Effects on the Thyroid Axis

Thyroid Factor

The Natural Thyroid Diet

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Medical illness is often associated with a state of functional thyroid deficiency known as euthyroid sick syndrome (ESS) (Papanicolaou 2000). In its early stages, ESS is characterized by normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) levels, but by reduced levels of triiodothyronine (T3), which is the more biologically active form of thyroid hormone. In later stages of ESS, T4 levels are also decreased. Evidence suggests that proinflammatory cytokines promote this condition via direct effects on the thyroid gland, as well as by inhibition of enzymes responsible for peripheral conversion of T4 to T3, especially in the liver (Papanicolaou 2000). It is well known that decreased thyroid functioning is associated with the development of symptoms of depression, and functional abnormalities of the thyroid axis are observed in many patients with major depression who do not have clinically obvious thyroid disease (Musselman and Nemeroff 1996).

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