Tests and Diagnostic Techniques
Thyroid Hormone Evaluation
Thyroid hormone (T4 or thyroxine) is made by the thyroid in response to TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which is made by the pituitary. Thyroxine is then cleaved to T3 (triidothyronine). T3 is four times more active than T4 and the free form, which is not bound to the carrier protein, is the active form. For a variety of reasons some people do not convert T4 to T3 very well and even though their TSH level is normal their T3 may be low, causing low thyroid symptoms. Often those who are on thyroid hormone treatment are not measured to see if their T4 and T3 are in the OPTIMAL part of the reference range. Many of these people still experience hypothyroid symptoms even though their TSH level is in the normal reference range. The best screening for possible thyroid hormone imbalances included measuring free T4, free T3, and TSH.
Cortisol is classified as a glucocorticoid; cortisol has significant effects on protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism, muscle tissue maintenance, heart health, and suppressing inflammation. Large amounts of cortisol are released in response to physical, physiological, and/or psychological stress.
Melatonin is the main modulator of neuroendocrine function in humans, and a substantial body of research underscores melatonin’s capacity to regulate other hormones. Patients with hypercortisolism exhibit decreased melatonin. This disrupts wake-sleep cycles (circadian rhythms). Melatonin has also been shown to greatly affect cortisol levels in postmenopausal women. Melatonin and cortisol secretion has been associated with behavior disorders such as depression and alcoholism. Recent laboratory evidence also reveals that melatonin stimulates production of DHEA. The Comprehensive Melatonin Profile plots the circadian activity of melatonin over a complete light-dark cycle. Used in conjunction with the Adrenocortex Stress Profile, this profile can provide the clinician with a more detailed, comprehensive picture of endocrine function.
DHEA serves as a vital precursor for sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Low levels may cause health consequences.
Abnormal endocrine hormone levels have been associated with:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Hair Loss
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Poor Memory
And many more symptoms.