Tag Archives: T3

Heart Disease: How Hypo- and Hyperthyroidism Could Increase Your Risk

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According to the World Heart Federation, heart disease is the number one killer of women around the world, with more than 8.6 million lives taken every year. This represents one-third of all deaths, and cardiovascular disease kills more women than cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. The Whole Heart Federation states: “Despite progresses in the past years, women are still discriminated against when it comes to the management and treatment of cardiovascular disease. They are more likely than men to be under-diagnosed and under-treated, mostly because the presentation, progression and outcomes of the disease are different and less understood in women than in men.” In a Dutch study called “The Rotterdam Study,” it was found that older women with subclinical hypothyroidism were almost twice as likely as women without this condition to have blockages in the aorta. They were also twice as likely to have had heart attacks. Having autoimmune hypothyroidism increased the risk even further. […]

How Your (Hypo)Thyroid(ism) Impacts Your Metabolism

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Gastrointestinal Function Chronic constipation is a common complaint of people with an underactive thyroid gland. Poor thyroid function slows down the amount of time it takes for food to move through the intestines. This increases the potential of gut infections from harmful bacteria and yeast, leading to inflammation, malabsorption, and increased risk of developing food intolerances. The production of gastric acid depends on the hormone gastrin, which diminishes with hypothyroidism. This can cause digestive complaints like bloating, heartburn, gas, and infections. In people with hypothyroidism and low stomach acid, protein deficiency may occur. Thyroid hormones strongly influence the tight junctions in the stomach and small intestine, which form the impermeable barrier of the gut. “Leaky gut” (increased intestinal permeability) is a major contributor to thyroid autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Studies showed that T3 and T4 thyroid hormones protect gut mucosal lining from stress induced ulcer formation. Inflammation in the gut […]

Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism: Types of Thyroid Diseases

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While addressing a thyroid dysfunction, it’s essential to consider the interconnected web of other imbalances, toxicities, and nutritional deficiencies that are always at play. Your thyroid gland is like the body’s energy factory. Every cell in the body requires thyroid hormones. When it’s operating effectively, you feel energetic, healthy, and in control. But it takes the right amount of thyroid hormones, in a careful balance, for the body to function properly. Too little thyroid hormone, and the body slows down. Too much thyroid hormone, and everything speeds up. When talking about thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid diseases, most people only think of hypothyroidism, but in reality there are many more thyroid conditions that can arise. Non-Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism  It’s estimated that between 3 and 10 million people actually suffer from an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of one or both […]

What You Need to Know About The 4 “T”s to Thyroid Testing

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What is happening here? Many doctors rely only on TSH marker to diagnose and manage thyroid disease; however, this is just one of the four needed markers to establish a correct interpretation and analysis of your thyroid status. Moreover, many doctors use the lab ranges (referred to as “pathological” or disease ranges) that come with the test results, instead of functional ranges, which have been carefully researched and formulated as parameters of good thyroid health. The lab ranges are simply the averages of all the people who have had blood work analyzed by that lab in the last year. They are so called “normal” or “healthy” places to be but are actually statistical averages. Different labs can and do have different reference ranges. It is common to have a test result come back “normal” from one lab and “out of range” for another lab. In truth, if your lab values […]

Why Levothyroxine — i.e. Synthroid — Treatment Isn’t Working for You

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Conventional medicine believes that if you have an underactive, chemically ablated or surgically-removed thyroid gland, that all you need is levothyroxine – the synthetic form of the T4 hormone. Levothyroxine is also known by its brand names: Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, Tirosint, and Levothroid, among others. T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and must be converted into the active thyroid hormone T3 – triiodothyronine — in order to deliver oxygen and energy to cells, and resolve hypothyroidism. The conventional belief is that the levothyroxine will adequately and effectively convert in the body to T3. As a result, millions of people who are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or who are hypothyroid after thyroid surgery or Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment, are given a prescription for generic or brand name levothyroxine and sent on their way. Even with levothyroxine treatment, however, many of these patients, and you may be among them, continue to experience hypothyroidism […]

Five Ways the New ATA Hypothyroidism Guidelines are Bad for Thyroid Patients

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There are so many things wrong with these Guidelines that we could write volumes, but let’s cut to the chase. Here are five ways the new ATA hypothyroidism guidelines hurt thyroid patients. 1. The ATA’s Conflict of Interest Makes the Guidelines Findings Questionable at Best While the ATA goes out of its way to assert that there are no financial conflicts of interests, as patient advocate Mary Shomon points out in her article, the ATA itself receives a substantial amount of financial support from three drug companies – Pfizer, AbbVie, and Akrimax – that make levothyroxine, the drug that the guidelines claim are the “standard of care.” How can the ATA claim a lack of bias and no conflict of interest, when its own balance sheet depends on support from the very drug makers who make the drug they are claiming is superior? 2. The ATA Diminishes the Importance and […]

