When you're hypothyroid, you don’t have enough thyroid hormone. You may not make ENOUGH thyroid hormone, because: 


  • You have autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

  • You're iodine deficient

  • You’re taking a medication that causes hypothyroidism (i.e., lithium)


That makes you a “Low Producer.”

You may not make ANY thyroid hormone, because:


  • Your thyroid was surgically removed

  • You had radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation treatment

  • You were hypothyroid from birth


That means you're a “Non-Producer.”


When you're hypothyroid, you may not have enough of the active T3 hormone, because:


  • You’re not converting enough T4 into T3

  • You convert T4 into too much Reverse T3


That makes you a “Poor Converter.”

Causes of Poor Conversion of T4 to T3

The most common causes of poor T4-to-T3 conversion include:


  • Common genetic defects, called polymorphisms

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Physical and emotional stress

  • Surgical removal of the thyroid gland, radioactive ablation of the thyroid, and atrophy due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)


The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test can give a general picture of thyroid function. Levels that are high-normal or high can indicate hypothyroidism.

Triiodothyronine (T3) and Free T3


Total T3 and Free T3 levels that are low, or low-normal can show hypothyroidism, and poor conversion from T4. 

Reverse T3 (RT3)


High-normal and high Reverse T3 levels can leave you with insufficient levels of active T3 hormone. 

The Treatment for Hypothyroidism


The treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement medication, to provide the thyroid hormone you’re missing. The treatments include:


© 2020, 2021 by Mary Shomon. All Rights Reserved.

The Natural Thyroid Guide site, webinar, book, and newsletter are created and managed by Mary Shomon, a patient advocate, health coach, and New York Times bestselling author of 15 books on thyroid and hormonal health, weight loss, and wellness. For more information, visit www.mary-shomon.com.

Natural Thyroid Guide and Mary Shomon do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

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