Jen Wittman, Contributor
Why don’t thyroid medications work long-term?
I am struck by the number of clients or people participating in thyroid forums who complain that after years of being on conventional and popular thyroid medications that their symptoms have increasingly become worse. When they’ve gone to their physician to discuss their symptoms and problems, the doctor’s response is to increase the dosage of the medication. Here’s why that just doesn’t work for true healing.
First of all, your thyroid works like this:
- The hypothalamus gland sends a message using thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) to your pituitary gland
- Your pituitary gland then determines how to stimulate the thyroid by sending thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- TSH stimulates your thyroid to produce inactive T4 and active T3 (thyroid hormones)
- The inactive T4 goes to your liver to be converted to active T3
- Active T3 goes straight to the bloodstream to be delivered to your cells
What is important to know here is that Active T3 is what is used by our cells to produce energy and protective steroid hormones. Our thyroid only makes 10% of the active T3 we need to function properly. The rest of the Active T3 (the other 90%) is created when T4 gets converted in the liver.
Here’s where the problem lies – most of the conventional thyroid medications out there (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothryoxine, etc.) only supplement T4; and not T3.
So what happens? Oftentimes, this excess of T4 causes a buildup effect and actually slows your thyroid even further creating increasing hypothyroid symptoms. When the doctor ups your dosage, he/she is just adding fuel to the fire. This is why conventional thyroid medications simply don’t work, long-term. There are other medications and methods that can help you heal.
Well, the most crucial part to healing is to discover the underlying cause of your symptoms. Simply masking your symptoms with medication doesn’t actually cure you of thyroid disorder or autoimmune/inflammatory disease. When your body gives you signals that manifest as symptoms, it is important to observe them and get to the root of that symptom, work holistically with your body and retrain your system to function properly.
I’m not going to lie – it takes time. It’s definitely not as easy as taking a pill and having some symptom relief but it’s better than the proverbial “band-aid.” Taking a holistic approach provides support to your body so it can remember its natural state; so it can perform optimally once again. Finding the right support is key. Seek out help from people who will listen, give you the respect you deserve and honor the validity of your symptoms.
About the Author
Jen Wittman is the creator of The Healthy Plate (www.thehealthyplate.org). A former Hashimoto’s patient, Jen provides a free e-course on thyroid health with tips to help eliminate symptoms of thyroid and autoimmune disease. Jen hosts thyroid healing intensives and retreats that can help a person uncover the challenges keeping him/her from a happier, healthier body. Through personal coaching, Jen helps people tackle any obstacles with their health, weight, digestion, menu planning, fitness, and lifestyle. Want to learn how to heal naturally and reduce or eliminate thyroid medications from your life? Learn how during her TLC Power Sessions, Intensives and Retreats.
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