Levothyroxine or L-thyroxine is a synthetic thyroid hormone that is chemically identical to thyroxine (T4), which is naturally secreted by the follicular cells of the thyroid gland. It is used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency, and occasionally to prevent the recurrence of thyroid cancer. Like its naturally secreted counterpart, levothyroxine is a chiral compound in the L-form. The related drug dextrothyroxine (D-thyroxine) was used in the past as a treatment for hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels) but was withdrawn due to cardiac side effects.
Levothyroxine is typically used to treat hypothyroidism, and is the treatment of choice for patients with hypothyroidism, who often require lifelong thyroid hormone therapy. It may also be used to treat goiter via its ability to lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone that is considered goiter-inducing. Levothyroxine is also used as interventional therapy in patients with nodular thyroid disease or thyroid cancer to suppress thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secretion.
Thyroid hormone controls the rate of metabolism. When the thyroid is under active, all body processes slow down and symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, and decreased body temperature are experienced. Through supplementation of thyroid hormones, basal metabolic rate will be increased.
Thyroid hormones are essential to proper development of all cells in body. These hormones allow for the body to become more sensitive to all other hormones, in turn making them more effective. Thyroid hormones also regulate macronutrient (protein, fat and carbohydrate) metabolism, therefore increasing protein synthesis and ultimately energy. This allows for the body to burn more calories and use them more sufficiently. For this reason, thyroid hormones are commonly used as fat-loss drugs.
Usage and Dosage
Users discovered T3 to be a better choice over T4 when using Thyroid drugs during Cyclic Ketogenic Diets.
T4 must be used in much higher doses to be as effective as T3. Subjects found they needed to use a dosage of 300 mcg/day to achieve the same results as 25-100 mcg/day of T3 (Cytomel).
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