The thyroid is actually a small gland Disturbi della tiroide that lies in the neck about the level of the Adam's apple and weighs roughly 1 ounce. It produces thyroid hormone and calcitonin. The parathyroid glands are extremely small and lie around the outdoors portion of the thyroid gland and secrete parathyroid hormone. We will be focusing on thyroid hormone.
The thyroid gland is stimulated to make thyroid hormone by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which is produced inside the pituitary gland situated inside the brain. The pituitary is controlled by the hypothalamus inside the brain which monitors the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Iodine should enter the thyroid gland through a transport program which is repaired with all the intake of vitamin C. There's usually about 20-30 mg of iodine in the physique and 75 percent of it is stored inside the thyroid. Additionally to iodine, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamins B2, B3, and B6 are necessary for thyroid hormone production.
The thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones: T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). Ninety-five percent of thyroid hormone created is T4 and five % is T3. T3 will be the active form of thyroid hormone which is made as a result of one iodine being cleaved from T4. T4 is inactive so the majority of thyroid hormone produced is actually inactive. The numbers "3" and "4" indicate the amount of iodines. This really is important in understanding optimal thyroid function. Both T4 and T3 are bound to proteins within the blood till they attain your cells and become unbound to function their magic on metabolism.
The majority of the T4 is converted into T3 in the liver. Around sixty % from the T4 is converted into T3, twenty % is converted into an inactive form of thyroid hormone identified as reverse T3 (irreversible), and also the remaining twenty % is converted into T3S (T3 sulfate) and T3AC (triiodothyroacetic acid).
Reverse T3 can be problematic; even though it really is inactive, it will nonetheless bind to T3 receptors and block T3 from binding and functioning its magic on metabolism. Too a lot or as well little cortisol which is created by the adrenal glands will increase circulating levels of reverse T3. This mechanism is as a result of suppressed liver detoxification and clearance of reverse T3 from excess cortisol production. Tension can not merely result in signs of hypothyroidism but it may also impair the liver's capability to detoxify. Cortisol may also suppress TSH production resulting in low thyroid function. Immune method activation, high adrenaline, excess totally free radicals, aging, fasting, anxiety, prolonged illness, and diabetes may also drive the inactivation of T3 to reverse T3.
T3 and reverse T3 also can be inactivated by conversion into a hormone identified as T2. Elevated insulin levels due to a diet plan high in refined carbohydrates may also increase reverse T3 levels. Toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead will also boost reverse T3 production. T3S and T3AC are inactive until they are catalyzed by an enzyme in the GI tract recognized as sulfatase. This enzyme is dependent on healthful gut bacteria. We are going to talk about inside a later chapter the value of a healthful digestive tract because it relates to twenty percent of active thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone's main part would be to manage metabolism (power production) inside the cell. Our cells contain tiny factories called mitochondria that create energy from fat, sugar and protein. Thyroid hormone controls the function from the mitochondria which determines how much power is produced. Symptoms of low thyroid function are associated to a decrease in energy production including:
Weight gain/inability to lose weight
Dry brittle hair and nails
Overly sensitive to cold
Cold/numb hands and feet
Depressed immune system-can't recover from infections
Slow wound healing
Digestive issues due to low stomach acid
Hair falls out
Lateral third of eyebrow thinning
Traditional medicine relies primarily on the TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone blood test to measure thyroid function. TSH isn't a thyroid hormone. TSH is created by the pituitary depending on how much thyroid hormone is circulating within the bloodstream. As thyroid hormone levels drop, TSH production will increase to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormone. If thyroid hormone increases, then TSH production will lower because the thyroid is producing a lot of hormone. The TSH alone isn't adequate to assess thyroid function because it doesn't take into consideration the conversion of thyroid hormone into its active form which happens inside the liver, kidneys and lungs. The TSH test also will not take into account thyroid hormone receptor resistance. Thyroid hormone receptors can turn out to be resistant to thyroid hormone due to thyroid-disrupting chemical exposure major to regular blood tests but development of low thyroid symptoms. Cortisol created in the course of stress by the adrenal gland also can inhibit TSH production further throwing off the accuracy in the test. In the event the TSH is elevated, the standard physician will prescribe synthetic T4 and this will typically reduce TSH into the "normal" range. This strategy will not take into account peripheral thyroid hormone conversion or receptor binding. When the body is compromised in its capability to activate thyroid hormone into T3, then taking T4 will result inside a failure of therapy. If the adrenal glands are out of balance, then probably thyroid hormone function will also be out of balance. In addition, if thyroid hormone receptors are desensitized, this strategy will fail too.
