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Thyroid Treatment

Thyroid Treatment for Women in Massachusetts

The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormone T4 that is then converted into the more active form of thyroid hormone T3.  If the brain gets a signal that there is a need for more T4 thyroid hormone, it signals the pituitary gland to release TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that then stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more T4.  There are many reasons why a person will have inadequate T4 and/or T3 hormone available and this has a wide variety of effects on the body.  If you feel cold much of the time, have trouble thinking clearly, are gaining weight, feel sluggish, have dry skin or thinning hair, you may be experiencing a deficiency of thyroid hormones and would benefit from thyroid hormone replacement therapy.  The clinical term for this insufficiency is hypothyroidism.

At least 5 out of 100 Americans suffer from thyroid insufficiency, but millions of women are currently undiagnosed and unmanaged, so the real number is likely much higher.  Thyroid dysfunction is much more common in women than men, especially if over 50 years old.

Hormone Therapy Illustration

What Causes Thyroid Hormone Deficiency?

  1. An autoimmune, inflammatory process called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
  2. Mineral deficiencies that interfere with production of T4 hormone and/or conversion of T4 to T3.
  3. Poor conversion of T4 to T3 from chronic stress, aging and other factors.
  4. Thyroid hormone resistance where there is adequate T4 and T3, but it is not utilized adequately by our cells and tissues.

There are many underlying causes and contributors to thyroid hormone deficiency including pregnancy, a history of radiation to the neck, medication side effects, diet, gut health and others.

A blood test can detect whether a person has adequate thyroid hormone levels.  It is important to note that we need TSH, free T4 and free T3 levels in the blood to get a more complete picture of thyroid function.  There is also a distinction between normal blood levels and optimal levels for the individual.  For example, many women feel significantly better if their free T3 level (the more active form of thyroid hormone when compared to T4) is closer to 3.5 or above.

What Does Thyroid Insufficiency Feel Like?

There are over 200 symptoms that can result from a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Some are subtle and you may not notice them right away or at all, and others are more obvious and troublesome. They generally develop gradually over time and can include the following. To name a few:

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Hair, skin, and nails that are thin, dry, or brittle
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Depression
  • A poor sense of well being
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased cognitive abilities
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Bowel problems, especially constipation
  • Hoarse voice
  • Slow heart rate
  • Joint and muscle pain

While these are examples of the most common symptoms seen with thyroid insufficiency, you may experience others that help diagnose the disease. Be sure to share all physical and mental irregularities with your healthcare provider.  Symptoms that are subtle or that resemble other medical conditions may overlap with thyroid disease symptoms. These should be reported as well.

How Is Thyroid Deficiency Diagnosed?

Here at Hormonally Balanced every blood panel we do includes several markers that are used to determine if you have a thyroid deficiency. 

Blood tests that show circulating levels of T3, T4, and TSH, along with a complete history of symptoms and a physical exam, typically lead your Hormonally Balanced provider to a thyroid disease diagnosis. Your practitioner at Hormonally Balanced is an expert at diagnosing and managing this condition. 

Is There Treatment for Thyroid Hormone Insufficiency?

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At Hormonally Balanced we can prescribe medication to replace missing or insufficient thyroid hormones.  The process is very simple and includes a blood draw for a comprehensive lab panel, a consultation with one of our expert practitioners either in person or via telehealth, prescribing medication if necessary and then follow up and monitoring of your thyroid health.

Thyroid insufficiency requires careful and precise monitoring and treatment for the remainder of a patient’s life and better results can lead to better overall health in these individuals. For example, diseases like high cholesterol, heart disease, and nerve damage are known to follow untreated thyroid insufficiency, but treatment often demonstrates a reduction in these and other serious complications.

What Happens to Your Body When Thyroid Insufficiency Is Treated Successfully?

Just as symptoms may take a long time to appear, successful treatment can be gradual. Some positive results may show up in the way you feel, and others are evident in lab tests monitored during treatment. Objective symptoms such as thyroid hormone blood levels typically show improvement faster than symptoms you feel.

Positive changes typically associated with adequate, successful treatment can significantly improve your quality of life. They can include:

  • Loss of excess weight
  • Less body fat
  • Better strength and endurance
  • Improved ability to concentrate on tasks
  • Improved memory
  • Higher energy levels
  • Temperature control that leads to feeling less cold
  • More regular menstrual cycles
  • More regular bowel functioning
  • Improved mood
  • Lower cholesterol levels that lead to the prevention of cardiovascular disease
  • Improved growth and quality of hair and nails
  • Skin that is less dry, flaky, and itchy
  • Protection from autoimmune diseases like diabetes and celiac disease


While a diagnosis of thyroid insufficiency can be frightening, it’s important to keep in mind that medical treatments have been successfully applied countless times in many patients. Thyroid insufficiency is not curable in the sense that it cannot be eradicated, but with treatment, it can be controlled so it may feel like it’s gone. But even if you feel better, it’s critical to continue your prescribed medication regimen.

Attention to lab and other test results and daily medication are essential steps to treating, and managing the disease so you can enjoy a long and healthy life. Your healthcare provider is the cornerstone of the process and always the crucial contact if you experience symptoms or they reappear during treatment.

Are you ready to talk with us about your potential thyroid insufficiency?

At Hormonally Balanced our practitioners are experts in diagnosing and treating thyroid insufficiencies and we would love to help you if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Call today to schedule your initial appointment and let’s work together to treat this condition and get you feeling like yourself again.

Boston Hormone Therapy for Women

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