By Aaron Grossman, MD
We’re all sick of hearing it by now.
With 35%+ of the population now having some form of Insulin resistance, we are in full on epidemic mode.
A potent combination of processed, nutritionally depleted foods, sedentary work environments and aging will pretty much all but guarantee increased Hemoglobin A1c levels and impaired glucose uptake.
Even if you do everything right, have great blood sugar levels and optimize your hormones with HRT you may still be experiencing a feeling of lethargy and fatigue that makes it very difficult to take advantage of your improvements in these other areas.
If you have high cholesterol, depression or loss of memory, it might be time to order a proper thyroid panel and be on the lookout for – subclinical hypothyroidism.
You see as you age your insulin resistance begins to take a hit, and so do your thyroid receptors.
These receptors are VERY complex machines with a lot of cogs on the cell surface that need different kinds of Thyroid Hormone (T1, T2, T3, T4) to plug into it like a puzzle.
I can’t state just how important the thyroid is to EVERY major system.
If ANY step is broken it will have MAJOR effects downstream.
Just like many of the patients being sold a false bill of goods by their physician who told them they had a “Normal” Testosterone level that was 300-400 or even lower, there are suboptimal thyroid levels that are masquerading as “Normal”.
First things first.
Your TSH is generally meaningless.
If your Doctor orders only TSH and is treating labs and not how you feel…FIRE THEM.
As Dr. Dan Purser puts it best, “they’re ‘clinicians’ not ‘labicians’.”
Labs are a guide.
T3 & T4: JUDGEMENT DAY
So when it comes to these levels you must look to symptoms and Free T3 levels.
Free T3 affects so many peripheral organ systems that it would be pointless for me to even list it here.
So many that the majority of Free T3 is actually produced outside the thyroid.
(Quiz your Doctor next visit on that and then just listen in awe.)
You want your Free T3 to be like your GPA, 4.0 is best.
Mine were hovering around 3.2.-3.4, which was suboptimal for me.
Again, it’s based on symptoms not just labs.
For Free T4 above 1.0 is fine.
Free T4, while not as important as Free T3 in the broader concept, plays a very significant role as it is the only thyroid hormone to pass the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and activates brain receptors.
Brain fatigue and brain fog is usually low T4.
IT’S THE QUALITY OF LIFE, STUPID
One of the more crucial improvements in fixing these levels is the Major improvement in Depression, well-being and quality of life markers which was published in an American Family Physician Journal study.
Depression can simply be reversed with high doses of N-Acetyl Cysteine and fixing Free T4 & Free T3 levels – which we’ll get to in a minute.
Even psychiatrists, notorious for pumping out the latest pharmaceutical brews and turning their practices into “Medical Management Centers” for psych drug cocktails have been giving “patients” synthetic T3 for years off-label to help mania and depression..without even looking at lab values.
Look at the actions not the words.
WHAT ACTUALLY WORKS
The best form of thyroid hormone has every form of Thyroid – T1, T2, T3 & T4.
Why is this important?
Because different forms activate different parts of peripheral tissue.
This is why purely synthetic forms (Synthroid) are not effective, because it only works on T4.
The form you want is dessicated porcine thyroid (Armour Thyroid/Naturethroid).
Yes, porcine = pig, get over it.
The pig thyroid receptors are molecularly identical to human thyroid so they are much more effective than the synthetic forms.
In addition, the pharmaceutical company that made Synthroid faked much of their research showing that their version is less effective than Armour Thyroid/Naturethroid.
The FDA has even officially told physicians that Armour Thyroid/Naturethroid is more effective – which most doctors likely on the pharma payrolls seem to keep forgetting.
FOR THE LADIES
If you and your partner are having a hard time getting pregnant, a thyroid check up (ALWAYS CHECK FREE T3) and a dose of 30mg Armour Thyroid/Naturethroid can help the lady in your life conceive, considerably.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You will lose weight on thyroid medication.
You lower cholesterol and lipids.
You will have more energy.
You will have stronger immunity, blood flow to your heart and nails/hair.
You will have better workouts, fertility for women and cognition.
DON’T FORGET THIS
It is imperative that you take CoEnzyme Q10 with any thyroid medication – at least 200mg daily.
CoQ10 is the last major enzyme along the mitochondria thyroid pathway.
You may also want to take Zinc (Orotate/Gluconate) since T3 peripheral receptors may need zinc to function fully,
In fact, some of the issues in zinc deficiencies are from lack of zinc activating the T3 receptors.
At least 10% of the population (and likely much higher) has thyroid illness of some kind.
If you’re currently on hormone optimization and are still too tired to exercise, stuck in brain fog or have symptoms of depression you likely have subclinical hypothyroidism.
If you want to make 100% gains in health optimization you may want to look into this.
If you’re happy at 75-90% of where you could be, it might not be for you.