How Does A Hormone Affect A Target Cell
A target cell responds to a hormone because it bears receptors for the hormone. In very basic terms, binding of hormone to receptor triggers a cascade of reactions within the cell that affects function. Additional details about receptor structure and function are provided in the section on hormone mechanism of action.
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Weight Gain: Thyroid Gland To Blame
Even Low-Normal Thyroid Function Could Tip the Scales, Study Shows
March 24, 2008 — If you’re tempted to blame your thyroid gland for the numbers on the scale, researchers have some good news and some not-so-good news for you.
It’s long been known that a very overactive thyroid can be associated with weight loss, and a very underactive thyroid linked to weight gain. But the new research suggests that even variations within the normal range of thyroid function are associated with weight changes.
The bad news: It’s too soon to know what, if anything, to do about it.
The Other Side Of The Coin
While an underactive thyroid can cause a slew of problems, so can the opposite issue. Your thyroid can be too active, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. When your thyroid is overactive, everything speeds up: Your heart beats faster, you sweat more, and you may lose weight for no apparent reason. You might also feel nervous or irritable.
About 1.2 percent of the U.S. population has hyperthyroidism, most often due to Graves’ disease. Another autoimmune disorder, Graves’ causes your immune system to mistakenly attack the thyroid and prompt it to make too much thyroid hormone. Other causes include an inflammation of the thyroid or the presence of a thyroid nodule .
It’s also possible for someone who started out with an underactive thyroid to end up with an overactive one if they take too much synthetic thyroid hormone. That kind of flip can be corrected by adjusting your dose, assuming you’re not deliberately overdoing it in an effort to lose weight .
If you or your doctor think you might have hyperthyroidism, you’ll need blood tests. You’ll be diagnosed with this issue if your TSH is low yet your free T4 is high.
Most people with hyperthyroidism are initially treated with a medication like methimazole or PTU. These drugs interfere with the production of thyroid hormone so you start making less, but you can only take them for a maximum of 18 months, says Dr. Jaggi.”They can cause liver injury and make you more prone to infection,” she explains.
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Signs Your Weight Loss Problem Is Really A Thyroid Problem
You did your homework and tried every weight loss program you could find.
And nothing worked for your weight loss, or didnt work for long.
You lost weight only to regain it. Or you sacrificed for months without shedding a pound.
They told you that you didnt have will power, and you started to believe them.
You questioned yourself. Is this weight loss problem in my head or is it in my hormones?
Would you be surprised to learn that an estimated 30 million Americans are unsuccessful at weight loss because it is caused by a thyroid problem, and not to a lack of will power or discipline?
This Is Super Important To Understand
Before I get into the cause of High TSH, there is something I want you know and I think this is SUPER IMPORTANT that you understand this because no one else is talking about this. So, I want you to pay very close attention to what Im about to tell you
#1 It is absolutely critical that you have a complete thyroid panel. You can visit it my website for more information on what this consists of. But if you have that done, thats only step one. While having a complete Thyroid panel is essential to addressing the Root Cause of Thyroid disease, many people mistakenly think and believe that by having a complete thyroid test they will have ALL the answers as to why they are gaining weight or why they are losing their hair or why they are fatigued all the time, but there is much more to this.
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How T3 And T4 Affect Tsh Levels
The amount of T3 and T4 in blood serum directly affects levels of TSH that the pituitary gland produces.
The journal Endocrinology says that there is a negative feedback loop that signals to the pituitary gland to produce more or less TSH. If there are low T4 and T3 in the blood, more thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced to boost T4 levels. This is why an underactive thyroid gland is associated with TSH levels above the normal reference range.5
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Losing Weight With Hypothyroidism
If you have hypothyroidism, losing weight can be very challenging. Many people think that once you start taking thyroid hormone replacement medications, the weight just falls off. While treatment can help you lose some of the weight you have gained, it takes planning, hard work, diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep to shed a number of pounds.
Determining how far off you are from your ideal weight and body fat can help you assess how much weight you need to lose. A body mass index calculator can help you get started.
Another step to weight loss is determining your own basal metabolic rate , which can help you gauge your metabolism and guide you in coming up with a target calorie intake per day.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Levothyroxine comes as a tablet and a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take levothyroxine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow capsules whole do not chew or crush them. Do not remove the capsule from the package until you are ready to take it.
Take the tablets with a full glass of water as they may get stuck in your throat or cause choking or gagging.
