Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy

Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy

Many patients respond better to Desiccated Natural Thyroid because of its ratio of T3:T4. Other thyroid supplements work on the theory that the thyroid gland can convert T4 (levothyroxine) to T3 (liothyronine), but as the thyroid gland of a hypothyroid person is already not functioning properly, its ability to convert T4 to T3 may likely be inhibited as well. T3 is not available commercially except as an immediate acting preparation, which often causes undesirable side effects.

Our compounding pharmacy can also create custom blends of T4 and T3 hormones to meet individual patient needs. MD Custom Rx also has the ability to omit fillers and excipients present in commercially available tablets which may not be well tolerated by some patients. For a perfectly balanced and custom formulated thyroid hormone supplement in Wisconsin, MD Custom Rx is your compounding pharmacy of choice.

Symptoms of hypothyroid (low thyroid) may include:

  • fatigue
  • cold and heat intolerance
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • fluid retention
  • dry skin and/or hair
  • constipation
  • headaches and/or migraines
  • low sexual desire
  • decreased heart rate
  • memory and concentration impairment
  • enlarged tongue
  • infertility
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • aching muscles and joints
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • low self esteem
  • slowed metabolism
  • high cholesterol/triglycerides
  • deep voice
  • swollen neck
  • PMS
  • Weight gain
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Types of Thyroid Hormones

Thyroxine (T4), with four iodine atoms per molecule, is an inactive form that is produced exclusively by the thyroid gland

Triiodothyronine (T3), with three iodine atoms per molecule, is the active form of thyroid hormone. About 20% of T3 is produced by the thyroid gland, with the remainder produced through conversion of T4 in various tissues of the body when more T3 is needed. Some people may transform T4 into a non-usable form called Reverse T3.

The role of prescription compounding in the treatment of the hypothyroid patient:

Many studies suggest that replacement therapy for hypothyroidism with levothyroxine (T4) alone does not ensure normal thyroid hormone levels in all tissues, and that a combination of levothyroxine and T3 may be required for optimal thyroid replacement therapy. However, the only commercially available form of T3 is synthetic liothyronine sodium, an immediate release formulation, which is rapidly absorbed. We can help meet unique individual needs through customized compounded prescriptions. For example:

  • Sustained-release T3 preparations
  • Customized combinations of sustained-release T3 and T4
  • Excipient free thyroid preparations for hypersensitive patients

Now Available – Dried Urine Testing for Iodine!

Iodine plays many different roles in optimizing health and preventing disease. Approximately 2 billion of the world’s population is iodine deficient. In children and adults, iodine deficiency can lead to lower thyroid hormone synthesis and consequent symptoms and conditions of hypothyroidism. Pregnant women who are deficient in iodine are at increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, or giving birth to children with cretinism and severe neurological and developmental defects. Children born to mothers who are iodine deficient during pregnancy can have impaired intellectual development and are at increased risk for developing attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.

While iodine’s role in thyroid hormone synthesis is well recognized, iodine serves many different and protective roles in the body including those of an antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, and anti-carcinogen. Tissues other than the thyroid gland that utilize iodine include; white blood cells, salivary and lacrimal gland, ciliary body of the eye, renal cortex, pancreas, liver, stomach, small and large intestinal mucosa, nasopharynx, choroid plexus, skin, adrenal cortex, mammary gland, placenta, uterus, and ovary.

Iodine’s ability to form iodolipids underlies its capacity to serve as an antiproliferative and prevent abnormal benign growths (i.e. thyroid nodules, fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids) as well as cancers. As an antimicrobial, it is of relevance that iodine from the bloodstream concentrates in a broad spectrum of tissues that are repeatedly exposed to infectious organisms (i.e. skin, eyes, gastrointestinal tract, salivary gland, nasal and oral mucosa, breast ducts, uterine lining, prostate).

Whereas iodine deficiency poses health problems, elevated iodine levels can be problematic as well. High iodine levels can cause goiter and both hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

With iodine playing so many different roles in optimizing health and preventing disease in the thyroid and other tissues, it is essential that adequate iodine intake is maintained and problems associated with low or excessive iodine are identified and treated appropriately. To this end, ZRT Laboratory has developed a simple and convenient test to measure an individual’s iodine level in dried urine on a filter strip. This method was developed to circumvent the more cumbersome collection of all urine over a 24 hour period. While measurement of urinary iodine levels may provide useful information on one’s iodine nutritional status, sufficient levels does not always guarantee that adequate amounts of thyroid hormones will be synthesized by the thyroid gland.

