This Is Ridiculous Isnt It
Why would any thyroid patient be motivated to go to such lengths to try to inflate their TSH or avoid its suppression?
Its because our medical system threatens to reduce our thyroid hormone supply based on a low TSH alone. Raising TSH can be a way to protect ourselves from harm within this broken system.
Its because some foolish people in the 1990s put this moody hormone TSH on a pedestal and made it the sole judge of our thyroid dosing, and too many people have been afraid to question its God-like authority by pointing to the evidence.
If you step back and think about it, isnt it amazing that TSH can vary as much as shown in the graphs above in response to some tiny nonthyroidal changes?
- TSH is a volatile, vulnerable hormone. It fluctuates based on factors way beyond your thyroid hormone levels.
- TSH often behaves very differently in people taking thyroid hormones compared to people who are not on thyroid therapy.
- TSH behaves very differently when dosing different combinations and ratios of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones.
- TSH fluctuations can sometimes be huge while our thyroid hormone dose does not change.
Why do medical systems grant this volatile TSH hormone the sole right to judge whether we have adequate dosing during thyroid therapy?
Our doctors have been given the power to starve us of thyroid hormone for a year just because our TSH is having a bad day.
We can be victims of our TSH and the medical system that idolizes it, or we can use science to try to master it.
Best Ways To Have A Healthier Thyroid
It’s the most important gland in your body you know nothing about.
Your thyroid. The hormones it produces are responsible for a lot: your metabolism, the health of your skin and bones, your sleep quality, headache frequency , and your sex drive, to name just a few. Put another way, it’s one of the most essential glands in your body. And yours may be in trouble. According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid conditionand of those 20 million, a staggering 60 percent aren’t aware of it.
But despite these figures, there’s no need to worry. Even if your thyroid isn’t in the shape it should be, getting it up to snuff is as simple as trying out a new yoga pose or making a small change to your diet. So read on, and learn how to have a healthy thyroid.
On Thyroid Therapy Tsh Can Be Higher In The Coldest Months Of The Year
In 2017, Gullo and team did a study of a huge number of peoples seasonal TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 levels.
They compared people with healthy thyroid glands not taking thyroid hormones vs. people after a thyroidectomy who were taking thyroid hormones .
Look what happened to the people who were on the same dose of thyroid hormone all year long.
This study was done on patients in Sicily in this climate:
What would the results be like in Scotland, or North Dakota, or Canada, or Norway, or Finland where the cold months will be colder?
They also found that thyroidless people on thyroid therapy lost a lot of Free T3 hormone in winter, while people with helathy throids gained Free T3 in Winter.
See my previous post with the fuller data set and discussion of Gullo et al, 2017: In Winter, everyone gains T3 except thyroidless patients on T4
TIP: If you test TSH once a year, test in the coldest month of the year. If you get TSH tested and your dose adjusted in summer, you may need a really big sweater to stay warm in the winter.
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Treatment For Thyroid Imbalances
Fortunately, thyroid imbalances are treatable. While lifestyle changes, such as eating well and exercising, may bring relief when your thyroid hormones are out of balance, medication and surgery can be effective, too. After a diagnosis, which typically involves a comprehensive exam and blood tests, Dr. Kumra will help determine your best course of treatment.
Options may include:
- Medication that slows down or speeds up thyroid production
- Surgery to remove your thyroid
If you have questions about thyroid disease or suspect youre experiencing the effects of a hormone imbalance, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT New York today.
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How Is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed
There are signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism that can be identified by a physician. Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism are often non-specific and can also be associated with many other causes. Laboratory tests are used to confirm the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and probable cause. A primary care physician may make the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, but help may be needed from an endocrinologist, a physician who is a specialist in thyroid and other endocrine diseases.
The best test to determine overall thyroid function is the thyroid stimulating hormone level. TSH is produced in the brain and travels to the thyroid gland to stimulate the thyroid to produce and release more thyroid hormone. A high TSH level indicates that the body does not have enough thyroid hormone. A TSH level lower than normal indicates there is usually more than enough thyroid hormone in the body and may indicate hyperthyroidism. When hyperthyroidism develops, free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine levels rise above normal. Other laboratory studies may help identify the cause of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins can be identified in the blood when Graves’ disease is the cause of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid peroxidase antibodies and other anti-thyroid antibodies are also seen in some disorders leading to hyperthyroidism.
