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Hypothyroidism

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.”

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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.

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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. 

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Reverse T3 (RT3)

 

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

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The Treatment for Hypothyroidism

 

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

 

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