Posted 7/20/2012 10:44 PM (GMT -6)
Hi too much,
I checked several books and found some interesting information in the book Why Do I Still
have Thyroid Problems When My Lab Tests are Normal by Datis Kharrazian. I think it is
a really good book but I read a few reviews on Amazon that said they thought he was a
quack, so I will leave it up to you. This is what he has to say and the pattern that may
possibly fit your situation:
The thyroid is extremely sensitive to the slightest changes in body chemistry: that's
its job - to detect subtle shifts and compensate for them. When these shifts become
chronic, however, the thyroid fatigues and falters. Blood sugar that is always too low
or too high, hormone imbalances, adrenal dysfunction, chronic inflammation, nutriitional
deficiencies, toxicity, liver congestion, poor digestive health, and the use of hormone
creams or pills are all triggers for a functional thyroid imbalance.
Low thyroid function falls into one of six patterns, only one of which can be resolved with
thyroid medication. Also, two or more patterns may exist simultaneously. While a serum
blood test is intergral to assessment, a person's symptoms, medical history, and
prescription drug use, such as oral contraceptive or estrogen cream, are also important
considerations. The following descriptions introduce the patterns..........
(This is the one that I think your lab tests and symptoms fit)
2. HYPOTHYROIDISM SECONDARY TO PITUITARY HYPOFUNCTION
This is a very common pattern of functional hypothyroidism. In this case, TSH will be low
(below 1.8) although not as low as with hyperthyroidism, and the person will have
symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Chronic stressors are at the root of this pattern
because they fatigue the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. As a result, the
pituitary fails to signal the thyroid to release enough TSH to stimulate its activity.
In other words, the thyroid gland may be perfectly fine, but nobody is telling it to go
to work because the pituitary is asleep on the job.
Pituitary hypofunction is usually the result of four things. The first and most common
trigger is an active stress response, which is nearly universal in the United States. A
busy lifestyle, poor diet, inadequate sleep, too much caffeine, a high-carbohydrate
diet, chronic inflammation, and viral or bacterial infections are just a few of the factors
that wear our our adrenal glands and depress thyroid function.
Second is postpartum depression......
Third, interestingly, is the inappropriate use of thyroid medications. Many doctors
prescribe their symptomatic patients thyroid medications, even if their blood test
results are normal. These patients may feel better once they start taking the
medication....for a little while. But because they are flooding their system with
unnecessary thyroid hormone, their cells develop resistance to it. Weary of being
incessantly bombarded by too much thyroid hormone, the cells slam the door shut
so no more can get it.
When thyroid hormones can't get into the cells to regulate metabolism, hypothyroid
symptoms return. The person either quits taking the medication or is prescribed a
higher dose, exacerbating the problem......
This scenario can also come into play when a clinician prescribes thyroid medication
to a person with Hashimoto's but doesn't address his or her autoimmune condition.
In summary, there are three criteria for identifying hypothyroidism secondary to
- TSH below 1.8
- T4 below 6
- hypothyroid symptoms
Functional blood chemistry pattern
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - Low, below 1.8
Total T4 (TT4) - Normal or low
Free T4 (FT4) - Normal or low
Free Thyroxine Index (FTI) - Normal or low
Resin T3 uptake (T3U) - Normal
Free T3 (FT3) - Normal or Low
Reverse T3 (tT3) - Normal
Thyroid Antibodies - Negative
So it sounds like you and your doctor are on the right track. I hope this helps. Let me know
what you find out when he tests your adrenals. I'm so glad that they took you off the
antidepressants and hope you can finally get to the bottom of it. Good luck.