Your TSH, T4, and T3
The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck, sets the metabolic rate for EVERY CELL in our body. It is responsible for producing a few hormones including T4 and T3.
T4 is more of a storage hormone that gets converted to T3. T3 is an active hormone and is the one that increases metabolism and body temperature. It also helps with brain function, heart health, digestion, and maintain muscle control. This guy or gal does a lot, right?
When the hypothalamus located in the brain senses that either one of these hormones is low, it tells the pituitary gland that also located in the brain, to produce and release TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. Basically, the pituitary acts on the thyroid gland to make T4 and T3.
When the brain senses that there is not enough T3, the active hormone, the pituitary tells the thyroid gland to produce more T4 hormone. The body must convert T4 into T3 in order to use it. If there are problems and inefficiencies during this conversion process, a person will experience symptoms of hypothyroidism. I will talk more about it in a minute here.
Most traditional health care professionals look at one thyroid marker to assess the health of the thyroid. And that marker is the TSH. Unfortunately, this is NOT enough, especially if you experiencing some of the symptoms I am about to discuss. I will help you understand why it is important to run a complete thyroid panel, especially if you are experiencing hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the body is low in T4 and T3. Or there are problems converting T4 to T3. The common symptoms are:
> depression, fatigue, brain fog, difficulty losing weight, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, constipation, muscle weakness, poor libido.
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid produces too much T4. The common symptoms are:
>> difficulty sleeping, fast or irregular heartbeat, unintentional weight loss due to high metabolism, sensitivity to heat, feel moody, anxious, and irritable, and fatigue and muscle weakness like hypo but due to overactivity versus underactivity.
Holy moly, right? I hope this is starting to shed some light the importance of these hormones other than the TSH.
Spoiler alert! Knowing the levels of your TSH, T4, and T3 aren’t the only ones to shed light on the health of our thyroid and metabolism. We are able to do a full thyroid panel, we learn about Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid antibodies, Reverse T3, and other hormones.
I am not going to dive into them right now but I wanted to make you aware that there is more to know and learn. When I perform a complete functional blood chemistry analysis for my clients, I get into details about these markers. I don’t recommend everyone run a full panel, but if I person is experiencing symptoms mentioned earlier, I do. And NO, you do not need a doctor to get these labs done. I can tell you where and how to get it, just like I do for myself.
What happens when finances get in the way of ordering labs?
Whether funds are or not available, there is ONE THING you can do at super low cost, without your doctor’s approval and prescriptions.
Do you want to know what is it?
YES. YES. YES.
The answer is coming to you next time we talk.