A thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located on the front side of your neck, just below the Adam’s apple. This gland is crucial for keeping your body running by providing hormones. Two hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) AND THYROXINE (T4), are responsible for metabolism affecting weight, growth, body temperature changes, heart rate, and brain development during infancy and childhood.
Like any part of the body, there can be issues. One issue with the thyroid gland is hyperthyroidism, which is when the thyroid produces too many hormones. The symptoms include fast heartbeat, increased appetite, anxiety, heat sensitivity, and sudden weight loss. Thankfully there are options to treat this through medications or surgery. If left untreated, bone loss and/or irregular heart beat can occur.
The opposite can also occur in the thyroid. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid is not making enough hormones. The symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, diminished appetite, muscle and joint pain, dry skin, depression, difficulty concentrating, and feeling cold. This affects about 4.6% of the U.S. population today. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but it can be treated with medication to improve thyroid function.
Hypothyroidism has a few options for medication treatment. The first option is synthetic hormone levothyroxine, or L-T4. This treatment is lab created T4 which lacks the active thyroid hormone T3 and its cofactors. The other options are natural medications, such as porcine thyroids. The desiccated thyroid extract (DTE) from porcine thyroids help combat hypothyroidism naturally. It provides a standardized combination of T4 and T3 hormone replacement. It also contains trace amounts of cofactors such as T1, T2, calcitonin, and iodine. A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found 48.6% preferred the medication with natural ingredients and felt a significant improvement in symptoms.