Feeling tired? Trouble losing weight? It could be your thyroid!
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to "run the body's metabolism," it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. Symptoms include:
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Hair loss
- Dry, rough skin
- Cold or heat intolerance
- Depressed mood
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Decreased libido
- Muscle cramps
The estimates vary, but approximately 10 million Americans have this common medical condition. In fact, as many as 10% of women may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. Hypothyroidism is more common than you would believe, and millions of people are currently hypothyroid and don't know it.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
Testing for thyroid disease is somewhat controversial. Traditional medicine relies heavily on one blood test alone, called the TSH, for diagnosis of hypothyroidism. TSH is produced by the brain and sent as a signal to the thyroid gland to produce thyroid for use in all areas of your body. The basic problem is the so called "normal range" of TSH is too high some people. Many patients with a TSH greater than 1.5 (not 4.5, as used by traditional medicine) have classic symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism. Therefore, many patients continue to suffer needlessly.
Here at Physican's Age Management, we first listen to YOU, the patient. What are your symptoms? How are these symptoms affecting you and decreasing your quality of life? Next we look at your specific lab values which include TSH along with T4 and T3, the active hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It is not uncommon to find T4 and T3 levels below normal, even with a “normal” TSH by traditional standards. If this is the case, we move to treatment. Our goal is to treat your symptoms early, before you reach disease state by “optimizing” your thyroid hormone.
How do we treat hypothyroidism?
The traditional approach is to prescribe Synthroid or Levoxyl (levothyroxine). Although this is helpful for some patients, it is not helpful for all patients. This is primarily because Synthroid is only T4, which still has to be converted by the body to T3. Some patients have difficulty in this conversion and are therefore unable to experience the benefit of thyroid replacement. At Physican's Age Management, our clinicians primarily prescribe Armour thyroid, a natural product, which is a mixture of T3 and T4. This combination allows for better absorption and for many, better symptom relief. Optimizing thyroid, along with your other hormone levels such as Testosterone, Estradiol and Progesterone will allow you to look and feel your best!
Call Physicians Age Management Center today at 919-885-0880 to schedule your free consultation to discuss if hypothyrodism may be affecting you!