Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thyroid Resistance Syndrome

If your thyroid levels are considered normal or on the low end of normal, but symptoms of an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, are still present then Thyroid Resistance Syndrome (TRS) may be a factor. Mainstream medicine does not typically treat TRS, but doctors who treat patients with FMS know that a shot of T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, helps to relieve some resistant FM/hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet, constipation and bloating. At my last follow up appointment at the Rothfeld Center, my doctor suggested that TRS could be the reason that the scale has not responded to the cleanse and the detox regimen I've been following.

Sometimes I wonder if I even have a metabolism! It seems like I have to "diet" just to maintain my weight, and no matter what I do, the pounds will not come off. Dr. Rothfeld said that even though I'm already being treated for hypothyroidism, my internal furnace is not burning hot enough and may need a boost of T3 along with the T4 that I'm already taking. He asked me to take my temperature three times a day for three days to determine where to begin. I started yesterday and upon awakening, the time of the lowest body temperature, my temperature was at 97.6 - a full point below the normal 98.6!

Here's more information from the Rothfeld Center about Thyroid Resistance Syndrome:
The thyroid gland, at the base of the neck, is one of the body's largest endocrine glands, which secrete hormones into the bloodstream. The thyroid's main function is to regulate the body's metabolic "furnace" and a malfunctioning thyroid affects temperature control, weight control and the conversion of food into energy. The thyroid mainly makes the thyroid hormone T4 which is largely inactive. The production of T4 is controlled by stimulation from the pituitary hormone TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).T4 then travels to individual cells where it is converted to the active form T3, which then travels to the mitochondria or the furnace of the cells that control metabolism.

When TSH levels go above a certain level (around 5.5) the thyroid is considered underfunctioning by conventional medicine. That's when thyroid replacement is given, mostly in the form of synthetic T4. However, there is considerable evidence that blood tests fail to detect most cases of underactive thyroid. Some people have "tissue resistance" to thryroid hormone. In other words, T4 is being produced at normal levels but it is not being converted to T3 at the cellular level. Instead, T4 can convert to a blocking hormone called reverse T3 which can slow the metabolism. Patients experience symptoms of low thyroid but are considered normal because their TSH is normal. lists these symptoms of low thyroid:
The classic signs of a sluggish thyroid gland include weight gain, lethargy, poor quality hair and nails, hair loss, dry skin, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and constipation – and these symptoms are relatively well known.
However, some of the conditions you might not associate with your thyroid include:
  • High cholesterol
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Low libido
  • Infertility
  • Gum disease
  • Fluid retention
  • Skin conditions such as acne and exzema
  • Memory problems
  • Poor stamina
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  1. I have fibromyalgia. I have been on Synthroid for about 2 months now. My TSH was a "low normal" but I had all the symptoms of hypothyroid. Synthroid has helped me tremendously. My GP told me that endocrinologists will put people on a low dose of Synthroid even if the TSH bloodwork is "normal" b/c the pt's feel so much better. I hope to stay on it for life, my energy is good, and other symptoms are a bit better.

  2. I'm glad the Synthroid has helped! I've been on Synthroid for a few years and it has really made a difference in my energy level. I'm hoping a little T3 along with the Synthroid will help even more!

  3. Thyroid problem is in our blood. I'm so glad to read this article. I am so worried about the symptoms i have, so I tried natural bovine supplements . Hoping for the best results soon.

  4. Good luck, Anita! So far no results from the T3 but I'm following up with my doc today. We'll see what she says!

  5. For excellent information about hypothyroidism, check out the patient advocacy website: