Why Your Thyroid Medication May Not be Working
Thyroid dysfunction is a common health problem especially with women.
The Thyroid is a small gland with many important functions and relies on a complicated network of other organs and glands to allow it to function properly. We will call this interdependent glandular network your thyroid metabolism.
In conventional medicine the thyroid is often addressed as if these other control and feedback mechanisms don’t exist despite indisputable evidence to the contrary. These doctors only look at your thyroid gland by itself and do not evaluate your entire thyroid metabolism network.
Millions of American take thyroid replacement medication but is this really the most appropriate option for many people?
Let’s quickly review the mechanism that causes your thyroid gland to make the hormones you need. This diagram should make it easier for you to understand.
The Hypothalamus Gland
Your hypothalamus (a gland in the brain) senses through its contact with the blood stream that your thyroid hormone is getting low, so the hypothalamus stimulates your pituitary gland (another gland in the brain) to create TSH or (thyroid stimulating hormone). This hormone stimulates the thyroid and finally your body makes a large amount of T4 hormone and a tiny amount of T3.
Here is the problem… the T4 hormone does not enter into the cell so your body has to rely on converting some of the T4 into more T3, this T3 can get into the cells and do its job, (by the way every cell in your body has a receptor site on it for thyroid hormone). So if you’re not converting enough T3, you’re going to be in trouble. The job of the liver and the gut is to convert T4 to T3. Digestive system problems and or a sluggish liver will upset this conversion.
Your thyroid physiology is also very susceptible to dysregulation from systemic inflammation. This will cause poor feedback regulation between your hypothalamus and your pituitary gland. Some examples of systemic inflammation are:
- Food allergies
- Bad digestion
- Blood sugar and adrenal gland stress imbalances
- Brain dysfunction to name a few.
Auto-immunity is another huge issue with thyroid dysfunction. A condition called Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of chronic low thyroid symptoms. In this case your immune system is attacking your thyroid as if it’s a foreign tissue.
The conventional doctor does not look at any of these factors that influence your thyroid physiology. Why? Because they are not trained too, they are trained to give you a medication or do a surgery. When that is truly what you need they are very good at that. On the other hand Holistic or functional medicine doctors have additional training to look at all the factors and do more comprehensive testing to find out where your thyroid physiology is faltering.
So if you have been prescribed thyroid replacement hormones your doctor is betting that these other factors that I have discussed above are not influencing your thyroid, which is rarely the case. If you feel worse or no better on replacement that’s a good sign that your doctor is guessing wrong. Patients that come to our office are always surprised that the other doctors they have seen for their thyroid have never discussed these issues them.
What sets our office apart from the rest is that we are relentless in searching for the causes of your health problem and then we set you on a corrective course by addressing each factor on metabolic (nutritional ,detox) and also on a neurological Level (brain stimulates all glands).
Our goal is to get you better fast so you can start enjoying life again!