Thyroid hormones may be necessary to some, but sometimes they do more harm than good. Read on to understand the potential drawbacks of thyroid hormones.
If you are struggling with chronic health issues – the way I used to – you probably have piles of lab tests that can potentially tell you a lot about your health. Thyroid hormones may be one of them. However, doctors never had enough time to explain it properly. They will only notice it if the lab flags your test results as outside of normal. But what if all your results are coming back normal, yet you know you are feeling nowhere near healthy? They may even tell you there is nothing wrong with you, and that it’s all in your head – I’ve been there.
Lab Test Analyzer is the tool I wish I had when I was dealing with all my health issues. Instead of normal, it will tell you the optimal values for thyroid hormones and many other lab tests. And if you are outside the optimal range, it will give you actionable tips and recommendations that will help you get there.
Main Thyroid Hormone Functions
- Energy production
- Heart rate
- Cognitive function
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Menstrual cycles
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
- Growth and development
- Intestinal flow
Hyperthyroid (too much T3 or T4) symptoms include:
- Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
- Hair loss
- Faster heart rate
- Weight loss
- Missed or light menstrual periods
Low levels of T3 cause a slower heart rate, constipation, and potentially weight gain.
Hypothyroidism (too little T3 or T4) symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping and waking up earlier than you want
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Sensitivity to cold temperature
- Frequent, heavy periods
- Elevated blood cholesterol
- Slowed heart rate
- Weight gain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry skin and hair
Thyroid Hormone Test
You can request that your doctor test your thyroid hormones. Conventional doctors will look at high or low thyroid hormone levels and not mention anything. Sometimes, a lab result may be in the reference range, but not actually be in the optimal range. Reference ranges are not the same as optimal ranges. This is why even thyroid hormones in the ‘normal’ range can be unhealthy and indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal. Lab Test Analyzer will let you know if your thyroid hormone levels are optimal and what you can do to get them there if they aren’t.
4 Reasons Why Taking a Thyroid Hormone May Not Be a Good Idea
1) Low Thyroid Hormones May Lower Inflammation
Joe’s experience: I’ve noticed that whenever I’m in a hyperthyroid state, I’m more sensitive to an autoimmune attack. When I induce hypothyroidism, I’m immune to such an attack, so there might be an advantage to being hypothyroid.
Hypothyroidism is linked to immune deficiency (R).
2) Thyroid Hormone Increases Inflammation
Thyroid hormones also elevate cytokines like IL-6. The more thyroid hormone there is, the higher IL-6 gets (R).
Inflammatory cytokines like macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha and IL-1beta contribute to hypothyroidism. However, an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha and nitric oxide synthase may be caused by increased T3 (R).
Thyroid hormones are potent activators of energy production. We feel a boost of energy, but our chronic inflammation also goes up.
When we have chronic inflammation, the body is smart to lower our thyroid hormones a bit so that the inflammation is reduced. It’s called balance.
3) Thyroid Hormones Activates mTOR and Worsens Th17 Dominance
mTOR, which increases energy production, also stimulates the immune system and increases inflammation. To learn more about diseases caused by mTOR activation, read this post.
If you’re fighting a pathogen, then revving up your immune system is probably a good idea (if you also use other means to kill it), but if your inflammation is from lectins or some other inflammatory agent, then it’s not a good idea to stimulate your immune system even more.
This pathway is particularly important to people with Hashimoto’s and Grave’s, because both of these diseases originate from elevated Th17 inflammation, which is caused by mTOR activation.
4) Thyroid Hormones Increase Oxidative Stress
Perhaps the worst effect of thyroid hormones is that they increase the worst kind of free radical: superoxide. This happens with the increase of the energy production of immune cells (and others) (R).
Not only do hormones increase superoxide, but they also decrease the enzyme to break down superoxide (SOD) (R).
Increased oxidative stress may accelerate aging, so it makes sense that lower thyroid hormone levels are associated with longevity (R).
In a cross-sectional study, longevity correlates with higher TSH levels, as well as lower T3 and T4 levels among people who live exceptionally long (beyond 89 years for males and 91 years for females) (R).
When Taking Thyroid Hormone Is Necessary
I would never suggest not experimenting with thyroid hormones, but it should be done after you’ve taken all of the tests to measure inflammation, oxidative stress, and adiponectin (for lectin sensitivity). Perhaps try the lectin avoidance diet first, if possible.
It would be wise to experiment with many other things first before turning to thyroid hormones.
If you’ve tried everything and you still have low thyroid hormones, then experiment by taking it and continue with it only if you see a significant benefit (in the long run as well).
I would much rather people take TRH for a sluggish thyroid, although it is quite expensive.
Thyroid hormones are indeed a godsend for people with advanced Hashimoto’s, head traumas, or other similar concerns.
However, before taking thyroid hormones, you want to make sure that either your thyroid antibodies are high or that your thyroid hormones are significantly below the standard (not borderline).
Irregular Thyroid Hormone Levels?
If you have not yet tested your thyroid hormone levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor to do it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.
People don’t realize that their blood test results contain a gold mine of information that’s waiting to be unearthed. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the inclination to sift through dozens of research papers.
It’s super-simple, so that even if you don’t have any background in science, you will understand what your results mean and what you can do to get them in the optimal range.
Lab Test Analyzer gives you up-to-date scientific information about your lab results. In addition, you will get both lifestyle tips and natural solutions to help you optimize your health. You can also rely on our science-based Optimal Ranges to prevent potential health issues and maximize your overall well-being.
All of the content is backed by science and researched by a team of PhDs, professors, and scientists.
We’re all unique, so we deserve solutions that treat us that way.