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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • September 2018
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Could you have a thyroid problem? Take the Thyroid Quiz and find out!

Do you feel frustrated because you are gaining weight (10 pounds or more in the past three months without an explainable cause) and feel exhausted most of the time? Do you have mood swings, brain fog, anxiety, depression, constipation and cold hands and feet? How about signs of hormone imbalances such as PMS, low sex drive and irregular periods? Or joint and muscle pain, dry skin, brittle splitting fingernails and excessive hair loss? If so, you have a lot in common with many of my patients and may have low thyroid function.

The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is an endocrine organ that sits in the front of your neck, below your Adam’s apple, and produces thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are the hormones responsible for regulating metabolism and the function speed of your cells and your body temperature. How well your thyroid is functioning impacts every cell in your body and if your thyroid is not working well, you will not feel well.

Take the Thyroid Quiz and see how you score:

None   Mild   Moderate   Severe

  • Anxiety
  • Brittle, splitting fingernails
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry or coarse skin
  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Migraines
  • Missing outer 1/3 of eyebrows
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Poor motivation
  • Water retention
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain (10 pounds or more in three months)

If you ranked 3 or more symptoms as moderate or severe, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism.

Thyroid disorders are best diagnosed using a multi-pronged approach; utilizing lab tests, symptom mapping, physical exam with medical history and the use of a reflex thyroid test. Many traditional health care providers have been taught to use the TSH blood test as the marker for diagnosing thyroid problems, but patients can have a normal TSH blood test result and still have thyroid issues. A Thyroflex® test is often used to help us diagnose hypothyroidism and determine your intracellular thyroid function. This is a simple reflex test using the Thyroflex® machine — an FDA-approved, medical device clinically proven to sensitively detect hypothyroid conditions 98 percent of the time. This information, along with baseline thyroid lab tests, ferritin and vitamin D blood test results, is invaluable to guide your treatment and it is used to create a personalized treatment plan exclusive to you.

The risks associated with untreated hypothyroidism are serious, and include cardiovascular issues such as an increase in LDL cholesterol or homocysteine (an amino acid associated with heart attacks, strokes and blood clot formation); CRP (an inflammatory marker); high blood pressure; and peripheral artery disease. Patients may also have increased risk of diabetes and insulin resistance, nerve damage and dysfunction, weakness and stiffness, carpel tunnel syndrome, hearing loss and cognitive decline. Sadly, untreated hypothyroidism leads to an almost double the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, premature delivery and four times the risk of autism for a baby born to a mother with low thyroid function.

If you ranked 3 or more of the symptoms on this quiz as moderate or severe, it is important to find out if you truly have a thyroid problem and to seek appropriate treatment. Please don’t delay!

Randi Mann, NP

Randi Mann, WHNP-BC, NCMP, is a board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner and is the owner of Wise Woman Wellness, LLC, an innovative, wellness and hormone center in De Pere. She is an integrative, functional medicine provider offering natural treatments and prescription medications for thyroid and hormonal imbalances including customized dosed, bioidentical hormones.

She combines the best of conventional, functional and integrative medicine to help women. Attend the introductory “End Hormone Havoc — Stay Sane, Slim and Sexy” seminar — offered monthly. Call 920-339-5252 to register. Visit www.wisewomanwellness.com for details.

Website: www.wisewomanwellness.com
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