The functioning of the thyroid is often poorly understood, and the latest research shows that the clinical approach takes precedence over blood values. Here are some key points to better understand this essential gland:
TSH and Hypothyroidism : Recent studies suggest that a TSH level below 1.5 is ideal. Higher values would likely indicate hypothyroidism, often confirmed by clinical symptoms. Current standards (0.3-4.3) are outdated and do not detect the majority of cases of hypothyroidism.
Importance of T3 Libre : A level greater than 5.2 pmol/L is recommended for free T3. Lower values could indicate mild hypothyroidism.
T4 Libre: A Limited Indicator : Although frequently measured, free T4, an inactive hormone, is not of much use in assessing thyroid function.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism : They are varied and include chilliness, weight gain, morning fatigue, high cholesterol, constipation, muscle pain, periorbital edema, mood swings, dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails, difficult digestion, persistent migraines, hoarseness of voice, bradypsychia, bradycardia, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, decreased libido, and more.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism : A few clinical signs are enough to make a diagnosis, regardless of the results of blood tests.
Risks Associated with Hypothyroidism : This condition can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, obesity, infertility, diabetes, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's, respiratory infections and cancers.
Ineffectiveness of Standard Treatments : Treatments based on T4 alone are often ineffective. A combination of T3 and T4 is generally more effective, as many patients have difficulty converting T4 to active T3.
Self-Management of Treatment : Patients should be attentive to their symptoms and adjust their treatment accordingly, aiming for the disappearance of the main signs of hypothyroidism.
Management of Cortisol Overdoses and Deficits : It is crucial to recognize the symptoms of overdose (such as palpitations and tremors) and adjust the dosage accordingly. Additionally, cortisol supplementation may be necessary if deficient.
Undetectable TSH and Hyperthyroidism : Optimal levels of T4 and T3 can make TSH undetectable. This is not necessarily a sign of hyperthyroidism, which should be diagnosed based on clinical symptoms.
This new perspective on the thyroid highlights the importance of a personalized, symptom-attentive approach, rather than an over-reliance on laboratory values.