The thyroid, an endocrine gland, within the human body is responsible for producing vital hormones. These hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The gland takes iodine, mostly from consumed foods, and converts it into both of these hormones. T4 is produced in greater quantities within the thyroid, however, once distributed around the body, it is later converted to T3. These hormones are fundamental for your entire body’s maintained health.
Primarily, T3 and T4 work in regulating the speed your cells work, specifically, at which they metabolise. If they become imbalanced, immediate symptoms are often diet-related, including weight gain if your hormone levels are low or weight loss if your hormone levels are too high. These illnesses are known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism respectively. They affect many people and neither can be entirely prevented.
Those with a family history of thyroid issues or those with certain other illnesses, such as Turner Syndrome, are more inclined to experience thyroid issues. Once pass the age of 60, the risk increases too. Symptoms are vague and, as such, are quite difficult to identify. Many people do not realise they may be struggling with hormone imbalance at all. For example, in the case of hypothyroidism, one may experience tiredness, weight gain, depression, dryness of the skin and hair, and even heavier menstrual cycles. If you feel that you may be experiencing a hormone imbalance, it is paramount that you seek consultation with your GP. Only a blood test will accurately identify your hormone levels. If left unchecked, a thyroid issue can develop into other, more serious, afflictions.
In the case of hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is not producing enough T3 or T4, a synthetic alternative will likely be prescribed. Levothyroxine is a synthetic alternative to T4 and liothyronine is a synthetic alternative to T3. Both can be administered to support or entirely replace the low hormone levels within the body. As previously mentioned, T4 within the body largely becomes converted to T3. As such, it is often the inclination to prescribe levothyroxine in each case of hypothyroidism since it will ultimately produce T3 too. However, in some cases, this conversion fails to happen and the administered T4 is redundant.
It is important to speak to your GP for this reason. While you may have the hypothyroid condition, your medication should be considered for many reasons. While T4 is now one of the most common treatments it may not be appropriate in your individual case. If your body is struggling with the conversion process instead of the production process, you will require T3.
In recent years, the price of T3 has increased, noticeably within the NHS. As a result, it is more difficult to find and doctors are less inclined to prescribe it. Pharmacies that operate online are able to work around this impasse and can offer T3 at a more reasonable price. So, if you are looking for your liothyronine prescription, a consultation with an online pharmacist may be the key!