Introduction to Hypoactive Thyroid – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

When the thyroid gland is not responding to the pituitary gland’s release of thyroid stimulating hormone, the result is a hypoactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, and insufficient levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. This condition affects more women than men, and requires life long treatment to replace the hormones not being produced by the thyroid.

Thyroid hormones

The hormones secreted by the thyroid are:

Thyroxine (T4), which contains four atoms of iodine.

Triiodothyronine (T3), has three atoms of iodine attached

Thyroxine is turned into Triiodothyronine by the liver, and it is these hormone levels that determine the type of thyroid disease that is present. These hormones work to regulate the rate at which your body burns energy. They affect weight and sleep patterns, menstrual cycle changes in women and erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Another hormone involved in this process is thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), manufactured by the pituitary gland. When thyroid hormone levels in the blood are low, the pituitary gland releases TSH, which stimulates the thyroid to produce and secrete more hormone.


Subclinical hypothyroidism is the term that describes the initial symptoms of hypothyroidism that can be overlooked and mimic other conditions. Symptoms include:


Intolerance to cold

Dry and/or pale skin

Hair loss and brittle nails

sore muscles, slow movements and weakness

Hoarse voice

a change in facial expression


Memory deficits and difficulty in concentrating

Increased weight


fertility problems and increased risk of miscarriage

heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods

Bradycardia (slow heart rate)

Goiter is a swelling in one or both lobes that site on either side of the thyroid gland, that appears as an enlargement on the lower aspect of the neck.


Hypothyroidism is more common in older people.

Women are more likely to be affected than men.

Autoimmune conditions such as diabetes, vitiligo, and Addison’s disease.

Certain medications, such as lithium carbonate (psychotropic med) and amiodarone (for the heart)

Inefficient amount of iodine

Autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Problems with hypothalamus or pituitary gland

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by testing the blood TSH levels and thyroid hormone levels in the blood. A diagnosis of autoimmune hypothyroidism is usually determined by the presence of certain antibodies in the blood, which show as a problem with autoimmunity.


Treatment for Hypothyroidism involves replacing the thyroid hormones that are absent. This is easily accomplished by taking oral levothyroxine. The dosage will need to be adjusted by your physician to get the correct dosage for you. Regular blood testing will be required to check hormone levels. Medication will then be adjusted accordingly. Medication and treatment for underactive hypothyroid will continue for the rest of the patient’s life. Once the correct dose of thyroxine replacement has been determined, yearly blood tests will be needed to ensure appropriate hormone levels are maintained.

Fetal thyroid development occurs after the 12th week of pregnancy. Until then the fetus depends on the mother’s thyroid hormone levels for nervous system development. The mother can feel safe in taking her thyroid supplements. She needs it for her health, as well as for the health of the developing fetus.

If you are hypothyroid and plan to have children sometime in the future, let your doctor know of your plans so that your health can be in the most optimal condition as possible.

Source by Barb Hicks

T3 Therapy in Hypothyroidism – Risks and Advantages

The newest discovery in the treatment of hypothyroidism, the under active thyroid gland, appears to be seen as a miracle therapy. The use of the combination between the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 is believed to be the most promising way of therapy ever found for cases of hypothyroidism condition. But treated patients do not always know the risks that they encounter during therapy as they are in most cases poorly informed by their curing physician.

In the introduction of the new treatment's study a few basic information about the thyroid are required. The thyroid gland secretes and releases into the bloodstream two different hormones; T3 called triiodothyronine contains a chain of three Iodine atoms and is the 90% amount of the secretion, it is the active thyroid hormone. The second secreted substance is T4 called thyroxin with four Iodine atoms; it can activate and turn into T3 by a chemical reaction of reduction of an Iodine atom. T3 is eight times more powerful than the other hormone but in crisis situations when the body urgently needs more triiodothyronine T4 will rapidly turn into T3.

During the hormone replacement treatment many patients have complained of a strange unwell sensation; the pills simply seemed to harm them in some way even though the thyroid hormones level in the blood was perfectly normal. In normal circumstances, the standard method of replacing the thyroid secretion was the administration of a pill containing thyroxin only. When a doses of T3 hormone was added to the regular medication patients shown immediate improvements in the general estate.

The new combination of both triiodothyronine and thyroxine appeared to release hypothyroidism symptoms like depression, fatigue and brain fog. A new clinical study was made upon the T3-T4 medication to see its long-term effects. A number of 33 hypothyroid patients with severe underactivity of the thyroid gland were firstly treated with a high concentrated dose of thyroxine and then with a combination of a lower amount of T4 and also T3. The conclusions were a certain success in the combined medicine with great improvement in the quality of life.