If you are giving levothyroxine to an infant, child, or adult who cannot swallow the tablet, crush and mix it in 1 to 2 teaspoons of water. Only mix the crushed tablets with water do not mix it with food or soybean infant formula. Give this mixture by spoon or dropper right away. Do not store it for later use.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of levothyroxine and gradually increase your dose.
Levothyroxine controls hypothyroidism but does not cure it. It may take several weeks before you notice a change in your symptoms. Continue to take levothyroxine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking levothyroxine without talking to your doctor.
Efficacy: Which Is More Effective
When comparing thyroid replacement therapies of Armour Thyroid and Synthroid, it is necessary to consider whether one intervention may be more effective than the other. Synthroid has undergone extensive clinical testing for the treatment of hypothyroidism and has been considered clinically effective since 2002 by the FDA. To attain FDA approval, Synthroid had to demonstrate significant therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of hypothyroidism compared to a placebo in randomized controlled trials .
Unlike Synthroid, formulations of Armour Thyroid have not been formally evaluated by the FDA. Due to the lack of clinical testing, the efficacy of Armour Thyroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism should be questionable. While desiccated thyroid extracts have been utilized extensively throughout history as a natural thyroid replacement therapy, they havent been subjected to the same rigorous FDA evaluation as Synthroid.
Despite the lack of randomized controlled trials to elucidate the clinical efficacy of Armour Thyroid, it has been a part of head-to-head comparative research with Synthroid. There is some evidence to suggest that Armour Thyroid is equally as effective as Synthroid for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Most medical professionals acknowledge that each intervention is capable of optimizing TSH, T4, and T3 concentrations.
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I Gained 45 Pounds In 8 Weeks
I found out I had hypothyroidism 12 years ago when I randomly gained 45 pounds in eight weeks. It was really alarming, as Id always been slender. The weight gain also came with intense fatigue and a psoriasis flare-up. I had trouble finding a doctor that wouldnt dismiss my symptoms and treat me like a middle-aged woman seeking diet pills. It took months to get someone to take my seriously.
After several appointments, blood tests, and scans, I was finally prescribed Levothyroxine. I didnt see an immediate change in my symptoms, but gradually, over several months, I began to notice that I was not as tired, and my psoriasis began to respond to thyroid treatments again. The weight gain was another matter. It took almost three years for me to get back to my normal weight, which was really frustrating at times. The fatigue that accompanies hypothyroidism is very hard to deal with, and carrying the extra weight did nothing to help that. I can remember, at its worst, I would literally be making plans for bedtime as I made my bed in the morningI just never felt fully rested.
I try hard to get enough sleep and to eat lots of fresh vegetables now, and am mindful when I notice fatigue, a change in my weight, or a flare up of my psoriasis. And of course, I follow up with my doctor on a regular basis.
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What Will Happen After Treatment
Most people do very well after treatment, but you may need follow-up care for the rest of your life. This is because most thyroid cancers grow slowly and can come back even 10 to 20 years after treatment. Your cancer care team will tell you what tests you need and how often they should be done.
Be sure to go to all of these follow-up visits. You will have exams, blood tests, and maybe other tests to see if the cancer has come back. At first, your visits may be every 3 to 6 months. Then, the longer youre cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed.
Sometimes treatments may not cure your cancer. You many need to keep getting treatment and care. From time to time tests will be done to see how your treatment is working.
Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life.
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Armour Thyroid Dosage And Administration
The dosage of thyroid hormones is determined by the indication and must in every case be individualized according to patient response and laboratory findings.
Thyroid hormones are given orally. In acute, emergency conditions, injectable levothyroxine sodium may be given intravenously when oral administration is not feasible or desirable, as in the treatment of myxedema coma, or during total parenteral nutrition. Intramuscular administration is not advisable because of reported poor absorption.
How Thyroid Function Can Affect Your Weight
Thyroid hormone helps regulate your metabolism. Your metabolism is how much energy your body uses and at what rate. This means that thyroid hormone also affects your basal metabolic rate. This is how much energy your body uses to keep functioning while its at rest.
In most cases, excess thyroid hormone is associated with a high basal metabolic weight. This means that your body burns more energy while its at rest, so weight loss is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism.
This also means that not producing enough thyroid hormone is usually associated with a low basal metabolic rate. Therefore, hypothyroidism can cause weight gain. Your body isnt burning as much energy, which can lead to a calorie surplus.
But your metabolism is affected by a lot more than just thyroid hormone. Other hormones, how much and what you eat, your physical activity, and many other factors play a role. This means that thyroid hormone levels arent the whole story when it comes to losing or gaining weight from thyroid conditions.
