The thyroid gland affects literally every single cell in the body, so any issues related to its function lead to numerous health issues.
Its main function is to control our metabolism, and in the case of an excessive or reduced function, the person experiences various health problems.
Around 20 million Americans suffer from some kind of a thyroid problem, so you need to know the symptoms of hypothyroidism, in order to prevent further complications.
This condition occurs in the case of reduced production of the thyroid hormone, when many processes in the body start to slow down and lead to many symptoms, including:
- Weight gain
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Fatigue, or tiring more easily
- Cold intolerance
- Muscle Cramps
- Hair Loss
- Dry skin
If you experience any of these signs, you need to think whether you consume healthy foods, vegetables, and fruits, whether you get enough sleep every night, and exercise regularly.
Moreover, you should also ask yourself whether you consume too many sweets, sugar, and caffeine, whether you feel; stressed often, and if you take some medications which slow down your metabolism.
This should make you aware of the importance of healthy lifestyle habits. In order to improve the function of the thyroid, you need to start living a healthier life and make some essential changes in your life.
If you suspect that your thyroid gland causes some symptoms you experience, you should make the following blood tests:
- Reverse t3 – Should be < 15
- Sex hormone binding globulin – should be higher than 70 in women and higher than 30 in males
- Free t3 to reverse t3 ratio – Should be higher than 0.2
- Free t3 – Should be in the upper 1/3 of the normal reference range
- Free t4 – Should be in the upper 1/3 of the normal reference range
- TSH – if your TSH is higher than 2, you are hypothyroid, and if TSH is lower than 2, it does not mean your thyroid is normal
- Thyroid antibodies (thyroglobulin antibodies and thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
These are the optimal ranges, and if your results do not belong to the “normal” ranges, you suffer from some kind of thyroid issues, and in the case, they fall out of the optimal range and you experience some of the symptoms listed above, you are probably suffering from thyroid problems.
Yet, it is always the best to examine the levels of the thyroid hormone, as the normal ranges might differ between individuals.
Furthermore, these are the average doses of thyroid medication that patients need on average to treat these symptoms:
- Synthroid (T4 alone)- 200-400 mcg daily
- Armour thyroid (combination of T4 and T3)- 2-4 grains daily (120-240mg)
- Cytomel or liothyronine (pure T3) – 75-125 mcg daily
In case you are taking some of these medications and still experience such symptoms, you might need to increase the dose.
Moreover, the pituitary gland, which is the part of the brain that pumps out TSH, is high in the unique deiodinase enzymes, and differences in their levels in the pituitary make it extremely sensitive to T4 and T3.
Therefore, it is possible that the pituitary receives enough thyroid, but other body cells in the body do not.
Also, people who take Synthroid might only convert that T4 into the inactive reverse T3, which inhibits the action of T3 at the cellular level. You should visit your doctor to analyze your reverse T3 levels if you take T therapy (Levoxyl or Synthroid) and are at 200-400 mcg daily.
If your reverse T3 levels are higher than 15 or your free T3 to reverse T3 ratio is lower than 0.2, the chances are high that you are suffering from thyroid resistance. This is a sign that you should switch from T4 therapy to T3 therapy.
The following conditions might also indicate thyroid resistance as well:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- bipolar disorder
- weight loss resistance
- insulin resistance (diabetes or prediabetes)
- high levels of inflammation