13 Numbers About Your Health That You Need To Know

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2.5 OR LOWER Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels above 2.5 are considered to be suspicious for subclinical hypothyroidism by many integrative physicians. The “normal” reference range for the TSH test tends to run from .3 to 4.5, and many patients with levels above 2.5 are told their thyroid is “normal,” while their physicians fail to test to actual circulating thyroid hormone (Free T4, Free T3) or the thyroid antibodies that can detect an autoimmune thyroid disease. 1.3 OR HIGHER The Free T4 test measures the available amount of the T4 storage hormone available to be converted into T3, the active thyroid hormone. While the reference range at many labs runs from .8 to 2.8 ng/dL, integrative physicians have found that most patients feel best when their level falls into the top half of the range, at a level of 1.3 or higher. 3.2 OR HIGHER The Free T3 test measures […]

7 Signs That You Need a New Doctor

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To borrow the metaphor, you may have to kiss a few frogs along the way before you find that prince — or princess — or a practitioner. But in some cases, it becomes clear that this is not a working relationship, and it’s time to move on. Here are seven signs that you definitely need a new doctor. 1. Your Doctor Questions Whether Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Adrenal Insufficiency Are “Real” Diagnoses If you get an inkling that your doctor lumps Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — as well as adrenal insufficiency — into the category of psychosomatic, somatoform illnesses, or suggests that they are somehow not real, “made-up,” “trendy,” or in your head, it’s a clear warning that you need a new doctor. Move on to a more knowledgeable practitioner who is up on the latest research and findings about these conditions. 2. Your Doctor Bristles at the Word “Bioidentical” […]

The Best Clinical Guidelines Money Can Buy: A Look at Guidelines Bias and Thyroid Treatment

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The article didn’t get much attention in the American medical community, and that’s no surprise. The title of the British Medical Journal article was “Evidence Based Medicine: Why we can’t trust clinical guidelines.” In the June 2013 article, author Jeanne Lenzer describes how drug companies can negatively influence members of committees that create clinical guidelines, to the detriment of patient care. What are Clinical Guidelines? According to the Institute of Medicine, clinical practice guidelines are “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.” Ideally, these guidelines should be based on rigorous analysis, good science, and the best possible evidence and patient outcomes, without any influence from the manufacturers of the drugs being reviewed, and procedures or medical devices involved in the treatments. In reality, however, as Lenzer identifies, […]

Weight Gain Despite Thyroid Treatment May Be Hypothalamic Obesity Disorder

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The research was presented in a poster session by Saad Sakkal, MD at the May 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Before we take a look at the research, let’s explain a bit more about the hypothalamus and its impact on weight and metabolism. What is The Hypothalamus? Your hypothalamus is an almond-sized part of the brain that connects your nervous system to your endocrine system, with your pituitary gland acting as a go-between. The job of the hypothalamus is to release hormones that then cause the pituitary gland to release (or stop releasing) pituitary hormones. This hormonal process controls the body’s temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep cycles, and daily cyclical rhythms. Cells in the hypothalamus take up the inactive form of thyroid hormone T4 (thyroxine), and convert the T4 into the active thyroid hormone, T3 (triiodothyronine.) The T3 then stimulates the production of TSH, […]

Challenges in Thyroid Hormone Therapy: Why Is It So Complicated?

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On the one hand, it’s promising to think that a group of prominent endocrinologists are joining together to discuss this important issue. The endocrinology community, after all, is not typically known for acknowledging — much less being curious about — the complexities of thyroid hormone treatment. The tendency is usually to prescribe Synthroid, Levoxyl or another brand name or generic form of levothyroxine, and then write off any unresolved symptoms as unrelated to the thyroid problem, as a consequence of poor lifestyle choices, or even, as a somatoform disorder, also known as a psychosomatic disease. But for two decades, thyroid patients, advocates, and an increasing number of physicians — many of them holistic or integrative — have already been hard at work identifying and successfully identifying effective solutions to the challenges of thyroid hormone therapy. To some extent, it’s complicated because the endocrinology world makes it so. The Limitations of […]

Melatonin: For Sleep, Thyroid, Hormones and More

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Melatonin is produced — primarily at night — by the pineal gland, a tiny gland located in the brain. The pineal acts as a controller of our body’s clock, including the day-to-day 24-hour clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake. It also controls our lifetime biological clock that decides on bigger hormonal issues, such as when we enter puberty and when we enter menopause. Melatonin and Sleep Melatonin is known to be a help for sleep. Various studies have shown it to help people fall asleep more quickly, to stay asleep, have more refreshing sleep, and reduced daytime fatigue. The main side effect of melatonin is morning grogginess. If you experience this, you can drop down to a lower dose, and determine what dosage will help you sleep, without causing any morning side effects. Some research into melatonin have reported that it improves mood upon waking, […]