The thyroid gland governs the body's metabolism and growth through the production of thyroid hormones. These hormones determine our body's metabolic rate, the rate at which our body's cells produce and utilize energy.
If your thyroid gland were to be removed, and you were not given any supplemental thyroid, then you might live one year. You would slowly unwind until your body would cease functioning. The thyroid hormones are essential for life.
The thyroid gland produces two hormones: tri-iodothyronine (T3), the active, primary intracellular hormone, and thyroxine (T4), the inactive, primary extra cellular hormone.
Thyroxine (T4) is produced by the thyroid gland in twenty (20) times the concentration as T3. T4 must be absorbed into the cells where it must be converted to T3 in order for the cells to function at a healthy metabolic rate. If T4 is not properly assimilated into the cells or converted to T3 within the cells, then hypothyroidism results.
It is not the level of thyroid hormone in the blood that is important, but rather, how much T3 is present within the cells. This is why blood tests are inconclusive and oftentimes do not correlate with a patient's clinical symptoms. The thyroid hormone, T3, enables the cells to produce and use energy, which is ultimately converted to heat, giving the body its temperature.
As we age the thyroid gland, like all the endocrine glands, produces lower levels of thyroid hormones. Because the "normal laboratory range" of thyroid hormones is based upon a population normal, 90%-95% of all individuals will have thyroid levels that fall within the "normal range". But many people whose thyroid hormone levels fall within the so called "normal" range do not feel normal or healthy.
Young healthy individuals have thyroid hormone levels which are high in the "normal range". Older, less healthy individuals have thyroid hormone levels which are in the lower end of the "normal range". Over your lifetime your thyroid hormone levels can fall by 50%, with you experiencing a 50% decline in your energy level, yet your thyroid hormone level will remain in the laboratory "normal range", the low end of the "normal range", yet still in the "normal range".
Despite the fact that you may have a host of symptoms of hypothyroidism, due to your decline in thyroid hormone production with age, your doctor will tell you that you are in the "normal range". But you are not feeling normal because your thyroid hormones have declined as you have aged. You do not want your thyroid hormones to be in the "low normal range", rather you want to keep your thyroid hormone levels in the "optimum range" so that you have good energy and feel healthy.
Hypothyroidism is a commonly overlooked and undiagnosed medical problem that severely impairs an individual's quality of life. Hypo means low, so hypothyroidism relates to a medical condition manifested by low thyroid gland function or by low thyroid hormone action in the cells.
If left untreated, it can lead to a host of medical illnesses. Thyroid deficiency frequently causes chronic fatigue, recurrent headaches, including migraines, recurrent and chronic infections, skin disorders, obesity, menstrual irregularities and infertility, emotional disorders, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cancer and the complications of diabetes.
Hypothyroidism usually manifests itself gradually over a period of years with the progressive and insidious development of one or several of the following symptoms:
The following are physical signs of hypothyroidism:
The most common causes of hypothyroidism is
Women have hypothyroidism at least four (4) times as frequently as do men. This is commonly due to female hormonal imbalance in mid-life which leads to a condition known as estrogen dominance.
As the ovaries age, women produce decreasing amounts of progesterone, the hormone of the last half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone deficiency is the cause of estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance causes the liver to produce increasing levels of a protein, which circulates in the blood, called thyroid binding globulin (TBG). Even when the thyroid gland is producing sufficient amounts of hormone, TBG will bind to the thyroid hormones, lowering the free, unbound thyroid hormone available for use. This in turn causes a decrease in the metabolic rate, lowering the body's overall energy level.
Birth controls pills, pregnancy and postmenopausal estrogen supplementation all lead to increased TBG. Commonly, women complain that their metabolism changed after one of their pregnancies or when they began birth control pills or supplemental counterfeit estrogen hormones.
The male hormone, testosterone, does not increase TBG. In fact, testosterone stimulates the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone, T4, to the active thyroid hormone, T3, within the cells. This is why men have fewer problems with low thyroid function than do women.
