Thyroid in Lyme

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If you have Lyme, you should never trust blood tests to decide whether you should treat thyroid or adrenal glands, says Dr Marty Ross MD. Inflammatory cytokines produced by white blood cells to fight Lyme disease reduce the effective functioning of the brain area called the hypothalamus and also the pituitary gland. This part of the brain produces chemicals that induce sleep and regulate the endocrine system.It that very place transmitters such as thyroid hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are also released to properly stimulate the thyroid, adrenal glands and sex hormone organs.Due to dysfunction caused by cytokines, regulatory transmitters are released based on an incorrect interpretation of the hormonal environment. So the measurements of these messengers are an unreliable way to determine the status of the hormones. A person may have a normal range of hormone testing results, but at the same time that person will still have clinically low levels of hormones.Because of the unreliability of tests, treatment of low hormone level should only occur if there are clear clinical symptoms.

Hormones provide many functions in the body. Adequate levels improve energy and help the immune system work more efficiently. Probably the most reliable symptom which shows that the thyroid does not work properly is cold intolerance.Strangely cold legs, hands, aches and constipation may accompany weak hormones.Regarding the adrenal glands, we pay attention to low blood sugar with tremors and irritability which can be toned by food, low blood pressure and dizziness in a standing position, and sugar craving.Poor adrenal glands also appear by tiredness, recurrent infections, and long rehabilitation after infections.

* Current guidelines for hypothyroidism, which most physicians use, do not work in Lyme disease;

* Patients with Lyme disease have a peripheral thyroid disorder that cannot be detected only by means of TSH and T4 tests;

* Thyroid symptoms are more important and are often more reliable in Lyme disease than in thyroid tests

* Even a person with normal thyroid test results may have low hypothyroidism based on their own “normal” thyroid level;

* Comprehensive thyroid examination should include TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3 and TPO;

* Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) is very helpful for low thyroid gland

* Selenium, zinc, vitamin D and non-toxic levels of iodine.

In 2012 The European Thyroid Association has published guidelines (ETA Guidelines) on the use of T4 and T3 in the treatment of hypothyroidism. The ETA guidelines recommended the experimental use of combination therapy T4 / T3. This recommendation was based on evidence showing that despite treatment and administration of the T4 hormone, patients still suffered and showed signs of hypothyroidism. It can be said that despite aligning thyroid hormone levels, patients continue to feel symptoms.We would probably be more healthy if not, The American Thyroid Association, which reviewed the data for combination therapy and published updated guidelines in 2014 (ATA Guideline 2014).ATA recommended to use only T4 therapy, and commissioned further research into the potential benefits of combination therapy. Good for them, but what they didn’t think about is that the research is still going on, and the patients are still suffering.It has been noticed that practical studies show that 22% of patients, despite normal T3 levels, have biochemical euthyreosis, which means they still have symptoms. This study also showed that 3.6% of endocrinologists still use a combination technique which means they use T3. It is worth looking around and search for a good endocrinologist who has not complied with the ATA guidelines.

Due to heavy stress or Lyme disease, metabolism slows down acting like a protective mechanism, which excludes the production of increased rT3, which in turn causes a reduction of T3, however, T4 and TSH remain within normal limits. In extreme situations it may even lead to the Euthyreosis syndrome.T3 concentration in the serum also depends on specific thyroid hormone transporters in the cell membrane and cellular deiodinases, that locally activate or deactivate the thyroid hormone.There are many differences in how specific tissues cope with the thyroid hormone. For example, the liver is rich in type 1 deiodinase, while the brain is rich in type 2 deiodinase. The ETA task team notes: “In hypothyroidism, D1liver activity is reduced, but D2brain activity is increased. This tissue-specific regulatory mechanism threatens the simultaneous normalization of thyroid hormone levels in all tissues. ” This means that relying solely on the TSH and T4 tests we may omit the peripheral hypothyroidism.

Looking at researches which have been recently appliedin order to develop different guidelines, there are no studies focusing on patients with infectious diseases, especially those suffering from Lyme disease.So what happens to T3 in peripheral tissues, even when TSH and T4 are normal? The answer can be found with doctor M. Ross, who has been dealing with the treatment of Lyme for several decades.”Some patients suffer from hypothyroidism due to an excess of cytokines or other mechanisms that lead to T4 to rT3 leakage, not to T3 activity.” ETA guidelines note: “Due to tissue heterogeneity, the precipitation of TSH from the pituitary gland may not reflect what is happening in other target tissues, and therefore TSH alone in the serum may not be a good indicator of the adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement”.
“So in my patients (M.Ross) – normal levels of TSH and T4 are very common, and yet most Lyme patients are in the condition of hypothyroidism.”

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