Our thyroid has a huge impact on our metabolism – and our metabolism has a huge impact on our weight. The more you understand the role of your thyroid in relation to your metabolism, the more you can influence it.
Let’s begin with some basic facts about thyroid metabolism:
- The control over the speed of your metabolism begins in your brain in the area called the hypothalamus.
- Your brain and your thyroid are directly linked with each other.
- The hypothalamus sits directly below a little sock of fluid called your pituitary gland.
- Your pituitary gland is in your brain about an inch below the surface of your forehead. You can locate it by putting your fingers in between your eyes, just above your nose.
- Your pituitary gland is where the entire endocrine process begins – yes, it’s in your brain.
How does everything work?
What happens is that your hypothalamus releases a hormone called TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and this goes straight into your pituitary gland. This hormone tells the pituitary that the thyroid is a little sluggish and it needs to be kicked it into gear.
TSH is a complex hormone:
- About 93 percent of the hormone released into the thyroid is T4 and about seven percent is T3.
- The hormone T3 is the active form of the hormone and the chemical that your body needs to manage its basic metabolism.
- T4 is the inactive form of the hormone and it has to be converted into T3 so your body can use it.
So 93 percent of the hormone released by the pituitary gland has to be converted into T3 before it can be used by your body.
For that conversion to take place, something else has to happen first. The T4 has to bind to a protein before it can be used in a number of different areas in the body including your gut, your liver and an area called your peripheral tissue.
The numbers work out like this:
- 60% of the converted hormone goes to go to your liver.
- 20% goes to your gut.
- 20% goes to your peripheral tissue.
When your thyroid gets sluggish your body automatically increases your TSH levels. When your metabolism speeds up, your body brings your TSH levels down.
Why your thyroid medication isn’t working.
Your medication simply does what your body is not doing naturally so it has a direct affect on the pathway of the TSH hormone. It attempts to regulate the rate at which TSH is produced and distributed around your body.
The dose you take of your medication is not related to the symptoms you are experiencing. This is adjusted according to the results of a blood test. If your TSH is high, you dose is increased and if your TSH is low, your dose is decreased. It’s that simple.
Many doctors look at other symptoms you may be experiencing – they simply adjust your dosage as a result of a blood test.
This is fine if your thyroid is your problem but what happens if you have a liver problem? If you have a liver problem, it means you’re not converting the thyroid hormone well but that’s not going to be affected by medication.
If you’ve got a blood sugar problem, it is going to affect your peripheral tissue but that’s not going to be helped by medication either, and if you have a gut problem that’s not going to be helped by medication, either.
If you have a thyroid problem, there’s a really, really good chance that you have all three of these other issues as well, but the medication can’t help with these problems, and that’s why the medication is not working for you.
Take a moment and listen to Dr. Wirick explain this connection between your thyroid and your metabolism in a little more detail.
Please contact us today is any of these thyroid dysfunctions are affecting your daily life. We work closely with our thyroid patients in finding lasting solutions at the core of the problem. Please contact us today is any of these thyroid dysfunctions are affecting your daily life. We work closely with our thyroid patients in finding lasting solutions at the core of the problem.