Some people with hyperthyroidism might experience weight gain instead of the more common weight loss. Some reasons why that might happen include:
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How Weight Gain Impacts Your Thyroid
Lackluster metabolism has been associated with high TSH levels and weight gain, new research suggests that it can be the reversethat excess weight can depress the function of the thyroid gland.
Studies show there is an established connection between low BMRs and low-functioning thyroid glands and those with overactive thyroid had high BMRs.
But the relationship between BMR and thyroid function isnât absolute, because metabolism is influenced by a wide variety of factors in addition to thyroid status. Doctors usually look at the link between changes in energy balance â which demonstrates the difference between calories consumed and calories expended by the body â and the BMR.
Its true that metabolic rate does influence how your body produces energy, but your level of physical activity and what you eat are the ultimate determinants of your body weight.
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How Long Can You Go Without Thyroid Medication Before Symptoms
A person can go for many years without thyroid hormones. Indeed, people often go undiagnosed for decades despite suffering from hypothyroid symptoms. However, without thyroid replacement medication, a person with overt hypothyroidism cannot function optimally and will suffer from the physical and mental symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The half-life of levothyroxine is 6-7 days, which means it takes about 4-5 weeks for your body to rid itself of levothyroxine. Nonetheless, as synthetic T4 levels start to wane, you can begin to experience symptoms within the first week of not taking your medication.
It is essential to stay current with your thyroid blood tests, thyroid doctorâs visits, and maintain your prescription to prevent a recurrence of hypothyroid symptoms. Keep in mind that it takes between 4-6 weeks before thyroid replacement medication reaches its peak therapeutic effect. Therefore, if you have a lapse in taking your medicine, such as forgetting to pack it on a trip or refill your prescription, it will take time for your symptoms to stabilize.
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Losing Weight With An Underactive Thyroid
Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy body weight. But weight loss is still possible with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that regulate a number of body processes, becomes underactive and doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone to allow the body to function properly. One of the key processes these hormones help to regulate is metabolism that magic word we all know due to its connection to diet and weight-loss. It seems like everyone is trying to speed up their metabolism with the right mix of foods and exercise to help shed pounds. So when your body is working against you and slowing your metabolism down even more, weight loss becomes an even bigger challenge.
How Levothyroxine Causes Weight Gain
So how does this all relate to Levothyroxine and weight gain?
We can look at some studies to help us understand:
Take for instance this study.
Patients in this study were given T4 only medications and treated based on their TSH.
The researchers tested their resting energy expenditure both before they added the thyroid hormone and after they suppressed the TSH.
Do you know what they found?
It showed that patients taking thyroid hormone did NOT have an increase in metabolism or a change in their body weight.
This is really interesting information and it has profound implications for treatment…
For one it shows that our reliance upon TSH as a marker for managing thyroid medication and function is not very accurate.
Don’t get discouraged because there are other thyroid medications that actually do help with weight loss which we will discuss below.
But, for this reason I generally don’t recommend using T4 only medications to treat hypothyroidism and I recommend against using the TSH to dose your medication.
This study also showed that suppressing the TSH did NOT result in adverse side effects.
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One of the main reasons Doctors are afraid to increase thyroid medications is because they are concerned that the low TSH will result in damage to the body over time.
Here is another very interesting study that compared people taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid to those taking Levothyroxine:
Moral of the story?
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The Thyroid Hormone Receptors Antagonize Transformation And Tumorigenesis By Oncogenic Ras
TRs also inhibit Ras-mediated cellular transformation and tumor growth. Formation of transformation foci in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts by oncogenic Ras is strongly decreased in TR-expressing cells, although TR1 appears to have a stronger anti-transforming activity than TR1. Furthermore, the inhibition of transformation by TR1 is lost after cyclin D1 over-expression, indicating that downregulation of this cyclin is also involved in the anti- transforming effects of the receptor. To analyze whether TRs could act as suppressors of tumor formation by ras, NIH-3T3 cells expressing in a stable manner oncogenic Ras alone or in combination with TR1 or TR1 were injected into the flanks of immunodeficient nude mice. Whereas large tumors developed in mice injected with fibroblasts expressing Ras alone, tumor formation was blocked in mice injected with fibroblasts co-expressing the oncoprotein and TR1. Co-expression of oncogenic Ras with TR1 did not abolish tumor formation but delayed the appearance of tumors.23 Therefore, TRs could play a relevant role as suppressors of ras-dependent tumors although TR1 appears to exert a stronger anti-tumorigenic effect in vivo.
T. Parry, M.A. Portman, in, 2017