One of the most common complaints that people have, especially women, is they are tired, might have cold hands and/or feet, thinning hair, fatigue, and even a low sex drive. Thyroid hormone levels are often the cause of fatigue or other thyroid symptoms. Most visit their MD, who will suspect elevated thyroid levels and run a couple of blood tests to determine TSH and maybe TT4, but then the Doctore ends up telling the patient that their thyroid is fine. The patient leaves, disappointed that the tests are normal, but knowing that something is wrong, something has changed in their body, but no one seems to know what is going on. Sometimes the patient will visit that doctor again or go to another doctor and still no answers. Well, maybe the doctor is looking in the wrong place!
The thyroid organ is under constant use but as stated previously in these pages, it is a gland that gets little respect or attention. It should also be noted that a large part of the control of the release of the thyroid hormone is via the adrenal gland.
Your thyroid cooperates in a three (3) way system that allows the thyroid gland to function properly. The first part is the brain, through the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The second part is the thyroid itself and the third but maybe the most important part of the equation is the body. It basically works like this:
The hypothalamus scans the blood and checks if the thyroid needs to be stimulated to produce more of its primary hormone. If it does, then the hypothalamus tells the pituitary to make TSH which is a thyroid stimulating hormone. Then the thyroid is stimulated by TSH and to output a hormone called TT4 or total T4. Once the thyroid makes this hormone, TT4 is then circulated and through a couple of conversions and eventually becomes TT3 or total T3, which is the active hormone.
So when doctors only measure TSH and maybe TT4, they are completely missing at least 1/3 of the conversion process that happens in the body. And for these conversions to occur, the body has to have several micro-nutrients, that allow the body to make the TT3. Also, there is another hormone in the body called rT3 – or reverse T3. rT3 acts like an emergency brake in the body and can literally stop the TT3 from working.
Sounds complicated but it really isn’t, if you understand the process and the conversions and what the body needs to make all this happen. You have run blood tests to measure all of these thyroid hormone levels to determine if the thyroid hormones are actually functioning.
Do you suspect thyroid imbalance or low thyroid function? Schedule an appointment to check your thyroid hormone levels today!
The goal of Functional Medicine: To assist the body to restore balance in the body’s primary physiological processes which results in the patient’s lifelong optimal health.
About Dr. Bobbie Stowe, DC
Dr. Stowe has been assisting patients to regain health for almost 10 years. Using advanced laboratory testing and analysis, Dr. Stowe’s focus is to help find the two primary issues that might cause disease: a blockage of a natural process and/or a deficiency of vital nutrients that the body needs in order to function properly. Dr. Stowe’s entire approach is to assist the person in restoring health, not only in the cells and tissue but to the person.