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Fundamental Physiology, Center for Metabolic Health, Boulder, CO Dr. Gina Honeyman, Boulder, Denver CO

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Self-Tests for Thyroid and Adrenal Problems

Do you suspect that you have a thyroid problem?

Lab test results for TSH, free T3 and free T4 are often “borderline” or “within the reference range” and patients are told that they cannot have a thyroid problem. Your lab tests are just one part of the diagnostic puzzle of finding out if you have a thyroid problem or are hypometabolic. Your symptoms must be considered when we’re investigating the possibility of hypometabolism. Here is a checklist of many common signs or symptoms of hypometabolism:

Abnormal weight gain
Muscle pain
Elevated cholesterol
Muscle stiffness
Fluid retention
Poor exercise tolerance
Puffiness around eyes
Abnormal coldness
Difficult menstrual cycles
Infertility or miscarriages
Tingling or numbness of hands or feet
Decreased sweating
Panic attacks
Feel fatigued when you awaken
Frequent urination
Headaches - migraine or other
Low sex drive
Brain fog
Poor memory and concentration
Poor vision
Afternoon fatigue
Shortness of breath
Dry skin or hair
Pale or puffy skin
Dry mucous membranes
Recurrent infections
Hair loss
Low blood pressure
Loss of outer 1/3 of eyebrows
Slow pulse
Brittle nails
Thick tongue
Heat intolerance
Difficulty swallowing


The number of symptoms that you checked does not indicate the severity of your thyroid problem or hypometabolism. And, the number of symptoms you have does not relate to the length of time it will take you to get well. Some people have just a few symptoms, or even just one, and they deserve effective treatment just as much as those who have many more symptoms. Resting metabolic rate testing is the only way to know if you do indeed have a slow metabolism. You can call or email FunPhysio for more information about your testing and treatment options.

Do you suspect that you have low adrenal gland function?

It is very important to either detect or rule out poor adrenal gland function before you begin thyroid hormone therapy. Around 50% of my patients with hypometabolism (slow metabolism) have poor adrenal gland function and it is often due to their thyroid hormone problem. The adrenal gland tissue itself needs adequate thyroid hormone regulation to be able to produce cortisol and other substances. We need cortisol for pain control, stress responses, immune system function, and blood sugar control. Do you have any of these symptoms of low cortisol production?

Muscle weakness
Poor responses to stresses (stresses can be emotional, physical, or chemical)
Low blood pressure
Get dizzy when you stand up fast
Hypoglycemia - become irritable, get headaches, get shaky, rapid heart rate, stronger heart beats if you don’t eat for a while
Startle easily
Overly sensitive to bright lights, strong odors, or loud noises
Crave salt
Patches of hyperpigmented, or darker, skin that look like you’ve been suntanning

It is easy and inexpensive to perform a salivary adrenal test to see if you produce enough cortisol and other related chemicals in your body. When we find a problem with cortisol levels or detect imbalances in the other chemicals, we can usually offer over-the-counter products that are safe, reliable, and effective. Please feel free to call us at 303.413.9100 with your questions and to arrange for testing.


Phone: 303.413.9100
Fax: 1.888.728.3490

Copyright © 2011 Dr. Gina S. Honeyman. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All material provided on the Dr. Gina S. Honeyman website is offered for educational purposes only. Your participation with self-tests or sending evaluation forms for Dr. Honeyman's review do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.