The thyroid is responsible for the production of two thyroid hormones: T3, which is the strong version of the hormone, and T4, which can be synthesized from T3 within the body, and is a more dilute version used for fine-tuning the body’s systems. If you begin to experience symptoms that your doctor thinks might be caused by thyroid issues, they will send you for a blood test at which your thyroid hormone levels will be analyzed.
High Thyroid Levels
If you have high levels of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream, you may be diagnosed with something called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is not a disease; however, it is a symptom, and it could come from any number of conditions.
What Causes Hyperthyroidism?
An overactive thyroid – a catch-all term for all the conditions that cause hyperthyroidism – is an idiopathic diagnosis. This means the doctors know what is wrong but not specifically why. The diagnosis will continue at this point, and your illness could be pinpointed to one of the following:
- Graves Disease: an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks itself in error, resulting in high thyroid hormone production.
- Thyrotoxicosis: A rare condition resulting from unexplained hyperthyroidism, in which the excess of thyroid hormone circulating in the body begins to build up, causing a spiral of worsening symptoms.
- Toxic Nodular Goitre: As the thyroid begins to malfunction due to a lack of iodine, it grows in order to maximize its search for the missing mineral – this is called a goiter and is fortunately rare in developed countries thanks to the iodization of table salt which ensure that most people receive enough of the trace of iodine needed for health. A toxic nodular goiter occurs when parts of the expanded thyroid develop nodules that begin to pour out thyroid hormone in unwonted quantities.
- Liver Disease: The metabolism affects so many parts of the body that it comes as no surprise to learn that a liver ailment can have a knock-on effect that results in too much T3 being present in the body. In cases like this, if the liver function can be restored to normal, the body should be able to reduce the excess hormone levels without too much stress.
- A Reaction to Medications: Finally, some medications can impact the thyroid, forcing it to increase T3 production. Often this will be picked up through discussion with your doctor and perhaps a confirmatory blood test, and the medication can be tweaked to reduce the unwelcome high levels of T3.
What Can be Done About High Levels of T3?
Obscurely, the treatment for hyperthyroidism is to transform it into
hypothyroidism as it is possible to treat hypothyroidism with artificial T3 medication (see more about how to source T3 medication here), but there is no feasible treatment for hyperthyroidism without first dramatically curtailing the production of all thyroid hormones. However, once you have had your dosage of T3 hormone properly balanced (this can take a while as it is a system of trial and error based very largely on your individual needs, body weight, and severity of illness), you will find that you can enjoy a good quality of life once more.