A Naturopathic Doctor, ND, realizes it is misleading to only order a TSH blood test. TSH results often return back to normal range even though their thyroid hormones remain low. An ND will also order an extensive blood test, which includes T4 (binds proteins) and T3 (used to determine the severity of hypothyroidism). Thyroid functions should be monitored every 3-12 months with treatment.
Conventional doctors often prescribe a synthetic version of an inactive form of the thyroid hormone, T4 (Synthroid, Levothyroxine, Levoxyl, Tirosint). This forces the body to convert the medication to T3 in the liver, the active form of thyroid medication, to be used by metabolism. Most people with hypothyroidism have difficulty converting the T3.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to look at many factors of your general health to determine the root cause of your health concerns. Along with the blood test for TSH, T4, and T3, NDs will look at immune disorders, digestive issues, nutrient deficiencies, blood-sugar levels, emotional imbalances, and circulation issues. They often will prescribe natural T3/T4/T2 combination thyroid medications (WP Thyroid, Armour Thyroid, NP Thyroid, or Nature-Throid).