This study has also proved why the alternative medicine treatments have shown so many beneficial result while administering the hypothyroid patients the Armor thyroid, a natural thyroid extract contained in drugs like Westhroid and Naturethroid. Both the products as well as the synthetic drug Thyrolar contain a moderate combination of both basic thyroid hormones. The standard medication with concentrated T4 can now be easily completed by administering the additional pill Cytomel containing pure T3 extract.

The new medication has greatly improved the life and the symptomatology of severe hypothyroidism patients. Some however still complain of persistent symptoms like depression, muscle aches or lethargy, signs that we can not replace nature as hard as we try to.

Source by Groshan Fabiola

Hypothyroidism – A Cause Of Cardiac Conditions

According to the latest studies made by doctors all over the world it looks that a subclinical hypothyroidism can trigger different kind of cardiovascular problems.

For the studies, probes of the thyroxin and tireotropin hormone levels in the blood have been prevailed. The analyzed patients were diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism if the TSH stimulating hormone was low. These subjects proved to have an increased risk and frequency of coronary diseases as the normal population without thyroid issues.

The patients Complied with the studies were dynamically supervised in the next years in order to determine the rate of cardiovascular causes of death. The results were astonishing; 21 subjects with subclinical hypothyroidism treated deaths linked to the cardiovascular system, 80 # more than the expected number of death judging by age, sex and medical history. The conclusions are an increased percentage of cardiac linked deaths in patients with thyroid problems. The susceptibility to death is one and a half higher.

In cases of coronary arteries diseases, the rate of the attacks was double as the one from persons with no thyroid problems. This particular experimental study was affected in Australia over a period of several years.

In the United States of America another similar study was made on women and men with low levels of TSH in a period of four years. The target of the study was to show the risk of heart failure in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. The thyroid condition was connected to congestive heart diseases, coronary disease and stroke, peripheral arterial disease.

Congestive heart failure was frequent in the subjects with TSH levels of 7.0 and above; patients with TSH level between 7.9 and 9.9 the risk was double and those with TSH = more than 10 the susceptibility was three times higher.

No actual connection was found by the Americans between hypothyroidism and coronary disease, strokes and cardiovascular mortality. The Australians however found the risk of coronary artery disease higher in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. The first study showed an increased risk of congestive heart failure.

Although the results seem to be contradictory, the two studies have actually discovered a link between the discussed conditions. Cardiovascular diseases are more frequent in persons suffering from hypothyroidism, especially the ones with a TSH level above 10mUI. The doctors should take the link into consideration and monitor all potential risk factors.

Source by Groshan Fabiola

Fat Burning Supplements

Fat Burners

There are so many fat-burning supplements available today. Some work on the central nervous system and can elevate mood and energy levels, while burning more calories and fat at the same time. Changing bad diet habits and training effectively have to take place for these supplements to have any positive effect.

Most fat burning supplements contain at least some of the following ingredients.

The ECA (ephedrine or synephrine, in those countries where ephedrine is illegal, caffeine and aspirin) is one of the most common fat burning stacks. This combination has been found to work better than if taken on their own.

Citrus Auranium or Bitter Orange is used to help stimulate fat metabolism by increasing resting metabolic rate and body core temperature. Synephrine is the main compound in the fruit of this plant.

Guarana is used for its caffeine content. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, increasing mental awareness, stimulating the release of adrenaline and mobilization of fatty acids.

White Willow Bark contains salicin, which has the same effect as aspirin without any of the side effects. On its own it has no proven fat loss benefits, but when combined with this stack it should intensify the thermogenic effects, theby promoting greater fat loss.

Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) activates thermogenesis and fat oxidation. It causes a significant suppression of appetite, reduction in weight gain and less fat accumulation. Studies have shown that green tea increases the body's use of fat as an energy source and increases energy expenditure.

Coleus Forskohlii or Forskolin is included in many fat loss supplements. When combined with synephrine, this herb causes a release of fatty acids to be used for energy. It also helps to increase metabolism.

Ginseng is also a common ingredient in fat burners. There are several variations of Ginseng, such as Siberian and Korean. Ginseng has some powerful effects. It will elevate moods, increase energy levels and give feelings of well-being.

Kelp is a natural source of iodine, which is essential for correct thyroid function, especially during prolonged dieting.

