The Problem With Thyroid Tests

Much of life changed in the 1960s. Medicine, for instance. Working behind the scenes, medicine changed forever–and not for the better.

For one thing, that’s when Big Pharma took over medical schools. Medical schools with a nutrition-based curriculum were forced to change to all drugs, all the time. Medical schools with a drug-based curriculum doubled down on making sure patients took drugs.

That was the beginning of visits to the doctor’s office always ending with a prescription. Or two. Maybe more. And doctors no longer had the freedom to talk about nutrition.

And after decades of successfully using natural thyroid to perk up a lagging thyroid, Big Pharma developed Synthroid (synthetic thyroid), which has never worked. And never will. But that’s what doctors prescribe.

Another 1960s mess was the development of thyroid blood tests. They were more “scientific” than just having doctors listen to symptoms. Or so they said.

But thyroid blood tests don’t work. And now, medicine is getting rid of the tests that had even a slight chance of spotting problems, saying the TSH test as the only thyroid test needed.

Actually, the grossly inaccurate TSH test doesn’t even test the thyroid. We need to talk about this.

Our pituitary gland, located behind the bridge of our nose, controls the thyroid, along with all the other endocrine glands. Noticing lagging thyroid action, the pituitary sends a message, via TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to the thyroid to put out some juice. Then, when things start perking along, the pituitary sends a “you can stop now” message to the thyroid.

In theory, then, if your pituitary keeps sending out TSH signals, one after the other, it means your thyroid isn’t keeping up, and they call that hypothyroidism. If, however, the pituitary rarely sees the need to shoot out some TSH, that (again, theoretically) means you’re putting out too much thyroid hormone; you’re hyperthyroid.

So, the TSH test actually checks on what the pituitary, not the thyroid, is doing, and there’s no science behind whether testing one body part to diagnose another body part really works.

Here’s what happened to me: A drunk driver smashed into my parents’ car when I was a baby, causing a concussion. My mom took me to doctor after doctor, then I went to doctor after doctor, and all agreed that I was fine. No health problems. Nosiree!

Twenty-five (or so) years and many doctors after the accident, I found a doctor who took me seriously and put me through more tests than I could count (what with being brain-dead at the time). He concluded my pituitary gland didn’t work. At all. I had panhypopituitarism.

This meant my pituitary NEVER told my thyroid gland to shoot out some juice, so I was severely HYPOthyroid. But since my pituitary never told the thyroid to do anything, the TSH test said I was severely HYPERthyroid. And the test determines the treatment.

(Doctors aren’t taught that concussions damage the pituitary, which explains why the football players don’t get any help.)

Fortunately, I found a really old doctor who still listened to symptoms and got the natural thyroid medicine I needed.

Here’s my point: Diagnosing anything by testing the wrong body part makes no sense. And you won’t find any documentation on why they thought it would work.

Question any diagnosis that’s based on the TSH test. Your symptoms tell the story, not the test.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette is all about determination. A month before her first birthday, a drunk driver smashed into her parents’ car, and she ended up with a concussion. The concussion put her endocrine system (the thyroid and the rest of the gang) pretty much out of business. Well, that system controls all of health, life was a mess, but doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. Now she writes about how your body works and what you can do to make it work better. Good, eh? Subscribe to her free health e-mails at

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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