Dr. Friedman talks about the difference between women and men’s hypothyroidism systems.
Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. has opened a private practice, specializing in treating patients with adrenal, pituitary, thyroid and fatigue disorders. Dr. Friedman has privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Martin Luther King Medical Center. His practice includes detecting and treating hormone imbalances, including hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Friedman is also an expert in diagnosing and treating pituitary disorders, including Cushings disease and syndrome.
Dr. Friedman's career reflects his ongoing quest to better understand and treat endocrine problems. With both medical and research doctoral degrees, he has conducted studies and cared for patients at some of the country's most prestigious institutions, including the University of Michigan, the National Institutes of Health, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and UCLA's Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Visit Dr. Friedman on the web: http://www.goodhormonehealth.com
What is the best treatment for hypothyroidism?
About 100 years ago, in 1891 to be exact, the British physician George Murray presented information on a patient with severe hypothyroidism who was successfully treated with injections of sheep thyroid extract. This was the dawn of a new era, in which patients with hypothyroidism no longer suffered needlessly from severe and incapacitating symptoms, or even occasionally died of their disease. Following Dr. Murray's report, others attempted giving the thyroid extract orally, either raw, with bread and butter (a thyroid sandwich), or even "lightly fried." By 1898, Sir William Osler, Chief of Medicine at the newly built Johns Hopkins Hospital and possibly the most famous physician in America, wrote:
"That we can restore to life the hopeless victims of myxedema is a triumph of experimental medicine…The results, as a rule are most astounding-unparalleled by anything in the whole range of curative measures."
In the early part of the 20th century, chemists figured out how to take minced animal thyroid glands and make an active extract that could be taken as a pill, a preparation called desiccated thyroid, which is still used by some patients to this day. In the 1920s the structure of thyroxine, the main thyroid hormone present in the thyroid gland, was unraveled. However, synthetic thyroxine, the form of thyroid hormone replacement which is most often used by patients today, was not commercially possible until the 1950s.
In the mid 1950s, a second thyroid hormone was discovered, called triiodothyronine or T3. T3 is so named because it contains 3 iodine atoms within its structure, rather than the 4 found in thyroxine (abbreviated T4). After T3 was found to be more active in regulating the body's metabolism than T4 itself, some drug companies began to manufacture thyroid hormone tablets that contained both T4 and T3, to ensure that patients received the benefit of both hormones. However, in the 1960s it was discovered that 80% of the T3 made daily by our bodies arises not from the thyroid but from the removal of one iodine atom from the T4 molecule. This conversion process, in which T3 is formed from T4, occurs mainly in the liver, but it takes place in other tissues as well. We now know that the thyroid gland itself only makes about 20% of the body's total daily T3 requirements. Once the fact that T3 was derived from T4 was recognized, pills that contained both T4 and T3 fell out of favor. Physicians realized that when a patient took pure T4 the patient's own body would convert the T4 into T3 in a regulated way that would be correct for that person.