The Thyroid gland and energy
When it comes to your energy levels, the thyroid gland stimulates your cells to make energy in the mitochondria. Energy powers your cells – the more thyroid hormone you make the more energy your cells will make.
Thyroid problems are very common today and yet often go undiagnosed. Why is this? It is because the gradual decline in thyroid function is very insidious and you can get used to feeling tired. This is why it is important to check your thyroid function with a blood test every 12 to 18 months. Sluggish thyroid can often cause gradual weight gain and increasing
weakness due to slower metabolism.
If you have a family history of thyroid problems you are much more likely to suffer with a thyroid problem and hence the greater need for regular thyroid function tests.
A thyroid function blood test checks levels of the following:
- Free Thyroxine (Free T4 or FT4) is one type of thyroid hormone made in the thyroid gland – it contains 4 molecules of iodine
- Free Tri-iodothyronine (Free T3 or FT3) is another type of thyroid hormone made in the thyroid gland – it contains 3 molecules of iodine and is more powerful than T4
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is made in the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to make more thyroid hormone
- TSH regulates T4 and T3 hormone production by the thyroid. If your thyroid cannot manufacture enough T4 or T3, TSH raises; if it produces too much T4 or T3, TSH will fall.
The standard reference ranges for a thyroid function test used by Australian laboratories are:TSH 0.30-4.50 mlU/L
Free Thyroxine (FT4)______8-22 pmol/L
Free T3 (FT3)____________2.5-6.0 pmol/L
The reference ranges for thyroid function tests were based on statistical averages. New research is showing that the TSH reference range may not be ideal; the upper limit of normal is ideally 2.5 mIU/L.
The following statement was issued by the American National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry in their press release, issued January 18th, 2001:
"Even though a TSH level between 3.0 and 5.0 mIU/L is in the so called “normal range”, it should be considered suspect since it may signal a case of evolving thyroid under activity."
According to the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, more than 95 percent of normal, healthy people have a TSH level below 2.5 mIU/L. Anyone with a higher level is likely to have underlying Hashimoto’s disease or another thyroid disease which has not yet progressed to full blown hypothyroidism.
A review published in the British Medical Journal stated that "thyroid stimulating hormone concentrations above 2 mIU/L are associated with an increased risk of hypothyroidism."
Hashimoto’s disease is inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by autoimmune disease. The immune system makes antibodies, which attack the thyroid gland and gradually kill the thyroid cells. This can be very insidious unless these abnormal antibodies can be found early on. It is important to get these antibodies down to save your thyroid gland.
Thyroid Antibody Tests
Thyroid antibodies are tested in order to check for autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease and postpartum thyroiditis. This is an important test to have because most thyroid disorders are autoimmune. This test can also pick up a problem in the early stages, before it develops into a hormone deficiency or excess. Your thyroid function test results may be normal but if you have thyroid antibodies in your bloodstream, your immune system is destroying your
thyroid gland and sooner or later your hormone levels will probably be abnormal too.
A thyroid antibody test consists of:
Anti-thyroglobulin Antibody (TgAb)______Cut off titre = 100
Anti-microsomal Antibody Ab (TPOAb)___Cut off titre = 100
A result above 100, means that your immune system is producing sufficient antibodies to attack and destroy your thyroid gland.
For full information see our book Your Thyroid Problems Solved.
To keep your thyroid tissue healthy and functioning well, you need adequate amounts of iodine, selenium, zinc and
vitamin D. Deficiencies of these things are common and many people are unaware that they are deficient.
Keep your cells powerful by maintaining your thyroid gland in good health.