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If Youre Experiencing Side Effects
Talk with your doctor if youre experiencing any side effects. He or she may want to test yourthyroid levels to determine if any adjustment needs to be made to your dose or to the wayyoure taking Synthroid.
Remember, how you take Synthroid can affect how your body absorbs and processes it.Its important that you take your Synthroid exactly as your doctor prescribed.
What Supplements Help Thyroid Function
It is surprising to know that it takes at minimum 11 different nutrients for the thyroid to work properly.
In case you are deficient in any of them, replacing these quality supplements you may be able to improve the functioning of your thyroid.
The following nutrients are required for proper thyroid hormone production:
Iron: Required for normal thyroid function at the cellular levelIodine: Necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormone. However, the iodine intake must be reduced if you were diagnosed with Hashimotos.Tyrosine: Necessary for improving thyroid hormone production.Vitamin D: The common issue in Thyroid patients is the deficiency in Vitamin D.Vitamin E: The thyroid gland secretes too much hormone when low on Vitamin E.Vitamin B2: Known also as Riboflavin. The lack of it suppresses thyroid function.Vitamin B3: Necessary to keep the endocrine glands in efficient working order.Vitamin B6: The thyroid cannot utilize the iodine raw material efficiently to make the hormones.Vitamin C: Long-lasting deficiency causes the thyroid gland to flood the system with too much hormone.
The following nutrients boost proper thyroid conversion:Zinc and Selenium
A deficiency in ANY of the above nutrients may lead to limited thyroid function.
However, not all supplements are created equal. Everyone out there is saying to have the best product. I urge you to do a proper research and to talk to your doctor before you make any decision.
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How Long After My Thyroid Is Removed Will My Tiredness Go Away
Typically, you will be given medication to help with your symptoms right after surgery. Your body actually has thyroid hormone still circulating throughout it, even after the thyroid has been removed. The hormones can still be in your body for two to three weeks. Medication will reintroduce new hormones into your body after the thyroid has been removed. If you are still feeling tired after surgery, remember that this can be a normal part of recovering from any type of surgery. It takes time for your body to heal. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are still experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid disease after surgery.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
Another essential step to take when working to balance hormones & your thyroid is to balance your blood sugar levels. Since your blood sugar can have a massive impact on both your hormones and thyroid, this strategy is incredibly effective.
Thankfully, your blood sugar levels can largely be controlled by managing your diet. Be sure to avoid foods/beverages that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. This includes limiting most fruits.
As a general guideline, only 10-20% of your total daily calories should be from carbs. Vegetables are king but the vegetables with the highest fiber content are the most important.
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Addressing Gaps In Your Best Thyroid Levels
When it comes to various scores, it is important to note which are larger between normal and optimal for each of the different values. Compared to T3 and T4, your TSH score will typically have the largest gap lets talk a bit more about that.
The TSH is something that is quickly controlled by the brain. It is also the first line to shift what the thyroid is doing at any point in time. So, if the amount of hormone in your body is too high or too low, your brain works to adjust that by controlling the TSH.
The free hormones, though, are what is in circulation throughout your body. While they certainly do change, they are not the first thing to change . They also do not change in such a way that is predictable.
Take a look at this image
This shows how the various scores fit together amongst a large number of people. Also across a range of different high and low thyroid levels.
Consider Other Levothyroxine Brands
Levothyroxine is the generic name of the drug marketed under many different brand names. The majority of people first starting treatment will be prescribed the Synthroid brand. Other available brands include Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tightly regulates the type, purity, and amount of key active and inactive ingredients in a drug, different manufacturers may use different fillers and binding ingredients, some of which may affect drug absorption or trigger adverse symptoms. Changing brands may potentially alleviate unintended side effects. Talk to your doctor about whether this might be right for you.
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You Feel Like You Are About To Get A Cold
A drop in thyroid hormones might trigger cold-like symptoms: sudden shivers, cold hands and feet, or a swollen throat.
