Our Approach to Healing
At Rejuvenate Your Life, we enable you to see the entire picture of your health. It’s important to comprehend the interconnectedness of different organs working individually and collectively in the human body, before building up any conclusions. Symptoms, for example, excessive hair fall, chronic energy loss, fragile nails, thinning skin, loss of concentration and heavy breathing are routinely evaluated as ‘signs of maturing’. These signs could reflect a health issue, such as a thyroid issue. Symptoms and side effects are not ’causes’ they are ‘indicators’ of causes. This acknowledgment is required to step towards a greater wellbeing.
When patients understand the physiology of what is happening in the core framework of their body, they are quite often motivated to address their core issues because they can now make sense of why certain indicators or symptoms appear. So, we educate our clients so they can better manage their whole body, not just their symptoms. This article will position you to have an educated conversation with your doctor about the health of your thyroid.
Understanding Thyroid Function
When testing your thyroid, lab results can be perplexing. Conventional medicine and alternative medicine are not on the same page when it comes to reference ranges, medication or even diagnosis.
Taking a deeper dive into how the thyroid functions will help you understand your diagnosis. So, let’s do just that. The pituitary organ produces TSH thyroid stimulating hormone and it does exactly what the name suggests – it empowers the thyroid organ to create a hormone called T4. As T4 circulates through our body, it changes over to the hormone T3. T3 is the active hormone that is consumed by ALL the cells and tissues in the body.
When testing your thyroid, conventional doctors regularly take look at TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels first. Your TSH levels are referenced against a standard range and the ranges aren’t that scientific. To create a standardized TSH reference range, a substantial collection of people had their TSH levels tested, and then a bell curve from those results was created. When you test your TSH levels, your test results are compared to this bell curve. This reference range is far from perfect, since they didn’t remove individuals that had a known thyroid condition NOR people that have unknown or undiscovered thyroid issues. The typical lab range using this bell curve will fall between a TSH range of 0.5 – 4.5. On the off chance that your TSH returns at 4.0 your doctor will probably say that you are in normal range. But if you have symptoms, your intuition may tell you differently.
When analyzing if you have a thyroid issue, you must understand how to correctly interpret the TSH results you received. The larger the value within the TSH range, the more hypo-thyroid you are. The lower the value within the TSH range (often dropping into the negative range) the more hyper-thyroid you are.
TSH fluctuates a lot, so much so, that you may want to retest your TSH to confirm it’s accuracy. One study, in particular, showed that it required retesting TSH 100 times to get an average marker. This does not imply that this isn’t a useful marker. However, you will want to ensure that this isn’t an isolated event. If your TSH is off once, this isn’t a signal to medicate unless there are very strong indicators for a solid diagnosis. So, pay attention to your symptoms. If the following symptoms are present; dry skin, thin brittle hair, insomnia, fatigue, cold and constipation, then these are all indications of a hypo-thyroid issue. Always consider the whole picture, not just the labs when deciding on if you should medicate.
Other Test Markers – Total T4, Total T3, Free T4 and Free T3
TSH is one marker to test. What are the alternate markers? Keep in mind, that TSH is released by the pituitary gland, which stimulates the thyroid to release the hormone T4. T4 changes over into T3 and T3 is the active hormone that is absorbed by every cell and tissue in your body.
Total T4, Total T3, Free T4 and Free T3 are all hormones and other thyroid test markers. Hormones are fat dissolvable and blood is mostly water. To be transported in the blood these hormones need to be bound to a protein. For this hormone to enter a cell, it needs to be separated from the protein. When it is divided from a protein it is presently “free.”
So, Total T4 and Total T3 tells us how much total bound and unbound T4 and T3 there is in the body. Total T4 is telling you how much thyroid hormone is being created by the thyroid gland – this is important information to have, since over 90% of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland is T4.
If you have a normal Total T4 and normal Total T3, the issue isn’t that the thyroid isn’t producing hormone, it is that there is an issue separating the bound hormones and/or using the free hormones.
If you are on the high side of the scale with the Total T4 and dipping on the low side of the scale with your Total T3, you may also want to look at another thyroid marker called RT3 or reverse T3. T4 can change into T3 and at times of stress (whether from ordinary life stress, trauma, ongoing dieting, environmental toxins, constant low-grade infections, or a side effect from certain medications) T4 can change into Reverse T3. Reverse T3 sits on the binding sites for T3 and does not allow the active T3 hormone to bind and do its work.
If you have low T4, then the thyroid is not creating enough T4 and you should address specific key nutrients required to support a healthy thyroid function. Your iodine levels and iron status matter. Producing enough stomach acid to convert plant based iron into the absorbable form of iron will be an important assessment to do. You will also need adequate amounts of selenium, zinc and cofactors that we get from vitamins A, C, E and the amino acid tyrosine. Mainstream medicine hasn’t caught up with this idea yet, but preventative care specialists are realizing that everything is related to the gut, so it is important to address your gut health too. About 20% of T4 is converted into T3 in the gut… so the gut absolutely plays a role in your TSH levels.
Free T3 and Free T4 are debatably the more important labs to run because Free T3 is the hormone that is available to the cell to use. Most conventional doctors do not run these labs. Conventional doctors only look at TSH and Total T4 and Total T3. Another good point to make here, is that conventional doctors don’t look past these lab results since it wouldn’t change how they intervene. Conventional doctors often use a one-size fits all synthetic medication to treat everyone which is clearly not the best option.
Could Your Hypothyroidism Condition Be An Autoimmune Condition?
If you have been diagnosed with a hypothyroidism condition, then it is appropriate to have your thyroid antibodies tested. In the United States, one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism diagnosis (over 90%) is attributed to Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition.
If your body is creating antibodies to your thyroid, this antibody test will come back positive. The therapy for this is medication and you’ll need to address the autoimmune condition by doing everything that you can to reduce inflammation in the body. Addressing your gut health by removing known food sensitivities/allergies and reducing your daily stress, getting plenty of rest, and leading an active lifestyle can all help.
Is Bioidentical HRT Suitable to Improve Your Thyroid Function?
Bioidentical hormone replacement treatment can help enhance the lives of men and women experiencing thyroid issues. It comes as a surprise to many to find that bioidentical hormone replacement treatment has been around for just about a century. It’s an age-reversing method intended to address hormone imbalance, including the substitution of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone; coordinated at turning around existing thyroid issues and enhancing the general wellbeing. This can include maintaining weight, augmenting the male and female libido, muscle improvement and a reduction in many other hormone imbalance symptoms.
If you have any symptoms of hyperthyroidism or other thyroid related issues, consider bioidentical HRT consultation for enhanced wellbeing.
It is always important to work closely with a medicine practitioner that looks past just conventional tests when treating your thyroid. Getting your thyroid back into balance with a custom approach that addresses your individual needs is the best way to bring your thyroid back into balance. Quite often, this involves looking at the bigger picture to see if there is a hormone imbalance at play.
Click here to schedule a Complimentary Consultation to learn if Bioidentical HRT is right for you.