Thyroid Management with Compounded T3T4

Thyroid management: American Thyroid Association asserts, “more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.” And, “an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.” Both figures indicate how widespread thyroid diseases truly are.

Of these millions of people, most seeking thyroid management are sufferers of hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones and it upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body.

The good news is that accurate thyroid function tests are available to diagnose hypothyroidism, and treatment of hypothyroidism with compounded T3T4 thyroid hormone is usually simple, safe and effective.

A full thyroid panel consists of total T3 and total T4, free T3, free T4, TSH, thyroid peroxidase antibody, anti-thyroglobulin antibody and reverse T3.

Causes

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck. It secretes two essential thyroid peptide hormones:

  • Liothyroinine or triiodothyronine (T3): the active thyroid molecule, the form that exerts its effects on the body’s cells
  • Levothyroxine (T4): the form that converts to T3 in your blood vessels

The thyroid gland makes predominantly T4 and only 35% is T3. The majority of T3 is made through conversion of T4 peripherally. T3 especially has an enormous impact on your health, your metabolism, the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, your body temperature, your heart rate, and your production of proteins.

Hypothyroidism may be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Treatment for hyperthyroidism
  • Thyroid surgery
  •  Radiation therapy
  • Medications
  • Nutrient deficiency (iodine and selenium)

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism will not be the same for all sufferers because they depend upon the severity of the deficiency. In general, any problems tend to develop slowly, often over a number of years and many people assume that the symptoms are associated with aging. The American Thyroid Association estimates, “up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.”

Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:

  • Low stamina
  • Cold extremities
  • Low body temperature
  • Low libido
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Swollen, puffy eyes or face
  • Brittle nails
  • Decreased sweating
  • Low pulse rate/blood pressure
  • Poor concentration
  • Infertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  •  Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory

When hypothyroidism isn’t treated, signs and symptoms gradually become more severe. Because the range of symptoms is so large and the onset of hypothyroidism is so slow, you are advised not to self-diagnose. Instead, see a doctor for proper testing and treatment.

Typical Medications

Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine, or T4. While these drugs work for some, for many these drugs fail to relieve symptoms. Your body will need to convert the T4 in these drugs to the active useable thyroid hormone T3. However, many hypothyroidism sufferers’ bodies don’t convert the T4 to T3 and they are left enduring symptoms.

For patients who do not respond well to T4, natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), which contains T3 and T4 in a roughly physiological dose, is often the next treatment route taken. However, many also do not feel their best on NDT because of fillers and quality control issues.

Thyroid management approach will designed to work the most reliably for the majority of sufferers are compounded T4/T3 products.

Compounded T3T4

Compounded T3T4 medications offer a number of benefits: specialized doses, lack of fillers, and sustained-release.

Thyroid compounds are usually prepared in the same physiological ratio that is found in NDT products; however, physicians can elect to change the amount of T3/T4, as compounding pharmacists are literally making the medications from scratch. This can be a huge advantage for those patients that did not feel well on conventional treatments or NDTs. T3T4 can be made devoid of any fillers including cornstarch, lactose and even gluten that people may not tolerate. Most hypothyroid patients have sensitivities to gluten, and many of them also react to corn and dairy which contains lactose.

Most T4/T3 compounds are immediate release versions; yet, compounding pharmacists can also make sustained release versions. T3 and T4 can be combined into a single dose and customized to a strength that perfectly suites a patient’s profile. By making these capsules sustained-release, the pharmacist prolongs the activity of the T3, which has a short half-life. This allows the T3/T4 capsule to be taken once daily for most patients. Since the thyroid gland produces both T3 and T4 in a steady release, this product more closely mimics natural thyroid production.

Navigating thyroid management options can be complicated, given the variety of choices. But, compounded T3T4 usage appears to have the most benefits, with no obvious drawbacks to the user. Of course, as with all medication, be sure to talk with your doctor to understand all of your options.