The adrenal glands secrete hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone that are essential to health and vitality and significantly affect total body function. After mid-life, the adrenal glands gradually become the major endogenous source of sex hormones in both men and women. Intense or prolonged physical or emotional stress commonly associated with modern lifestyles or chronic illness can lead to Adrenal Fatigue, which is an important contributing factor in health conditions ranging from allergies to obesity.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant adrenal hormones like cortisol help to minimize allergic and negative reactions, such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. These hormones closely affect the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fats and proteins into energy, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function. Proper adrenal support is essential to complete the hormonal pathway to optimal health, and includes proper nutrition, getting plenty of sleep, regular moderate exercise, stress management, slowing down to regain a proper perspective on life, and replacement of deficient hormones.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone) include fatigue, cold and heat intolerance, hypotension, fluid retention, dry skin and/or hair, constipation, headaches, low sexual desire, infertility, irregular menstrual periods, aching muscles and joints, depression, anxiety, slowed metabolism and decreased heart rate, memory impairment, enlarged tongue, deep voice, swollen neck, PMS, weight gain, hypoglycemia, and high cholesterol and triglycerides. Yet, more than half of all people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
Although both T4 (thyroxine, an inactive form that is converted to T3 in other areas of the body) and T3 (triiodothyronine, the active form) are secreted by the normal thyroid gland, many hypothyroid patients are treated only with levothyroxine (synthetic T4). Some hypothyroid patients remain symptomatic, and T3 may also be required for optimal thyroid replacement therapy. However, the only commercially available form of T3 is synthetic liothyronine sodium in an immediate release formulation which is rapidly absorbed, and may result in higher than normal T3 concentrations throughout the body causing serious side effects, including heart palpitations. Research indicates there is a need for sustained-release T3 preparations in order to avoid adverse effects.
A randomized, double-blind, crossover study found inclusion of T3 in thyroid hormone replacement improved cognitive performance, mood, physical status, and neuropsychological function in hypothyroid patients. Two-thirds of patients preferred T4 plus T3, and tended to be less depressed than after treatment with T4 alone. Patients and their physicians may wish to consider the use of sustained-release T3 in the treatment of hypothyroidism, particularly when the response to levothyroxine (T4) has not been complete.
J Endocrinol Invest 2002 Feb;25(2):106-9. Levothyroxine therapy and serum free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine concentrations..
N Engl J Med 1999 Feb 11;340(6):424-9. Effects of thyroxine as compared with thyroxine plus triiodothyronine in patients with hypothyroidism..
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