Essential Thyroid Facts
The thyroid gland is a small organ residing in the neck just below the Adam ’s apple that helps regulate many body functions. It is one of the most important hormone-secreting glands in the body. In fact, it plays a central role in your health. The thyroid’s control over metabolism affects nearly every cell and organ in the body. It regulates body temperature, growth, muscle strength, appetite, and the health of your heart, brain, kidneys and reproductive system.
Unfortunately, thyroid function begins to slow down as you age, leaving your body depleted and not performing at its best. When thyroid hormone (thyroxine) is deficient, even slightly, it can result in a host of symptoms and conditions, negatively impacting organs throughout your body.
According to a clinical review published in 2009, it was estimated that almost 4.6 percent of our populace aged 12 and up has hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).1 Even so, it is difficult to detect and diagnose. The symptoms are often vague and develop so slowly that many people don’t even know they have it. Research has also shown that a low functioning thyroid gland occurs more frequently in women, especially women over 50, and in those who have a family history of hypothyroidism. According the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. Women are statistically more likely than men to develop hypothyroid and it’s also more widespread in people over age 60.2
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism symptoms often mimic the symptoms of menopause, making it that much harder to detect and diagnose. Just as in menopause, a sluggish thyroid can affect muscle strength, memory, and metabolism.
A few of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
• Weight gain
• Dry flaky skin
• Abnormal menstrual periods
• Muscle pain
• Thin brittle hair and fingernails
• Greater sensitivity to cold
• Cold hands and feet
• Slow heart rate
• Swelling of the thyroid gland
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
Thyroid Function Assessment
Symptoms can often go undetected in the early stages of hypothyroidism. Regular screenings should be performed by your physician after the age of 60, if not before. Several blood tests can be performed to accurately assess thyroid function. To determine thyroid status, the blood test panel should include:
• TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
• Total T4
• Total T3
• Free T4
• Free T3
• Anti-TPO and Anti-Tg Antibodies
Complications of Untreated Hypothyroidism
Untreated hypothyroidism may give rise to heart disease, obesity or joint pain.
Extremely low levels of thyroid hormone can cause a life-threatening condition called myxedema. This is the most serious form of hypothyroidism. Myxedema can cause loss of consciousness or induce a coma. The condition can also cause the body temperature to drop very low, which can result in death.
Why Hypothyroidism Should Be Treated with Natural Bioidentical Hormone
Synthetic versions of thyroid hormones, such as Synthroid, Levothyroxine, or Cytomel contain a single hormone—either T4 or T3. According to the FDA, they do not have a good track record of being reliably potent and stable.3 A study published in 2014 reported that synthetic thyroid can’t guarantee normal thyroid function in all patients.4
Natural thyroid, on the other hand, has been successfully used for more than a century. Made from desiccated porcine (pig) thyroid glands, it contains a full spectrum of thyroid hormones—T4, T3, T2, T1 and Calcitonin. In controlled trials comparing natural thyroid to synthetic, patients consistently reported responding better to the natural thyroid medications.5
The Importance of Hormonal Balance
Maintaining physiologic blood levels of all of your important endocrine hormones is key to healthy aging. Your hormones work together in concert. If even one is depleted, the others cannot do their jobs. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with hypothyroidism, or other hormone deficiencies, it’s time to get checked out.
Hormone Replacement for Hypothyroidism
At SottoPelle®, we routinely screen for thyroid problems along with monitoring other vital hormone levels. Please give us a call to schedule a consultation with one of our expert BHRT specialists. We would love to help you regain hormonal balance and the vitality you once enjoyed.
1Golden SH, Robinson KA, Saldanha I, Anton B, Ladenson PW. Prevalence and incidence of endocrine and metabolic disorders in the United States: a comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2009;94(6):1853–1878. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19494161
4 Gullo, D et al. Levothyroxine Monotherapy Cannot Guarantee Euthyroidism in All Athyreotic Patients. PLOS One. 2011 Aug. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022552
5 Hoang D. et al. Desiccated Thyroid Extract Compared with Levothyroxine in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism: A Randomize Double-Blind Crossover Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May;98(5); 182-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23539727