ZRT Laboratory has combined the advanced technology of measuring iodine in dried urine, with that of thyroid hormone measurements in finger prick dried blood spots to create the Comprehensive Iodine Thyroid Test. The Iodine-Thyroid Profile is designed to evaluate not only the availability of iodine, but also its capacity to be utilized for thyroid hormone synthesis. The thyroid glands capacity to utilize iodine for thyroid hormone synthesis is determined by measuring thyroglobulin, TSH, total T4, free T4, free T3, and TPO antibodies in finger-prick whole blood dried on filter paper.

Get Iodine Tested and the Comprehensive Iodine Thyroid Test kits in Brookfield.
CALL 262.373.1050 MD Custom Rx Can Help.

A Focus on Thyroid Dysfunction Symptoms, Proper Testing and Treatment

It has been estimated that between 40 to 80 percent of the American population is suffering from an undiagnosed thyroid ailment. Due to the extremely important role that thyroid hormone plays in the body, having this number of people go undiagnosed is a tragedy. Thus, it is extremely important for everyone to understand the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, how to properly get tested for thyroid function and thyroid treatment considerations.

Thyroid hormone affects every cell in the body. In fact, life is not possible without it. Symptoms of thyroid malfunction include:

  • Fatigue
  • Coldness
  • Dry Skin
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Brain fog, headaches
  • Menstrual problems and PMS

Furthermore, high cholesterol, infertility, arthritis, and 59 separate diseases are all associated with thyroid dysfunction.

Many traditional medicine practitioners solely rely on testing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in order to evaluate thyroid function. Measuring TSH levels is an indirect way to evaluate thyroid hormone production by the thyroid gland. The pituitary gland secretes TSH to stimulate the production of thyroid hormone. When there is insufficient thyroid hormone, TSH levels increase. Increased TSH causes the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone. When there is excess thyroid hormone, TSH levels will be lowered. Problems exist with relying solely on TSH levels to evaluate thyroid function. First of all, solely measuring a TSH level does not give a complete picture of thyroid function. Free T4 (Thyroxine) and Free T3 (Triiodothyronine) should also be a part of every thyroid laboratory workup. T4 is the predominant hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It is an inactive hormone and must be converted to T3 within cells. T3 is the active thyroid hormone that regulates the metabolic activity of cells. There are many people who produce enough T4 yet cannot convert some or most of it into T3. In these cases, the TSH level will appear "normal," yet patients will exhibit many of the signs of a thyroid disorder.

A fourth valuable thyroid test is Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO). Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme used by the thyroid gland in the manufacture of T4. In patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, the body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, and levels of these antibodies in blood can diagnose this condition and indicate the extent of disease. Another problem with serum blood testing is that thyroid hormone functions inside of each cell [not in blood]. Collecting blood from the capillaries (i.e. with a finger stick) rather than from a venipuncture, may be more representative of cellular levels of thyroid hormone. Simple blood spot test kits from ZRT Laboratory are available to you through MD Custom Rx for at home testing of your complete thyroid function (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, and TPO). Blood spot testing involves a nearly painless finger stick to collect a few drops of blood, which are then dried on filter paper and sent to ZRT Laboratory for analysis. Since thyroid interacts so closely with other hormone systems ZRT Laboratory test kits can also be utilized to evaluate the sex steroid hormone levels as well (i.e. estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, diurnal cortisol).

Treating thyroid dysfunction often involves a combination of compete hormone restoration including adrenal function, diet modification, nutritional support, as well as thyroid hormone replacement. There are many nutrient deficiencies that can cause an inability of the body to convert T4 into T3. These include; vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc. Many medications also interfere with the body's ability to convert T4 into T3. The list includes; beta blockers, birth control pills, synthetic hormone therapies, and SSRI antidepressants. Iodine deficiency plays a large role in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis. Researchers have found that subjects with autoimmune thyroid disorders had much less iodine in their thyroid glands than the normal group did. Simple dried urine spot test kits from ZRT Laboratory are available through MD Custom Rx for at home testing of your iodine level. Numerous studies have also shown a link between autoimmune thyroid disease and gluten sensitivity. Consider scheduling an appointment with pharmacist Dan Zatarski PharmD (aka The Vitamin Coach) for assistance is assessing for nutritional deficiencies, medications, and/or gluten sensitivity that may be contributing to poorly functioning thyroid hormone.

If diagnosed with under active thyroid (hypothyroidism), a thyroid hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed. Often compounded prescription preparations can meet the individual needs of the patient. Through prescription compounding a thyroid capsule can be prepared as a gradual release preparation. This is especially advantageous when dosing T3, as T3 has a very short half life in the body. In addition, compounding allows infinite dosing possibilities. At MD Custom Rx we can virtually prepare any combination of T4, T3 and/or Desiccated Porcine Thyroid USP as needed by the patient.

Physicians and patients trust MD Custom Rx for Compounded Solutions for treating Thyroid Dysfunction, CALL 262.373.1050.