Hormone Imbalance and Hypothyroidism

In terms of synthetic hormones what about medications such as Synthroid for hypothyroidism that doctors say you have to take for the rest of your life? What should I do? Where do I go next?

Most people with hypothyroidism have to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives. Our thyroid hormone regulates many body processes and if you have hormone imbalance it can result in a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms.

The thyroid gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroixine (T4).  Most of the actions of thyroid hormone are due to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. Our bodies convert T4 to T3, however in some people this conversion does not happen adequately.

There are several different types of thyroid medications – natural and synthetic and T3 and T4. Synthetic forms of thyroid hormone (T4) are Synthroid and Eltroxin. There is also Cytomel, which provides the body with active (synthetic) T3. This is a preferred form for those who do not convert T4 to T3 adequately, however it needs to be taken three times daily. Lastly there is natural thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine, which can be made at a compounding pharmacy. It is important to know that in this case “natural” means that they are not chemically made or synthesized, they are obtained from animal (pig) thyroid. While natural thyroid is typically well tolerated some people do react adversely.

Here is a link to an article that discusses some of these issues:

http://www.thyroid.org/patients/patient_brochures/hormonetreatment.html

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Is there any way to regulate my thyroid without medication if I have hypothyroidism?

 It depends on your individual situation and the severity of your hypothyroidism. The majority of people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition that causes destruction of the thyroid gland over time. As this destruction progresses, the thyroid gland becomes less and less able to produce enough hormones to meet metabolic needs. This is reflected in an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroixine (T4).  It is important to know that many people with borderline hypothyroidism are symptomatic but have blood tests may show thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) that are slightly low or even within the normal range, or just a slightly elevated TSH.

Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, dry hair/skin, brittle nails, easy bruising, cold intolerance, constipation, low libido, headache, joint aching, and slow heart rate.

If you have mild or borderline hypothyroidism, which is quite common, then taking supplements that help support the body’s production of thyroid hormone may be helpful. Guggul is a supplement that increases production of thyroid hormone (T3). Many nutrients are required to produce thyroid hormone such as vitamins C, E, A and the B-vitamins. Selenium is reu=qurid for the conversion of T4 to T3. Ashwaganda is an herbal product that also helps boost thyroid function.

For many people with moderate to severe hypothyroidism thyroid hormone medication is often required. There are several different types of thyroid medications such as the synthetic forms of thyroid hormone (Synthroid and Eltroxin), which provide the body with T4. There is also Cytomel, which provides the body with active T3 however it needs to be taken three times daily. Lastly there is natural thyroid hormone, which can be made at a compounding pharmacy.

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