Thyroid hormone is an essential hormone in your body. It controls many functions, and thus, the levels of the hormone must be within the normal range for normal body functioning. Some of the functions controlled by the hormone include cellular metabolism, body temperature, and growth. The normal range of thyroid hormone levels differs based on your age and gender. In children, the range is lower compared to adults. Similarly, the normal range of the hormone is slightly higher in an adult male than an adult female.
Thyroid hormone is produced in the thyroid gland. The gland i small and located in the lower end of your neck. Like many hormones, the release of thyroid hormones is controlled by the hypothalamus, a small organ located in your brain. The action of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland contribute to the release of the hormone. There are two types of thyroid hormone; T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) hormone. The type of hormone that your thyroid gland releases into the bloodstream is the T4 hormone. The hormone is then converted to the active hormone, T3.
Thyroid hormone therapy.
Thyroid hormone therapy refers to the treatment of low levels of the hormone. The therapy aims at boosting the levels of the hormone back to the normal range. The treatment is mainly offered to people who suffer from hypothyroidism and goiter. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is incapable of producing sufficient levels of thyroid hormone. On the other hand, goiter is a condition in which your thyroid gland enlarges due to low levels of iodine in your body. It can also be due to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or the presence of nodules in your thyroid gland. Other than hypothyroidism and goiter, thyroid hormone therapy is suitable for people who have conditions like:
- Cancer of the thyroid.
- Thyroid removal surgery.
In simple terms, myxedema is advanced hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism causes symptoms like dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, et cetera. Thyroid hormone therapy is offered as a precautionary measure to people with thyroid cancer to prevent hypothyroidism. It also prevents the growth of cancer and can be given to thyroid cancer patients in remission to prevent thyroid cancer from reoccurring. Surgical removal of the thyroid will require thyroid hormone therapy because you no longer have a thyroid to produce the hormone. As such, you will depend on an exogenous supply of thyroid hormone to maintain your normal body functioning. This refers to the overproduction of the thyroid hormone. The overactivity of the thyroid gland can eventually result in hypothyroidism or cause goiter.
How many people need thyroid hormone therapy?
Anyone with thyrotoxicosis, thyroid cancer, myxedema, hypothyroidism, or lacks a thyroid gland, needs therapy. Statistics show that disorders of the thyroid affect roughly 12% of Americans. This implies that about 12% of Americans need thyroid hormone therapy or are already continuing with the treatment. Of the 12%, 5% are suffering from hypothyroidism alone.
A study showed that women and people aged above 65 years are more likely to receive thyroid hormone therapy compared to men and younger adults, respectively.
Anyone who has symptoms such as weight gain, puffy face, fatigue, dry skin, raised sensitivity to heat or cold should visit an endocrinologist for thyroid hormone testing. The test used to determine whether or not you require thyroid hormone therapy is a blood test. Once the tests are conclusive, your doctor will recommend one of the two forms of therapy; levothyroxine sodium or liothyronine sodium. The former is a T4 therapy and is the most common form of thyroid hormone therapy, especially in hypothyroidism. Like the natural T4 in the body, the exogenous form is converted to T3 when it enters the bloodstream.
In most cases, your doctor will prescribe a low dosage when initiating thyroid hormone therapy and gradually increase the dose when your body has adjusted to the hormone. You will then need to undergo regular blood tests to ensure that your thyroid hormone does not go beyond the normal range. There are some side effects associated with high levels of thyroid hormone, such as nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia.
Our Vital Force IV Therapy clinic at Birmingham, Alabama, is dedicated to improving the quality of life to anyone going through hormonal imbalances. One of the hormonal therapy services we offer is thyroid hormone therapy. If you have the symptoms mentioned above or any of the conditions above, call us today on (205) 352-9141. We will ensure that the levels of your thyroid hormone rise to the normal, and at the same time, minimize the risk of side effects.