In the peri-menopause and menopause, it is not uncommon for women to present with an underactive thyroid gland.
The symptoms are many, and may include:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of sex drive
- Poor memory and concentration
- Cold extremities
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Slow pulse rate
- Enlarged thyroid gland (Goitre)
- Dry skin
- Thinning of the eyebrows
- Recurrent infections
- Lowered Immune system
- Hoarse voice
One of the most common causes of Primary Hypothyroidism is lack of iodine. However the majority of thyroid disorders are due to autoimmune disease.
Blood tests to diagnose an underactive thyroid gland, including Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, Free T4, FreeT3, and most importantly thyroid antibodies and Reverse T3 may also be helpful.
An accurate history together with a physical examination including the thyroid gland and reflexes are helpful in making the correct diagnosis. Early morning temperature is useful to confirm the diagnosis as it is sometimes difficult to rule out underactive thyroid function with normal blood results.
Thyroid hormone resistance can occur when the patient has a thyroid receptor mutation. A small decrease in cellular ATP concentration results in a major reduction in the transport of T4 and slightly reduced T3 uptake. Patients suffering from energy deficient states (chronic fatigue or mitochondrial dysfunction) T4 is not as easily transported as T3 across the cell membrane as T4 is not efficiently transported across the cell membrane an increase in serum T4 can be associated with a low level inside the cell. An elevated T3 may also be an indication of poor cellular transport, and low T3 inside the cell.
Some medication can inhibit T3 uptake such as benzodiazepam medication. T4 may convert to RT3
Essential nutrients that are good for production of thyroid hormone are:
Iron, Iodine, Tyrosine, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin B2, B3, B6, Vitamin C, D and E.
Factors that inhibit thyroid production are:
Stress, infection, trauma, radiation, medications and fluoride.
Toxins: Pesticides, mercury, cadmium and lead.
Zinc and Selenium increase conversion of T4 to T3
At Holistic Medical Clinic, once the thyroid condition is diagnosed, we treat patients on an individual basis with T4 and T3, but regular monitoring in the form of thyroid function tests is necessary.