Everything You Need to Know about Hypothyroidism: Signs and Symptoms, How to Understand Your Blood Tests and How to Treat It!

Resistance to thyroid hormones can lead to medication-resistant depression and bipolar disorder.

That’s not all, the thyroid gland has an impact on almost all of the metabolic processes in the body.

There Are 2 Main Types of Thyroid Disorders:
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
Here Are the Most Commonly Experienced Hypothyroidism Symptoms:

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder characterized by thyroid hormone underproduction. In other words, it occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones. In addition, as a result of the fact that the thyroid gland is responsible for metabolism regulation, slow metabolism is one of warning signs of hypothyroidism.

Approximately 20 million Americans experience some kind of a thyroid disorder. In fact, a great number of people experience hypothyroidism, but they are not even aware of it. Therefore, in case you experience any of the symptoms below, consult your physician.

The Most Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feeling cold
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irregular periods
  • Hair Loss

In Case You Experience Any of the Above Mentioned Hypothyroidism Symptoms, You Should Make the Following Lifestyle and Dietary Changes:
  • Reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners;
  • Increase your consumption of organic whole foods, such as raw veggies and fruits;
  • Try to get 8 hours of restorative sleep each night;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Try to lower your stress levels.

By making these dietary and lifestyle changes, you can greatly enhance your thyroid function.

But, even if you’ve made all of the above changes and are still experiencing the symptoms, you should visit your physician.

Order the Following Blood Tests to Check Your Thyroid:
  • TSH – In case your TSH levels are higher than 2, then you suffer from hypothyroidism. (Also, TSH levels lower than 2 do not mean that your thyroid functions properly.)
  • Free t3 and free t4 need to be in the upper 1/3 of the normal range.
  • Free t3-reverse t3 ratio need to be higher than 0.2.
  • Reverse t3 need to be lower than 15.
  • Sex hormone binding globulin need to be higher than 30 in males and higher than 70 in females.
  • Thyroid antibodies (thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies.)

Most doctors usually use the reference ranges from the lab in order to determine if your thyroid functions adequately.

In fact, optimal and normal ranges are quite different. Namely, in case you fall out of the normal range, you probably suffer from some kind of thyroid problems.

But, you may suffer from hypothyroidism and still have optimal ranges. It happens as a result of the fact that we cannot determine what level your body feels the best at.

So, don’t allow your doctor to tell you that your lab tests are normal in case you experience any symptoms of a thyroid disorder.

You May Take Thyroid Drugs But Still Experience the Symptoms:

You are most probably being under-treated in case you take thyroid medication, but still experience the symptoms. What’s more, it may also indicate that you may be taking the wrong medication type.

Here are the average thyroid medication doses that patients should take to get rid of the symptoms:

  • Liothyronine or cytomel (pure T3): 75-125 mcg a day;
  • Armour thyroid (combination of T3 and T4): 120-240mg a day or 2-4 grains a day;
  • Synthroid (T4 alone): 200-400 mcg a day.

But, if your hypothyroidism symptoms do not go away despite taking one of the drugs above, then it is advisable to look into having your dose elevated.

Unfortunately, your doctor will most probably measure your medication dose depending on your TSH. But, you should not let them do it.

Moreover, the pituitary gland controls the function of the thyroid and has unique enzymes that make it different from any other body cell.

In addition, the unique enzymes make it extremely sensitive to T3 and T4, which means your pituitary gets more thyroid than any other body cells.

Also, many patients who take Synthroid can only transform that T4 into the inactive reverse T3, thus blocking the T3 action at the cellular level.

So, if you take 200-400 mcg of Synthroid or Levoxyl a day, it is advisable to ask your doctor to check your reverse T3 levels.

In case your free T3-reverse T3 ratio is lower than 0.2 or your reverse T3 levels are higher than 15, you may suffer from thyroid resistance. Therefore, you should replace your T4 therapy with T3 therapy.

Furthermore, you may suffer from thyroid resistance in case you experience any of these health issues: insulin resistance (prediabetes or diabetes), inability to lose weight, high inflammation levels, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Here Is What to Do If Your Physician Doesn’t Understand It:

If your physician does not understand how to properly examine your thyroid function, then you should find a new doctor who has a better approach to treating any thyroid-related problems.