Have you been told your thyroid is “normal” despite having a long list of symptoms? Are you taking thyroid medication yet still feel tired, carry extra weight, experience anxiety and other underactive thyroid gland symptoms? Keep reading and discover the importance of T3 for thyroid balance.
T3 for thyroid balance
T3 is the thyroid hormone that makes a big difference to how you feel. It’s the thyroid hormone that really drives your metabolic rate (important for energy and weight loss) and is important for menstrual and reproductive health.
It’s critical that your body can efficiently convert T4 to active T3. For many people with an underactive thyroid the body is not properly converting T4 to T3.
Low T3 leads to many of the common symptoms of a low thyroid. T4 medication such as ‘thyroxine’/’oroxine’ isn’t always enough to manage your thyroid symptoms.
What is Reverse T3?
Under particular conditions T4 can convert to inactive ‘reverse T3’ (RT3) which has the opposite effects of T3. High reverse T3 is an important factor to consider if you have signs of a slow metabolism. It can trigger a hypothyroid state. Excess reverse T3 is produced by the body for a variety of reasons including stress, infection, nutrient deficiencies, heavy metals and bromide toxicity.
Normally you will have only TSH tested by your doctor.
You need more than TSH tested
TSH is a hormone made in the pituitary gland which is located deep within your brain. This is a ‘messenger hormone’ as it tells the thyroid to produce or ‘stimulate’ the vital thyroid hormones your body needs to function properly. Although widely considered the gold standard for assessing thyroid function, TSH is not a reliable indicator of overall thyroid function.
Issues of testing TSH in isolation include:
- You may be told your thyroid is fine when your TSH test result falls within the ‘normal’ range. The problem is, ‘normal’ does not mean optimal.
- A very wide standard reference range is used when testing TSH. A result within the established reference range can be misleading and does not automatically rule out an underactive thyroid issue. In addition, what should be considered ‘normal’? Current research reveals TSH should ideally be between 0.5 and 2.0 mIU/L.
- The TSH test does not measure your thyroid hormone levels within your thyroid gland so you won’t know if your thyroid is responding to the TSH message. Your TSH can appear ‘normal’ even when you are experiencing common symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
- The TSH test does not screen you for autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. To diagnose this thyroid disorder a specific test that measures your thyroid antibody levels need to be tested. Abnormally elevated thyroid antibodies confirm the diagnosis.
However there are other important tests apart from TSH.
Five thyroid tests to ask for
There are five thyroid tests to ask for that will help provide clues as to how your thyroid is really functioning. These include:
- thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- free thyroxine (T4)
- free triiodothyronine (T3)
- reverse T3 (RT3)
- thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase Abs (TPO Ab) + antithyroglobulin Abs (ATG Ab)
Natural support for thyroid health
As a naturopath, I can address your thyroid needs and arrange comprehensive thyroid blood testing if required. In addition, I take in to account your thyroid related symptoms and carefully consider these along with any thyroid test results.
The good news is that naturopathic medicine can assist your body back into balance in turn helping you feel more energised, lose weight, and stop the mood swings as well as other unpleasant symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid gland.
Book an Appointment Today
So what are you waiting for? Book an appointment and begin your journey to optimal wellness and hormone balance.