by Deb Read
Many of us often feel hot, awake and hungry whereas others may feel cold and sleepy, and are prone to gaining weight. The problem could be one’s thyroid gland and either the under or over production of thyroid hormone. More than 13 million Americans currently suffer from thyroid disorder and the imbalances are more prevalent in women.
The thyroid hormones are metabolic hormones secreted by the thyroid gland that regulate temperature, metabolism, cerebral function and energy. They protect against cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, fatigue, weight gain and memory loss.
More than 200 symptoms are related to thyroid imbalance. When the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone, the body uses energy at a slower pace than it should. This condition, an under-active thyroid, is called hypothyroidism. Some of the main symptoms that are seen in patients with low thyroid function are: thin and sparse hair, a poor sense of well-being, constipation, depression and low energy. The thyroid can also produce too much hormone, making the body use energy faster than it should. This is called hyperthyroidism. Although this is rarer, symptoms can include inability to tolerate heat, nervousness, rapid heartbeat and sleep disturbances.
Genetics, iodine deficiency, pregnancy, toxins, stress and autoimmune dis-eases are contributing factors to thyroid disease, but the underlying causes are not well understood.
Many common problems such as fatigue, depression and difficulty losing weight can be due to low thyroid. Many people, especially women, are not getting the treatment that they need. This is be-cause severely low thyroid levels are often not picked up by the standard TSH, T4 and T3 testing, which is the only testing done about 90% of the time.
New studies indicate, however, that the ratio of active thyroid hormone (T3) to the T3 blocking hormone (reverse T3) must be determined to accurately determine an individual’s true thyroid levels according to a University of Maryland Medical Center 2016 study. This can often reveal a problem of hypothyroidism even though the standard tests are normal. This test is rarely done, however, even though this is the most important determinate of thyroid function. Individuals on thyroid hormone also often receive improper doses, usually too low, when only the TSH is used for dosing according to the study.
There’s mounting evidence that hypothyroidism is present in the majority of and possibly all fatigued patients. The problem is that standard blood testing that consists of TSH, T4 and T3 does not detect it. Thus, many patients are erroneously told over and over that their thyroid levels are fine. TSH is secreted by the pituitary in the brain, telling the thyroid to secrete T4, which is not the active thyroid hormone. T4 must then be converted in the body to the active thy-roid hormone T3. When T4 and T3 levels drop, the TSH should increase indicating hypothyroidism. This is the standard way to diagnose hypothyroidism. There are, however, many conditions that result in hypothyroidism are not diagnosed using the standard TSH, T4 and T3 testing. This method misses thyroid problems with patients 90% of the time.
Biosymmetry performs a thorough thyroid testing analysis ensuring nothing is missed. Dr. Chris Pate, who is board certified in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine and has additional certi-fications from the National Menopause Society, understands the intricacies of the thyroid gland and how to best treat patients that are having thyroid issues. Biosymmetry can help you get to the root of the problem.
Deb Read is a Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy consultant, nurse and office manager for Biosymmetry, located at 265 Racine Dr., Ste. 102, Wilmington. For more Dr. Chris Pate information or to make an appointment for lab work and a consult with Dr. Pate, call 910-399-6661.