Thyroid hormones help maintain body temperature, and you especially need optimal levels when transitioning between warm and cold temperatures. A swollen throat occurs when the thyroid tries to overcompensate for a lack of hormones.
Can You Boost Your Metabolism To Help With Weight Loss
People with a slower metabolism may have difficulty losing weight because they tend to burn fewer calories, which means that more get stored in the body as fat, according to Harvard Health. A faster metabolism causes calories to be burned at a higher rate.
How fast or slow your metabolism works is determined for the most part by your genes. But a number of other factors can play a role, including your age, your gender, your body size and composition, and your level of physical activity.
While you cant control all the elements that affect your metabolism, there are steps you can take to burn more calories and lose or maintain weight. Try these tips:
Take thyroid hormone. If you have hypothyroidism, which can be diagnosed with a blood test, your doctor will prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone. Once thyroid hormone levels are normalized, Dr. Bianco says, the metabolic rate should be normalized as well.
Avoid skipping meals and starvation diets. Starvation is a very well known cause of low metabolism, Dr. McAninch says. The signs and symptoms of starvation can also look a lot like hypothyroidism. If you’ve been eating a low-calorie diet and experiencing symptoms of a slowed metabolism, like fatigue, go back to normal eating, McAninch says. Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian to develop a meal plan that works for you.
Making these changes in your life can help you manage hypothyroidism and overcome the effects of slow metabolism that accompany it.
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Your Muscles Are Acting Up
Muscle twitching, cramping, and pain can be signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. They can also indicate your electrolytesmainly calcium and sodiumare out of balance.
If you feel sudden and intense muscle pain when you havent done any strenuous physical activity, it might be because your thyroid function has changed.
The Right Way Every Day
No matter how long you’ve been taking Synthroid, it never hurts to check in with yourself now and then to make sure you’re taking your medicine the right way. That means:
Taking Synthroid once a day, every day at the same time before breakfast
Taking Synthroid with water only and on an empty stomach
Waiting 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating or drinking anything other than water
To learn more about taking Synthroid the right way, including which foods and supplements can interfere with the way Synthroid works, explore here.
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If Part Of My Thyroid Is Surgically Removed Will The Other Part Be Able To Make Enough Thyroid Hormones To Keep Me Off Of Medication
Sometimes, your surgeon may be able to remove part of your thyroid and leave the other part so that it can continue to create and release thyroid hormones. This is most likely in situations where you have a nodule thats causing your thyroid problem. About 75% of people who have only one side of the thyroid removed are able to make enough thyroid hormone after surgery without hormone replacement therapy.
Is Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy A Problem
Thyroid hormone levels that are just a little high are usually not a problem in pregnancy. However, more severe hyperthyroidism that isnt treated can affect both the mother and the baby. If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your disease is under control before becoming pregnant. Learn more about causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy.
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What Does The Thyroid Do
Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.
The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.
This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.
What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease
There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.
For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:
- Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
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Optimal And Normal Thyroid Levels Chart
Some of the medical practitioners are now becoming more attentive to the limits in thyroid testing. They are aware of the patterns of thyroid symptoms of patients with results in the normal range. But for many people, it still takes a lot of energy to be taken seriously by their doctors.
Take your latest blood test results and compare them to the chart below:
Chart of normal and optimal thyroid levels values: Thyroid stimulating hormone TSH, T4 and T3
As you can see in the above table, there is a notable difference between the normal and optimal ranges. Maybe your doctor relies on the old conservative values and claims that your thyroid is working properly. The question is If my thyroid test results are normal, why do I still feel symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Are you pregnant? Read the article and chart of thyroid levels during pregnancy.
Chart of normal thyroid TSH levels during first, second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Consider Taking Specific Supplements
There are specific supplements that can better help you balance hormones & your thyroid. The best place to start is by choosing supplements in which the majority of the population is deficient. This includes supplements such as selenium, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin D3 with vitamin K2.
For those who have hypothyroidism, there are a few additional supplements that can be highly beneficial. A sample of these includes Ashwagandha, iodine, methylated B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs, glutathione, and turmeric.
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