Westhroid For Thyroid Replacement Therapy Or Goiter
Your physician may prescribe Westhroid to replace or add thyroxine (T4) to the body if you do not have enough of the hormone. Westhroid may also be used for suppressive therapy to prevent or treat enlarged thyroid (goiter).
It is made from desiccated porcine thyroid and identical to T4 created in the human body.
What Is T4?
T4, is one of two major hormones produced by the thyroid. The other is triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is a precursor hormone to T3, which means that T3 is synthesized from T4.
What Causes Low T4?
Low T4 can be caused by insufficient levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) caused by pituitary gland dysfunction. The pituitary gland creates TSH to regulate the thyroid’s production of T4 and T3.
The thyroid produces about 80% T4 and only about 20% T3. It is normal for most of the T4 in the body to bind to protein. Bound T4 cannot enter tissues and therefore cannot be used to create T3. Excessive levels of proteins that bind to T4 can cause hypothyroidism.
What Is Free T4?
Free T4 refers to the amount of the hormone that is non-bound and therefore bioactive
T3 produced by the thyroid is already in a form that can be used by the body (bioactive) but it can also become bound to proteins and not bioactive.
What Causes Underactive Thyroid?
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland and inhibit its production of T4 and T3.
Is Hypothyroidism More Common In Women Than Men?
Yes, women are more likely to have underactive thyroid than men.1 In fact, women are more likely than men to have any type of thyroid dysfunction.2
It is estimated that 20 million American have thyroid disorders and less than half are aware of their condition.3
People over the age of 60 are at higher risk for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.1,2
What Is Goiter?
Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid hormone. It may be caused by hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or lack of iodine in the diet. It may not impact thyroid function but can be uncomfortable or make it difficult to swallow. Goiters can be benign or cancerous.
1 Hypothyroidism | Hashimoto’s Disease | MedlinePlus. Medlineplus.gov. https://medlineplus.gov/hypothyroidism.html. Published 2020. Accessed July 20, 2020.
2 Hyperthyroidism |MedlinePlus. Medlineplus.gov. https://medlineplus.gov/hyperthyroidism.html Published 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020.
3 https://www.Thyroid.Org/Media-Main/Press-Room/; 2020 Accessed July 22, 2020.
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