Hypothyroid Symptoms with Normal Thyroid Counts. Could it be REVERSE T3?
Thyroid issues are very common in Australia today, with many factors affecting the function of this very important gland. You may have all the symptoms of hypothyroid disease, but annoyingly, all of your regular thyroid pathology has come back normal.
Commonly when standard tests are performed for thyroid function they will include TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 levels and sometimes thyroid antibody tests. Unfortunately, it is uncommon in mainstream medicine to test for something called reverse T3
Thyroid hormone T4 must be converted into T3 for the body to actively use it. T4 is essentially inactive whilst T3 is active. T3 is the the hormone that drives our metabolism and basically all body functions. Some refer to T3 as ‘the magic hormone. But in every story there must be a villain right?
Sometimes during the conversion of T4 to T3, something goes awry, and this can be due to a multitude of reasons. For this conversion to take place, an enzyme called 5-deiodinase is necessary. When something goes wrong in this conversion, too much reverse T3 may be produced causing an imbalance known as reverse T3 dominance. The problem with too much reverse T3 is that it is virtually inactive in the body. To add to this problem, reverse T3 will attach to the T3 receptor therefore blocking the critical function of T3 in the body.
Reverse T3 dominance will therefore cause hypothyroid symptoms but general pathology will come back as normal. It is worth having a chat to a practitioner if you suffer the symptoms of hypothyroid but have normal labs. Supplementing with some thyroid hormones can exacerbate reverse T3 dominance, so it is crucial to get to, and work on, the cause of the problem.
Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care. With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.
Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.