Thyroid Hormones

Low Thyroid function is sadly underdiagnosed.  Conventional physicians without Functional Medicine training rely on inadequate lab testing and reference ranges far too broad to identify many cases of low Thyroid function.  This leaves many women (and men) undiagnosed – and sadly untreated for a condition critical for optimal health. 

Thyroid Hormones are well known to be primarily responsible for our metabolism, influencing how much energy our cells produce and thus how vibrant and focused we feel, and how robust our Immune System can be.

But our energy level is just a single factor of our metabolism.  Our Metabolism is actually the determinant of many more aspects of our health – which play important roles in our overall wellness and vitality.

What are the symptoms of Low Thyroid Function?

When our Thyroid Hormones are low, it is common to experience fatigue.  But fatigue isn’t always present with low Thyroid function.  The following symptoms show you just how varied signs and symptoms can be – and are all reasons to carefully evaluate your Thyroid function:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and/or brittle nails
  • Dry and/or thinning hair
  • Eyebrow thinning
  • Enlargement in the neck (goiter)
  • Puffy face and general puffiness
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle aches and/or cramps
  • Joint stiffness including Frozen Shoulder
  • Arthritis
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Anemia
  • Memory loss / Dementia
  • Depression, Anxiety
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Increased sensitivity to the cold
  • Heavy periods
  • Skipped periods
  • Infertility

How is Thyroid Function Best Evaluated?

If you have only been seen by a Conventional physician, it’s a good possibility that only your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) was assessed.  Sometimes you’re lucky enough to also get a Free T4 level.  But this is far from what you need to adequately assess for optimal Thyroid function.

Anti-Aging Specialists go far beyond this basic and suboptimal testing practice.

A True Comprehensive Thyroid Workup includes:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Total T4 (TT4)
  • Free T4 (FT4)
  • Total T3 (TT3)
  • Free T3 (FT3)
  • Reverse T3 (rT3)
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOAb)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormones Receptor Antibodies (TRAb) for Hyperthyroidism

Which Thyroid Hormone is the Most Important?

Here is a diagram to follow along as you read the most interesting story of how your body gets the most important Thyroid Hormone for your metabolism. 

Free T3 is your most active Thyroid Hormone and the hormone that determines your metabolism. 

In fact, it is four times as active as your Free T4.  But your Thyroid gland makes mostly T4 and just a very trace amount of T3.  Most of your T3 comes from the conversion of T4 to T3. 

Most of both T4 and T3 are also bound to protein.  And when any hormone is bound to protein – it is inactivated.  Only the FREE T4 and FREE T3 (not bound to protein) are active hormones.  Measuring Total T4 and Total T3 tells you how much thyroid hormones you have all together – counting what is bound to protein, and what is “Free” (not bound to protein).

There is another step to fully understand the process of making Free T3, the hormone that defines your true metabolism.  In addition to your Free T4 converting into T3, it also converts to Reverse T3.  And Reverse T3 is also completely inactive

So, you see, there are quite a few opportunities for your body to lack the ability for the processes of making Free T3.

Finally, one more piece to the puzzle which only Functional / Anti-Aging physicians pay attention to, is how certain nutritional deficiencies, as well as genetic SNPs, can result in poor Thyroid Hormone production. 

In this next diagram, you can see the unique needs of the Thyroid Gland and how nutritional deficiencies can result in Low Thyroid Hormone production.  Multiple vitamins and minerals are necessary to carry out the processes of proper Thyroid Hormone production.

We, at Personal Wellness Medicine, have mastered Thyroid Hormone balancing, and are ready to help you get your Thyroid function to optimal level so that you can get energized and focused and assure your immune function is at its finest!  You deserve it!  We all do!  And it’s worth accomplishing!

Reserve an appointment with Dr. Karen to discuss your personal needs here: 

Not sure about your thyroid?  Here is a Thyroid Hormone questionnaire that will help. 

Reserve a Complimentary Call with Dr. Karen

Not sure if your Symptoms are related to Thyroid? Take our Thyroid Questionnaire Here.

Thyroid Questionnaire

Is your thyroid functioning optimally? Take the following quiz and find out.