THYROID

Have you been told that the results of your lab tests were normal and that your thyroid didn't appear to be the cause of your fatigue, hair loss, etc.?  Or if you are already taking thyroid hormones you are told that the lab results are now normal but you continue to suffer the same symptoms as before?  Did you know that every cell in your body has receptor sites for thyroid hormones?  Are you aware that the number one cause of low thyroid in the United States is not the lack of iodine, as in the rest of the world, but it is an issue with the immune system?

The thyroid is a key component of the body's metabolism.  If the thyroid is not functioning properly there is a myriad of symptoms that can occur.  Common signs/symptoms of low thyroid malfunction:

     -Fatigue

     -Depression

     -Weight gain even with low calorie diet

     -Constipation

     -Morning headaches tht wear off as the day progresses

     -Poor circulation in hands/feet

     -Low body temperature

     -Feel cold when others don't

     -Brain fog

     -Hair falling out

     -Dry or brittle hair

     -Loss of outer 1/3 of eyebrow

The thyroid is a gland that is located in the lower region of the neck.  It releases two specific hormones that are responsible for delivering energy to the various cells in the body.  Those hormones are "Thyroxine" or "T4" and Triiodothyronine" or "T3."  These hormones affect the following systems/functions in your body:

     -Bone Metabolism

     -Immune System

     -Endocrine System (adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, stomach, pancreas, etc.)

     -Brain/Nervous System

     -Liver and Gall Bladder

     -Growth Hormone

     -Digestion

     -Fat Burning

     -Insulin and glucose metabolism

     -Healthy cholesterol levels

     -Heart health

 

THE THYROID STORY

How the thyroid works is what I call "The Thyroid Story."  The thyroid doesn't function independently.  The story begins in the Hypothalamus (a gland in the brain) that reads the amount of T4 that is in the body.  It sends signals to the pituitary gland via Thytrophin Releasing Hormone that directs it to increase or decrease the amount of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) it is sending to the thyroid gland.  TSH causes an enzyme (TPO) to stimulate the release of T4 (93% of output) and T3 (7% of output).  These hormones are bound to a protein (Thyroid Binding Globulin) and travel to where they are needed in the body.

 

Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Because what the body uses the most is T3, and only 7% of the thyroid output is T3, the body has to convert T4 to T3, and this takes place through various means.  In the liver 60% of T4 is converted to T3.  Another 20% of T4 is converted to T3 through the gut.  Another small percentage is converted in the peripheral cells, while another percentage becomes Reverse T3.  One can see that in order to have sufficient T3 a person's liver, gut function, and peripheral cells need to be functioning properly.

 

Thyroid Blood Testing

It is very typical for doctors to order only one to three thyroid markers to evaluate thyroid function, even though that gives only limited understanding of that person's thyroid story.  Commonly ordered are:

     -TSH (Sometimes this is the only one)

     -T4 (Sometimes Free T4)

     -Free T3

The panel of tests that are ordered in this office includes:

      -TSH

     -Total T4

     -FTI (Free Thyroxine Index)

     -Free T4 (not bound to a protein)

     -Total T3

     -Free T3 (this is the active thyroid hormone)

     -T3 Uptake

     -Reverse T3

     -TPO and TGB Antibodies (checking for Hashimoto's)

     -TSI Antibodies (Graves Disease)

These tests give a clearer picture of what is happening with a patient's thyroid than just the one to three tests commonly run.  It is critical to know the cause of a person's thyroid symptoms so that the cause can be treated.  As one can see there is a lot more to thyroid function than just monitoring TSH.  Is the liver functioning properly?  Is the gut functioning properly?  Is there inflammation in the body?  We try to identify the cause and then work with the patient to address that.

 

SIX MAJOR THYROID PATTERNS

     1.  Primary Hypothyroidism

     2.  Hypothyroidism secondary to hypopituitary

     3.  Thyroid Underconversion

     4.  Thyroid Overconversion, Decreased TBG

     5.  Thyroid Binding Globulin elevation

     6.  Thyroid Resistance

 

1.  Primary Hypothyroidism

      The thyroid gland just doesn't produce enough hormones so the pituitary gland increases the amount of TSH it pumps (high TSH).  The most common cause of this in the U.S. is Hashimotos Hypothyroid, an autoimmune disease.  This pattern may require Hormone Replacement Therapy.

2.  Hypothyroidism Secondary to Pituitary Hypofunction

     In this pattern the pituitary gland doesn't produce enough TSH (low TSH) for several possible reason:

         -Chronic Stress

         -Hormone medications (Synthroid, Levothyroxin, etc.)

         -Postpartum Depression (pregnancy can cause pituitary fatigue)

         -Cellular Resistance, where the pituitary no longer responds

3.  Thyroid Under Conversion

     In this pattern the thyroid is producing enough T4 but there is decreased conversion of T4 to T3 from several causes:

         -Chronic Adrenal Stress which leads to increased Cortisol

         -Chronic Inflammation

     TSH is normal with this condition.

4.  Thyroid Over Conversion and Decreased TBG

     This pattern occurs when too much T3 is produced which overwhelms the cells, or too little Thyroid Binding Globulin is produced which results in too much Free      T3. Possible causes:

          -Elevated levels of testosterone in women most often asssociated with insulin resistance, especially in women.  The cells are not "listening" to insulin so                  more is secreted which leads to increased testosterone levels, and in females can lead to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the number one cause of              infertility in the US.

          -Those who have already developed diabetes and are taking insulin.

          -Those using testosterone creams

     TSH is normal with this condition.

5.  Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG) Elevation

     This occurs when there is too much TBG in the blood causing too little Free T3, which is the most active form used by the body.  Common causes are:

           -Oral contraceptives

           -Estrogen Replacement Therapy

6.  Thyroid Resistance

     This pattern occurs when the thyroid is secreting enough hormones but the hormones are not being utilized by the cells.  Possible causes:

          -Chronic stress which causes the adrenal gland to produce too much cortisol which can cause the cells to be resistant to thyroid hormones.

          -High Homocysteine

          -Unknown

     TSH is normal with this condition.

If identified early and proper nutritional support is given soon enough, a person may be able to address the causes naturally and thus affect the symptoms.

In addition to the thyroid panel discussed above, other testing may be ordered if needed.  A comprehensive blood panel (including the thyroid tests), Adrenal Stress Index, Food Sensitivity Tests (Gluten, Soy, etc.), and Stool Microbial Ecology Profile may be ordered if it is felt that the information would be helpful.

 

HASHIMOTOS THYROIDITIS and GRAVES DISEASE

These conditions are due to an immune system problem that happens to be attacking the thyroid gland.  To treat the thyroid without addressing the immune system would be an inadequate treatment, yet that is the standard medical treatment.  In this office we seek to find the cause and address that.

 

WHAT DISTINGUISHES OUR OFFICE FROM OTHERS YOU HAVE VISITED?

We take the results of the various testing that we perform including the needed labs, neurological testing, bioresonance testing, and a thorough case history, to evaluate a patient's health status.  We use functional medicine, functional neurology, and Field Control Therapy to address the causes of patients' symptoms, not just the symptoms!

 

CALL OUR OFFICE (208) 322-4555 IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT OR CONSULTATION WITH DR. OAKES