412-432-7909 info@hormonecenter.net

Hypothyroidism Treatment in Pittsburgh

We treat the cause...not the symptoms of hypothyroidism

Middle-aged woman suffering from hypothyroidism symptoms.

Common Symptoms

of Hypothyroidism:

»Fatigue

»Weight gain

»Increased blood cholesterol level

»Increased sensitivity to cold

»Constipation

»Dry skin

»Puffy face

»Hoarseness

»Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness, and stiffness

»Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling

»Dry hair or hair loss

 

The Thyroid System and Hypothyroidism

————

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck.  It is part of the endocrine system and plays a crucial role in regulating energy and metabolism, among many other functions throughout the body. The release of thyroid hormones is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland through the secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

TSH binds to receptors on the cells of the thyroid gland and signals the gland to make thyroid hormones.  The primary thyroid hormone produced is T4 (thyroxine), although a small amount of T3 (triiodothyronine).  After T4 production, it is converted to the active form of thyroid (T3) in the liver, kidneys, muscles, and pituitary gland.  Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) can be caused by improper signaling by the pituitary gland, underproduction of the thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland (underactive thyroid gland), or improper conversion of the inactive T4 to the active T3. Finally, T4 can also be converted to an inactive form of T3 called reverse T3.   

Hypothyroidism can result from problems at any of these steps by many different underlying conditions including:   autoimmune conditions (Hashimoto's thyroiditis pr celiac disease), inflammation nutrient deficiencies (iodine, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, etc.), physical or emotional stressors, trauma, illnesses, chronic infections, medications, toxins, low-calorie diets, liver or kidney dysfunction, or radiation to the gland.  When thyroid signaling, production, or conversion is impaired, it can lead to the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

Testing and Treatment

at The Hormone Center:

It is estimated that 60% of those with an underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, are undiagnosed. This occurs since most doctors rely only on a thyroid test called TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. A TSH may come back “within normal range”, however, based on your symptoms this level may not be the optimal level for you. Many physicians do not make this distinction or take symptoms into consideration when looking hypothyroidism. At The Hormone Center, our goal is to optimize thyroid levels for each individual patient versus attempting to hit general population levels.

 

In addition, testing TSH levels, while important, is only the “tip of the iceberg”. It is important to test all of the thyroid hormones, including T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4 and Reverse T3.  For patients to receive the most comprehensive care, our medical providers are trained on how to interpret the results in combination with a patient’s symptoms of hypothyroidism. Additionally, our providers know how to customize prescriptions for maximum patient benefit and offer natural thyroid treatment options as well.

 

Middle-aged woman seeking hypothyroidism treatment in Pittsburgh.

FAQs

1. What does it mean if I have an overactive thyroid?

An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, means your thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone. This can lead to symptoms like rapid heartbeat, weight loss, sweating, shakiness and nervousness. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by conditions like Graves' disease (autoimmune) or active thyroid nodules. Treatment often involves medications to decrease the levels of thyroid hormones, medication to reduce autoimmune reactions, evaluation of gut issues that could be contributing to Graves' disease, radioactive iodine, or surgery.

2. What’s the difference between hypothyroidism and myxedema?

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and cold intolerance, among many others as thyroid is important in every cell in the body. Myxedema refers to severe hypothyroidism and is characterized by swelling of the skin and tissues, particularly in the face and lower legs. Myxedema is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

3. What are the most common hypothyroidism symptoms in females?

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism in females include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, and menstrual irregularities. Women might also experience depression, muscle weakness, and joint pain. These symptoms often develop gradually and can be mistaken for other health issues, so hypothyroidism is often missed as a diagnosis.

4. What are the most common hypothyroidism symptoms in men?

In men, common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, hair loss, and muscle weakness. They may also experience depression, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and joint pain. These symptoms can develop slowly and may be subtle initially.

5. Is there an optimal hypothyroidism diet?

While there isn't a specific "hypothyroidism diet," certain nutrients can support thyroid function. These include iodine, selenium, and zinc, found in foods like seafood, nuts, and whole grains. In general, a diet plan should include 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.  Sugar, high amounts of caffeine, processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol should be avoided. 

6. How do hypothyroidism and TSH levels relate?

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a pituitary hormone that is a main indicator of thyroid function. However, it is not the only indicator of thyroid function.  In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones, leading to elevated TSH levels as the pituitary gland tries to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormones, particularly T4 and small amounts of T3. The body then converts the T4 to the more active form T3.  The body may convert normally, or, if under stress (chronic emotional stress, infections, toxin exposure, etc) , or lacking certain nutrients, the body may convert to Reverse T3 which is mirror image of the active T3.  Monitoring TSH levels as well as Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3 levels helps in diagnosing and managing hypothyroidism. 

7. What are the most common hypothyroidism causes?

The most common causes of hypothyroidism include Hashimoto's thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition), iodine deficiency, and certain medications. Other causes can include radiation therapy to the neck, thyroid surgery, and congenital defects. In some cases, hypothyroidism can also be caused by pituitary gland disorders. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can also occur if infections, toxins, or elevated stress hormones prevent the thyroid hormones from converting to the active form, T3. 

Interested in our treatment for hypothyroidism?

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We serve patients In person and via telemedicine

with Secure video consults, on your terms.

We serve patients In person and via telemedicine

with Secure video consults, on your terms.

Have a question about what we do?

 

Call

(412)-432-7909

Email

info@hormonecenter.net

Address

102 Broadway Street

Suite 101

Carnegie, PA 15106