The Thyroid is more complicated than we give it credit for
TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone) is the most commonly tested thyroid hormone. The most active thyroid hormone is T3 however, which can be free or bound, or can be convert to rT3 (reverse T3) which is believed to be metabolically inactive. The body needs the necessary micronutrients such as iodine and selenium to convert T4 to T3 in the first place, so even if the thyroid is optimally being stimulated by TSH to produce the T4, it doesn’t necessarily mean the correct proportions of the other thyroid hormones are being produced.
Sub clinical hypothyroidism
If your thyroid lab numbers are ‘normal’, but your body says otherwise, you many be suffering from ‘sub clinical hypothyroidism’. The most common presentation is low energy, cold hands and feet and an inability to lose weight. See below for other signs and symptoms associated with thyroid issues.
Thyroid and other disease
Its not just about feeling tired and increased weight, but untreated thyroid can lead to cardiac disease, lupus, reproductive difficulties, diabetes, arthritis as well as many other health issues which are associated with a poor functioning thyroid gland. Research has shown that early thyroid treatment can, in many cases, reduce the incidence or severity of these high profile diseases.
Adrenal function and thyroid
The adrenal glands are two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys and help you regulate stress. The adrenal gland and thyroid work closely together. In fact, the adrenal-hypothalamus-pituitary loop is the bodies major regulator. When the body is constantly under stress, this sets off a chronic inflammatory response in the body causing major dysregulation in numerous organs and glands, with the thyroid being one of the most affected.
Infection and Autoimmune thyroid disease
Infectious disease is proving to be a culprit of numerous autoimmune diseases, and Hashimotos thyroiditis is no exception. EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) has been shown to change the immune status in susceptible individuals. Other autoimmune conditions EBV is responsible for include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjögren’s syndrome, and autoimmune hepatitis. As a side note, EBV and Streptococcus (my personal nemesis, learn more about my experience with PANDAS in my blog) are known co infections, opening the door for even further auto immune conditions, and / or inflammatory conditions, such as neurological conditions (depression and anxiety), cancer, heart disease and diabetes.