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The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, it weighs less than 30g or an ounce and its secretions control human body metabolism which is the way we convert food and uses energy in cells. This key controller of human metabolism and function produces four forms of thyroid hormones, three of which are known to be active molecules.
The Thyroid hormones are described as T1, T2, T3 and T4 (for simplicity). Iodine is very important as it is a component of the thyroid molecules.T3 has three iodine molecules and T4 has four. In understanding that iodine is part of the thyroid hormone you are better able to understand that it is critical for effective thyroid function. Low iodine causes the "foggy thinking" associated with low thyroid function. New Zealand soil is deficient in iodine.
If the human soul had a molecular structure, it would be a thyroid hormone. Without it our minds, the source of thought, perception, emotion, memory, imagination and love would never work and we would simply revert to uninteresting blobs on a gray landscape. T3 or tri-iodothyronine contains 80% of thyroid hormone activity and T4 or thyroxine contributes just 20% activity. T3 works in all human cells as the spark that creates metabolism. It functions in the synapse or junctions of nerves, particularly in the brain. It fires the furnaces (mitochondria) in cells, particularly in the brain. In so doing it controls our serotonin hormone which is another "feel good hormone" we rely on for emotional wellbeing. If T3 is not available to nerves then depression and anxiety with the destruction of mood and energy are invariably a consequence.
Causes of thyroid hormone deficiency
Most estimates of the incidence of hypothyroidism are based on levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. This results in a large number of people with mild hypothyroidism going undetected.
Incidence of hypothyroidism using blood results
There are degrees of non performance of the thyroid gland. Sometimes we do not realise what the cause of our low energy and fatigue is. We may have multiple symptoms that represent classical thyroid deficiency, which can in the long term be life threatening, and yet we and our doctor still do not know the cause. The following is a list of some symptoms which, if you have low thyroid function, you may recognise.
If thyroid activity is measured by the functional temperature test as described by Broda Barnes, Stephen Langer and other medical authors, rather than blood thyroid hormone levels, the incidence is as high as 25%. There are several reasons why functional tests show a greater incidence of low thyroid than blood tests, the main reason is that blood measures T4 which accounts for 90% of the hormone secretion of a normal thyroid, this is the inactive hormone. It is T3 or tri-iodothyronine which cells make from T4 which affects cells the most. If T4 cannot be converted into T3 a person can have normal levels in the blood but be thyroid deficient. The measurement of T3 has been shown to miss 50% of patients.
The best way to assess thyroid function is measuring its affects on the body through measurement of metabolic rate which is controlled by temperature regulation by the thyroid gland. Barnes in over 40 years of practise confirmed the original work regarding the efficacy of measuring basal metabolic temperature and thus the body's response to thyroid hormones, optimal TSH blood level is 2.0. Anything greater than 2.0 is tending to hypothyroidism. (Americian Assoc clinical Endocrinologists) Normal basal temp is 36.5, temperatures consistently lower than this indicate low thyroid function.
Symptoms on Hypothyroidism (underactive)
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism (over active)
Reference: Cabot Sandra, Your Thyroid Problems Solved
Smith Pamela, HRT: The Answers
Ref: Hertog Theirry MD: The Hormone Solution
Langer Stephen E MD: Solved the Riddle of Illness
Arem Ridha MD: The Thyroid Solution