Long before blood testing came along, many knowledgeable doctors evaluated thyroid health with two simple, reliable tests you can do in the comfort of your own home.
These home thyroid tests can show low thyroid function that current blood tests often don’t reveal.
Why Thyroid Blood Tests Are Often Wrong
Thyroid blood tests, including TSH, can be inaccurate for several reasons. One is that blood tests can’t measure how much thyroid hormone is actually reaching your cells. Another is that stress can suppress TSH levels, giving a faulty diagnosis of good thyroid health.
These simple home tests were developed by Broda Barnes and Raymond Peat, two pioneering doctors who diagnosed and treated patients on the basis of primary symptoms. They understood that up to 40% of patients have low thyroid function, which can interfere with most bodily processes, resulting in a variety of illnesses if left untreated.
Today’s thyroid blood tests reveal only about 5% of thyroid dysfunction, many experts believe, leaving most other sufferers undiagnosed, yet wondering why they still feel bad even when all their blood tests indicate supposed good health.
With good reason, many people are frustrated. Let these simple home tests put you in the driver’s seat to take charge of your health again.
Morning Temperature Test
Your temperature is determined by your metabolism, and morning temperature is strongly correlated with thyroid health.
- Put a mouth thermometer within easy reach before you get in bed. Use a digital or standard thermometer. Place it on your nightstand or somewhere right beside you before you go to sleep.
- Take your temperature first thing upon waking, staying as still as possible. For greatest accuracy, this test should be taken immediately after you awaken in the morning before you begin moving around.
- Record your results. A morning temperature of 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit (36.5 degrees celsius) or less is highly indicative of hypothyroidism.
Resting Pulse Rate Test
Your core temperature, as measured above, can be artificially increased if you live in a warm climate. So taking your resting pulse rate as well can provide the most accurate results.
- Use an oximeter (finger pulse monitor) or stopwatch to take your resting pulse rate. It can be checked immediately upon waking or when you are sitting or lying down and have been at rest for several minutes.
- If using an oximeter, let the reading settle to a consistent level while you remain still. This may take 30 seconds or so.
- If using a stopwatch, hold two fingers against the side of your wrist to find your pulse and measure for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4 for a total of one minute. (It can be helpful to have a partner operate the stopwatch for you while you are counting your pulse beats.)
- Record your results. A resting pulse rate below 80 beats per minute provides a strong indication of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism).
If you believe you may be hypothyroid, you can make some positive lifestyle changes using a program such as the Hypothyroidism Revolution discussed here. Continue to monitor your temperature, pulse and other symptoms, and keep your doctor informed of your progress.
In my next post, I will discuss childhood hypothyroid symptoms that many are unaware of and how they affect long-term health.
I will also discuss my progress in the program — both struggles and successes.
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Talk to you soon,