Why Is Your Thyroid Test Lying To You?

Has your thyroid test come back as “normal” while you continue suffering from thyroid symptoms?

You have probably heard it from your doctor…."Your TSH is normal and there is nothing wrong with your thyroid."  Yet, you know something isn’t right.  It’s like being told that YOU are the problem when it’s your doctor who’s failing you.  No, the problem is NOT you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking thyroid medication or not.

The problem is that a normal thyroid test doesn’t mean your thyroid function is normal.

Why is your thyroid test lying to you?  Two of the most common reasons and why you may still be severely hypothyroid:

1. Cortisol
2. Thyroid Medication

Both are responsible for falsifying millions of thyroid tests.  

How Your Hypothyroidism (and Diet) Can Falsify Your Normal TSH Test

It may sound counter-intuitive, but your hypothyroidism can actually lower your TSH.

This is especially true when your diet is lacking in certain essential nutrients.

It all comes down to the stress hormone cortisol.

In hypothyroidism, you overproduce many stress hormones, cortisol included.

When overproduced, cortisol suppresses your thyroid function in a number of ways:

  1. Cortisol blocks your thyroid hormone conversion at your liver, lowering the active thyroid hormone (T3) your cells need.
  2. Cortisol increases your production of “reverse T3”, a hormone that blocks your cells from using active thyroid hormone (T3).
  3. Cortisol lowers your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which can also lower active thyroid hormone (T3) production.

This creates a thyroid-suppressive cycle, where the more cortisol you produce, the more hypothyroid you become.

And the more hypothyroid you become, the more cortisol you overproduce.

This is the first thyroid-suppressive cycle that we must break to begin restoring thyroid function.

As this cycle continues over time, the continuous rise in cortisol can significantly lower your TSH, often to within “normal” levels.

In fact, any sort of chronic stress will lower your TSH over time.

One common cause of chronic stress and cortisol production is a low-carb diet. 

Without adequate carbohydrates in your diet, your body is forced to overproduce cortisol.

Cortisol’s primary function is to break down protein in your body and convert it into sugar to ensure enough blood sugar is available to keep your brain working.

This is also why many following low-carb diets see their TSH decrease, thinking their thyroid function is improving.

In reality, they’re artificially lowering their TSH while further suppressing their thyroid.

How Your Thyroid Medication Can Falsify Your Normal TSH Test

Your body is designed to self-regulate its own thyroid hormone production.

To ensure that you have an adequate supply of thyroid hormone available, your body monitors how much thyroid hormone is in your bloodstream.

It then self-adjusts your TSH to tell your thyroid gland how much more thyroid hormone you need.

This is referred to as the thyroid hormone feedback cycle.

When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your TSH increases to tell your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.

When thyroid hormone levels are normal, your TSH decreases to tell your thyroid gland to produce less thyroid hormone.

Now, here’s the problem…

Doctors are trained to believe that your liver will automatically convert the inactive T4 in your thyroid medication into the active T3 thyroid hormone you need.

If your thyroid hormone pathway weren’t blocked, then this feedback cycle would work flawlessly as doctors expect it to.

However, this is rarely, if ever, the case.

In fact, most hypothyroidism suffers can’t properly convert their thyroid medication.

Here’s what happens when you take your thyroid medication and your liver can’t convert it:

  1. Your inactive thyroid hormone (T4) builds up in your bloodstream.
  2. This tricks your thyroid hormone feedback cycle into thinking your thyroid is happily producing plenty of thyroid hormone.
  3. Your body naturally lowers your TSH, often to within “normal range”.

But remember, your liver can’t convert your thyroid medication.

So, your cells are still starved of active thyroid hormone (T3) and you are still hypothyroid (often more hypothyroid than when you started).


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