Thyroid hormones are the energy commanders of the whole human body, controlling how food is used by the cells and how glucose is converted into energy, hence it is very understandable that the main symptom of a failing thyroid gland is the lack of this energy: a general feeling of fatigue, a generalized weakness.
When the production of thyroid hormone is low we call it hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid is under active . Millions of Americans have unrecognized thyroid disease, mostly in the form of sub-clinical hypothyroidism. Diseases of the thyroid gland are commonly encountered, but they are often challenging to diagnose.
The two main hormones of the thyroid gland are thyroxine (also known as "T4") and triiodothyronine (also known as "T3") and together they have a powerful impact in every metabolic aspect of the human body. They control heart rate, blood pressure, sleep, bone formation, weight gain and weight loss, muscle activity and muscular strength, mental alertness, fat deposition, thinking, intellect, digestion, sweating, stamina, immune system, and they also interact and control the other glands and hormones.
Free T3, the free triiodothyronine, is more active than the T4, and some writers even claim that T3 is the active one. Actually T4 converts into T3 to become active. Some people are poor converters, they don’t convert well the T4 into T3 (hence, different medications are needed). T3 is essential to fight fatigue and burn fat. Balancing T4 and T3 with appropriate medications is encouraged..
There are multiple factors that interfere with the T4 conversion into T3: I review them personally with my patients, but they may all need to be checked. The Metabolic Nutrition and the Food Sensitivity tests can be helpful in pointing out disorders that interfere with thyroid function or in conversion from T4 to T3. Hashimoto’s disease needs to be investigated. You should discuss this with your Medical Doctor. Consultation with Endocrinologist is recommended.
Thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, control how fast the body uses energy making the thyroid the director of the metabolic orchestra. Without enough T3 and T4 the body may not be able to metabolize and use the food for fuel and produce energy, and you may not succeed in weight loss, controlling fatigue, etc.
LOW FUNCTIONING THYROID CAN CAUSE: weight gain, difficulty losing weight, low blood sugar, coldness, cold intolerance, fatigue, chronic fatigue , edema, generalized weakness, hair loss, headaches, brittle nails, infertility, anemia, decreased sexual interest, menstrual irregularities, acne, low pulse, heart disease, palpitations, depression, poor memory, irritability, insomnia, mood swings, attention deficit disorder (ADD), decreased concentration, mental fog, easy crying, anxiety, constipation, gas, bloating, decreased absorption of nutrients, carpal tunnel, weak muscles, muscle pains, joint pains, blocking other hormones, imbalance of hormones and be a cause of metabolic stress. May also be one of the causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, but I explain this better in person.
COMBINATION: I want to point out the intimate relationship between thyroid, the adrenal glands (which secrete cortisol) and the sex hormones (estrogens, testosterone, etc.) Either one affects the others. You should not fix one without fixing the others or you may cause metabolic problems. We can show you how. Your first step however should be to see your doctor. Endocrinologist appointment is recommended.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF THYROID FUNCTION: THE SEQUENCE OF TESTING.
To diagnose thyroid conditions you need to get special tests. Taking thyroid medications and achieving thyroid balance may or may not give you the metabolic improvement you need. It is quite possible that long lasting thyroid hormone deficit has caused already significant metabolic damage which may require more comprehensive evaluation and treatment. This may happen because your metabolic disorder may not be just the result of low thyroid function but a product of many integrated metabolic events which make metabolic stress a rather complex process. A sequence of tests must be initiated in order to find out which ones are the roots of the metabolic imbalance of that particular individual. We will guide you through these steps.
According to laboratory findings, thyroid replacement with Armour Thyroid, Levoxyl, NatureThroid, Synthroid, generic levothyroxine or Cytomel, or bio-identical hormones, a visit to the Gynecologist, a consultation with an Endocrinologist , the "Adrenal Repair Program”, nutritional supplementation, and a stress management protocol may be needed. We do all these tests and managements in our office. Levo-thyroxine (T4), called Synhtroid, Levoxyl and Levothroid, is very effective for many people, but some do better with one brand and not with the other.
Different people react differently to thyroid medications and nothing is carved in stone about it. Many people do well with the generic form, other don’t. Some people on Synthroid can’t be switched to other brands because they don’t feel well. Some others prefer Levoxyl and do well with it. Some people need a supply of T3, called Cytomel. Combined preparations of T4 and T3 called Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, Westhroid and Thyrolar are very effective as well. Both T3 and T4 can be combined in capsule form by a compounding pharmacy. I work with four compounding pharmacies and they prepare excellent thyroid products.
Certain nutritional supplements assist the thyroid hormones in their function and I recommend the ones I list in my program. We combine these supplements with a type of diet that helps the thyroid hormones work better.