It is conservatively estimated that 20 million people in the US suffer from hypothyroidism; nearly half of them remain undiagnosed. For many patients, the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunction can be straightforward and successful. Unfortunately, this is not true of all patients, and because the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism resemble symptoms of numerous other medical conditions, many patients are misdiagnosed and suffer needlessly.
Your thyroid is a small gland, located in the neck, in an area behind and below your Adam’s Apple. The thyroid gland produces several hormones of which two are considered the most important: T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). Both hormones play a major role in protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism as well as aid in the development of the brain, central nervous system, bones and teeth. If your thyroid is functioning at full capacity, 80% of the hormone produced will be T4 and 20% will be T3. T3 is considered the more biologically active of the two hormones and is several times stronger than T4.
In patients with hypothyroidism, many physicians treat patients using T4 only, because the body is usually capable of converting T4 into needed T3. For many people this approach works well. However, there are a significant number of patients with “normal” TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels who are not diagnosed as being hypothyroid, yet who still experience classic hypothyroidism symptoms such as tiredness, fatigue, depression, coldness, reduced metabolism, sluggish bowels, and dry skin. These patients may have thyroid hormone resistance or an impaired ability to convert T4 to T3. For these patients, a compounded T4/T3 blend may be the best option. And an increasing number of prescribers are using “old-fashioned” natural desiccated pork thyroid (T4/T3 mix) again, and with great results.
The Slow-Release Advantage
One primary disadvantage of commercially available thyroid replacement products is that they are all manufactured as IR “immediate-release” tablets. These IR tablets dissolve quickly in your stomach, releasing the entire amount of medication into your bloodstream over a short time period. This results in your body receiving a “jolt” of thyroid hormone, which really does not mimic the gradual secretion pattern of a normal thyroid gland.
Our pharmacists prepare slow-release capsules by accurately blending the active thyroid ingredient with a special filler – methylcellulose (E4M). Methylcellulose (E4m) is commonly found in many food products and has the ability to absorb water from the stomach and GI tract. Instead of releasing all the thyroid hormone at once, the water-saturated methylcellulose creates a matrix that holds the thyroid ingredient longer, allowing it to be gradually released from the stomach and GI tract into the bloodstream. This more closely replicates the way your own thyroid gland works.
Our slow release thyroid capsules are available in a variety of custom strengths. We use vegetable-based (no animal gelatin) capsules. Our thyroid products are lactose-free and contain no dyes or food coloring.
Thyroid hormone requires a valid prescription from a licensed prescriber.
Click here to download a prescription to take to your doctor.
Click here to read an article discussing the advantages of slow-release thyroid.
Click here to read an Interview with Glenn Rothfeld, MD, Author of Thyroid Balance