L-Carnitine is used to stimulate fat mobilization. If the aim is to burn more fat for energy than L-carnitine may be required. L-carnitine also has heart protective benefits.

Niacin is included in some fat loss supplements for metabolic support. It helps to release energy from fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

L-Tyrosine prolongs the effectiveness of caffeine and other thermogenic processes.

Cayenne Pepper is also a thermogenic compound, stimulating, and making the body feel warm, but too much may cause heartburn.


There are many things to consider when deciding on a fat burning supplement, such as metabolic rate, diet, training etc. and are only effective if supported by diet and exercise. Some fat loss supplements increase metabolism and thermogenesis, but without the correct exercise and nutrition they are useless. Some stimulating supplements may cause agitation, edginess or anxiety. Some people may also have trouble sleeping so some fat loss supplements are formulated without stimulants, enabling users to take fat burners before bedtime to reap their metabolism enhancement benefits while sleeping. Other people enjoy the buzz from stimulants and use them as an energy booster as well as a fat burner. Use the effects of fat burners to suit you, but remember that, unfortunately there are no magic pills available to remove the fat without a good diet and training program in place.

Source by Brian Harvey

Diet And Weight Loss or Overweight And Undernourished, I Can not Lose Weight!

So, tell me you have tried every diet, all those gimmicks shown on television-or have lost and gained weight 300 times. There really are answers. You can not just not eat! Eating the right foods (you know what they are!) Taking the right Nutritional Supplements is the Biggest Help of all. Of course, moving that body, Exercise-don't want to! Here we are going to distribute products that will really help. Those who need the Discipline of a Lifetime Regiment. That's most of us, because 60% of us are fat. A new product out by Now Foods called Slimaluma the herb is Caralluma Fumbriata (that's a mouthful) is a succulent native plant of India with safe appetite control, Green Tea and Yerba Mate.

A very energetic combination. THERMOGENESIS (what's this) means certain material that occurs in every cell, and takes place in brown adipose tissue (BAT) this is where calories are diverted into fat burning heat. Trim Maxx Burner by Body Breakthrough has the Garcinia (Citrimax) also known as HCA, does not let the carbs turn into fat, and stimulates the Thyroxin for your thyroid. Also has Chromium and Carnitine (which turn fat into energy), has Lipotropics that release fat from the liver, has EFA'S and Digestive Enzymes which could be a dream for those of us that can not take stimulants (no caffeine) and when this Trim Maxx Burner is taken with a Protein Low Carb Shake like Naturade's Diet Lean Low Carb Dieter's Shake, should make a world of difference. You might consider the Shake for dinner, several days a week.

Also there is Ultramet Low Carb Vanilla, in Packets-Vanilla, Strawberry, Banana. Incorporate Razor Cuts by National Health Products, no stimulants nut has Lecithin, Cider Vinegar, Grapefruit, Couch Grass, Corn Silk, Herbs to eliminate water bloat, safe for Teens also. A Fasting Tea by Yogi Teas, in delicious flavors, Plum and Passion Fruit. They also have a Detox Tea, in Peach and Regular flavor, to get the bloat out. Now for all of you that want a little faster results, Health From The Sun, has the 123 diet 10 Day Regiment, comes in Liquid with Purifying Herbs for Detox and Fat Burning and has Citrus Aurantium, also known as Bitter Orange, will give you a terrific jump start, However those who are on meds or have heart issues, need to check with your Doctor, as we have other nifty suggestions.

Addressing Weight Loss is a complicated issue, which works for one may not work for another. It takes Discipline, and to get Real! You can not eat everything! Most of us have Hypothyroidism, we can starve, and never lose a pound. That's a genetic predisposition, most of the time. Absolute Nutrition has Thyrox T3 To T4 TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. No, it's not synthetic hormones, only Aminos, Choline and others to help sluggish Thyroid, also has Phosphatidyl Choline which breaks down fat in the liver and is also Brain Food. Carnitine in Liquid or Caps by NOW FOODS and Carnitine by Bricker Labs has Funky Flavors in Nonstimulant Carnitine, that turns fat into energy. Great for Heart Health and Exercise Endurance.

Speaking of Thyroid-when you take that blood test, and the out come is you are fine .. I've heard more stories on this one. Everyone that's Fine, can not lose a pound! According to John L Zenko MD, who is the author of "Living Longer" he recommends 7-KETO, for it's effect on metabolism and weight set point. Enzymatic Therapy has the 7- KETO Naturalean and Now Foods has the 7-KETO also. Anabol Naturals, has one of the best Amino Acids GH Releasers in caps, Tropical Oasis has Sleep a weight in Liquid, works when one is sleeping to advance weight Loss. Emotions rule us, instead of grabbing everything in the fridge Grab a Protein Shake instead. Muscle Milk, a little more calories, but so yummy in all their flavors, you will not be able to put it down. And grab a bar with it, such as Low Carb Atkins or Zone Perfect Bar.

