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Benefits of Thyroid Hormone Function

The thyroid is crucial to achieving all the benefits of hormone replacement therapy.​

Most TRT clinics neglect the most important hormone, the thyroid

Many testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) clinics and doctors have no training on how essential thyroid hormones are for your health. Thyroid hormones are metabolic, meaning they help regulate your metabolism. Without optimum thyroid, you will not see the actual benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), and you may suffer the following symptoms:

Common symptoms of thyroid hormone imbalance

  • A decrease in testosterone levels (Low T) via low SHBG (sex-hormone-binding globulin) levels, which transport testosterone around the body
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low libido (decreased sex drive)
  • Muscle loss
  • Loss of strength
  • Tiredness and lack of motivation
  • Hair loss and balding
  • Thinning nails
  • High Cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Impatience, short temper, and lack of ability to deal with stress
  • Increased insecurity

At optimum levels, the thyroid breaks down fat, resulting in improved weight loss and lower cholesterol. Thyroid wards off heart disease and protects against Alzheimer’s disease [1]. If thyroid levels are insufficient, you may experience fatigue, slower speech, slower movement, depression, and a compromised immune system.

Many of these characteristics sound suspiciously like symptoms of getting old. They are, yet they don’t have to be. The supplementation of a natural thyroid hormone can alter what is termed “normal” changes seen with aging. Hallmark studies have shown that even when a patient tests normal for thyroid levels, supplementing a natural source of thyroid can significantly enhance overall well-being. The thyroid is one of the most misunderstood hormones, which many clinics wrongly choose to ignore with their treatment programs.

Take the free hormone assessment to see if you could benefit from thyroid treatment.

What are the benefits of thyroid for men?

Your thyroid hormone function plays a vital role in regulating your metabolic rate, controlling functions in your heart, muscles, and digestive system, along with bone maintenance and the development of your brain. It secretes hormones into your bloodstream and performs many functions essential to your health. If your thyroid is not performing to its best abilities (hypothyroidism) or the hormones it secretes show low activity, symptoms become apparent.

What are thyroid hormones?​

The process begins in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases a hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (THR). This hormone then stimulates the pituitary gland to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which finally tells the thyroid how much hormone to produce.

The thyroid produces three main thyroid hormones:
  • Triiodothyronine, also known as T3.
  • Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4.
  • Calcitonin, a hormone that regulates calcium and phosphate in the blood.

The most abundant hormone produced by the thyroid is T4 (more than 90%). T4 is called a ‘prohormone’ because it is metabolically inactive, meaning it doesn’t have many benefits on your body. T3 is the active form but accounts for only around 7% of the total produced. T4 lasts ‘longer’ in the body, so it is only usually converted into T3 (short-lived) when needed.

Once produced, most thyroid hormones become bound to a protein called thyroid-binding globulin, which transports them around the body, primarily to the kidneys, liver, and gut where it converts into the metabolically more active T3. Finally, T3 can reach all the cells in your body so it can perform around 200 beneficial effects.

How is thyroid tested?

The best way to determine your optimal thyroid levels is via signs and symptoms, Male Excel’s primary method. However, other doctors tend to test the thyroid using a TSH test, often shown to be unreliable. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is an inert molecule produced in the pituitary gland that tells the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones T3 and T4. The problem is that the thyroid works at a cellular level, so you can not completely tell from a standard TSH blood test how thyroid hormones work within the body.

The TSH tests only measure the glycoprotein that stimulates thyroid hormone production, not the active effect these hormones have.

The most effective diagnostic tool is to test free T3, which shows an accurate reading of bioavailable thyroid hormone.

Diagnosing an underactive thyroid can become complicated without access to proper health care. Often due to misdiagnosis, many men suffer the long-term effects of low thyroid. Symptoms can be life-altering and can affect work, relationships, general health, and mental wellness.

You can only accurately diagnose thyroid problems using the correct tests and by having the right knowledge of the symptoms.

