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Give yourself a head start on your thyroid health by knowing what signs to look for in a thyroxine deficiency.
by Brad Chase
Thyroxine is the hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. It is commonly known as T4, and your doctor can test the levels of thyroxine in your blood with a couple of simple blood tests.
Thyroxine deficiencies can cause many problems, and the lack of the hormone thyroxine is known as hypothyroidism. That means the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. The alternative to hypothyroid is hyperthyroid, where the body is overproducing thyroxine.
Both conditions cause mild to serious symptoms.
There are many symptoms of a lack of thyroxine in the system. Many of them can easily be mistaken for general everyday occurrences such as:
As you can see, the above side effects of a thyroxine deficiency are things anyone might experience occasionally. However, if you are experiencing any or all of the above symptoms regularly, checking for abnormal thyroid action is a good idea.
Difficulty in losing weight is another symptom of thyroxine deficiency. Since thyroxine is an important metabolism stimulant, a lack of thyroxine in the system will cause a very slow, sluggish metabolism.
One warning in regards to blaming a thyroxine deficiency for inability to lose weight is that most obesity problems are caused by a seriously bad diet, and overeating.
Too often people with weight problems blame the thyroid without cause. However, if you are watching what you eat, eating a well-balanced diet and still not losing weight, talk to your doctor about having your T4 levels tested.
In addition, there are 7 less common problems that can point to a thyroxine deficiency are
In general, thyroid disorders can leave you feeling like you have no energy at all. This lethargy affects all aspect of your life.
In children and adolescents, a thyroxine deficiency can have long-lasting affects related to growth and psychological well-being.
There are few obvious signs of hypothyroidism; however one that stands out in more severe cases of thyroxine deficiencies is goiter.
A goiter is a swollen thyroid gland that appears on the neck, and can swell to the size of a baseball if left untreated.
A study conducted in Italy showed that women with even very mild thyroxine deficiencies had low scores on neuropsychological tests, and poor psychological ratings. Only six months of thyroxine supplements improved their moods and their verbal fluency.
Tests connecting thyroid dysfunction are still in their infancy and in some cases inconclusive. In Canada, a similar test was completed that only showed women with mild thyroxine deficiencies having social anxiety disorders, but no other neuropsychological or psychological problems.
Since many of the direct symptoms of hypothyroidism are related to moods, depression and other psychological disorders, it isn’t hard to see why further testing of the neuropsychological and psychological impact of thyroxine deficiencies are so important.
In many cases, physicians have found great results in treating patients with depression disorders with thyroxine even when they showed no tested abnormalities of the thyroid gland.
Not all thyroxine deficiencies are caused due to an improperly working thyroid gland. Thyroid function is directly linked to the secretion of another hormone made by the pituitary gland. If the pituitary gland is not doing its job, the thyroid may produce less thyroxine as a result.
Severely low levels of thyroxine are extremely hazardous and can even be fatal.
However, mildly low levels of thyroxine are much more common. Long-term underproduction of thyroxine can cause many difficulties, including severe weight gain which leads to many other deadly diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The thyroid gland is most often associated with metabolism malfunctions, but proper thyroid function is also vital to the entire endocrine system. A thyroxine deficiency can throw the entire hormonal system into disarray.
While it takes very little thyroxine in the blood stream for the body to perform, even a slight decrease can have far-reaching effects. Thyroxine is directly related in the regulation of every cell in the body, and a thyroxine deficiency can damage all of the body’s vital organs including the liver, kidneys, heart and brain. It also causes skin problems and brittle bones.
The most common age group to suffer from thyroxine deficiencies is women over the age of 40. However no age group is immune. It is important to note that extremely mild thyroxine deficiencies may not show up as abnormal in the common blood tests for thyroid disease.
General blood tests and physicals do not normally reveal even major thyroid dysfunction. If you suspect a thyroxine deficiency it is important to request TSH, T3 and T4 tests so that you can catch a thyroxine deficiency.
If no deficiency shows up on the tests, but you still are experiencing the symptoms listed above, consider adding natural thyroxine boosters to your diet.
While it is not meant to take the place of testing by your physician, there is a test you can do yourself to see if you have a thyroxine deficiency.
Because thyroxine deficiencies cause a difficulty in regulating body temperature, you can use that to see if your body responds normally to changes in external temperatures.
Take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake up, before you even get out of bed.
Make sure you prepare the thermometer correctly, depending on the type of thermometer you are using. For a common glass thermometer, make sure you shake it down all the way before taking your temperature.
You can take your temperature in any way you prefer (under the armpit, or under the tongue) but the most accurate basal body temperature reading is from oral (or rectal) readings.
Repeat this process three days in a row. Add all three numbers together at the end of your test, and divide by three. If the average body temperature over a three-day period is less than 97.8F you have a hypothyroid problem.
If you test positive for hypothyroidism, your physician will likely put you on a schedule of synthetic thyroxine known as L-Thyroxine and sold under the names: Levothroid, Synthroid, Levoxyl and others.
If you feel you have a mild hypothyroid problem and want to attempt to regulate it at home, the safest manner is to make changes to improve your diet. Here are some foods for hypothyroidsm: kale, kelp oysters, foods high in vitamin C, nuts, tuna, bell peppers and salmon.
Iodine supplements and foods high in iodine such as the above mentioned kelp are helpful in stimulating thyroxine production.
The government instigated an iodine improvement program decades ago that included iodizing common table salt to improve iodine levels in the diet, but since people are eating less salt, there has been an increase in thyroid problems.
For that reason, it is important to make sure you get enough iodine, either by natural foods or supplements to keep from developing thyroxine deficiencies.
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Thyax is a natural thyroid remedy that can help stimulate thyroid hormone levels naturally. Boost low levels of T3 and T4 to restore your thyroid function back to normal.