Thyroid Hormone Management
It can be complicated, but getting Thyroid levels right is the key to energy, weight loss, and sense of well-being. Patients can have “normal” labs and still have symptoms of thyroid deficiency. The range of “normal” thyroid is so wide that many patients are suffering from insufficient thyroid despite having lab values in the normal range.
Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are two hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. They regulate temperature, metabolism, and cerebral function. Advanced age or diseased thyroid tissue can lead to a decrease in thyroid hormone production and difficulty with appropriate conversion of T4 to T3. T4 is the primary hormone produced by the thyroid, which then must be converted to T3, the active thyroid hormone. This conversion is dependent on several nutrients and can be blocked by factors such as stress, inflammation, certain medications, and digestive issues.
Unfortunately, Free T3 levels are often not checked or accounted for when treating hypothyroidism. Many patients currently being treated for hypothyroidism are on medications containing only T4 such as Synthroid or Levothyroxine, and while they are told their levels are good, still feeling unwell. This is often because Free T3 levels are not being checked and are low secondary to poor conversion. Often a simple change in medication can make a huge difference in the quality of life.
We take a very thorough and natural approach to getting our patient’s levels ideal while also seeking answers to why thyroid function is declining such as autoimmune disease, nutrient deficiencies, or stress.
Symptoms of untreated or poorly managed hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin, hair, and nails
- Impaired memory
- Thinning hair
- Muscle and joint pain and stiffness
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Elevated cholesterol levels