Most people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are diagnosed with their condition through thyroid blood tests. This is commonly done through a high TSH, although it might also be confirmed through other thyroid blood tests. In addition, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis also are frequently positive for thyroid antibodies (TPO, TGB). And while thyroid blood tests can be extremely valuable in helping to diagnose a thyroid condition, relying solely on them like many endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors do is a big mistake.There are a few reasons why you can’t rely solely on thyroid blood tests. The first reason is because many people are symptomatic, yet have negative thyroid blood tests. Often times these people are told nothing is wrong with them, when it is obvious that something is. One problem is that some doctors rely too much on the reference ranges for these thyroid blood tests. So for example, if someone receives a TSH, or any other blood test, and if they are borderline negative, the doctor will conclude nothing is wrong with the patient, even if they are symptomatic. Some patients will just about beg for thyroid medication, but will be denied because their tests are negative.Thyroid Blood Tests Don’t Determine The Cause Of The Hypothyroid ConditionEven though thyroid blood tests frequently do a good job of diagnosing a thyroid condition (although as mentioned above, not always), they usually don’t determine the actual cause of the thyroid disorder. In most cases of hypothyroidism, the malfunctioning thyroid gland isn’t the actual cause of the problem. This is why just giving synthetic or natural thyroid hormone does nothing for the cause of the condition, as it just helps to manage the symptoms.So how can one determine the cause of their hypothyroid condition? Well, there are numerous factors which can lead to the development of a thyroid condition. But one of the most common factors is weak adrenal glands, which can be a result of poor eating, dealing with chronic stress, etc. For example, someone who eats a lot of refined foods and sugars will frequently develop problems with their blood sugar levels. While this can lead to conditions such as insulin resistance and diabetes, it usually will first compromise the adrenal glands, and can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue.This will put the body in a state of catabolism, which means the body will be breaking down. The body does a wonderful job of adapting to such situations, and in this case it will try to slow down this process. One of the primary ways it will try to accomplish this is by slowing down the thyroid gland, which controls the metabolism of the body. As a result, the thyroid gland will no longer produce a “normal” amount of thyroid hormone, which will result in a hypothyroid condition.So in this example, the ultimate goal should be to restore the function of the adrenal glands, which is usually accomplished through lifestyle changes, as well as nutritional supplements and herbs. For example, the person who eats a lot of refined foods and sugars will of course need to make changes to their diet. Someone who does a poor job of managing stress in their life will need to work on this. And there are also specific supplements and herbs for adrenal support.This is just one example of how a hypothyroid condition can develop. But in addition to weakened adrenal glands, other affected areas of the body can also lead to a thyroid condition. A compromised immune system, a hormonal imbalance, and digestive issues can all lead to issues with the thyroid gland.What Tests Can Determine The Cause Of Hypothyroidism & Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?There are numerous tests that can help identify the cause of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Here are a few of them:Test #1: Adrenal Stress Index (ASI). This test will help determine the state of the adrenal glands, as it uses four different saliva samples taken at different intervals to determine the output of cortisol according to the circadian pattern. Ideally you want the cortisol levels to be higher in the morning and to decrease throughout the day. Many people with adrenal problems have low cortisol levels in the morning, and some have a reversed pattern where these levels are high at night. Either way, if it is determined that someone has either low cortisol upon awakening or high cortisol upon going to bed, they can be put on the appropriate protocol to help fix this problem, which in many cases will help restore the function of their thyroid gland.Test #2: Hormone Panel. Many people with hypothyroidism/Hashimito’s Thyroiditis also have a hormonal imbalance. One of the biggest problems causing or contributing to these conditions is estrogen dominance, which involves an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. A male or female hormone panel will determine the ratio of these hormones, plus will also give the levels of other important hormones as well. Remember that the hormones are interactive, and so an imbalance with one hormone can affect other hormones, and so this test can be extremely useful in correcting any hormone imbalances you may have.Test #3: Hair Mineral Analysis. A hair mineral analysis is a great test for detecting problems at the cellular level, including a deficiency in any minerals you may have. While this is a good test to do for those who already have a thyroid condition, it can also be beneficial for detecting a thyroid condition before the thyroid blood tests become positive. In other words, it can potentially detect a developing thyroid condition so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent it from becoming “full blown”. This is an excellent test to have done on children since it is easy and non-invasive.Test #4: Tests for Nutritional Deficiencies. Although a nutritional deficiency may not directly cause the development of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, one or more nutritional deficiencies definitely can contribute to the formation of a thyroid condition. For example, many people with thyroid conditions have deficiencies in iodine, Vitamin D, Magnesium, the B vitamins, and have other nutritional and mineral deficiencies. And as mentioned before, a hair analysis can detect deficiencies in some of the more important minerals that are important to thyroid health.How Can You Obtain These “Alternate” Tests?Obviously not all of these tests will be needed for everyone with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some people will require only one of these tests, while others will need to obtain multiple tests. As for how you can obtain one or more of these other “alternative” tests, you of course can try to contact certain labs that will allow non-doctors to order them, especially with regards to the ASI, hormone panel, and hair analysis. I personally use a company called Diagnos-techs for the ASI and hormone panel, as they have a great reputation and haven’t let me down so far.You can usually test yourself for numerous nutritional deficiencies on your own. For example, the company Direct Labs has a website you can visit where you can order a Vitamin D blood test (25-hydroxy vitamin D test), test your magnesium levels, etc. Since many people are iodine deficient you might decide to order an iodine loading test, which you can obtain from Hakala Labs.With regards to the other tests, it’s usually best to consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor, as besides being able to order the tests for you, they of course will also know which specific tests are needed. They will do this based on your case history, symptoms, and other factors.In summary, while everyone with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should receive the conventional thyroid blood tests, including one for thyroid antibodies to determine whether they have an autoimmune disorder, you also should look into having one or more of these other tests I mentioned in this article. Doing so will help determine what the cause of your thyroid condition is, and will greatly improve the chance of restoring your health back to normal through a natural hypothyroid treatment protocol.