  • Fatigue and general tiredness
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss, weakness, and muscle cramps
  • Low sex drive (libido)
  • Poor memory and difficulty concentrating
  • Raised cholesterol
  • Moodiness and depression
  • Hair loss
  • Gynecomastia
  • Decreased testosterone
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Dry, brittle thinning hair
  • Hoarseness
  • Constipation
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Fertility problems
  • Face swelling around the eyes and face
  • Slow heart rate
  • Slightly raised blood pressure

We see patients in our clinics take thyroid medication such as Levothyroxine (Synthroid) without relief from their symptoms. Levothyroxine is T4, and for many, it will not work for two main reasons:

  1. You have non-conversion issues: your body cannot convert T4 into the useable T3, so there will be no relief of symptoms.
  2. You have thyroid resistance: your thyroid hormone receptors are not working correctly, and this type of medication will have no effect.
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Normal thyroid is not optimal

Many doctors look at thyroid function in terms of normal. Male Excel looks at thyroid in terms of optimal.

Normal hormone levels are based on research carried out by companies that collect blood samples from doctors all around the USA for analysis. The main reason people go to the doctor, they are sick and quite often older. As a result of this research, ‘normal’ levels are based on age groups between 20 and 80 years old who have visited the doctor because they are sick.

Nobody wants to be ‘normal’ based on what is ‘normal’ for an 80-year-old.

Numbers are only part of the story​

The key to understanding hormones is not found by looking at the numbers. No blood test will give any doctor an insight into what hormones are doing at a cellular level. The biggest problem with many medical practices is an emphasis on these numbers and what’s ‘normal.’ If you are overweight, tired with no energy, poor memory, and a lack of libido, doctors will often dismiss these symptoms.

These symptoms are not normal and Male Excel can treat them. By optimizing thyroid, testosterone, DHT, and estradiol levels, we can help support you and eliminate the most significant cause of hormone imbalance in men; visceral fat, the most common cause of hormone imbalance in men.

Low thyroid and low free testosterone

Low testosterone and thyroid symptoms are often very similar, and because of the close relationship these two hormones have, many doctors find it difficult to tell them apart.

Low thyroid hormone and low testosterone are interconnected [2], this often reflects in low SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) levels. An underactive thyroid can lower free testosterone in the blood and reduces SHBG, a protein that attaches to testosterone and carries it around the body. Low-free testosterone levels are correctable if our low thyroid is also addressed.

Because testosterone and thyroid are linked, any disruption to this system can cause testosterone levels to fall. By correcting thyroid hormone levels, we can reverse this. Increasing thyroid function can help increase free and total testosterone levels.

What thyroid medications are available?

The most widely prescribed medication in the United States, with 123 million prescriptions written in 2016, is the thyroid medication Levothyroxine. This medication is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T4 and is used to treat an underactive thyroid. However, T4 is not the best treatment for many people because around 30% of people with hypothyroidism have a condition where the body cannot convert non-active T4 into T3, the biologically active thyroid hormone. Another 50% of people with low thyroid activity have thyroid resistance, which means that receptors that bind with T3 are reduced or are structurally inadequate. So, their T3 hormones either connect to receptors incorrectly or not at all.

Desiccated thyroid

Desiccated thyroid extract (DTE), also sometimes called natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) or porcine thyroid, comes from dried and powdered thyroid glands of animals; usually pigs and cows. It has been a treatment for underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) for decades. DTE became available in the 1890s, proving to improve symptoms of those suffering from hypothyroidism.

We prescribe Desiccated Porcine Thyroid which is a natural product that contains hormones T4, T3, minimal levels of T1, T2, iodine, and calcitonin. Because of its natural origin, desiccated thyroid mimics real thyroid hormone production far more closely than synthetic versions, which don’t contain such a broad spectrum.

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Studies and References:

[1] The relationship between thyroid function and cerebral blood flow in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Shohei Nomoto, Kinno, Hirotaka Ochiai, Satomi Kubota, Yukiko Mori, Akinori Futamura, Azusa Sugimoto, Takeshi Kuroda, Satoshi Yano, Hidetomo Murakami, Takako Shirasawa, Takahiko Yoshimoto, Akira Minoura, Akatsuki Kokaze, Kenjiro Ono Published: April 3, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214676

[2] Donnelly P, White C. Testicular dysfunction in men with primary hypothyroidism; reversal of hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism with replacement thyroxine. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2000 Feb;52(2):197-201. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2265.2000.00918.x. PMID: 10671947.