22 Nisan 2012 Pazar

Hypothyroidism - Running Low on Two Very Similar Yet Different Molecules Called T4 and T3?

AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota

Two powerful and important molecules course through our blood stream, affecting every part the body on a cellular level. They are the two hormones created inside the Thyroid Gland, both of which are built upon the same amino acid and are nearly identical in structure. They are called Thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Don't gloss over; they are simply abbreviated T4 and T3. The difference: T4 has four iodine atoms where T3 has only three, hence their names. These molecules can also be manufactured in a lab to produce drugs such as Synthroid (synthetic T4.) Animals also produce them.

T4 is more abundant making up about 80% of what the thyroid creates, whereas T3 represents only 20% but is roughly four times as powerful. What's more, T3 is the "active" hormone that the body really wants and needs.

T3 is responsible for a whole host of vital functions and affects nearly every physiological process. These include growth, development, heart rate, metabolism, and body temperature. But T3 lives hard and dies young; its half life is about 2.5 days. T4 has a steadying effect with its longer half life of 5 to 7 days. While T3 is busy coursing through the blood taking care of every cell of the body directly, T4 is taking on an indirect role as a T3 reservoir by continuously converting into T3 inside the liver and other tissues. This process occurs when enzymes called deiodinase remove one iodine atom from each T4 molecule. This ensures a constant, metered supply of T3 to the cells of the body independent of what the thyroid directly secretes.

If your thyroid isn't pumping out enough of these two crucial hormones then you have a condition called Hypothyroidism. This problem is also referred to as having an under active thyroid. These hormones are vital to the cells of your body and directly control a plethora of vital body functions.

Your quality of life may be diminished significantly if you suffer from Hypothyroidism. In the most severe cases (very rare) a person can die from this disease. It is a complication called Myxedema Coma. Don't worry, if you're able to read this, you're probably in no danger of Myxedema Coma, but it is the end result of the body being continuously starved of vital thyroid hormones.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism, as well as symptom intensity, will vary among individuals, often dependent upon the degree to which your thyroid is"under active". In many cases the onset of hypothyroidism is gradual; you may be unaware that you are sick. The symptoms can be subtle, but once realized, will leave little doubt that you're body is suffering for lack of T4 and T3.

Some symptoms include:

-A grayish look; a pale ashen hue has de-toned your skin and you look like death warmed over. You may not realize it, but once you get well and are euthyroid (normal thyroid hormone levels), you'll look at photographs of yourself from your hypothyroid days and won't believe your eyes.

-Puffiness that is especially noticeable in the face, making you seem heavier than you are.

-Weight Gain because your metabolism has slowed.

-Dry skin

-Brittle hair

-Hair loss.

-Constipation or hard stools.

-Feeling cold, especially at night; you need more blankets than others.

-Cold hands

-Loss of patience, snappy, easily agitated. This is because you're coping skills are shot as your body attempts to cope with its own internal problem.

-You don't feel good. It is taking all your energy just to exist.

-Joint pain.

-Tendonitis in joints.

-Inability for joints to heal from normal wear and tear.

-Heavy limbs: Remember when you were a kid and you tried on those Velcro exercise weights from the 80's? People strapped them around their ankles or wrists to jazzercise to Olivia Newton John. It may feel like you're wearing them now, and you may be so used to the feeling of wearing them, that you don't realize how heavy your limbs feel. Remember though, after an hour of two, when you removed the weights it felt like your arms or legs were so light they might float away? Get ready, because once you're thyroid hormone levels return to normal you'll feel it again.

-Muscle knots

-Waves of prickly, pinching feelings in your body.



-Trouble concentrating

-Brain fog.


-Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

-Loss of interest in activities you hate

-Loss of interest in activities

-Loss of interest

-Laziness: You just don't feel like taking the two steps back to the fridge to put the mayonnaise back, you'll get to it tomorrow.

In some cases your thyroid may be producing a technically correct amount of T4 and T3 but your pituitary gland is having to scream extra loud at your Thyroid Gland to get it to work. This communication between pituitary and thyroid gland is accomplished with Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) emitted by the pituitary gland to spur the thyroid into action when hormone levels get low. When T4 and T3 levels are within the correct range, but TSH is elevated, it is referred to as Sub Clinical Hypothyroidism. Those with Sub Clinical Hypothyroidism may be experiencing symptoms as well.

Hypothyroidism is completely curable and the damage is largely reversible. Patients nearly always have a prognosis for a long and healthy life. Treatment is simple and usually consists of taking medication once a day to augment the thyroid gland in its hormone production. Synthroid for example is a brand name medication in tablet form consisting of Synthetic T4. There are also animal derived tablets such as Amour brand available which will consist of both T4 and T3. Synthetic T3 exists also, but is less commonly prescribed.

By Nick Sulkowski an airline pilot living in Phoenix AZ. who has hypothyroidism but is flourishing with treatment.

Please visit my website http://thyroid-hype.com/ I really hope you'll register and join the FORUMS so we can begin a discussion and learn from one another.

http://thyroid-hype.com/ "Where Knowledge and Community equal Healing"

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