Dry and thinning hair, weight gain, constipation, brittle fingernails, dry skin, joint pain, muscle pain, swollen face, tiredness, poor memory, depression, and slower movement are symptoms of underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. This is a condition where in the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones anymore. The gland produces the thyroxine or T4 and the triiodothyronine or T3. Underactive thyroid cannot be treated but it can be managed by feeding the body with more of these hormones, like the T3. Here are the usual T3 treatments for underactive thyroid:
- Liothyronine. This is also known as synthetic triiodothyronine or synthetic T3. The drug has active forms of both the T4 and T3 hormones. Although synthetic, these hormones act naturally inside the patient’s body. A study published in New England Journal of Medicine revealed that this drug has helped the patient to live normally despite the underactive thyroid. However, another study has failed to find benefit from the drug. That is why the use of this along with a T4 drug is still controversial.
- Levothyroxine. This is the most common drug used for treating underactive thyroid. Levothyroxine is in tablet form that should be taken once a day for the rest of the patient’s life. This tablet contains T4, one of the natural hormones that thyroid glands are producing. This synthetic T4 acts similar to the natural T4 produced by the body. With this, the body will seem to produce the necessary hormones. Although the tablet has only the T4 hormones, it can still produce T3 because the T4 can be converted into T3 once it is already in the body. So, the patient who is suffering from underactive thyroid can only take this tablet and already find a relief.
- Liotix. Unlike the two drugs mentioned above, this drug contains both the T4 and T3 hormones. The drug has only the synthetic forms of these hormones but what’s amazing is that it combines the two thyroid gland hormones in one tablet. A popular brand of this drug is Thyrolar.
- Desiccated natural thyroid. Treating underactive thyroid was possible because of the dried porcine thyroid from pigs. This was the only available drug in the 1900s until the levothyroxine became the common choice of physicians. However, older doctors and those who prefer holistic treatments still prefer desiccated natural thyroid and claim that this has more benefits and less risks than using the synthetic thyroids. Among the most popular brands of this drug are the Westhroid, Nature-throid, and Armour Thyroid.
- The mentioned T3 treatments for underactive thyroid do not post grave side effects because they simply copy the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. However, excessive intake of any of these drugs could lead to osteoporosis, rapid weight loss, diarrhea, palpitations, and sweating.
Due to the risks that the patient is advised to see a doctor before taking any T3 supplements. A specialist will help determine the gravity of the patient’s underactive thyroid and plan the best medication for it. Usually, any of the above treatments are taken only in small dosage. The patient will deliberately add more dosage until the correct amount is determined. But it’s still safer and more helpful to seek advice from a doctor than take the medication based on instinct.