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Why Levothyroxine (Synthroid) doesn’t work

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Ever wonder why you’re on thyroid medication but continue to have symptoms? Why every time you go to the doctor and he or she keeps increasing your dosage but inevitably your symptoms return? Learn why in this quick 5 minute video.

Hi i’m mccall mcpherson co-founder and pa at modern thyroid clinic and i wanted to talk to you today about why your doctor might say you don’t have hypothyroidism or that your medication is fine and you still feel terrible so to do that i want to really dig into how your thyroid works and what information your doctor is getting that would make him or her think

That right so bear with me with the biochemistry let’s start down here so your brain sends a message to your thyroid right by way of a hormone called tsh thyroid stimulating hormone so it does just that right it stimulates your thyroid this is really what regular medicine uses to diagnose and manage peoples√≠ right and we’re gonna dig in a little deeper and i

Think you’ll understand why this system doesn’t really work for everyone so really this doesn’t tell me directly about output it tells me how hard your brain is asking your thyroid to work right so this stimulates your thyroid and your thyroid secretes a hormone called free t4 i want you to think about free t4 like a precursor hormone in inactive hormone so

It doesn’t actually impact how you feel at all it just is kind of like crude oil is too gasoline so we need crude oil to make gas to make our car run but we can’t put it directly in our car right it has to be activate it has to be converted to a usable form so thyroid secretes free t4 and really one of two things happen well one of three things actually either

Your t4 is converted to what we want it to be converted to free t3 this is our moneymaker this is our thyroid gasoline it’s really the only thing that dictates whether you’re hyper hypo or just thyroid okay so everything relies on this t3 so either your t4 becomes t3 or it gets shunted to your body’s inhibitory mechanism called reverse t3 reverse t3

Competes for production and absorption of free t3 and it’s called reverse t3 because it’s actually t3 in reverse it’s a mirror image like if you hold out your hands so let’s kind of put these pieces together okay if if your doctor is basing your thyroid status on your tsh what he or she is doing is assuming that your biochemistry feedback mechanism is intact and

What i mean by that is when you have enough supposedly of both hormones both being the key keyword it sends a message back to your brain and it says okay we have plenty of hormones you can lower this person’s tsh right we don’t need to work so hard when you don’t have enough of really one or more or both hormones it sends a message back and it’s like okay well

We really need to pick up the pace here we need more production so we increase the tsh the problem with that is especially with people on synthroid or levothyroxine or medications that our t4 based to your sent is the same what happens with these people or even regular people who aren’t on any thyroid medication that are just walking around a lot of people have

What i call a conversion problem they have a difficult time converting their crude oil hormone their free t4 to their gasoline hormone their free t3 when that happens you can have substantial crude oil or substantial precursor hormone and it actually sends a message back to your brain that says okay well we have enough hormone we can just keep the tsh low well

Those people go into their doctor’s office and either they say hey i was reading online and i have like 14 the 14 hypothyroid symptoms i think have a thyroid problem then their doctor says okay well let’s check your tsh their tsh looks fantastic because it’s getting a feedback message from your free t4 that you have plenty of hormone but keep in mind that the

Only thing that makes you feel good and healthy and vibrant is your t3 you’re free t3 so you can have plenty in all the free t4 in the world but if you can’t convert it to your active form it’s not doing you any favors the same way that we can have all the crude oil in the world but if we can’t convert it to gasoline we’re not going anywhere in our car right so

That’s kind of one scenario the other scenario is my own personal scenario of why i’m on synthroid for three or four years and i still have all of these symptoms and i feel terrible why the doctor says oh well your tsh looks fine so you don’t need any more thyroid medication or in my case you need less because it’s too low well what was happening to me and what

I see every day in my clinical practice is people on the synthroid have a ton of t4 because synthroid or leva thyroxine is t4 so of course they do meanwhile they’re very deficient in t3 and often they’re reverse t3 is elevated all of this combined just sends a message back to the brain and says we don’t need to work as hard lower the tsh and people are left

Feeling miserable and they’re left having their doctors tell them that their labs are fine that this free t3 and free t4 reverse t3 that’s silly business who needs that anyway when really it’s impossible to know someone’s thyroid status unless you have this information because if i had to prioritize importance tsh would be on the lower end of the spectrum so

That’s a little bit of information if you want more information and you really want to understand how your thyroid works and what labs are good and how they interact together check out our course below at the link thanks

Transcribed from video
Why Levothyroxine (Synthroid) doesn't work By McCall McPherson