Autoimmune Thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, is another cause of hypothyroidism. In this disease, the patient's own immune system is dysregulated and produces antibodies to the individual's thyroid gland and to the thyroid hormones circulating in the blood.
This immune system disorder is frequently associated with allergic disorders. Low intracellular thyroid function and allergies travel together like thieves in the night. Autoimmune Thyroiditis prevents thyroid hormone from being properly assimilated into the cells.
Less commonly than the above, hypothyroidism may be caused by nutritional deficiencies. The thyroid gland requires iodine for the normal production of the thyroid hormones. In the past, hypothyroidism occurred commonly in the Midwest and in the Great Lakes regions of the United States and was characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland, known as a goiter. This condition was due to low iodine levels in the soil and in fresh water fish. With the advent of iodized salt the incidence of this problem has been dramatically reduced. Goiter areas still exist in many areas of the world.
Clinical hypothyroidism may also be caused by a selenium deficiency. Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a critical role in the conversion of the inactive hormone, T4, to the active intracellular thyroid hormone, T3. The soil in the United States is deficient in Selenium.
The thyroid gland may produce insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone due to a variety of underlying genetic defects. These conditions are very uncommon.
Another rare cause of the hypothyroidism is pituitary gland dysfunction. The pituitary gland is located in the brain and regulates the thyroid gland by secreting thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). When there is not a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone in the blood, the pituitary gland increases the production of TSH. If the pituitary gland is diseased and unable to secrete TSH, then the thyroid gland will not produce thyroid hormone.
Prescription drugs, such as Dilantin, Lithium, and Beta Blockers, used in the treatment of hypertension and heart disease, blunt the effect of the thyroid hormones in the cells of the body, leading to symptoms of hypothyroidism.
As mentioned earlier, the counterfeit hormones and horse estrogens, such as Premarin, Ogen, and Cenestin, and birth control pills, which are also counterfeit hormones, raise the level of thyroid hormone binding globulin and prevent the proper uptake of thyroid hormones by the cells of the body.
The single most important tool in determining a patient's thyroid status is a thorough review of the symptoms of hypothyroidism presented. Secondly, the basal body temperature (BBT) must be accurately measured. The BBT is the core body temperature prior to arising from a full night's sleep. The BBT reflects the body's metabolic rate and energy production. Remember that energy in our bodies is converted to heat, giving our body a temperature. If our energy production is low, then the temperature of our body will be lower that normal. A normal BBT is between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees.
The BBT may be taken in the following manner: Upon retiring, a glass thermometer should be shaken down so that the mercury is below 94 degrees, and placed on the bedside table. When the patient awakens, the thermometer should be placed against the skin under the arm for ten (10) minutes. After this time, record the temperature.
Finally, blood test should be evaluated for the presence of thyroid antibodies, the level of the unbound thyroid hormone (Free T4), and the level of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The blood should be also evaluated to determine if there is elevation of cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL).
Natural thyroid medications containing T3 and T4 are the best.
The thyroid glands from the pigs are removed and desiccated (dried). After the glands are dried, they are pulverized, ground into powder, emulsified and finally, punched into tablets. These tablets contain the exact same thyroid hormone molecules (T3 and T4) that our bodies produce, as well as nutrients from the thyroid gland. Natural thyroid hormone should be thought of as a natural supplement, similar to vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Drug companies look for chemical substances in nature that have therapeutic and medicinal value. By changing the chemical formula ever so slightly, they create a new synthetic drug, which can be patented and sold at a handsome profit. The pharmaceutical companies then market their drugs by employing salesmen to promote their products to private physicians.
Synthetic drugs and counterfeit hormones are not as effective as their bio-identical counterparts. Many synthetic drugs and counterfeit hormones have serious and harmful side effects. For this reason, we prescribe and recommend (bio-identical) biologically identical hormones.
Functional hypothyroidism is a condition which can be easily diagnosed using the proper methods and inexpensively treated. Although the symptoms of functional hypothyroidism are many and diverse, virtually all will improve or resolve when the patient is treated with Natural Thyroid.