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Thyroid Research

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Thyroid

Selected research:
Hypothyroidim, quality of life and mental health
Larisch R, Kley K, Nikolaus S, et al. Depression and anxiety in different thyroid function states. Horm Metab Res. 2004 Sep;36(9):650-3

Study purpose: The researchers stated: “Previous studies on hypothyroid subjects have indicated serious psychiatric symptoms affecting the patients’ quality of life. The present prospective cross-sectional study’s aim was to examine these symptoms in thyroid patients with different functional states.”

They noted: “Hypothyroidism represents a widely underestimated functional condition that may severely affect mental health.”

Cognitive function
Prinz PN, Scanlan JM, Vitaliano PP, et al. Thyroid hormones: positive relationships with cognition in healthy, euthyroid older men. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1999 Mar;54(3):M111-6.

Study: The researchers acknowledged the well know link between hypothyroidism and cognitive function. What they sought to uncover was thyroid levels and cognitive function in elderly men with “normal” thyroid function.

The Researchers stated: “Our data suggest that older subjects may require circulating thyroid hormones in middle to high levels in order to maintain optimal brain function.”

Heart Disease
Klein I, Ojamaa K. Thyroid hormone treatment of congestive heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 1998;81:443-7.

Study: An editorial discussing the effects of hypothyroidism on heart disease with special emphasis on T3.

T3 and T4 Supplementation
Hennemann G, Docter R, Visser TJ, et al. Thyroxine plus low-dose, slow-release triiodothyronine replacement in hypothyroidism: proof of principle. Thyroid 2004;14:271-275

Study: Examination of the effects of T4 and T3 supplementation in hypothyroid patients.

The researchers noted: “In the study reported here we show that treatment of hypothyroid subjects with a combination of T(4) plus slow-release T(3) leads to a considerable improvement of serum T(4) and T(3) values, the T(4)/T(3) ratio and serum TSH as compared to treatment with T(4)- only. Serum T(3) administration with slow-release T(3) did not show serum peaks, in contrast to plain T(3).”

Subclinical thyroid disease
Elte JW, Mudde AH, Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman AC. Subclinical thyroid disease. Postgrad Med J. 1996;72:141-6

Study: A review article on the “clinical effects, prognostic significance and the need for and response to therapy,” of subclinical thyroid disease.

Thyroid Main Page

Thyroid

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Thyroid

The thyroid gland secretes the aptly named thyroid hormone. The over-production or under-production of this hormone can cause big problems in the body and lead to a myriad of symptoms that sometimes goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

1010201 ThyroidWhat does thyroid hormone do?
It regulates:
- heart rate
- metabolism & body temperature
- cholesterol levels
- weight
- vision
- menstrual regularity

As we age, and our glands, including the thyroid produce less hormone, we typically fall into a syndrome of hypothyroidism.

Some of the signs of hypothyroidism are:
- slow-down of metabolism
- loss of energy, excessive fatigue
- weight gain, even with extreme dieting
- memory and mood disorders
- cold sensitivity
- menstrual problems
- constipation
- generalized hair loss
- thinning nails

Because a patient with hypothyroidism is not producing enough thyroid, the pituitary gland, which monitors thyroid levels in the blood, starts secreting TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). TSH “cracks the whip,” forcing the thyroid to work harder. The strain and stress on the thyroid may cause enlargement of the thyroid—a “goiter.”

Diagnosis of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is not easily diagnosed by physicians because the symptoms are that which are routinely attributed to old age, that is the loss of energy, weight gain, etc. A “Thyroid Panel,” measuring TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 levels should be part of a basic blood chemistry panel in everyone over 30 so this “old age issue,” may be treated.

Normal blood work and abnormal symptoms
Thyroid testing is broken up into the thyroid hormone components Free T3 and Free T4.

Briefly, the designations come from the number of iodine molecules connected to the thyroid hormone. In T3 (triiodothyronine), it’s three iodine molecules, in T4 (thyroxine), it’s four.

