Thyroid

Thyroid 2
Thyroid hormone is very important in the body. Thyroid stimulating hormone, (TSH) is made in the pituitary and tells the thyroid gland to do its job and make more thyroid hormone. As thyroid production goes down, TSH goes up.

In traditional medicine, Synthroid is commonly prescribed for thyroid replacement. The Synthroid must be altered in the body to make T3. That’s why many patients will do better with natural thyroid which has T4 and T3 in it.

Many patients have a condition called hypothyroidism. Most doctors in traditional medicine don’t treat patients with thyroid hormone unless their TSH is well above 4.5 (upper reference range) even if the patient has classic hypothyroid symptoms. Over the years reference range for TSH has fallen, and even the American Academy of Endocrinology believes that the upper value ought to be around 2. In anti-aging medicine, many physicians look at the Free T3 value as being more important. The rationale is that many patients may have trouble with their hypothalamus or pituitary. The hypothalamus gives directions to the pituitary which in turn gives direction to the thyroid. If you have a pituitary, for example, that is not operating optimally, the TSH will be low and so will the thyroid production. If you are only looking at the TSH value for guidance, then you will miss a large number of people who really need thyroid replacement. Thereby looking at TSH,T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, T4, and Free T4 along with the client’s concerns and complaints is how our provider will evaluate you. If the thyroid hormone is tried and not needed, your body will give you signals. If on the other hand, you need thyroid replacement, despite “a normal TSH,” you will feel much better with replacement. Thyroid production decreases around 20-25% from age 25 to 75. Hormone replacement therapy can keep these levels optimal for you.

Role of Thyroid
Thyroid hormones increase blood flow, heart rate, heat production, metabolism, energy production and consumption, speed of thinking, intestinal motility, thirst, urination, HDL (good cholesterol), immune defenses against various infections and cancer, and many other functions. Thyroid hormones also decrease LDL (bad cholesterol), diastolic blood pressure, and waste products in tissues that lead to swelling and accelerate the elimination of old, defective enzymes and toxins inside cells.

Normal Production
The thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones: T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronie). Ninety-five percent of thyroid hormone produced is T4 and present is T3. T3 is active so the majority of thyroid hormone produced as a result of one iodine being cleaved from T4. T4 is inactive so the majority of thyroid hormone produced is actually inactive. Most of the T4 is converted into T3 in the liver. Hormone replacement therapy keeps your production normal for years to come.
Thyroid 3

Why T3-T4 is better than T4 alone:

  • Aid in lowering of cholesterol
  • Prevention of goiter
  • Improvement in overall symptoms
  • T3-T4 preparations have greater stability compared to T4
  • Absorption of T4 varies from 35-67%, compared to 95% for T3
  • T3-T4 medications may improve the necessary conversion of T4 to T3
  • Many conditions inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 making it more difficult for plain T4 to do its job. Such conditions include: aging, hormone deficiencies, T3 deficiency, stress and digestive troubles
  • T3 is the most important thyroid hormone and is the active hormone in target cells
  • Mortality studies show in general, it’s the level of T3 and T4 that determines survival

Hypothyroidism

  • Childhood- Typically see thick trunk, larger chest and abdomen, smaller limbs, obesity, hyper-laxity of fingers, delayed/poor sexual development, heavy birth weight, recurrent infections as a child, and learning disability.
  • Adulthood- Normal trunk but swollen and obese, hyper-lordosis (bottom of spine curves towards abdomen), atrophic sexual characteristics.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • Weight gain, swollen all over or puffy, bloated abdomen, slow digestion, constipation
  • Prone to ear, nose, and throat infections.
  • Morning fatigue, feels best in evening
  • Cold intolerance, poor circulation, inability to sweat when warm
  • Tendency towards snoring, trouble getting out of bed in morning, sleepy during day
  • Poor appetite, tendency to drink caffeine, decreased thirst, decreased urination
  • Dry or slowly growing hair, hair loss, loss of outer third of eyebrow
  • Headaches, worse in morning, ear ringing, hoarse voice in am
  • Muscle and joint stiffness on awakening, diffuse muscle and joint aches worse in the morning
  • Nocturnal feet and leg cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbar pain
  • Mental slowness, apathy and lack of interest, morning depression, slow thinking and reaction, easily distracted, poor concentration, poor attention, poor memory, and school performance
  • Tendency towards the following diseases: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart failure, infertility, obesity, diabetes, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, respiratory infections, and possibly cancer

How to increase thyroid treatment

  • Eat at least 1500-2500 calories per day
  • Eat organic Paleolithic type foods: fruits, veggies, modest amounts protein, meat, poultry, eggs, and, fish
  • Eat foods rich in iron (beef, chicken, liver, and spinach) and iodine (seaweed, seafood, and cranberries) Iodine, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and Vitamins B2, B3, and B6 are required for good thyroid function
  • Get adequate rest, avoid sleep deprivation, prolonged stress, and excessive physical activity
  • Avoid low calorie and low-fat diets
  • Avoid processed foods, alcohol, vinegar, caffeinated beverages, milk, excess animal protein
  • Fiber rich foods may decrease thyroid levels. Balancing other hormones such as growth hormone, testosterone, insulin (diabetics), DHEA, melatonin, progesterone, small amounts of cortisol
  • Inhibitors may include estrogens and high amounts of cortisol