A very common problem that we see in our office everyday is Thyroid Underconversion . It is now widely accepted that there are 6 major patterns of thyroid dysfunction and only 1 of these patterns responds well to thyroid replacement. For the purpose of this post, I will discuss one of the more common patterns called Thyroid underconversion or Low T3 . Patients with Thyroid problems often suffer terrible with a laundry list of thyroid symptoms, but when the basic thyroid panel comes back the two main markers(TSH,T4) for hypothyroidism are normal. Why does this happen? If you read on, you will understand.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes and in the testes of males and the ovaries of females. Testosterone is largely responsible for the formation and maintenance of male sex characteristics, including both the larger bone and muscle development seen in males. The testosterone levels in humans are regulated by hormones released from the brain; in males the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain increase testosterone during puberty and male characteristics develop (for example, penile enlargement, facial hair, interest in sex).
When a person is experiencing low cortisol symptoms they need to have blood tests done to determine their exact cortisol levels. A blood test will be done on potassium, sodium and ACTH levels as well as cortisol levels at the same time. To measure the ACTH levels the person must be given a shot of synthetic ACTH first. Then the doctor will test the cortisol levels. An MRI or CT scan may also be done so the doctor can see the condition of the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland. If the test shows the person does indeed have low cortisol levels the treatment for their low cortisol symptoms can include prescription medications. These medications are corticosteroids classified as hydrocortisones and are used to replace the cortisol that the body is not making.