Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

(818) 887-2720

Get instant health recommendations tailored just for you in minutes!

Contact Us
Thyroid Management 2018-04-24T07:31:46+00:00

Thyroid Management

The vicious cycle of hypothyrodism

Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and they are essential in maintaining homeostasis in the body. Symptoms from thyroid dysfunction can spin around in a vicious circular form. What this means is that constant physiological or emotional stress may lead to a hypothyroidism, or a drop in thyroid levels, which slows down metabolism. From an evolutionary perspective, decreasing metabolism is the body’s protective coping mechanism in stress events to conserve energy in order to optimize survival. However, in today’s environment, decreased metabolism results in weight gain even without overeating, fatigue and depression. Weight gain, fatigue and depression, will in turn, exacerbate hypothyroidism and so the vicious cycle continues.

Some individuals may have trouble losing unwanted weight due to thyroid dysfunction. Yo-yo dieting, stress, exposure to unavoidable toxins or pre-existing disorders such as autoimmune diseases will cause hypothyroidism, which makes it difficult for the individual to lose weight.

In some studies, participants burn 500 to 600 calories less per day due to slowed metabolism.

” I developed hypothyroidism… Basically, David’s attention to finding things that work specifically for you saved me in a lot of ways. ” Rachel Emmers

Thyroid Hormone Production Testing for thyroid hormone deficiencies vary between physician practices. In order to understand the benefits of testing for one clinical figure over another, it is beneficial to first understand the different forms of thyroid hormones in our body. Within our bloodstream, there are four different forms of thyroid hormones floating around, each with a different function –Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) thyroxine (T4) triiodothyronine (T3) and reverse triiodothyronine (rT3). Two glands are also involved in terms of thyroid hormones – the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland. The pituitary gland is a little area located within our brain while the thyroid gland is the butterfly-shaped structure that sits on our esophagus. T3 levels within the pituitary gland regulate the release of TSH, which travels to the thyroid gland to release both T4 and T3 into the bloodstream.

Activation of thyroid hormone T4 is converted into the active T3 or the inactive reverse T3 by several different enzymes (proteins that speed up chemical reactions) There are three types of enzymes involved in thyroid hormone conversions: D1, D2 and D3. D2 is solely located in the pituitary gland, and it converts T4 into the active hormone T3. The T3 made in the pituitary then stimulates the production of TSH, which then travels to the thyroid gland. TSH acts on the thyroid gland to release both T4 and T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that binds to receptors to regulate metabolism. T4 is the precursor to T3. The T4 found in the blood stream then has several fates. It can be taken up by the tissues and converted into the active T3 by D1. Alternatively, it can also be converted into Reverse T3 (rT3) in the blood stream by D3. rT3 inhibits T3 from doing its job by competitively binding to receptors. One can think of rT3 as a reservoir for thyroid hormone when the body thinks that not much of thyroid hormone is needed at the time.

Regulating the amount of active thyroid hormone Regulation of the body’s thyroid levels happens on an enzymatic level by D1, D2 and D3, which convert from the inactive form of thyroid hormone to the active form. For example, during stress, insulin resistance, pain, dieting, excessive exercise, inflammation, and exposure to environmental toxins such as bpa, plastics, pesticides and mercury, D1 is down-regulated, resulting in a drop of tissue levels of active T3. At the same time, D3 is up-regulated, increasing the level of rT3 in the blood that compete with whatever T3 that is left. In addition, D2 is up-regulated, so the level of T3 in the pituitary gland actually increases and a higher level of TSH is released into the blood.

Not all thyroid hormone tests are equal Choosing the right clinical markers to delineate thyroid deficiency is difficult. In many cases, physicians will look at TSH, T4 and T3 levels in the blood to paint a picture of thyroid health because tissue levels of these hormones are difficult to obtain. However, serum levels of TSH, T4 and T3 will remain relative the same because remember, the consequences of decreased activity of D2 manifest in the tissues and not in blood. But, less of the active T3 will be available for tissue use. In this case, testing for rT3 in blood is helpful, because the increase of rT3 in blood indicates that D3 has become more active, in reaction to any stressful event that the body experiences.

At David Allen Nutrition, we look carefully on your rT3 figure to gauge your thyroid function, along with your T4, T3 and TSH. The consequences of hypothyroidism are vast. During the state of tissue-level thyroid deficiency, not only is metabolism slowed but also the chances for heart failure increase. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight retention, frequent tendency to get cold and dry skin.

“Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight retention, frequent tendency to get cold and dry skin.”

Thyroid hormone is especially important during pregnancy. Neonatal hypothyroidism has been found in studies to impair learning ability for years after the infant is born. The IQ of the babies from hypothyroid mothers also decreases.

The disparity between different physician practices is also reflected in treatment methods. A common treatment of hypothyroidism is with the supplementation of T4. However, simply supplementing with T4 may not be sufficient when rT3 levels are high because rT3 competes with T3. For depressed and bipolar patients, research shows that T3 supplementation has been helpful.

Stress will increase the body’s production of cortisol, which decreases immune function. To treat the decreased immunity, thyroid supplementation has proven to be helpful in reversing the stress-induced reduction in immunity.

Thyroid insufficiency in the body disrupts the body’s maintenance of homeostasis. Symptoms are life-changing and worsen as one ages. Testing for thyroid insufficiency is controversial and often times, insufficiencies can go on undetected by healthcare practitioners. Once identified, thyroid insufficiencies can be fixed with proper treatment and supplementation.

Ready To Change?

Book an appointment