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Posted on 12-11-2015

Let's Talk About The Science Behind The Thyroid & Hypothyroidism

What is the thyroid gland? The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in our entire body. The thyroid has a hand in virtually EVERY body system, which means that what might seem to be a problem with the thyroid may NOT be the result of a dysfunctioning thyroid gland at all. Any number of other endocrine glands, such as the adrenals could be the culprit or fluctuating blood sugar levels, or too much estrogen. To treat these different conditions, one must entertain healthy lifestyle changes, exercise, and specific nutritional support based on one's individual chemistry. 

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the lower part of the neck. The two lobes on either side of your neck are connected by a small band of tissue called an isthmus. It is difficult to feel unless you are thin or have a growth or enlargement of the thyroid. 

The thyroid “runs” our metabolism. It is essentially the “gas pedal” of the body. Thyroid hormones have a direct effect on MOST organs, including the heart, which beats faster and harder under the influence of increased thyroid hormones (this is why heart problems can often accompany chronic thyroid problems in women, and why heart problems are more common in women under the age of 50).

Now, T3 is the more biologically active hormone. It’s more important for cellular function, and in fact, 80% of T4 is converted to T3 in the body’s peripheral tissues. Basically, T4 is just a precursor for the more active hormone, T3.

One of the problems in some thyroid disorders is that you may have trouble converting T4 to T3 in your tissues. Have you been checked for this? This can create a deficiency of T3, disrupting the body’s ability to properly regulate metabolism, which leads to specific symptoms.

Have you ever been told your labs are "normal" only to suffer with the same thyroid symptoms you had before you began hormone therapy? Are you aware that EVERY cell in your body has receptor sites for thyroid hormone? Did you know that the most common cause of hypothyroidism is NOT a problem in your thyroid gland but in your Immune System? And remember, this is why we FOOD TESTING is so important and one of the main foundations in treating low thyroid patients at our clinic. 

This very important component of the body has a direct impact on the metabolism that is experienced in the body. Individuals that suffer from issues with this gland may suffer from several different health complications. These include, but are not at all limited to, issues with the weight, the mood, and the energy that is experienced by the person.

Many individuals experience symptoms of thyroid disease and do not even realize that the experiences they are having could indicate a potentially dangerous complication. Its sole responsibility is to secrete certain hormones throughout the body. There are two specific hormones that are released by this specific gland.

The first is known as “Thyroxine” or “T4″ and the second is known as “Triiodothyronine” or “T3″. The hormones that are released are responsible for delivering energy to the various cells in the body. There are many complications that may occur with the thyroid.

​Like we've already talked about in another blog article, the consequences of low thyroid on the rest of your body are vast. The thyroid directly supports the following systems: 

  • Bone metabolism
  • Immune System
  • Brain/Nervous System
  • Endocrine System (adrenal glands, ovaries, testes)
  • Gastrointestinal function
  • Liver and gallbladder
  • Growth/Sex hormones
  • Fat Burning
  • Insulin and Glucose Metabolism
  • Healthy cholesterol levels
  • Proper stomach acid

Thyroid “Cross Talk”

The thyroid relies upon other organs and systems just as these systems rely upon it. We call this “cross talk” between the systems. “Cross Talk” happens between the following systems:

  • Thyroid & Immune System
  • Thyroid & Gut
  • Thyroid & Brain
  • Thyroid & Endocrine System

Thyroid Basics

The Hypothalamus sends signal to pituitary gland via TRH. The Pituitary gland send signal to Thyroid via TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). TSH causes enzyme TPO to stimulate release of T4 (93%) and T3 (7%). These hormones ride the “taxi cab”- thyroid binding globulin (TBG).

Thyroid Hormone Conversion

In the liver 60% of T4 is converted to T3. Poor liver function will cause poor T4 to T3 conversion. 20% of T4 is sent to gut to be converted to T3. If you have poor gut flora it will cause poor conversion of T4 to T3. Also, 20% ofT4 is sent to peripheral cells for conversion to T3 using 5’diodianaze enzyme. A small percentage T4 goes to Reverse T3

A True Thyroid Function Analysis

Are you aware that there are 11 lab markers to properly evaluate your thyroid yet almost all doctors only order two?

  1. TSH (this is what conventionally is ordered)
  2. Total T4 (Thyroxine)

But what about these tests?

  1. Total T4 (thyroxine)
  2. FTI (free thyroxine index) (amount of T4 available)
  3. FT4 (free throxine) (affected by prescription drugs)
  4. T3 Uptake (How much of T3 is taken up by TBG)
  5. FT3 (free triodothyroxine) (Active Thyroid Hormone)
  6. Reverse T3 (Body can not use)
  7. TPO and TBG Antibodies (Hashimotos)
  8. TSH Antibodies (Graves Disease)
  9. TBG levels

How can you manage health without all the information? Burning out the thyroid gland with hormone replacement is an old model. Its apparent it DOES NOT work.

At Natural Health Solutions, we get to the underlying root cause and then work to correct the cause vs synthetic thyroid which you'll be on for the rest of your life and likely still suffer with low thyroid symptoms even on the medications. 

​We hope this article finds you doing well. Remember, at Natural Health Solutions in Bloomington, MN we specialize in functional medicine, weight loss and food sensitivity testing. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your concerns with Dr. Mannie. 952-891-2225 Please remember, you don't need to be close to our clinic...we work remotely with patients all across the United States. 

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