Thyroid Replacement Therapy
Thyroid Replacement Therapy Restoring Balance for Optimal Health Introduction
The thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck, plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions. When this gland fails to produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism ensues. Fortunately, medical science has provided an effective solution in the form of thyroid replacement therapy. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of thyroid replacement therapy, its benefits, considerations, and how it helps individuals restore balance for optimal health
Understanding Thyroid Replacement
Thyroid replacement therapy involves the administration of thyroid hormones to compensate for the insufficient production of these hormones by the thyroid gland. The most commonly prescribed synthetic hormone is levothyroxine, which is similar to the body’s natural thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4). Once ingested, levothyroxine is converted into triiodothyronine (T3), the active form of thyroid hormone, by the body
Benefits of Thyroid Replacement Therapy
Challenges with using
only T4 Therapy
Most people will do poorly on levothyroxine therapy only. The major reason is that the body needs to convert the t4 to the active form of thyroid which is T3. Stress, metabolic syndrome, poor diet, environmental toxins all negatively affect the ability to convert t4 to t3. Standard thyroid labs that only look at TSH and free t4 levels in serum often miss treatment goals because they fail to look at free t3 and reverse t3 levels. The ratio between free t3 and reverse T3 is a much greater indicator of overall thyroid function. Using t3 only therapy or a combination of t4 and t3 that is specifically compounded for the individual patient provides for an improved clinical response vs t4 only therapy. It is vitally important to check these levels to get a more comprehensive view of the clinical picture. Often patients feel much better when they are at the high end of range of free t3 (3.6 and above) and a low normal range of reverse t3 (between 8-12)
Addressing antibodies (TgAB and TPOAb)
Initial thyroid labs should always include testing for thyroid antibodies, both Thyroglobulin Antibodies and Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies. If these are elevated, the thyroid condition could be classified as more of an auto-immune issue than a thyroid issue. Elevated antibodies indicate that the immune system is up-regulated and this needs to be addressed first. Often necessary steps include: gluten free diet, elimination of dairy products, healing the lining of the gut, and calming the immune system. This process can take upwards of 90-150 days to adequately address and fix. Thyroid therapy can be used during this time, but therapy will likely have to be modified as the immune system re-regulates. Certain supplements such as Selenium, moducare, and Gut healing protocols are extremely beneficial as well as the compounded medication Low dose Naltrexone (or LDN)
Testing for Ferritin and Vitamin D
Both ferritin and vitamin D work at the thyroid receptor of each cell. Vitamin D levels should be between 60-80 (optimal levels) and Ferritin levels should be 80-200. Ferritin levels below 40 is often associated with hair loss and ferritin levels below 80 are often associated with the inability to grow new hair. Iron bis-glycinate as supplement works well to increase ferritin. The dose of iron bis-glycinate is dependent on how low the ferritin level is at testing. It normally takes about 90 days to adequately raise levels so retesting at the 90 day mark is crucial. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended at 5000-1000 IU daily depending on levels at testing. Vitamin D should be taken in combination with Vitamin K to maintain proper calcium regulation.
Considerations and Precautions
While thyroid replacement therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Thyroid replacement therapy has revolutionized the management of hypothyroidism, enabling individuals to regain their vitality and overall well-being. By restoring hormonal balance and addressing the underlying deficiencies, it helps alleviate symptoms and reduces the risk of complications associated with an underactive thyroid. Remember, proper medical guidance and regular monitoring are essential for optimizing the benefits of thyroid replacement therapy. If you suspect you may have hypothyroidism, consult your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.