Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is a common disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can cause a number of symptoms, such as fatigue, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, depression, muscle aches, joint pains, insomnia, menstrual irregularities, poor memory, and weight gain.
Several thyroid medications are available, including Synthroid, Levothyroxine, NP Thyroid, Armour Thyroid, and Cytomel. The thyroid drug Synthroid contains the hormone T4. This is the form of thyroid hormone that is relatively inactive. T4 converts to T3, which is the most active form of thyroid hormone.
Ideally, all three hormones are in balance. However, in times of physical or emotional stress, T4 can convert into a hormone called reverse T3 (RT3). RT3 acts like a brake, capable of slowing the metabolism and conserving energy expenditures of your body. Additionally, chronic diseases such as diabetes, immunological dysfunction, poor gut health, and anemia can also increase RT3 levels and block the effectiveness of T3. This leads to a condition called RT3/T3 ratio disorder.
This diagnosis is made with laboratory blood testing and correlation of symptoms. Correction of this condition is easy and generally a patient feels better within three to ten days.