A delightful part of your meal or snack. Add Essential Fats in your Shake for more fat burning and Brain Food. Now Foods with Omega 3-6-9, caps or liquid. Health From The Sun has all the Balanced Oils. And the one that's being talked about CLA, double blind studies on this (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) increases Lean Body Mass, also decrements Abdominal fat- (Belly Fat) JARROW also has CLA. Positive Outcome can be had, but the miracle is always within you. There is no way you can just take one thing and expect results. You must have a Good Nutritional Supplement Plan, and a combination of Life Style Changes. I myself have done this, having Low Thyroid, Low Metabolism, and a very Slow Metabolizer means food absorption very slow (hereditary factors) Learning how to handle this is a step-by-step Lifetime Learn Experience. My whole agenda of 40 years is slowing down the Aging Clock, and not coming down with Degenerative Diseases, as we become more mature.

Thyroid Disorders

4Metabolism controlled by functions of changes in living cells, by which energy is produced

4Hyperthyroidism-too much Thyroxin

4Hypothyroidism- too little Thyroxin, intolerance for cold and being sluggish

4Thyroxin-affecting various stages of metabolism

NATRA-BIO -Homeopathic Thyroid, known as Thyroidinum is helpful here.

Click here for more products for Diet & Weight Loss Support

Source by Suma G Nathan

Are Kelp Benefits Good for Every Hypothyroid Person

Hypothyroidism, a condition where the body is not producing enough levels of thyroid hormone, can cause fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, depression, memory loss and a host of other symptoms. Often, hormone treatments are necessary and when it comes to prescription medicine, Synthroid is one of the most popular drugs prescribed. But what about natural remedies for hypothyroidism?

There are a number of natural ways to treat hypothyroid conditions. For instance, Kelp is one of the most popularly used for thyroid conditions. This plant is also known as rockweed.

Kelp and Thyroid

Kelp benefits come from the multiple nutrients it contains. This seaweed is packed with more than 60 minerals, elements and amino acids. But one of the key elements in kelp and, which makes it perfect for treating hypothyroidism, is iodine. Iodine is required by the body to form thyroid hormone. What’s more… Kelp has long been used as a treatment for hypothyroidism, even before it was understood that the iodine played a role. This seaweed may also be helpful for encouraging weight loss and treating low blood pressure, goiters and fatigue, all of which may be caused by a sluggish thyroid.

Kelp has become a popular ingredient used in most herbal formulas for hypothyroidism. But did you know that kelp can also be eaten in soups or salads? If you like to try kelp, soak it for an hour in water before chopping it and then add it to a salad. This will tenderize it and you’ll be able to enjoy it as you should.

Bite-sized pieces of kelp can also be roasted for a few minutes in the oven and made into a crunchy, salty snack.

Is it Kelp good for every single hypothyroid person?

When using kelp or any other seaweed containing iodine – or a natural product containing Kelp – it is important to know if you are iodine deficient. Learn why this is key and find out how you can easily determine if your system is low in iodine by visiting kelp benefits and the thyroid gland.

Source by Monica Villarreal

Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Men – Know What to Look Out For

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in men can easily be detected if you are familiar with it. The problem with a lot of male is that they tend to ignore their health issues and are less likely to visit a doctor than women. They prefer home remedies and natural treatments than submit for a health check.

Hypothyroidism is a common condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient amount of hormones which are essential to the body. There are different causes such as Hashimoto 'Disease, thyroiditis, and radiation treatment to mention a few.

Although hypothyroidism in men is less likely to develop, it is important to know how to prevent or treat this condition otherwise it will get worse. It is still slightly difficult to find resources and studies as most of the researchers are based on female thyroid problems.

Hypothyroidism symptoms in men are slightly different to that of women. Since the thyroid gland is responsible for a lot of body functions such as regulating metabolism, men are affected both physically and mentally. There are no specific signs of the disease and the symptoms are usually minor. Additionally, the signs will differ on the stage of the disease and the age of the patient.

