Classic low thyroid symptoms include,
cold hands/feet, shaky hands, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, weight gain, depression, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, muscle pain rough skin, thin hair and lateral eyebrows, hoarseness, brain fog, hypertension, edema at ankles or around eyes, heat or cold intolerance and constipation.
As some of these symptoms overlap adrenal issues and because the thyroid is difficult to fix with low adrenals, these glands should be evaluated in their function while fixing low thyroid. When we look at low thyroid, often the tests that are focused on are TSH and free T4. Just as decreased insulin resistance leads to diabetes and may show completely normal blood glucose, so does hypothyroidism show with normal TSH and T4 values. The active form of the thyroid hormone, T3, is often overlooked. Even more overlooked is reverse T3, which is produced in extra amounts in times of stress. Reverse T3 has the issue of binding to the T3 receptor but has no physiologic activity – certainly a problem when your tests show normal levels of everything else.
T4 – T3 conversion is hampered by this stress (also inflammation, smoking, cancer, mental/physical stress). Certain medications can also contribute to this problem, as can deficiencies in certain elements like selenium and iodine. OTC supplements can help with this conversion. Low T3 and high reverse T3 have been shown to give unfavorable outcomes in heart disease. Atrial fibrillation was more common in these patients and overall mortality was higher.
Ask us about supplementing T3 with your T4. Not all patients require T3 but the majority do. We can help guide you and your physician in exploring this route of therapy.
R.Rothenberg, Kris Hart, Roger Rothenberg, Hormone Optimization in Preventive/Regenerative Medicine second edition. California Healthspan Institute