Is Your Thyroid Holding You Back? Increase T3, Increase Metabolism, Increase Energy!
Let’s get some understanding of how it works. Just like other hormones, it operates on an axis. The thyroid hormone T4 circulates within your blood. The hypothalamus, which is the thermostat of our brains pays close attention to how much T4 is within the blood stream. If you do not have enough of the thyroid hormone floating around in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus releases a hormone called Thyroid Releasing Hormone.
Thyroid Releasing Hormone sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release another hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. We call this hormone TSH. TSH goes to the thyroid gland and tells it to release a hormone called T4. T4 is an amino acid called tyrosine, and it has four iodines attached to it. This hormone is good for absolutely nothing.
T4 has to be activated. It travels to our duodenal system, where primarily our microbiome and our liver knocks off one of the four iodines and activates the T4. It is now called T3. T3 is the spark plug found in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. You see when glucose passes through the cell membranes it goes to the mitochondria to be converted into energy. When that glucose molecule hits the T3 molecule, BAM! Energy is made. I want you to know that I am simplifying this for understanding. But in a nutshell, T3 is the spark plug, just like those in the engine of your cars. When the spark ignites the gas, your car moves. When glucose hits your T3, you move.
It is vital to look at four different thyroid tests to understand how our thyroid is functioning. The three tests we examine are TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and Iodine serum. Our goal is for you to achieve a healthy Free T3 level. When we test most patients, they have, T3 levels on the low end which mean you might be suffering from hypothyroidism. We have found that a majority of menopausal women and andropause men are T3 challenged. Nearly all women and men in the third act of their lives have malfunctioning thyroids.
The purpose is for us to increase metabolism function, which will also enhance our energy levels. By increasing our metabolism and energy, we would burn more calories and eliminate more fat. We would like to boost your fat burning; therefore, we want to increase the effectiveness your fat burning hormones, thyroid, testosterone, and growth hormone. Also, to improve this “gas igniting process,” we must work on our guts before we work on our thyroid. It is imperative for us to have a healthy gut if we want our thyroid optimized.
What is the difference between free and non-free T3 & T4?
The difference is that total T3 or T4 measures all of our T3 or T4, even the T3 or T4 we cannot use. In the free tests, we are only looking at the T3 or T4 that our bodies can use. Proteins can bind to T3 or T4 and other hormones so that the body cannot utilize the hormones and put them out of use.
So what did you do to improve your thyroid once you found that you had low levels?
First, we want to improve our T4 levels, and we do this by supporting our thyroid with the nutrients necessary to produce T4, like iodine and tyrosine. In essence, we make sure that the thyroid has enough of the precursors it needs to make healthy levels of T4. Now to optimize T3 levels is to we need our liver and gut to achieve better conversion of T4 to T3. Remember T4 is the inactive form of the thyroid gland. It’s really worthless unless the liver and microbiome activate the T4 by knocking off an iodine.
What about thyroid medications?
There are two types of drugs. Those made from pigs called porcine, and those made synthetically. Studies show that over 20 million women take synthetic thyroid medication. When we consult with female patients taking these medications, whether synthetic or natural, one out of ten will say they felt different,but only different, not better.
Most of the time these medications do not improve their symptoms. Nearly all of the women say they still have the same symptoms like same weight the same or have even gained weight. The good news about these meds is that they do improve your blood work. That is why they continue to take them. Because when they get a follow-up thyroid panel, it shows that they are no longer hypothyroid. However, they still have all the symptoms and have not lost weight.
If you are estrogen dominant, for women above 100 pg/ml and men above 35 pg/ml, this one step would be probably all you need.
Once estrogen is released by females ovaries or in men through an enzyme called aromatase, it circulates within your bloodstream looking for specific target cells. These cells have receptor sites located on the membranes of these cells. Cells are like a keylock and estrogen is like a key that connects with a receptor site. Once the estrogen molecule connects to the receptor site, it sends a message to the cell commanding an action.
Once estrogen has delivered the message, the estrogen molecule unlocks from the receptor site and is sent to the liver to be metabolized. Here is where problems can occur. There are two different paths the estrogen molecule can travel. One path makes a beneficial metabolite. The other way makes a harmful metabolite.
The 2-hydroxy pathway makes a beneficial metabolite. These metabolite actions are similar to the original estrogen molecule. It will help with preventing heart disease; it will assist in building healthy bones, and it will keep your skin and hair looking young and supple.
The 16-hydroxy pathway makes a harmful metabolite. This metabolite may make you gain weight, make you weight loss resistant, and can also increase the risk of breast, prostate, testicular, and other cancers.
To help prevent estrogen from going down the wrong path, we use a supplement called DIM. DIM is short for diindolylmethane, (pronounced: dye-in-dollmethane). DIM is naturally synthesized in your gut from a compound found in cruciferous vegetables called Indole-3-carbinol. This element is found in hard fibrous & cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, bok choy, etc.
DIM works like a traffic cop for estrogen metabolism. It guides the estrogen molecules onto the 2-hydroxy pathway. This helps with hormonal balance and optimization, especially with decreasing estrogen’s dominance. The secret it to achieve a balance between progesterone and estradiol in women, and testosterone and estradiol in men.
It has also been shown that the beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites increase testosterone levels in both men and women. It does this by releasing proteins that bind to testosterone. In turn, this increases free testosterone levels. With higher levels of free testosterone, the ability to build muscle, burn fat, increase drive and focus will significantly improve.
Now, the question is, what is the best way to get DIM in a position to direct my estrogen?
What if I just ate lots of cruciferous vegetables? You would have to eat 2 pounds of cruciferous vegetables daily to get enough DIM to make a significant impact on your hormones.
Could I ingest tablets of DIM’s precursor, indole-3-carbinol (the compound found in cruciferous vegetables?) It takes ten molecules of I-3-C to make one molecule of DIM. The DIM has to be transformed within the gut. With our guts being so damaged, this conversion can be extremely tough.
The one problem that we see with DIM is its absorption. You want to make sure to use microencapsulated forms. Women need to take about 125 mgs per day while men need about 250 mgs. If you exercise on a regular basis you want to take more. Women about 250 mgs and men up to 500 mgs. Research shows that DIM is safe at doses a thousand times higher, so don’t worry about overdosing this compound. If you are interested in purchusing the compound through a relaible source, please contact your health coordinator.
In Conclusion, these are the actions steps we need to take:
- Get a blood test that test for TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and iodine.
- Cleanse your gut and liver
- Take a thyroid support supplement to provide your thyroid with the nutrients it needs like Iodine 200mcgs daily
- Thyroid Quiz : The Energy Hormone
- Are you sensitive to cold?
- Do you suffer from cold hands and feet?
- Do you wake with a puffy face?
- Does everything you eat turn to fat?
- Do you have dry skin?
- Do you have trouble getting up in the morning?
- Do you suffer from constipation?
- Do you wake with morning stiffness?
- Are you low on energy?
- Do you hit the wall at mid-afternoon?
- Are you forgetful?
- Are you having brain fog?
- Are you losing hair?
- Have you lost your drive for most things?
- A score of 0-3 Most likely no need to check your thyroid levels
- A score of 4-6 Most likely a need to check your thyroid levels
- A score of 6+ No doubt there is a need to check your thyroid levels