The thyroid gland affects the function of just about every organ system in the body and is an essential component in the balance between female hormones and the adrenal gland. For the other hormones to work together, the thyroid hormones must first be balanced.
The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland, which produces thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH. TSH regulates two of the four thyroid hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland—triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The other thyroid hormones, T1 and T2, are the results of iodination of tyrosine molecules, and do not require clinical correction. There is an inverse relationship between TSH and T3/T4; if the thyroid does not produce enough T4, the pituitary will secrete more TSH to stimulate T4 release. T4 is then converted to T3 by a deiodinase enzyme.
It is common practice to prescribe only T4 to patients who may be suffering from hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid); however, a study from the New England Journal of Medicine proved that patients may only need T3 alone, T4 alone, or a combination of both to achieve optimal thyroid values (NEJM 1999 Feb 11; 340(6):424-9). The following chart compares the two thyroid hormones.
🩺 Talk with your healthcare provider about evaluating your thyroid health and function.
Hypothyroidism, the most prevalent thyroid disease, can have multiple causes. For example, in underdeveloped countries, the primary cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency. In the United States and Europe, where iodine is added to salt and other foods, Hashimoto’s is the main cause of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the human body attacks its own thyroid cells leading to the destruction of the thyroid gland. This causes the thyroid to inadequately produce thyroid hormones needed to work throughout the body.
Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism 1
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
Hashimoto’s accounts for 90% of cases of hypothyroidism in the United States.
Other causes of hypothyroidism are silent thyroiditis (from seasonal allergies, viral infections, or vigorous neck massage) or post-partum thyroiditis (from pregnancy), both of which are autoimmune antibody production.
Hyperthyroidism, or the overproduction of hormones from the thyroid, is usually caused by an autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease in which the patient produces antibodies to the TSH receptor. Most thyroid dysfunctions appear before menopause in women, but many arise as they enter menopause. As female hormone levels begin to fluctuate, thyroid hormones may follow suit. This is because there are thyroid receptors on the ovaries and ovarian receptors on the thyroid gland.
Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism 2
- Unintentional weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake stay the same or increase
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
- Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Fine, brittle hair
There is also a direct link between adrenal health and thyroid function. Daily stress and adrenal fatigue can have anadverse effect on thyroid function and overall energy levels. That is why treatment of thyroid dysfunction ofteninvolves utilizing herbal substances called adaptogens, which help to support the adrenal gland. By supporting thefunction of the adrenal gland, the thyroid gland also is better able to perform its function.
Protecting Your Health
Thyroid function is one of the most important aspects of hormonal balance and paramount to achieving total body wellness. Individuals who want to support the thyroid and increase thyroid function should pay special attention in following areas of health and lifestyle:
- Adrenal health and adrenal gland support
- Adequate iodine intake, which is necessary for thyroid function
- Daily supplementation with nutrients like zinc, selenium, and tyrosine to encourage conversion of T-4 to T-3
📞 If you feel that you may have thyroid issues, we invite you to speak with a pharmacists for effective recommendations to help support your thyroid function.
Thyroid Support Available at Our Pharmacy
At Innovation Compounding, we assess the patient’s individual needs as to whether T3, T4, or a combination of both are necessary and whether to use porcine (pig-derived) or synthetic thyroid hormones. We can also switch patients between the two, depending on their individual needs.
- Thyroid Support with Zinc Professional Dietary Supplement
- Adrenal Health, Glandular Professional Dietary Supplement
- Vitamin D to support TSH levels
- What You Must Know About Thyroid Disorders, by Dr. Pamela W Smith (Paperback)
- Wellness Metrics Hormone Stress & Metabolism At-Home Lab Testing Kit
Talk with us about T3 or T4 preparations, combination formulas, porcine-derived preparations, and daily nutrition products to support thyroid balance.
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If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Innovation Compounding at 1-800-547-1399, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, excluding all major holidays.
Medical Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such information or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Innovation Compounding, Inc. nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any medication, nutritional supplement, diet, or health regimen. Innovation Compounding does not make or intend to make any claims to efficacy or safety of compounded products for specific conditions or disease states, as compounded products are not FDA-approved for these conditions.
Sources & References
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Nov. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Nov. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659.
- Paoletti, PHh, Jim. “Differentiation and Treatment of Hypothyroidism, Functional Hypothyroidism, and Functional Metabolism.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding, vol. 12, no. 6, Nov. 2008, ijpc.com/abstracts/abstract.cfm?ABS=2861. Accessed 11 Jan. 2022.
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