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  • Animated Video: All You Need to Know About Thyroid Hormone Replacement



    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is approximately two inches long and is located at the front of your neck below your Adam's apple. The thyroid plays a major role in growth and metabolism by releasing the hormones thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3, which regulate your body's ability to convert calories and oxygen into energy. The hypothalamus in your brain produces thyrotropin-releasing hormone or TRH, which stimulates the release of thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH from your pituitary gland. TSH then travels to your thyroid and prompts the release of T4 and T3 into your bloodstream. Under normal conditions, your thyroid produces approximately 80% T4 and 20% T3, with T3 being four times more potent than T4.

    Every cell in your body has receptors for thyroid hormones affecting your cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, protein synthesis, body temperature regulation, cholesterol production, glucose metabolism, cognitive function, and your gastrointestinal tract. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disorder with women being impacted more often than men.

    Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder characterized by fatigue, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, cold intolerance, irregular menstruation, depression, muscle pain, and cognitive impairment. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland producing an insufficient amount of hormones necessary for optimal metabolic function. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body produces antibodies that attack and destroy thyroid gland tissue.

    Other causes of hypothyroidism include an iodine deficiency, a pituitary tumor, radiation therapy on your face, neck or chest, pregnancy and childbirth, the aging process, and an under conversion of T4 to T3 due to inflammation, stress, a selenium deficiency, and overexposure to fluoride, chlorine or mercury. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, you should request that your family physician order blood tests that include thyroid stimulating hormone, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies, if he or she suspects Hashimoto's. When interpreted correctly, lab results can help to determine the root cause of your thyroid dysfunction and the appropriate clinical interventions.

    Unfortunately, reverse T3 is often excluded by physicians ordering lab tests for hypothyroidism because they mistakenly believe that reverse T3 is an inactive metabole with no physiological effect on the body. Not addressing reverse T3 has left many patients suffering from hypothyroidism, despite their other lab tests coming back within the normal ranges. However, reverse T3 does play a major role in metabolic function when your body's under extreme stress by acting as an emergency brake to conserve energy. Under normal conditions, T4 is converted into the more active T3 that binds to cellular receptors all throughout your body to exert powerful metabolic effects.

    GET YOUR THYROID TESTS HERE

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Animated Video: All You Need to Know About Thyroid Hormone Replacement
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. DKNera's Avatar
      DKNera -
      @JWSimpkins, Thank you for sharing this. Currently going through the process of addressing my hypothyroidism. This was a really good video that explains everything in one of the clearest, most detailed manner I've come across.
    1. Blackhawk's Avatar
      Blackhawk -
      Ditto. Wish I had seen this when I started learning about thyroid!
    1. Vince's Avatar
      Vince -
      It's not the hormone that harming your life it's a doctors that don't know how to treat it
    1. Nelson Vergel's Avatar
      Nelson Vergel -
      Jason

      You have come a long way. I love how much work you put on these videos!
    1. Vince Carter's Avatar
      Vince Carter -
      Clear and concise..>THANKS!!
    1. Vince's Avatar
      Vince -
      There's one thing I believe you missed, how does free T3 affect your LDL cholesterol numbers. I have read that free T3 activates your LDL receptors in your liver and helps to improve your LDL cholesterol.
    1. Blackhawk's Avatar
      Blackhawk -
      Hey, it's an intro to RT3, there are many factors pertaining to thyroid that he didn't cover. Iron, B12, deiodinases, hashimotos etc.
    1. JWSimpkins's Avatar
      JWSimpkins -
      Quote Originally Posted by DKNera View Post
      @JWSimpkins, Thank you for sharing this. Currently going through the process of addressing my hypothyroidism. This was a really good video that explains everything in one of the clearest, most detailed manner I've come across.
      Thanks DKNera, I'm glad I could help!
    1. JWSimpkins's Avatar
      JWSimpkins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nelson Vergel View Post
      Jason

      You have come a long way. I love how much work you put on these videos!
      Thanks Nelson, I appreciate it!
    1. JWSimpkins's Avatar
      JWSimpkins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk View Post
      Ditto. Wish I had seen this when I started learning about thyroid!
      Thanks for watching Blackhawk!
    1. JWSimpkins's Avatar
      JWSimpkins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
      It's not the hormone that harming your life it's a doctors that don't know how to treat it
      Yes, it can be tough to find a doctor skilled in treating thyroid conditions.
    1. JWSimpkins's Avatar
      JWSimpkins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vince Carter View Post
      Clear and concise..>THANKS!!
      Thanks for watching Vince!
    1. Tommy Wall's Avatar
      Tommy Wall -
      I wonder why why GPs are so reluctant to order a full panel. Is it because they donīt know to interprete the values or could it be that they were tought that Rt3 is nothing to worry about and as long that they other values are within range they think is fine. My GP is a very good doctor but when is come to Thyroide she never order full panel TSH, Ft4 and t3 I donīt know what she going to find out with this.
    1. CoastWatcher's Avatar
      CoastWatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Wall View Post
      I wonder why why GPs are so reluctant to order a full panel. Is it because they donīt know to interprete the values or could it be that they were tought that Rt3 is nothing to worry about and as long that they other values are within range they think is fine. My GP is a very good doctor but when is come to Thyroide she never order full panel TSH, Ft4 and t3 I donīt know what she going to find out with this.
      Sadly, I think your suggestion - that the don't know how to interpret/understand - the ins and outs of thyroid diagnosis...and we pay for their ignorance.