Below are the most common HYPOTHYROIDISM IN MEN SYMPTOMMS :

• Feeling sluggish all the time
• Muscle and joint aches
• Gradual weight gain due to decreased metabolism even if appetite is affected
• Dry skin, brittle nails, and falling hair
• Constipation
• Hearing and visual difficulties
• Hooterseness
• Memory and concentration problems
Intolerance to cold
• Puffiness on eyes and extremitudes

The problem with hypothyroidism is that that it is hard to recognize and even some doctors are still not familiar with it. In fact it is usually misdiagnosed with other disorders. This is why associations and organizations fighting against this disorder are encouraging men and women who are 35 years of age and above to have regular checksups. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), blood tests, and physical checkup for goiter can help in diagnosing this.

There are also men who are more prone to having thyroid problems than others. For instance, those who already had goiter or other similar conditions or those who had radiation treatment to the thyroid and neck are more likely to develop it again. Men over 60 and those whose candidates had thyroid disorders are also high risks of underactive thyroid.

Thyroid symptoms in men should not be taken for granted. Instead, visit a physician or an endocrinologist immediately for treatment.

Source by Glenn Simons

High Thyroid Levels – Causes and Treatments

The human thyroid gland stimulates the necessary hormones that control the metabolism of our cells. The thyroid gland controls how our body uses energy by removing iodine from the blood (The result of consumption of foods such as bread, salt and seafood) and uses it to produce thyroid hormones. Sometimes you can have overactive tissue within the thyroid gland and this can result in overproduction of thyroid hormones and consequently you develop an excess of circulating free thyroid hormones called hyperthyroidism.

The excessive production of free thyroid hormones overstimulates metabolism. The result is that it exacerbates the effect of the nervous system, causing acceleration of various body systems. One of the early symptoms is the feeling like an overdose of epinephrine (adrenalin). Other symptoms include excessive sweating, fast heart beat,Increased bowel movements, nervousness and agitation. In severe cases a patient can experience gradual weight loss and fatigue. Irregular and scanty menstrual flow can occur in women.

Early symptoms of high thyroid levels, especially in the elderly women, may not be conspicuous. Advanced symptoms are easy to detect. However, in all cases, a blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis. A visible symptom is an enlarged thyroid gland. Some patient can also have smooth velvety skin and fine hair. It is advisable to see your doctor for proper diagnosis and possible treatment.

High thyroid levels is not a common disease, only an insignificant percentage of the population suffer from this disease, however, it can cause death if not treated early enough. The major treatment and general modalities employed by doctors involve initial use of suppressive thyrostatics medication, and possibly later use of permanent surgical or radioisotope therapy. The major classes of drugs used to treat these symptoms include the beta-blockers, in this class are (propranolol, metoprolo and atenolol (Tenormin).

These medications are made to counteract the effect of thyroid hormone and increase metabolism, however, they do not alter the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. Some drugs can have harmful side effect, that’s why it is good to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may decide that the best treatment for you is surgery. Surgery is to partially remove the thyroid gland (partial thyroidectomy) with the goal to remove the thyroid tissue that was producing the excessive thyroid hormone.

Source by Austin Odeon

Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism

A major problem for doctors and patients alike is confusing two conditions that have a similar name but are actually the complete opposite of each other. Hypothyroidism is when the body is lacking the hormone thyroid that is made in the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is the other way around. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland is making too much thyroid hormone in the body.

Some of the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism are exactly the same as hypothyroidism, even though the opposite effect is happening to your body.

The sunset of fatigue and tiredness is a common symptom. Other symptoms that they share are irregular menstrual periods or a complete lack of menstruation altogether. A constant weakness in your muscles and a complete lack of energy are also shared symptoms, as well as an increase in hair loss.

On the face of it, trying to tell if you have hypothyroidism or if you have hyperthyroidism can be tough for a doctor without tests, and almost impossible if you are not medically trained.

There are, however, some symptoms that can help the patient and the doctor tell which one you have.

Sufferers of hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone in the body) can expect to experience some or all of the following symptoms:

– Heart palpitations

– An intolerance to heat (as opposed to cold as with hypothyroidism)

– Feelings of nervousness at all times even though there is nothing to really feel nervous about

– Bouts of insomnia

– Feelings of not being able to catch your breath even if you have not been exercising

– A marked increase in the amount of bowel movements

– Faster heart rate even when resting

– Inability to keep your hands still which can cause you to drop things

– Warmer than normal skin and also an increased moistness to the skin

– Increased habit of starting off into space (wandering mind).

One of the problems that hyperthyroidism causes is an increase in the metabolism.

