Thyroid hormones impact every major system in the body. When there’s an imbalance in those hormone levels, a thyroid disorder can develop, along with any number of symptoms, including weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, muscle pain and stiffness, mental fog, depression, and infertility.
Thyroid disorders can occur due to a problem with the way the body regulates the thyroid metabolism or because of autoimmunity—as is the case with the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism, called Hashimoto’s disease.
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In hypothyroidism, the body’s levels of two thyroid hormones—T4 and T3—are too low. However, in low T3 syndrome, the body’s levels of T4 are often normal, while T3 has fallen behind.
The cause of the problem doesn’t involve the thyroid gland itself; instead, the issue arises because of the way the body regulates the thyroid metabolism. For people with low T3 syndrome, replacement thyroid hormones are often ineffective.
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In conventional medicine, treatment for a thyroid disorder often stops at replacement hormones. That method might offer some short-term relief, but many people see their symptoms return as their chronic illness progresses. That’s because simply replacing thyroid hormones does nothing to address autoimmunity, which is often the root cause of hypothyroidism.
That’s why correcting immune system dysregulation is often an essential step to treating hypothyroidism. Avoiding certain foods that could aggravate the condition and, in some cases, taking replacement thyroid hormones, can also help alleviate symptoms of a thyroid disorder.