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Thyroxine Deficiency

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Give yourself a head start on your thyroid health by knowing what signs to look for in a thyroxine deficiency.

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.

7 Everyday Signs of a Thyroxine Deficiency

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:

  1. HEADACHEHeadaches
  2. Nausea
  3. Fatigue
  4. Depression
  5. Constipation
  6. Inability to concentrate
  7. Memory problems

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. 

8. Difficulty Losing Weight

WEIGHT LOSSDifficulty 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 the 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.

Also, 7 less common problems that may point to a thyroxine deficiency are:

    9. Brittle nails
    10. Aching joints
    11. Abnormal cholesterol levels (high or low)
    12. Dry hair
    13. Hair loss
    14. Difficulty regulating temperature, especially in cold
    15. Lack of sexual desire

In general, thyroid disorders can leave you feeling like you have no energy at all. This lethargy affects all aspects of your life.

In children and adolescents, a thyroxine deficiency can have long-lasting effects related to growth and psychological well-being.

Sign 16: Goiter, the External Sign of Thyroxine Deficiency


There are few obvious signs of hypothyroidism; however one that stands out in more severe cases of thyroxine deficiencies is a 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.

Sign 17: Mood Alteration

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 depressive disorders with thyroxine even when they showed no tested abnormalities of the thyroid gland.

Thyroxine Control

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.

Facts about Thyroxine Deficiencies

  • Untreated thyroxine deficiency can cause prenatal problems for pregnant mothers, and birth defects in babies.
  • Certain medications and foods can interfere with thyroxine medications. Avoid foods like walnuts, and other foods high in iodine or other thyroid boosters if taking synthetic thyroxine.
  • In 1914 Edward Kendall, an American biochemist developed the first crystallized form of synthetic thyroid hormone that was named L-Thyroxine after the natural thyroid hormone.

Levels of Thyroxine Deficiency

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 bloodstream for the body to perform, even a slight decrease can have far-reaching effects. Thyroxine is directly related to 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.

Who is Most Affected by Thyroxine Deficiencies?

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.

Myths/Facts: Thyroxine Deficiency
Fact: People living in coastal regions inhale iodine from the saltwater air around them daily, and experience fewer thyroid problems than inland inhabitants
Myth: Treating hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroxine can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Fact: Thyroxine deficiencies can create more severe cases of PMS in women.
Myth: Thyroxine deficiencies are contagious. Thyroid conditions are not contagious in any way.
What You Need to Know About Thyroxine Tests

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.

Testing for Thyroxine Deficiencies at Home

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 difficulty in regulating body temperature, you can use that to see if your body responds normally to changes in external temperatures.

TAKING TEMPERATURETake 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 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.

Synthetic Thyroxine

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.

Natural Thyroxine Boosters

OYSTERSIf 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 hypothyroidism: kale, kelp oysters, foods high in vitamin C, nuts, tuna, bell peppers, and salmon.

Homeopathic Thyroxine Boosters

Iodine supplements and foods high in iodine such as the above-mentioned kelp help stimulate 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.

Next Article: Thyroid Health | How to Boost T3 and T4 Levels