Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is released from the pituitary gland in the brain. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland (located about where you might wear a bowtie). TSH tells the thyroid gland to release two hormones, T4 and T3. These hormones are released into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. A lot more T4 is produced than T3. T4 doesn’t do much until it is converted into T3. T3 is what does the ‘magic’, and activates metabolism.
Traditionally, doctors will only test the TSH and T4; if these thyroid test results are found to be at “normal” levels, you will most likely be told you don’t have a thyroid problem.
There are a few problems with this approach.
Firstly, the traditional range for thyroid test results (TSH) is typically around 0.45 to 4.5. This is an extremely wide range for what are considered normal thyroid levels, allowing for varying levels of "normal" thyroid function. If we could compare this to a point scale used in grading, it would be like saying everyone who scores anywhere from 60 to 100 points passes the class. Clearly, this isn’t a level playing field, so to speak.
Ideally, we want to see the TSH closer to 1.0. This is like getting an ‘A’ in class, whereas those in the 3 to 4 range are similar to those students getting C’s and D’s. They aren’t failing, but they could be doing a lot better!
It's important to have additional thyroid function testing done. Another problem could lie in the body’s efficiency at converting the T4 into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone.
This is why some people, who despite being treated with synthetic thyroid hormone medications, don’t feel any better. These drugs are primarily made of T4; some people don’t do well converting the T4 into T3. If they start taking natural remedies for thyroid, this can help the thyroid run more efficiently.
Or, the thyroid hormones may be ‘tied up’ to other proteins in the blood, rendering them unable to do their job. Yet another problem may lie in the thyroid hormone receptor; it may not be ‘listening’ to the thyroid hormones.
All of these situations are possible, despite having normal thyroid test results (TSH and T4), rendering the thyroid hormones ineffective. Natural thyroid remedies or a natural thyroid supplement can help with conversion problems.
It’s always a good idea to have your thyroid tested if you are unsure. Most often, people have low thyroid symptoms. More rarely, one may have an over active thyroid. An enlarged thyroid, or a lump in the thyroid should always be treated by your doctor.
Functional hypothyroidism occurs when a person has low thyroid symptoms or other thyroid disease symptoms despite normal test results. In this case, natural thyroid remedies in the form of thyroid supplements can boost thyroid function, getting at the cause of the problem.
A natural thyroid supplement can supply the thyroid with the raw materials it needs to fully function. And while standard treatment of low thyroid symptoms typically involves thyroid hormone, this isn’t addressing the cause of the problem. Many people are unable to properly manufacture, or convert thyroid hormone into a form that works in their body.
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