Many people are taking a thyroid replacement medication like Thyroxine but still feeling most of their original symptoms. Your medication may have a different brand name such as Euthyrox, Eutirox, Letrox, Levaxin, Lévothyrox, Levoxyl, L-thyroxine, or Thyrax. I am going to use Thyroxine as the term that counts for all these brand equivalents because biochemically, that is what they all actually are..
Today I’m going to explain why you may not be feeling like your medication is working, how we assess the success of your medication, and how we improve your response to the medication.
People on this medication with all the symptoms say:
“Thyroxine may be a life saving medication ….. but it’s not a life enhancing medication.”
Not as simple as popping a pill
This medication must be taken first thing in the morning, 45 – 60 minutes before food. If taken incorrectly, any calcium in your food will bind to it and make it unavailable to your body. So the very first thing to check is that you are taking it correctly.
Once the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream, it travels around the body and will be converted at various sites. Enzymes in organs like the liver, brain, and heart convert thyroxine (T4) into T3. For most people with hypothyroidism, the body converts thyroxine into sufficient T3. But there’s evidence this doesn’t always happen.
This conversion process can be inhibited by nutrient deficiencies, or insufficient enzyme production.
So how can we check that?
Very quickly and easily at The Lucy Rose Clinic!
How Thyroxine works
Thyroid medication is just T4.
T= tyrosine 4 = 4 molecules of iodine.
In your body, it will go one of 2 ways. If all is well, there are enough nutritional co-factors available, and no adverse factors happening at the time, then most of it should turn into T3.
However, if there are low levels of nutritional co-factors due to a poor quality diet, high stress, pregnancy, fasting, or other medications, or other factors which I will outline below, then most will turn into the inactive reverse T3, called rT3 for short. Reverse T3 can’t be converted into T3, so it basically takes up space and interferes with the healthy production and conversion of regular T3.
Have you had rT3 checked? It isn’t on the medicare scheme in Australia, so it is not a standard test. However, it is vital to check, because if your medication dose is too high because you can’t convert T4 to T3, this results in pooling of unavailable hormones, complicating the situation even more!
The VITAL test no-one tells you about
There is actually still another step to your thyroid medication, and that is how well it can move from your bloodstream into the cells of your body. Because that’s where we actually need it – no point having great blood work if you can barely get out of bed in the morning!
The active T3 hormone knocks at the door of the cell wanting to be let in to do its job. However, sometimes it isn’t allowed in. This can occur from chronic inflammation, heavy metal excess, and a resistance of the cell wall. It often coincides with insulin resistance and leptin resistance.
Below is a test result of someone on thyroxine – FREE T4. You will see in the report it is not out of range, which means her medication dose is right. However, she is not converting it to it’s active for FREE T3, and that is giving her hypothyroid symptoms – fatigue, weight gain, hair shedding, constipation, etc.
First we look into the reason driving her health symptoms with functional pathology.
Thyroid – we always run a complete thyroid profile (as in the picture)
Stress – stress hormones wreak havoc on the conversion of T4 to T3 (look at you go!) We test stress hormones and treat as required to balance these important hormones.
Nutrient co-factors – Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D, Iron, and B vitamins need to all be on point and are tested in a variety of ways ranging from blood tests to saliva samples. Supplementation is used to correct deficiencies.
Sex Hormones – excesses in estrogen, progesterone or testosterone all have a impact on the body, and can affect how thyroid medication is taken up by the cell. We test your levels, and treatment is offers according to results.
Insulin and blood glucose – this affects weight, ravings, energy and vitality when out of range, and need to be tested if you have any of these symptoms.
If your thyroid medication just isn’t working, increasing your dose will not work – in fact, it can make it worse.
We work holistically with the body to support its functionality, and help your medication work better.
Book a free first consultation to discover how we could help feel as good as the woman in the picture.