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Int J Pharm Compd. 2008 Nov-Dec;12(6):488-97.

Differentiation and treatment of hypothyroidism, functional hypothyroidism, and functional metabolism.

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ZRT Laboratory, Beaverton, Oregon.


Less than optimal thyroid effects can occur for many reasons, including lack of production, excessive binding, reduced conversion to the active form of thyroid, poor intracellular transport, poor receptor response, or autoimmune and toxicity issues. Differentiation of where the problem or problems causing the symptoms of hypothyroidism to occur is a key to the return to optimal thyroid response and successful treatment outcome. The concept of hypothyroidism, functional hypothyroidism, and functional hypometabolism as an alternative method to describe classical subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms according to the source of the malfunction are discussed in this article. The author also presents a unique method of using standard thyroid measurements to determine the areas of dysfunction and discusses the possible reasons for low production, excessive binding, poor conversion, and suboptimal receptor response. Appropriate treatment options for each area are discussed, including nutritional requirements. Thyroid replacement therapy options are presented and individualization of therapy based on need established with use of the thyroid gradient levels is discussed. Individualization of thyroid therapy will often require the use of compounded T3 or T4/T3 combination therapy. Compounding thyroid replacement allows for avoiding fillers that can interfere with absorption, unwanted diluents, unknown or standardized ingredients from animal sources providing more sustained action with less side effects, and individualizing the ratio of T4 and T3 initially, and as improvements are made in the patient's ability to convert T4 to T3.


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