There are many reasons why you can be tired and suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). For the sake of clarity, CFS is not a type of fatigue that passes after refreshing, it is a permanent type of weakness that is inexplicable, unrelenting and overwhelming. It has been pinned to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV-6), parasites, mycotoxins, mold, adrenal dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies and many other diseases. But a new study published in March 2018 at the Frontiers of Endocrinology has uncovered an obvious connection that can radically change the patient’s life.
Chronic fatigue affects millions of people around the world. Patients live in a state of extreme exhaustion, derealization, which is supported by persistent dizziness, muscle pains and psychiatric symptoms. Attempts to treat it with antibiotics, stimulants, hypnotics and antidepressants only make the patients feel the negative effects of these drugs.
The thyroid is a natural energy regulator, which means that if it works well, we feel energetic and healthy. When it starts to act up, we feel drowsy and tired. The problem is that the thyroid gland can very well produce enough thyroid hormone (T4), which often determines normal levels of TSH.
Poor interpretation of thyroid symptoms can lead to catastrophic changes in the patient’s life. It is said that balance is key. The gland produces a T4 hormone, or thyroxine, and must convert it to T3 so that we can feel good and burn fat effectively. T3 is something that is responsible for the feeling of warmth, calmness, beautiful hair and, above all, affects the creation of a proper amount of ATP (energy). TSH is not a reflection of how well the thyroid works.
A new study reveals the relationship between thyroid hormones and chronic fatigue. Researchers from the Netherlands and Spain have demonstrated that CFS can be the result of low thyroid hormone levels, regardless of the TSH value. The research was carried out by Dr. Begoña Ruiz-Núñez, who is a professor at the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. After comparing the results of thyroid function and biomarkers of inflammation it was found that people with CFS have significantly lower levels of important thyroid hormones, in particular triiodothyronine (T3), but what’s interesting, they had normal levels of TSH. This means that TSH may appear normal in a laboratory tests, but T3 may be low due to poor activation (which means that T4 does not convert fast enough to T3).
People with CFS also had a lower iodine status (using the urine collection test) compared to healthy, unfinished counterparts. Iodine is used to produce thyroid hormone, so its low level means that there is hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency is a frequent cause of hypothyroidism, especially in people with selenium deficiency.
Endocrinologists are stuffing patients with the T4 hormone, hoping that it will be converted to T3. It may be a wrong thesis, or even a trap. The body cannot cope with inflammation or infection and instead of T3 in the body there will be an excess of inverted T3 or rT3. Elevated levels of rT3 are a negative consequence of chronic stress, fatigue and many other dysfunctions. Instead of chasing and killing all kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, should you focus on thyroid function? Connecting points between chronic fatigue syndrome and low T3 (and high rT3) certainly sheds light on new treatment of this extremely common and debilitating disease.
The T3 hormone gives us energy, which is why we can call it the gas pedal, and the rT3 is the brake. If we do not have the brakes, the body will be out of control, so rT3 is required as part of the hormonal balancing system. However, too much rT3, causes all symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as chronic fatigue, slow metabolism or weight gain. Unfortunately, endocrinologists often ignore rT3 because they were taught that rT3 is an “inactive metabolite” of the thyroid hormone, and therefore has little or no effect on hormonal balance. High levels of rT3 cause the patient to hibernate, clogging the cell receptors (the door to the cell) and thus blocking active thyroid hormone (T3) before binding.
If a patient has got dominant rT3, he has clinical hypothyroidism and is stressed, scared, tired and can feel cold and pain. T4 transformed into active T3 gives us a nice, efficient metabolism, promotes energy, beautiful and shiny hair as well as good mood and a beautiful figure. Regulation of thyroid hormones affects the metabolism, breathing, pulse and production of ATP (energy) in the mitochondria of every cell in our body. Our bodies are responsible for transforming about 40% of inactive T4 into T3, and 20% of it is being transformed into rT3 to make sure that we do not burn all calories by accident and do not bring about the body to extreme exhaustion. Thus, rT3 removes the excessive amount of T4, maintaining homeostasis, an ideal balance, including brakes, in case if the gas pedal is pressed “to the max”. Reverse T3 is not bad, however, its excessive amount is bad. Also have in mind that rT3 is a silent, often undiagnosed, enemy that can be responsible for most of our ailments.
If the patient has a high level of rT3, he / she should NOT use T4 drugs / hormones because it usually decomposes to an even higher level of rT3.
HOW TO REDUCE rT3:
- Increase selenium intake. Selenomethionine is more natural than sodium selenite.
- Cleanse and support the liver (milk thistle, glutathione or artichoke extract)
- Reduce or eliminate drinking alcohol, smoking and GMO food, which harms the liver and regenerates free radicals. Habits destroy the fragile lipophilic cells of the colon, lungs, brain, heart, pancreas and thyroid.
- Ask your doctor to conduct a trial treatment of T3, which is a combination of T3 and T4. The idea is to get away from T4 medicine and get into medicine which contains T3.
- If T4 / T3 drugs did not lower the rT3 level, consider switching to T3 alone. This decision should be made by a doctor.
- Adrenal supportive herbs should be considered, including: Astragalus, rhodiola, beta sitosterol, ginseng, ginger, B vitamins (especially pantethine), schizandra, eleuthero, ashwagandha, turmeric / curcumin or L-theanine.
If the thyroid levels are in perfect balance, the rT3 levels should be lower than 15 ng / dL or 150 pg./ml.
A whole healthy thyroid panel would look like this: rT3 <15 ng / gL also expressed as <150 Fertiline 70 = 90 mg / dL TSH 0.5 – 1.5 mlU / l Free T3 = 3.5-4.3 pg / dL Total T3 = 140-175 ng / dL Free T4 = 0.8-1.8 ng / dL TPO Antibodies less than 20 IU / ml The T3 / rT3 ratio should be> 2