T3 is much more potent than T4 but considerably less abundant in our bodies. To counterbalance T3 and T4 levels, our bodies, especially the liver, collect T4 and convert it into the higher potency T3. If there is a problem in this conversion process, even though blood tests would be considered “normal,” the patient is considered “sub-clinically,” hypothyroid. There may be enough circulating Free T4 in the blood, it is just not being converted to T3. The indications from these blood tests will help differentiate which type of thyroid supplementation should be recommended in each individual’s case.

The ratio of T4 to T3 in the body is a little more than 9 to 1. When hypothyroidism is diagnosed, typically it is T4 (Levothyroxine) that is prescribed. Why? Because many doctors believe that the body will convert the T4 to T3 as it is needed. However, occasionally, T4 will convert to an excess of reverse T3 which is ineffective in up regulating metabolism, and little T3 is produced, leaving a patient hypothyroid in spite of high T4 levels and low TSH levels. It is very important that the patient is closely monitored to indeed make sure that this is not happening. Some physicians also prescribe Armour thyroid, which is a combination of T3 and T4, or a compounded version can be made. Some doctors do not like to prescribe Armour because the T3-T4 ratio is not exactly standardized. Again close monitoring by a physician can gauge if the desired result is being achieved.

Questions About Thyroid Supplementation

When To Take Your Thyroid Supplementation?
Take your medication before breakfast on an empty stomach.

Many physicians believe that you can best absorb your thyroid medication by taking it on an empty stomach.

Additionally, some foods or supplements (those contain calcium and iron) may prevent proper absorption.

Remember that it is important to check thyroid levels regularly to regulate dosage and absorption. If there is an absorption problem or your dose needs to be adjusted, regular blood tests will bear this out.

How Do You Know You Are Reaching Your “Best” Thyroid Levels?
Thyroid supplementation for low or hypothyroid conditions should start effecting the following:

- An increase in metabolism
- An increase in energy
- Increase in your ability to lose weight
- Improvements in memory and mood
- Better digestion and regular bowel movements
- Hair loss BECAUSE of HYPOTHYROIDISM is reversed
- Improved condition of skin and nails

If you are on thyroid medication and are not seeing a more positive improvement than you or your doctor anticipated, regular blood tests should be performed to check thyroid levels and adjustments in medication or in dietary habits maybe needed.

Hypothyroidism and Low Testosterone Levels
Recent research published in the International Journal of Andrology says that there is a direct association between subclinical hypothyroidism and a reduction in testosterone levels in men and further, “Testosterone deficiency and its symptoms should be kept in view while managing subclinical hypothyroidism in male patients.”

Hypothyroidism is not easily diagnosed by physicians because the symptoms are that which are routinely attributed to old age, that is the loss of energy, weight gain, etc. A “Thyroid Panel,” measuring TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 levels should be part of a basic blood chemistry panel in everyone over 30 so this “old age issue,” may be treated.

Briefly, the designations come from the number of iodine molecules connected to the thyroid hormone. In T3 (triiodothyronine), it’s three iodine molecules, in T4 (thyroxine), it’s four.

T3 is much more potent than T4 but considerably less abundant in our bodies. To counterbalance T3 and T4 levels, our bodies, especially the liver, collect T4 and convert it into the higher potency T3. If there is a problem in this conversion process, even though blood tests would be considered “normal,” the patient is considered “sub-clinically,” hypothyroid. There may be enough circulating Free T4 in the blood, it is just not being converted to T3. The indications from these blood tests will help differentiate which type of thyroid supplementation should be recommended in each individual’s case.

Symptoms of Suboptimal Thyroid
-Weakness
-Fatigue
-Dry, coarse skin
-Feeling cold
-Anxiety and tension
-Depression
-Thinning hair
-Weight Gain
-Poor memory
-Headaches

Thyroid Research
Other articles Thyroid
Focus on the Thyroid for Women over 50
Subclinical Hypothyrodism and Depression

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