While this may sound ideal for those out there looking for the perfect diet, it's far from ideal. They will almost always feel hot, even if you're in a cold room. They can not keep weight on, even if you want to. There are exceptions, ironically, since the body is burning so many calories to heat the body, it increases the appetite, which in some people, actually causes them to gain weight because their caloric intake is increased so dramatically, even their newly racing metabolism can 't keep up with it.

Continue reading to find out how you can sign up for our free relieving hypothyroidism newsletter.

Hyperthyroidism can also be frustrating to experience since it makes a person feel exhausted, but they have an inability to sleep.

Perhaps the most sinister part of hyperthyroidism is the fact that the onset of symptoms are so gradual, most people do not notice a chance over time, so they do not report them to their doctor and drag out the diagnosis and delay treatment.

Source by Sarah Jackson

Woes from an Underactive Thyroid (Part 1)

Just below your Adam's apple sits the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland. The thyroid secretes two hormones – and these hormones have everything to do with your metabolism (the conversion of nutrients into energy); body temperature; heart rate and blood pressure; bowel function; skin, hair, and nail growth; cholesterol levels; and numerous other functions.

An underactive thyroid fails to produce enough of the hormones it is supposedly to produce. This condition is called hypothyroidism (it affects women more than men). An overactive thyroid produces too many hormones – this condition is called hyperthyroidism. Since an underactive thyroid is the most prevalent, we will limit this discussion to hypothyroidism.

There are several causes of hypothyroidism – but whatever the cause, the end result is the same: A slow metabolism which affects every single cell in your body. This leads to weight gain as well as feeling tired all of the time. Constant fatigue also affects your brain, leaving it too tired to motivate your body into action. To other people, you may appear lazy. Is it any wonder that hypothyroidism often leads to depression?

Alongside gain gain, fatigue, and depression – there are other symptoms of hypothyroidism. Poor digestion, constipation, feeling cold while those around you are warm (a particularly miserable symptom if you're going through menopause and having hot flashes too), aching muscles and joints, dry skin and brittle nails, thinning hair, irregular menstrual cycles, high cholesterol, and recurrent infections are all potential symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Four common reasons for hypothyroidism are (1) not enough of the mineral selenium, (2) a damaged thyroid gland, (3) miscommunication between the brain and the thyroid about hormone production, and (4) not enough of the mineral iodine.

Let's take a look at each dysfunction.

(1) The thyroid produces two hormones: T3 (which contains 3 iodine molecules) and T4 (which contains 4 iodine molecules). T3 is more active and about four times more potent than T4, and on an as-needed basis the body converters T4 to T3. Since rough 80% of your thyroid hormones are T4 and 20% are T3, there is plenty of T4 hanging around to be converted to T3.

Conversion takes place mostly in the thyroid gland and liver, and conversion requires a special enzyme to remove one iodine from T4 to make it into T3. That enzyme can only do its job when the mineral – selenium – is available to 'activate' the enzyme. Too little selenium, and the conversion of T4 to T3 is sluggish, slowing down your metabolism.

(2) Sometimes the body attacks its own thyroid gland through a (still) mysterious autoimmune disease mechanism. This apparently happens when the immune system creates an antibody against something else, but the antibody 'cross-reacts' and attacks the thyroid gland.

Researchers think food allergies could have been involved in producing this antibody; Egypt, during pregnancy, cells from the fetus could have been seen as foreign to the body, thus producing the antibody (helping to explain why hypothyroidism is mostly found in women).

(3) The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland – a peanut-sized gland located just under the brain. The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus – a part of the brain.

Here's how it works: When the brain detects low levels of T3 and T4 in the blood, it sends a hormone (TRH) to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then sends a hormone (TSH) to the thyroid that relates this message: Make more T3 and T4.

Any disease state involving the brain or pituitary gland could lead to a miscommunication with the thyroid about hormone levels. Most often, it is the pituitary gland that has a problem.

(4) A low iodine supply causes a problem for the thyroid in producing the (3-iodine) T3 hormone and (4-iodine) T4 hormone. This is not 'much' of a problem in the US anymore because we use iodized salt. However, if you have all but given up salt (usually to control high blood pressure), you may be low in iodine.

T3, T4, antibodies that attack the thyroid, TRH, TSH, and iodine can all be measured with lab tests to determine if you have hypothyroidism. These tests are reasonably accurate, but sometimes miss low or moderately-low hypothyroid conditions.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above for hypothyroidism, get the lab tests done.

In Part 2, I'll say a bit more about thyroid tests and share some tips for supporting your thyroid function.

Source by Sharon Moore