Benefits Of Thyroid

The thyroid is indispensable for realizing the full benefits of hormone replacement therapy.

Positioned as a butterfly-shaped gland beneath your larynx in the neck, the thyroid assumes a pivotal role in overseeing your metabolic rate and governing various functions within your heart, muscles, digestive system, bone maintenance, and brain development. It releases hormones into your bloodstream, carrying out a multitude of functions that are integral to your well-being. When your thyroid doesn’t function optimally (as in the case of hypothyroidism) or when the hormones it produces exhibit reduced activity, noticeable symptoms start to manifest.

What are Thyroid Hormones?

Thyroid hormones are a group of hormones produced by the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. The two primary thyroid hormones are:

  1. Thyroxine (T4): This is the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It contains four iodine atoms and is relatively inactive on its own. T4 serves as a precursor to the more biologically active hormone, triiodothyronine (T3).
  2. Triiodothyronine (T3): T3 is the more potent and active thyroid hormone. It is produced when an iodine atom is removed from T4, either in the thyroid gland or in other tissues throughout the body. T3 plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, energy production, and many physiological processes in the body.

These thyroid hormones are essential for maintaining proper bodily functions, including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and the functioning of various organs and tissues. An imbalance in thyroid hormone levels can lead to various health issues, including hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) and hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone levels). Thyroid hormones are typically regulated by feedback mechanisms involving the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in the brain.

Take the free hormone assessment to see if you could benefit from thyroid treatment.

How is Thyroid Tested?

The most reliable method for determining your ideal thyroid levels is by closely monitoring signs and symptoms. In contrast, many other healthcare providers often rely on the TSH test, which has shown to be less dependable. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is a signaling molecule produced in the pituitary gland that instructs the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones T3 and T4. However, the challenge lies in the fact that thyroid function operates at a cellular level, making it challenging to gain a comprehensive understanding of how thyroid hormones function within the body solely from a standard TSH blood test.

TSH tests solely measure the glycoprotein responsible for stimulating thyroid hormone production but do not assess the active impact of these hormones.

The most effective diagnostic tool for obtaining an accurate reading of bioavailable thyroid hormone is to test free T3 levels.

Diagnosing an underactive thyroid can be a complex process, especially when access to appropriate healthcare is limited. Unfortunately, due to misdiagnosis, many men endure the long-term consequences of low thyroid function. These symptoms can significantly impact various aspects of life, including work, relationships, overall health, and mental well-being.

Accurate diagnosis of thyroid issues hinges on employing the correct tests and possessing a thorough understanding of the associated symptoms.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism are extensive. You may experience some of the symptoms below if you have reduced thyroid hormone levels

  • Fatigue and General tiredness
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss, weakness, and muscle cramps
  • Low sex drive (libido)
  • Poor memory and difficulty concentrating
  • Raised cholesterol
  • Moodiness and depression
  • Hair loss
  • Gynecomastia
  • Decreased testosterone
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Dry, brittle thinning hair.
  • Hoarseness
  • Constipation
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Fertility problems
  • Face swelling around the eyes and face
  • Slow heart rate
  • Slightly raised blood pressure

We see patients in our clinics take thyroid medication such as Levothyroxine (Synthroid) without relief from their symptoms. Levothyroxine is T4, and for many, it will not work for two main reasons:

  1. You have non-conversion issues: your body cannot convert T4 into the useable T3, so there will be no relief of symptoms.
  2. You have thyroid resistance: your thyroid hormone receptors are not working correctly, and this type of medication will have no effect.

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Normal Is Not Optimal

While many doctors assess thyroid function within the confines of “normal” parameters, we approach it from the perspective of “optimal.”

Conventional standards for hormone levels are established through research conducted by organizations that collect blood samples from doctors across the United States for analysis. However, it’s important to note that the primary reason people typically visit doctors is when they are unwell, often as they grow older. Consequently, the definition of “normal” is derived from data spanning age groups ranging from 20 to 80 years old, with most individuals seeking medical attention due to illness.

Our philosophy recognizes that nobody aspires to be considered “normal” if it’s defined by the health standards of an 80-year-old. Instead, we aim to help individuals achieve optimal health and vitality.

Numbers Constitute Just One Aspect of the Narrative

The key to comprehending hormones goes beyond mere numerical values. Blood tests alone cannot provide doctors with insights into how hormones function at the cellular level. One of the prevalent issues in many medical practices lies in an overemphasis on these numerical benchmarks and what is considered “normal.” Unfortunately, when individuals present with symptoms such as excess weight, fatigue, low energy, impaired memory, and a diminished libido, doctors may sometimes dismiss these concerns.

It’s crucial to understand that these symptoms are not within the realm of normalcy, and they can be effectively addressed. By optimizing levels of thyroid hormones, testosterone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and estradiol, we have the capability to provide support and address the most significant culprit behind hormone imbalances in men: visceral fat. This visceral fat is the primary contributor to hormone imbalances, and we have the tools to combat it effectively.

Low Thyroid and Low Free Testosterone

Symptoms of low testosterone and thyroid issues frequently overlap, and due to the intricate relationship between these two hormones, it can be challenging for many doctors to distinguish between them.

Low thyroid hormone levels and low testosterone levels are often intertwined, often resulting in reduced SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) levels. An underactive thyroid can lead to diminished free testosterone in the bloodstream and a decrease in SHBG, a protein responsible for binding to testosterone and facilitating its transport throughout the body. Addressing low thyroid levels can effectively correct low-free testosterone levels.

Given the interconnectedness of testosterone and thyroid hormones, any disruption in this system can contribute to a decline in testosterone levels. However, by rectifying thyroid hormone imbalances, we can reverse this trend. Elevating thyroid function can play a crucial role in boosting both free and total testosterone levels.

What Thyroid Medications are Available?

The most frequently prescribed medication in the United States, with a staggering 123 million prescriptions issued in 2016, is Levothyroxine—a synthetic variant of the thyroid hormone T4. Levothyroxine is commonly employed to treat underactive thyroid conditions. However, it’s important to recognize that T4 may not be the most suitable treatment for a significant portion of individuals. Approximately 30% of those with hypothyroidism face a challenge wherein their bodies struggle to convert inactive T4 into T3, the biologically active thyroid hormone. Additionally, about 50% of individuals with reduced thyroid function experience thyroid resistance, which implies that the receptors designed to bind with T3 are either diminished in number or structurally flawed. Consequently, their T3 hormones may connect to receptors incorrectly or not at all.

Desiccated thyroid

Desiccated Thyroid Extract (DTE), also known as Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) or porcine thyroid, is derived from the dried and powdered thyroid glands of animals, typically pigs and cows. It has served as a treatment for underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) for many decades. DTE first became available in the 1890s and has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms in individuals with hypothyroidism.

At our clinic, we prescribe Desiccated Porcine Thyroid, a natural product that encompasses a spectrum of hormones including T4, T3, minimal levels of T1, T2, iodine, and calcitonin. Due to its natural origin, desiccated thyroid closely mimics the production of real thyroid hormones, a characteristic that sets it apart from synthetic versions that lack this comprehensive profile.