Thyroxine -- Side Effects and Benefits
Thyroxine is the main hormone that's produced by the thyroid gland in the brain. Thyroxine side effects and benefits vary from case to case because of the fact that thyroxine plays such a complex role in the body, namely of regulating the metabolism. Metabolic rate refers to the total number of chemical processes going on inside a person's body at any given time. These chemical processes yield both heat and energy, which is why it's said that person's with a faster metabolism generally have more energy and burn more fat. The thyroid gland produces the hormone thyroxine, which is a compound that widely stimulates more metabolic chemical processes in the body. When a body is deficient in a hormone like thyroxine, many side effects ensue, such as fatigue, weight gain, and lack of motivation.
That's why many people are opting to use thyroxine supplements, to make up for the lack that's not being produced and released by the thyroid gland. This is known as hypothyroidism, which is simply an underproduction of thyroxine in the thyroid gland. Sometimes hypothyroidism happens simply because the thyroid is just naturally under-active, and sometimes it's the result of an ailment or surgery. Whatever the reason, when low levels of thyroxine are in the bloodstream, the entire metabolism begins to slow down.
Specific Thyroxine Side Effects
Now that we've discussed exactly what thyroxine is, where it comes from, and what it does, let's discuss some of the potential thyroxine side effects. It's important to first have a good understanding of thyroxine because, as a hormone replacement therapy, thyroxine is generally catered specifically to the needs of each patient, depending on their specific needs. Thyroxine hormone replacement isn't like a normal deficiency, where a person just takes a standard 500mg pill everyday. For that reason, if the thyroxine therapy is doing it's job correctly, there shouldn't be any side effects. If however, the dosage isn't perfectly suited for the individual, some thyroxine side effects might ensue. Since thyroxine is involved in stimulating the metabolic rate, the potential side effects generally have to do with allowing too much thyroxine into the system and experiencing increased metabolic symptoms such as:
- Increased Heart Rate and Palpitations
- Muscle Cramps and Trembling
- Chest Pain
- Rare Allergic Reactions that can Manifest in Skin Conditions
Since thyroxine is a natural body hormone, there shouldn't be any side effects when taken at the correct dosage. The problem comes in that it's often difficult to get to the right exact dosage. Until a person finds out exactly what that dosage is, they may experience thyroxine side effects that occur both from having too much thyroxine in their system, such as the ones mentioned above, and if they cut back too far on their dosage, they might experience hypothyroidism symptoms of a low metabolic rate. If a person experiences an allergic reaction as a thyroxine side effect, it's most likely due to something else in the supplement other than the thyroxine. Some recommend switching brands in an attempt to avoid the allergic reaction. But it is always a good idea to seek medical attention when experiencing an allergic reaction to a supplement.
Natural Thyroid Support
The metabolism is a very complex set of chemical processes. The body produces and uses many tens of thousands of chemicals. Controlling all those metabolic reactions is a very difficult job for the brain and different hormones like thyroxine. Many people, instead of going straight to a hormone replacement therapy, try ways of boosting and supporting the glands first to see if that can make any kind of difference. There are a number of ways to do this, diet being the largest. In Western diets, things like refined sugar and soy products are in great abundance. These foods are known to suppress thyroid function. Soy has an estrogen-like quality that has been shown to interfere with the delicate balance of hormones in the body, including thyroxine. Refined sugar is something that everyone should try to eat less of, not just for thyroid support, but because the Standard American Diet contains far too much sugar that has been shown to lead to a host of health conditions.
Foods that are known to boost thyroid function are seaweed and coconut. Coconut oil was once widely used in the modern world but was demonized heavily once cheaper vegetables oils started becoming mass produced. But in recent years, coconut oil has begun receiving praise as a cooking oil for its wide range of health benefits, including thyroid support.
Something else that a person should consider are natural thyroid boosting supplements, like the one pictured to the right. These supplements generally take the benefits of seaweed, such as iodine and other nutrients, and synthesize them into natural supplements to help support the thyroid. The one pictured to the right has all natural ingredients and will help give the thyroid gland the building blocks it needs in order to produce normal levels of hormones. I've left you a link below.
Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 07, 2012:
I'd make sure it's okay with your doctor first before doing anything. Thyroxine is pretty powerful.
AISHA on May 05, 2012:
NOW I AM TAKING THYROXIN 100MCG. CAN I USE THYROXIN ENERGY ? AND CAN I STOP THYROXIN 100MCG
Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 26, 2011:
Hmm, if your doctor doesn't know, then I'm sure I wouldn't know. Sorry. I'm not qualified to give out medical advice. Could get slapped.
KAREN on May 26, 2011:
WILL "NOW FOODS THYROID ENERGY" INTERFERE WTH THYROID MEDS AND CAN IT STILL IMPROVE THYROID FUNCTION? CAN'T GET STRAIGHT ANSWER FROM DR. CAUSE HE DOESN'T KNOW.
natural thyroid on January 11, 2011:
It is however, possible to avoid a thyroid dysfunction with proper diet and natural thyroid medication. A good diet can go a long way in keeping the thyroid gland in a healthy condition.