

Aimee Duffy, M.D. Physician / Lifestyle Architect / Wellness Mentor                                                                    December 2022

Many people feel puffy and tired all the time. They may suspect they have thyroid issues, but their doctor has reported that the test comes back fine. While some people may already be taking thyroid meds, they just stopped working, and now they have no idea what to do. Let me share some key insights about lab testing that can make all the difference for your thyroid health.

When women complain of low energy, weight gain, brain fog, and hair loss, chances are your doctor may test your thyroid. On testing for thyroid issues, the conventional approaches to check TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. 

Well, this may seem like a sound idea you want to look at blood work. It only gives you limited data that can miss other imbalances in thyroid hormones like T4 and T3, your stress hormones like cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as well. 

Your adrenal and gut health also play a role in how you circulate and store hormones in your body. For example, if you test, your estrogen level may be normal because the levels are okay in your blood. But it may be building up in your body because you can’t detox it properly. We call this estrogen dominance. 

It is why so many women who are on thyroid medication or estrogen replacement don’t feel any better. I also see where you may have had the dosage changed regularly because your symptoms keep getting worse over time. 

In my practice, our goal is to get the complete picture of why you’re having symptoms and why maybe your thyroid isn’t working optimally. We also strive to understand how these hormones may be impacting each other so that we can make adjustments instead of giving a one size fits all thyroid or estrogen replacement therapy. 

When we do take a deeper look at all your thyroid hormones, we not only look at TSH but what’s also happening with your free T3 and free T4. Our comprehensive hormone testing also includes all three types of estrogens- estrone, estradiol, and estriol. 

We also test for progesterone that can decrease during the perimenopause period, and create common symptoms like fatigue, irritability, weight gain, brain fog, poor sleep, irregular cycles, low testosterone can cause decreased libido and fatigue, the HPA can impact your testosterone and energy and cortisol which is crucial for your overall hormone balance and energy.

In some cases, we may even look at melatonin for your sleep. Many people blame weight gain fatigue and many of these other symptoms on your thyroid or say it’s just menopause, when in fact, it is caused by poor adrenal function or other hormone imbalances. 

So you need to understand which pieces of the hormone puzzle are out of place. We also focus a lot of energy on regular detoxes every day toxins can throw all those hormones off.


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