Hypothyroidism: Symptoms, Testing, and How I Can Help

Do you suspect your thyroid is under-functioning? Have you had your thyroid tested, only to be told that it’s fine, but you strongly suspect that it’s not? Or, have you been prescribed thyroid medication, but still have symptoms? 

If your answer is yes to any of those questions, this post is for you.

The top five symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

weight gain, or inability to lose weight


dry skin or hair

feeling cold most of the time


Other less common symptoms include hoarse voice, hair loss, and muscle cramps/aches (especially upon waking), difficulties conceiving, and feeling depressed.

Hypothyroidism is 9X more common in women than men, and often symptoms pop up when a woman reaches her 40s, but can be earlier. Thyroid dysfunction goes undiagnosed an estimated 50% of the time. This is because TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is the only value that’s typically tested – and TSH is a very small part of the picture. If you’ve only had your TSH tested, a thyroid issue could still be underlying your symptoms.

I encourage you to get copies of what you’ve had tested when it comes to your thyroid. Look back at what’s been tested and ask, have I had a proper thyroid assessment? It might be time to seek a second opinion.

With my patients, I test TSH, T3, T4, and auto-immune thyroid antibodies, in order to uncover any potential hidden thyroid disorders. For best accuracy, you should test first thing in the morning. Auto-immune hypothyroidism is the most common form of hypothyroidism, but antibodies are rarely tested for.

For those of you who are taking Synthroid/Levothyroxine etc. (the #1 most prescribed drug in Canada), and not noticing any improvements in your symptoms, you may need more in depth testing. Advanced urinary testing will tell us how your body is processing & using your hormones. And we get info about your selenium and iodine levels, which are minerals that are absolutely essential to proper thyroid function.

If you have questions or would like to book an assessment, please DM me, email drtanya@tanyamceachern.com, click Book An Appointment or Contact Us.

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