Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid Hormones – TSH

Patients are often led to believe that their thyroid is either or O.K. or not based on the level of their TSH on routine blood work.  TSH is not a thyroid hormone.  It is a pituitary hormone.  Simply looking at this pituitary hormone assumes the rest of the endocrine glands are functioning normally.  Diseases of the thyroid are often secondary to other endocrine gland disorders and nutritional deficiencies.  To not look at the patients overall health and full endocrine health is very myopic and quite frankly is not good medicine.

Thyroid Problems/Pituitary Dysfunction

If you suspect your thyroid is dysfunctional and you continue with fatigue or other symptoms or signs of thyroid dysfunction such as menstruation irregularities, hair loss, depression, memory loss, brain fog, weight gain, 3pm crash, broken sleep, joint muscle pain, constipation, tingling numbness in the extremities, unexplained weight gain; and subtle findings such as dry coarse brittle hair and slow thinking remember there are many things that result in hypothyroidism that are not diagnosed by simply looking at the TSH.

The typical western medicine ways of looking at just the TSH often miss developing thyroid disorders.  TSH is secreted by the pituitary gland and secretes thyroxine (T4).  T4 is then converted to T3 in the gut and the liver as well as the kidney by enzymes.  T4 is also converted to rT3 (reverse T3).  Under times of increased stress, chronic infections, low calorie diet, inflammation –cytokines, certain medications rt3 will be elevated in affect decrease the bioavailability of T3.  Thus it is important to eliminate any chronic stealthy infections such as viruses, bacteria, yeast, pesticides, and mitochondrial dysfunction.  These conditions can result in low normal TSH levels and can result in fatigue and other symptoms.  Also rT3 will block the receptors of the thyroid affectively putting the brakes on thyroid function causing an increase in the TSH levels.  If the TSH is high normal in the classic sense it is often dismissed as normal and this is hardly the case.  Your problem can exist at the level of the hypothalamus or the pituitary.  So, as you can see diagnosing thyroid conditions can be complex and there are many hormones that need to be evaluated.  Other hormones that are evaluated that can affect thyroid function include cortisol and estrogen.  If you suspect that you have thyroid dysfunction please give us a call at 303.665.2525 and schedule a consultation to see if we may be able to help?

Non-Traditional Treatment for Thyroid Dysfunction

Identifying and treating the stealthy infections described above is paramount for long-term success.  Often, as the patient is working on treating these infections natural glandular extracts can be utilized such as a T4/T3 combination preparations or just straight T3.  A prescription form of T3 (Cytomel) is not recommended as it can cause problems in the body as it is a short acting T3 and difficult to dose.  There are compounded, sustained released T3 that may be a better option.   Finding the right combination of T4/T3 is the key.

Please be aware that there are new thyroid testing that can be done that can give us information about subtle changes in your thyroid function.  If you have been told by your doctor that your symptoms are part of normal age-related changes or emotional unrest please give us a call at 303-665-2525 for a comprehensive thyroid evaluation.

 


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