Synthroid Not Always Best Choice

Levothyroxine – Not the best solution to control Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an insufficient production of thyroid hormones. While the main task of thyroid hormones is to maintain the metabolism of the human body, a low production of these hormones will lead to a slow metabolism. This condition is not rare and approximately around 10 million Americans suffer from it.
The thyroid hormones in a human body are Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) and they play an active role in our body throughout the day. The thyroid gland takes up iodine and converts it into one of these two hormones. Since the thyroid cells are the only cells that absorb iodine, the thyroid hormones are produced within these cells by combining iodine with the amino acid Tyrosine. A normal thyroid gland produces 80% of T4 and 20% of T3. Anyhow, the most active form of thyroid hormone is T3 and therefore, most of the T4 is converted into T3. The T3 hormone is 4 times more active than the T4 hormone. This conversion of T4 to T3 is catalyzed by the enzyme 5’- deiodinase in liver cells and requires several minerals for the process as well. Hence, liver diseases and mineral deficiencies can greatly affect this conversion. Further gastrointestinal problems, adrenal problems and certain medications such as Beta blockers may disturb the T4-T3 conversion.
Levothyroxine is a medication frequently given to people who suffer from hypothyroidism as the main measure of hormone replacement. This medication contains T4 hormone and will be converted to T3 in the person’s body, to be actively used. But, in conditions where there is a coexisting disturbance of T4-T3 conversion, the T4 in Levothyroxine will not be converted to T3- the active form. Therefore, the prescribed Levothyroxine will not perform at it is expected due to the low activeness of T4 and the symptoms of hypothyroidism will remain or deteriorate.
Symptom deterioration takes place as the patient continue to take Levothyroxine. As the negative feedback mechanism of the human body activates due to the increased levels of T4 during Levothyroxine intake, the body’s low production of thyroid hormones will further decrease reducing the production of even the low levels of T3. The levels of T3 will further reduce while the T4-T3 conversion is also disturbed and the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, dry skin, dry rough hair, hair loss, muscle cramps, constipations, depression, irritability, memory disturbances, menstrual irregularities and decreased libido will worsen.
This situation can be controlled and corrected by either correcting the disturbance of T4-T3 conversion or by administering medications that contain the active form of thyroid hormone – T3. The best options, therefore, are natural thyroid hormone or Cytomel.