Re: TSH ONLY? what's up with that?!
I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations, theewilliams. But I think your instincts are to be trusted. If your doctor won't order the tests you need, you can actually have them done (paid for out of pocket) on your own.
There are labs that will conduct thyroid panels of the blood or saliva without a doctor's referral. Some of them will also check thyroid antibodies if you suspect Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I can't post the links because they're commercial sites, but the blood test lab is mentioned at thyroid.about.com and is done through Healthcheck USA. For saliva tests, type in "thyroid saliva test" in a search engine like ***********, and you will have some listings. Tests should be under $200 for the full set.
You can then take these results to another physician (or to yours if you still like him/her) for interpretation and discussion. Some doctors do not believe that saliva tests are a good reference tool, but the information can be backed up with blood tests if they feel really strongly about it. Good luck with the new Endo!
Here is a description of Saliva Thyroid Panel tests, and why they are comparable to blood tests:
<B>Ease of Collection:</B>
This group of tests (panel) is done using a random saliva collection. No blood is required.
These tests are economically priced. Comparable blood tests can cost up to 250% more.
Measuring the free fraction level in tissue (salivary gland) gives a good reflection of the activity of the hormones. These tests are at least 10-1000 times more sensitive than the blood/serum tests that are usually done.
<B>What does this panel measure?</B>
The panel has 4 tests: Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, & Thyroid antibody.
It is important to point out that no single test is completely reliable on its own. For this reason, we offer a panel of tests to help diagnose or confirm a clinical diagnosis based on your history and physical exam.
<B>Is this test for you?</B>
Major signs and symptoms of thyroid disease are:
Dry skin & hair
Constipation / Bowel hyperactivity
Excessive menstrual flow
<p>[This message has been edited by ArtfulD (edited 01-13-2002).]