Yesterday, I talked to you about the benefits of my preferred form of natural thyroid hormone replacement. I also explained why the typical approach to treating hypothyroid — levothyroxine, which delivers a single, synthetic form of T4 — simply isn’t sufficient for many patients.
It goes without saying that you can’t effectively treat a patient based on a single number — in this case, the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). And yet, I see mainstream doctors everywhere doing exactly that.
This comes at a high cost to hypothyroid patients, who simply aren’t getting the relief they deserve, on account of their doctor’s refusal to look at the bigger picture. And the findings of this recent study illustrate just how high the cost can be…
A new culprit behind chronic fatigue
Chronic fatigue syndrome has been a source of frustration among patients and doctors alike for decades.
It’s a common disease — characterized by unrelenting weakness, fatigue, and depression. But the problem lies in the fact that conventional medicine hasn’t yet been able to pinpoint a clear cause. And diagnosis, for the most part, is a process of elimination.
That may change, thanks to some new research, published earlier this year in Frontiers in Endocrinology.
A team of Dutch researchers compared inflammation and thyroid markers of nearly 100 chronic fatigue patients to a similarly sized group of matched controls. And the researchers came across a key finding: CFS patients have lower levels of key thyroid hormones T3 and T4… but normal levels of TSH.
This hormone deficiency was especially pronounced in the case of T3. At the same time, chronic fatigue patients’ levels of reverse T3 — an inactive form of the hormone — were notably elevated.
All of this suggests a problem with the conversion of T4 into T3 — the same essential process that I mentioned yesterday. One that could also be responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome — an illness with symptoms that bear a striking resemblance to hypothyroidism, minus the “typical” telltale sign of high TSH levels.
If your doctor can’t help you, find one who can
Does this research solve the mystery behind the origins of CFS? Of course not. But here’s the bottom line: If you’re “tired all the time,” there’s a pretty good chance that unbalanced hormones are at least partially to blame.
I wrote about adrenal fatigue — which is one common cause — at length in the April 2016 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“URGENT WARNING: That sluggish, ‘tired-all-the-time’ feeling may be putting you on the fast track to deadly disease”). In it, I also shared my step-by-step protocol to nurse your adrenal gland back to full function. Subscribers have access to all this and more in my archives — simply click here to sign up today.
All in all, this research is a good reminder that there’s more than one culprit lurking behind chronic fatigue. And even if your doctor tells you that your numbers are perfectly normal, that doesn’t mean the problem is all in your head.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Doctors should treat patients, not numbers. Dismissing a problem as “solved” just because bloodwork comes back “normal” is no way to practice medicine. Because symptoms don’t always follow the rules. And if you’re not looking at the right numbers in the first place, you’re not going to come up with the right answers.
So if you struggle with chronic fatigue, maybe your thyroid is to blame — and maybe it’s not. But without a doctor who knows how to properly test and treat your levels, you’ll never find out.
If your doctor doesn’t, it’s time to hit the bricks and find a new one.