16 Oct Thyroid in the News – San Jose Integrative Medicine
Compounded desiccated thyroid is back. Yippee!
Compounded, all-natural, desiccated thyroid is back! It’s been two years since desiccated thyroid hormone was available. I’m excited that I can now offer this to my patients again. The advantage of compounding desiccated thyroid hormone is that it can be put in a sustained-release capsule. This means that thyroid hormones are slowly released through the day.
Pharmaceutically available thyroid hormones, both natural and synthetic, are immediately released. This can be a real concern for active thyroid hormone, the T3 component (triiodothyronine) because T3 can cause heart palpitations and anxiety in some people. Even natural thyroid like Armourthyroid, Naturethroid, and NP thyroid can cause heart palpitations and anxiety to those that are sensitive to the effects of T3.
For this reason, I’m very happy that compounded, natural, desiccated thyroid medication is available again. If you’ve tried natural thyroid and/or T3, liothyronine, but have not been able to take it to due to side effects like heart palpitations and anxiety, ask me about compounded natural thyroid.
What if you’re taking Synthroid or Levothyroxine and feel fine? For those with healthy thyroid metabolism, you may not need T3. When working optimally, T3 is naturally produced from large amounts of circulating but inactive thyroid hormone, T4 (thyroxine). This can change and that’s why I run a full thyroid panel including T4, T3, Reverse T3, and antibodies in addition to TSH.
T4 to T3 conversion is essential to ensure healthy metabolism, energy, sleep, mood, digestion, hair and skin. Some of the reasons for impaired conversion of T4 to T3 are: repeated dieting, starvation diets (including the Keto diet), stress, genetic reasons, and nutritional deficiencies like magnesium, selenium, iodine, zinc, B vitamins, and tyrosine.
In the news: Thyroid is also involved with menstrual cycles and fertility.
Optimal thyroid for fertility. It’s a no-brainer.
“Mild thyroid dysfunction affects one in five women with a history of miscarriage or subfertility: Detecting thyroid abnormalities prior to conception may improve pregnancy outcomes” Read more here.
The researchers studied 19,000 women. All had a history of miscarriage or fertility issues but one in five, that’s 20%, had mild thyroid dysfunction. This means that they did not clinically have hypothyroidism but their thyroid is not within optimal range. What was the optimal range? The study found that to be below 2.5. This is what’s been recommended for years in women who are pregnant and it’s what I’ve recommended to women who are trying to get pregnant. It’s good that we now have statistical evidence.
After 15 years in practice, I’ve seen most TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) results between 1.0 and 1.8. Regardless of TSH, I always order a full thyroid panel when I see hypothyroid symptoms. This is because the inventor of the TSH test says: “Always diagnose hypothyroidism by symptoms and only use TSH as a guide for treatment.” I’ve practiced by these words.
Hey Doc, I need a sick note for my thyroid. I’m working too much!
“Working too many hours may lead to an under-active thyroid”. Read more here.
For people who worked between 52 and 83 hours per week, the prevalence of hypothyroidism was more than double that among people who worked a 36-42 hour week. For each additional ten hours of work, the risk for hypothyroidism was 46% greater! This study involved over 2000 participants in South Korea but since the study ended, South Korea no longer permits working more than 52 hours per week. How about we get a law like that here in Silicon Valley?!
Does Thyroid Hormone Therapy in Older Age Increase Risk of Death?
Well, this got my attention! Don’t be alarmed. This is an observational study and it has not fully been presented or peer-reviewed. The study found that adults over 65 taking thyroid medication, levothyroxine, had a 40% increased risk of death. From what I could gather, they measured TSH. I’m curious to know if thyroid hormones were elevated in those that saw an increased risk. It does pose the question of whether or not there should be an alternative range for TSH in older adults. YES. There should be, just like with other health indices. We have alternative ranges for children. Why not for older adults?
Thyroid cancer, genetic variations, cell phones linked in new study.
This was a small study and relied on data from 2010 to 2011 but did find a significant increase in thyroid cancer among cell phone users, and that thyroid cancer was associated with certain genetic variations. Right now, we can’t do anything about the genetic variations but we can alter our cell phone usage. Take-home message: use earbuds or text.
That’s it for thyroid in the news.
If you are interested in changing over to sustained release natural thyroid, let me know. If you know any women having difficulty getting pregnant, menstrual irregularities, or perimenopausal, I’d be happy to help them. If you have any questions about the health of your thyroid, please reach out.