Does Your Thyroid Medication Work?

Hypothyroidism is the most frequent disorder arising from hormone deficiency. About 27 million Americans have underactive thyroid function. Most have an autoimmune thyroid condition called Hashimoto's disease, which is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the industrialized countries.

Currently, synthetic T4 thyroid medication is a standard method of hormone replacement therapy for people with hypothyroidism. The goal of the treatment is to bring the patient into a stable condition where the TSH is in the normal range.

Although the use of T4 thyroid medication has been accepted for many years in conventional medicine, many patients continue to experience symptoms and signs of underactive thyroid even if their lab test results show normal.

The thyroid gland produces about 20% of T3 hormone and 80% comes from an inactive prohormone T4 through conversion in the liver, kidneys, intestines and the cells. The patients who are on the T4 medication depend on these conversions in the peripheral tissues as the only source of an active form of the thyroid hormone T3.
The absence of T3 production by the thyroid gland and impaired hormone conversions could make a significant physiological impact leaving the patient with vague hypothyroid symptoms. Patients who do not feel well on the T4 only prescription hormone could benefit from a combined T4 and T3 type of drug:
  • T3 medication called Cytomel and synthetic T4
  • Natural desiccated thyroid
  • Synthetic T4 and compounding pharmacy slow release T3 medication
Combined T4 and T3 medication can be helpful to the people with impaired thyroid hormone conversion. However, other thyroid dysfunctions can leave the patient with numerous untreated hypothyroid symptoms. In addition to the autoimmune condition, patients with Hashimoto's could have other thyroid defects caused by the inability of thyroid hormone to enter the cell and perform its metabolic action.

Any thyroid medication currently used by conventional medicine does not address the cause of the Hashimoto's disease which is an overreaction of the immune system. Thyroid drugs replace the hormone that cannot be produced by the thyroid gland. However, it does not stop the autoimmune attack that causes the disease. The destruction of the gland continues, and the patient needs higher doses of medication in due time.

There is a new approach in the treatment of Hashimoto's as an autoimmune disease. The goal is to identify the contributing factors to the thyroid autoimmunity and balance the immune system using nutrition and natural compounds to stop the destruction of the thyroid gland.


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