Fatigue, weight gain, fuzzy thinking, difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning, memory troubles, feeling cold, poor concentration, body aches and pains, low mood, absent or weak sex drive, hair loss, headaches, allergies, sluggishness and dry rough skin are some of the common symptoms of low thyroid function.

The thyroid gland is the butterfly shaped gland found in the front of the neck. It produces iodine containing hormones as Thyroxine (T4) and the active Triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism. Thyroid hormones affect many vital body functions: the heart rate, the respiratory rate, the rate at which calories are burned, skin maintenance, growth, heat production, fertility, and digestion.

Many factors can affect the thyroid function. Deficiency of the thyroid hormone’s building blocks such as Iodine, Zinc, Selenium and Tyrosine as well as some environmental pollutants can disrupt the production of various types of thyroid hormone. Surgical removal or radiation of the thyroid gland usually causes a deficiency or lack of production of the various types of thyroid hormone. This deficiency is known as hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterised by low thyroid hormones (t3 and T4) and high thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Its symptoms may include weight gain, sluggishness, fatigue, low mood, feeling cold, dry skin, constipation, allergies, hair loss, low libido, and generalised body aches and pains. Babies exposed to low or no thyroid hormones in the womb maybe born with short bones, weak muscles, and severe brain damage. Slow, stunted growth is common in children facing thyroid hormone deficiencies.

Hypothyroidism is treated by supplementing the deficient hormones, T4 & T3. Although synthetic T4 is the common treatment, many studies have proven that the combination of T3 & T4 has advantages in addressing hypothyroidism.

Thyroxine is a prohormone for triiodothyronine T3. Thyroxine converts to the active Triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is the dominant hormone in all body cells. Many people have difficulty in converting T4 into the active T3. T3 exerts the thyroid function in the different body organs with the predominant action on the brain where it acts as a cotransmitter. T3 reduces anxiety, enhances memory, improves the feeling of well being, and alleviates depression. T3 may also help to stops weight gain and aid in weight loss by increasing metabolic rate and energy levels. People on the combination therapy of T3 and T4 have reported an improvement in their wellbeing, mood as well as weight loss.

Non synthetic thyroid supplementations are available as porcine extract. They contain both T3 and T4. Whole thyroid is one of the extracts available in New Zealand.

There are numerous conditions that can be successfully managed by whole thyroid. Whole thyroid can be specifically helpful in patients who have had their thyroid gland surgically removed or had it destroyed by radiation. It is also very helpful in patients who have difficulty in converting T4 into T3 and in those with depressive symptoms not responding to thyroxine only therapy.

Please contact us to speak to a Pharmacist for more information about whole thyroid by phone 0800 HORMONE (NZ) or email

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