You will discover that most health-related physicians don't spend much time reading the peer-reviewed health-related literature which gives us with valuable information on TSH levels. An excellent study was published by Obal and Krueger (2001)on sleep deprivation and thyroid hormone production. The researchers concluded: "When sleep deprivation is maintained for weeks, the plasma concentrations of T4 and especially T3 decline but TSH remains normal."6 Do physicians ask you about your sleep patterns? Possibly this might be the purpose for the abnormal TSH. I've noticed many sufferers who also endure from insomnia and sleep difficulties and present with low thyroid symptoms and abnormal TSH levels. Does this imply they ought to have thyroid hormone dumped into their bodies? Sadly, this takes place to lots of people. I often take into account every patient's sleep pattern and right it as a part of our therapy program. Numerous times, sleep patterns are abnormal due to blood sugar and adrenal gland imbalances. Keep in mind, you are not a lab test but a beautiful, complex getting where every little thing is connected as a single.
Testing & Diagnosis
Blood tests alone cannot often adequately diagnose thyroid hormone imbalance. It is estimated that about forty percent in the U.S. population suffers from some kind of thyroid imbalance as opposed to the current conventional figure of ten percent. This is due to the inadequacies from the TSH test. In addition to blood testing, I review a thorough case history and a variety of detailed health questionnaires and also perform a comprehensive physical examination for clues to thyroid hormone imbalance. Basal body temperature testing is used by several practitioners to evaluate thyroid function but this doesn't solely indicate a thyroid imbalance. There are several other factors that can trigger a low basal body temperature such as adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, impaired liver detoxification and malnutrition. I use the basal body temperature simply as a single a lot more diagnostic tool to evaluate the overall picture of a patient. Another sign that may indicate low thyroid function is thinning of the lateral one-third in the eyebrow.
The following thyroid tests can provide much more information about your thyroid. Use this as a guide when you get the results of your blood tests:
TSH (Thyrotropin) – Thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary to stimulate the thyroid to make hormone. The ideal range is 1.8-3.0. Standard medicine uses a much broader range of 0.5-5.5. This range misses many hypothyroid individuals such as those with a TSH between 3.0-5.5.
Total Thyroxine (T4) – This test measures the level of T4 (thyroxine) that's each bound to protein and unbound.
Totally free Thyroxine Index – This is calculated by multiplying the TT4 by the T3 uptake. The result gives you the level of unbound T4 or Free T4.
Free Thyroxine (Totally free T4) – This measures the level of unbound or totally free T4 which is the most active form. Free T4 is not affected by medications or other factors that affect protein bound thyroxine (TT4).
T3 Uptake – A measurement in the level of available binding sites for free T3 on thyroxine-binding proteins. Elevated testosterone will minimize the amount of binding sites and trigger a low T4 and high T3 uptake. Excess estrogen from hormone replacement or birth control pills will increase binding sites and can cause high T4 and low T3 uptake.
Totally free Triiodothyronine (Totally free T3) – This really is a measure of totally free T3 levels or unbound T3. This can be the best test if your natural doctor wants to see the quantity of available active thyroid hormone within the bloodstream.
Reverse T3 (rT3) – This can be a measurement of the amount of T3 that has been inactivated.
Thyroid Antibodies – Thyroid peroxidase, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin and antithyroglobulin elevations indicate autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto's or Graves' disease. Thyroglobulin and calcitonin are mainly used inside the diagnosis of a lot more serious thyroid diseases such as cancer.
Prescription medications don't take into account underlying physiological imbalances and may lead to dependence on the medication. The following drugs are prescribed by physicians to treat the thyroid:
Synthroid – Synthetic thyroxine (T4). Synthroid will be the most popular prescription drug for hypothyroidism. Synthroid is inside the top 5 most commonly prescribed drugs inside the US. Synthroid may be converted incorrectly into inactive reverse T3 resulting in no symptom improvement. Synthroid depletes calcium for bones and may not provide improvement for individuals who have compromised conversion pathways of T4 into T3 or any from the other imbalances described in this book.
