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.
Lewrockwell.com 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
- Gum disease
- Fluid retention
- Skin conditions such as acne and exzema
- Memory problems
- Poor stamina