Hypothyroidism

Because “Good is Not Good Enough”

Don't suffer from thyroid disease

An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, and more than half do not know they have it. Frequently misunderstood, and too often overlooked and misdiagnosed, thyroid disease affects almost every aspect of health. Understanding more about the thyroid and the symptoms that occur when something goes wrong with this small gland can help you protect or regain optimal health.

Biyearly  checkups are usually required to ensure the proper dosage of thyroid hormones is being taken. Hypothyroidism is especially frustrating for patients that have not gotten the results they desired from conventional medicine. We understand your concerns and have solutions for many patients for whom conventional  pharmaceuticals have failed.

Women are at the greatest risk and develop thyroid problems five to eight  times more often than men. A woman faces a one in eight chance of developing thyroid problems during her lifetime, a risk that increases with age and for those with a family history of thyroid problems.

Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid is underactive and is the most common thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism can be either primary, where the thyroid simply does not produce adequate amounts of hormone or secondary, as a result of a failing pituitary gland. Without the proper signals from the pituitary gland, the thyroid is not adequately stimulated to produce thyroid hormones.

The thyroid gland contains the only cells in the body capable of absorbing iodine. The thyroid takes in iodine from food, iodized salt, or supplements, and combines it with the amino acid tyrosine. These building blocks are  then converted into iodine/tyrosine complexes,  the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and tyrosine (T4). Triiodothyronine or T3 is so named because it consists of three iodine atoms bound to a tyrosine molecule, while tyrosine (T4) contains four iodine atoms.. When everything is working proper 80 percent of circulating thyroid hormone will be T4 and 20 percent T3. T3 is considered the biologically more active hormone — the one that actually functions at the cellular level — and is  many times stronger than T4. The main thyroid hormone released by the thyroid gland, however, is the less biologically active form, tyrosine or T4, which must be converted into triiodothyronine or T3 in order for the patient to have normal thyroid status. The thyroid produces  a small amount of T3, but  the  remainder of the T3 needed by the body is  formed by removing one iodine atom from T4. This conversion of T4 to T3 can take place in many organs other than the thyroid.. The thyroid is part of a  feedback process. The hypothalamus in the brain  is responsible for releasing Thyrotropin-releasing Hormone (TRH), which tells the pituitary gland to release Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH, in turn, instructs the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones and release them into your bloodstream.

Under conditions of low energy and stress, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, liver failure, and chronic pulmonary disease, much of the T4 does not undergo normal conversion to T3. Instead it is converted into the mirror image of normal T3, a molecule referred to as reverse T3 (rT3). Reverse T3 binds to the receptors that normally accept T3 and render them inactive. This saves the body energy, but can mean that a person has normal levels of TSH and free T4, yet be functionally hypothyroid because of elevated levels of reverse T3. Most physicians do not understand the concept of reverse T3 and do not test for it. At Grossman Wellenss Center, we make a point of testing for levels of reverse T3 where indicated and providing appropriate supplementation with a slow-release formulation of T3 when needed. This helps ameliorate this problem and can prove to have an enormous benefits for patients.

There can be many causes for thyroid problems including overconsumption of soy protein, exposure to radiation, certain prescription drugs, surgical treatments of thyroid, over consumption or  inadequate amounts of iodine in the diet, as well as an eating too many uncooked “goitrogenic” vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, kohlrabi, and radishes. Certain risk factors are associated with hypothyroidism and include family history, pituitary or endocrine disease, autoimmune disorders, being female or  over 60 years of age, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia, menopausee, smoking, or post pregnancy.  

Conventional medicine routinely treats hypothyroidism with thyroxine or T4 alone, yet in many cases this is inadequate and does not provide patients with relief of symptoms. As part of our regimen for treatment, we educate our patients as to the various options for treatment available, test for other hormonal deficiencies that may affect T3 and T4, and replace with bio-identical thyroid hormones to restore gland function. By using "slow-release" formulations of T3 and T4, we are able to help patients achieve optimal thyroid status without experiencing untoward side effects. There are also natural supplements and vitamins that may also be helpful in promoting  the health of the thyroid and hypothalamus glands, which we will recommend as indicated. 

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