Which Thyroid Hormone is Most Important
Thyroxine is the most important thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. If the gland produces too much or too little of this hormone, your cellular, metabolic, and immune function suffers. The increase or decrease in your thyroxine levels has different effects on the body.
One Hormone; Many Stages
Collectively, this thyroid hormone is referred to as thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH. Tests that determine your T3, T4, and overall TSH levels are actually looking at the hormone in different stages of development.
The most common thyroid hormone test only looks at the T4 and TSH stages of development. This translates to how much thyroxine is in your bloodstream and how much of it is being used by your pituitary gland. In other words, the standard test looks at function only, not production or absorption. For a more comprehensive T3 test, you need to visit an endocrinologist.
The more comprehensive the test, the earlier you can be diagnosed with either an underactive or overactive thyroid. It is important to find out which thyroid condition you have because it determines what you’re treatment protocol will be.
Not Deficiency or Overabundance, but Balance
Speaking of treatment protocol; an overactive gland and an underactive gland require different approaches to treatment.
It’s not uncommon for patients with underactive thyroids to also suffer from iodine deficiency. These two decreases combined cause an internal storm of cellular proportions. When these two essential cellular building blocks are out of sync, it can lead to malfunctions that are:
In severe cases, low levels of thyroid hormone can cause adrenal failure and comas.
These same malfunctions are present in an overactive thyroid, but they often lead to the opposite effect. For example, a patient with an overactive thyroid is more likely to develop a heart condition because of elevated blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
There are three specific groups that need to be aware of an underactive thyroid condition. They are:
- Pregnant women
- Menopausal women
If a deficiency is present from birth, it can lead to long-term developmental problems.
Pregnant women are advised to increase their intake of vegetables and greens during pregnancy to avoid developing a thyroid condition. Menopausal women are going through more than one hormone imbalance at the same time. This can trigger thyroid problems. Be aware, thyroid conditions present differently in patients over the age of 60.
There are many hormone replacement and suppression drugs to choose from. Not every patient should be put on Thyromine and iodine supplements. Make sure your supplementation addresses your particular thyroid hormone problem.
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