Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) regulating many processes in the body, such as protein synthesis, hormonal balance, metabolic rate. T3 and T4 also control blood pressure body, heart rate and body temperature.
Hypothyroidism affects life in a harmful way, making you moody, tired, taking all your energy – essentially preventing you from getting up in the morning and leading a healthy life. Doctors tend to misdiagnose patients with hypothyroidism and prescribe therapy for depression – thus leaving the original condition untreated.
Untreated hypothyroidism may cause several health problems, such as joint pain, obesity, low blood pressure and heart disease, among others.
Fortunately, treatment of hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually safe, simple, and effective.
Hypothyroidism and Erectile Dysfunction
A lot of men with thyroid disease have erectile dysfunction (ED). A report published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2008 examined the impact of thyroid problems on male sexual health. Research indicated that 79% of men with thyroid disease had ED to some degree. In patients with hypothyroidism, ED was more common.
Fortunately, treatment for both conditions can alleviate erection problems. Patients with hypothyroidism must take medications that bring thyroid hormones’ levels into the normal range.
Testosterone Levels and Hypothyroidism
Testosterone plays an important role in thyroid health. Experts mainly associate low thyroid function with low testosterone levels, and, correspondingly, increased thyroid function – with elevated testosterone levels.
Primary hypothyroidism can decrease free testosterone levels in both men and women and the opposite may occur. Hypothyroidism often instigates elevated prolactin, which may lower testosterone levels.
Natural ways to improve hypothyroidism and low testosterone include less stress, exercising, more sleep, a better diet, among others. Sometimes, early symptoms of hypothyroidism can be treated with a healthy diet, which includes herbal supplements for thyroid health, such as brown seaweed, Coleus Forskohlii, Ashwagandha, and turmeric.
Role of Green Tea
Green tea extracts in high doses can impair thyroid function. In rats, a significant decrease of T3 and T4 in serum has been reported in response to green tea extract in rats’ diet.
Although green tea contains metabolism-boosting catechins and caffeine, it also may contain too much fluoride. Fluoride is known to block iodine absorption which regulates day-to-day thyroid function.
Fluoride’s ability to impair thyroid gland function is best illustrated by the following fact: European doctors used fluoride as a thyroid-suppressing drug for patients with hyperthyroidism up until the 1970s.
Fluoride was known to be effective at decreasing the thyroid gland activity – even at doses as tiny as 2 milligrams per day.
Tea plants tend to accumulate fluoride from water and soil. The older the tea leaves, the more fluoride they contain. Old leaves may contain 10-20 times more fluoride than younger ones from the same plant. Lowest grade mature leaves are often used for green tea extract manufacturing. That is why it is important to obtain your green tea extract from reputable manufacturers using younger plants in their process.