Levoxyl – Synthetic thyroxine (T4).
Levothroid – Synthetic thyroxine (T4).
Levothyroxine – Synthetic thyroxine (T4).
Thyrolar – Synthetic T4 and T3.
Cytomel – Synthetic T3. Numerous side effects which includes hyperthyroid symptoms.
Armour Thyroid, Nature Thyroid, Westhroid – Natural thyroid hormone from desiccated pig thyroid tissue. Contains approximately 38 micrograms/grain of T4 and 9 micrograms of T3/grain also as other cofactors for thyroid hormone production. Nature Thyroid is a better choice than Armour because it will not include corn and other binders.
Many alternative-minded healthcare doctors prescribe Armour and other natural desiccated pig thyroid tissue. This really is a better option in some cases than merely prescribing synthetic T4 (Synthroid) since these natural agents also include T3. The problem with Armour is that it contains corn and other fillers which may be a problem for those with specific sensitivities. Nature Thyroid will be the best choice simply because it does not include corn or fillers. But the author doesn't agree with this treatment method simply because although it's a better option, it nevertheless will not take into account the underlying causes of why the thyroid is out of balance within the first place. These natural prescriptions nevertheless only replace thyroid hormone and require dependence on the doctor for continued prescriptions and office visits. I've noticed many, several patients who are on such natural prescriptions who nonetheless have several symptoms and have been taking the prescription for a long period of time. Even if someone responds to a prescription such as Armour thyroid, she ought to be rigorously evaluated for underlying physiological imbalances.
Another issue with such treatment methods is suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid feedback mechanisms. Whenever you take a hormone that's produced inside the body, this tells the brain that it no longer needs to stimulate hormone production since it is constantly becoming ingested. When male bodybuilders take testosterone, their testicles shrink because there's no longer a need for them to make testosterone. Taking thyroid hormone for long periods of time will suppress natural production which may or may not return after discontinuing the medication. It's strongly encouraged that you do every thing possible to normalize thyroid function before going on medication of any kind. Americans typically want a quick fix, a magic pill that will instantly give relief. Lots of people get this instant relief from medication but the long-term effects of dependency and suppression of natural hormone production may not be worth it. Individuals who have had their thyroid removed or partially removed may require prescription thyroid hormone. If the gland isn't present then thyroid hormone must be replaced. In this case, prescriptions such as Armour and Nature Thyroid are the better choice.
Conversion of T4 into T3
T3 is a lot a lot more active than T4 and is responsible for most of the actions of thyroid hormone on the cell. Some folks cannot convert T4 into T3 as efficiently as others. Furthermore, there are numerous factors that could possibly be inhibiting this process.
Selenium, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies can lead to poor conversion. The medications listed above affect thyroid hormone conversion as well as production and receptor binding. As people get older, they lose their capability to convert thyroid hormone which may be because of decreased vitamin and mineral absorption. This can be due to a loss of intestinal barrier function where all of your nutrition is absorbed. This barrier loses its function as we age so supplementation is absolutely necessary. Excess estrogen from xenoestrogens in the environment, birth handle pills and hormone replacement can lead to low thyroid symptoms. Estrogen increases the protein that binds to thyroid hormone leaving excess thyroid hormone bound to protein which can be inactive till it becomes unbound. Cortisol created by the adrenal gland is really a major factor in converting thyroid hormone. Also significantly cortisol can inhibit the activation of thyroid hormone and as well tiny cortisol yields the same outcome. Exhausted adrenals will result in low thyroid symptoms as a result of the lack of cortisol production. Insulin is actually a hormone released by the pancreas to handle blood sugar elevations after consumption of carbohydrates and can inhibit hormone conversion also. Soy products have been shown to inhibit the conversion of thyroid hormone. This only goes for soy products that are non-fermented. Fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh are okay.
Vitamin C has been shown to enhance the conversion of thyroid hormone. Radiation, chemotherapy, growth hormone deficiency, and cigarette smoke have also been shown to reduce thyroid hormone conversion.