This has to be up there as one of the things thyroid people seem to be most confused about. And I get that. But if I am going to be brutally honest (yes I am) then it is only because we tend to give up our power to our medical practitioners and not make an effort to understand what we need, when we need it and why we need it.
You must be in charge of your tests
This is HUGE! It is so important for you to get copies of your tests and keep them, either in digital form or in a big old folder like me. How I do it in Australia so that it always happens is this: When I am getting my script I ask my doctor to write on the pathology slip that I can have a copy of the test. (This is automatic for me now, as I have had the same doctor for decades, so she knows to do it). BUT... when you are having your bloods taken, afterwards when they are doing the forms, point out to them that your doctor has stated you can have a copy, and could they please stamp it. Once it is stamped by them, without fail I get a copy in the mail within a few days.
Again, this is just what happens here in Australia, so it is up to you to find out how to make it happen where you live.
If you need some excuses cause your doc is a bit weird about giving you copies of YOUR test then here are some ideas for you:
- Tell them you are planning on travelling soon so will need to keep copies to show doctors on the road.
- Tell them you are taking a bigger interest in your health and having the test is a reminder of that.
- Tell them that it is your information and you are entitled to it......... hahahaha!
So let's look at the tests I get every year and if you want to download a spreadsheet with these tests to make it easy to track for 5 years then I got your back there too! Click away!
- TSH (How much hormone our thyroid is being told to make)
- FT4 (Inactive Hormone)
- FT3 (Active Hormone)
- RT3 (Indicates level of stress - can be costly and harder to get)
- Antithyroid Peroxidase (Antibody test for autoimmune)
- Antithyroglobulin (Antibody test for autoimmune)
- Bilirubin (Shows health of red blood cells)
- ALP/Alk.Phos (Detects liver and bone disease)
- GGT (Identify cause of disease in above)
- ALT (Liver damage and fatty liver)
- ALB / Albumin (Detects liver and kidney diseases)
- Total Protein (Detects overall liver and kidney Health)
- Iron (number, size and shape of red blood cells)
- Transferrin (used to detect a deficiency or excess of iron)
- TFN Satn
- Ferritin(tests iron storage in the body)
- Cholesterol (Total amount of lipids in the blood)
- Triglycerides (high levels increase risk of Coronary artery disease)
- HDL (amount of good cholesterol in the body)
- LDL (amount of bad cholesterol in the body)
- Ratio (the ratio of good to bad cholesterol)
- Fasting Insulin (tests amount of insulin in response to glucose)
- Fasting Glucose (tests amount of glucose in blood)
- HbA1c (Gives indication of 3 months of blood sugar control)
- Serum Zinc (Because thyroid ppl are generally low)
- Homocysteine (identifies a deficiency in B6, B9, B12)
- HS.CRP (Inflammation - get this one not the normal CRP)
- 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D (Because we are generally low in Vitamin D)
Blood Test Regularity
I have these tests done once a year, unless something comes back not quite right or heading into danger zones etc, then I would have them either quarterly or half yearly depending on the item and how bad it is looking. Generally I am guided by my doctor anyway if something like that comes up.
With my thyroid tests, I am always checking my basal body temperature, so if I think my thyroid is improving or getting worse based on my temperature then I will go more often to have that checked.
Private blood testing
Don't forget, you don't have to justify seeing a doctor and grovelling for these tests. Here in Australia I can order tests for my clients as a Naturopath so you will find the same in your country. The only catch is you need to be willing to pay for private tests.
If the money is available for private tests, this is always a great idea. They then don't show up when it comes to insurances etc. So always consider it carefully if you think you have the money to do it but are being frugal - it may pay off in the long run.
Hope this has helped
Love & Hugs