Monday, September 5, 2011

Why am I still Tired??

August already?!? One may say I have been on a bit of a sabbatical the past few months. All in all it was a good summer. Infinity Wellness Center turned 5 years old and I couldn't be more thankful to all my Patients for your loyal support and for all that you have taught me. Your brilliant strength and determination of wellness through chiropractic is my inspiration everyday to be a better doctor. I am forever grateful to my parents for their love and belief in me and never questioning as I followed my dreams!

An Anniversary party is long over due and is soon to follow!

I spent most of June working (and relaxing) at Rio Caliente Healing Ranch and Spa in Mexico. Then unexpectedly traveled to Michigan, twice, visiting family, meeting my best friend's precious baby boy and attending an unexpected tragic funeral for my dear cousin Joshua Lizotte.

I do love to travel and love Michigan summers but needless to say I am happy to be settled back home in Austin and focused on my first love - patients and the human body! I feel this newsletter could not be more timely to what I am seeing in practice almost daily these days. Patients coming in with a diagnosis from his or her medical doctor of hypothyroidism, placed on synthetic hormones, and they still feeling awful. I hope to shed a little light on this subject today and with my upcoming lectures.
Why am I still so tired while taking Thyroid Medicine?


We've all heard a family member or friend state they are on a thyroid medication and that person still does not look or feel healthy, they are still over weight, and still fatigued and lethargic. This is common because most doctors treat the thyroid only, and overlook the rest of the endocrine system.

In short, the Endocrine system looks like this - The pituitary gland in the brain releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which tells the thyroid to make thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) which signals the adrenal glands then the ovaries (or testes) telling them to make progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. When the proper amounts have been made, the signal makes it back to the brain and the feedback loop happens over and over again. It's much more detailed than that, but for our purposes this is what a normal endocrine system looks like......until a major stressor hits....and stays.

Our bodies are meant to deal with small bursts of stress - for example running from a lion or a tiger. When you see that tiger, a chemical reaction happens "fight or flight" and cortisol is released from your adrenal glands in short small bursts. This is a healthy normal stress response. Where we fall into trouble is when you stay in high stress states for days, weeks, months or years.

Today our lions and tigers can be our bosses, our jobs, mortgage companies, or even spouses and children. Our body does not know the difference between physical, emotional and finanical stress, it has the same chemical reaction to all stresses. These stresses, when long lasting, cause a prolonged cortisol release. Prolonged high levels of cortisol decrease the TSH and suppress the conversion of T4 to T3. Th is leaves our thyroid gland running sloooowww and our metabolism and energy looowww! This is why people may gain weight under stress. The body thinks you are under attack and puts on weight to protect you.

We then go into the doctor's office exhausted and overweight, he or she orders a TSH only and prescribes synthroid (a synthetic thyroid hormone). Which may or may not help temporarily. As you can see this cycle is much more in depth than a "synthyroid deficiency" in the blood stream. The endocrine system, and really the entire body, must be looked at holistically, meaning as a whole.

Other stressors that cause endocrine imbalances include:
Dehydration
Sugar Imbalances - hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes
Over training physically
Insomnia
Low level infections in the blood stream, a bacterial, fungal or viral infection
A leaky gut
Food allergies and intolerance
Prolonged physical pain also raises cortisol
Signs and Symptoms you may have an endocrine Imbalance:

Weight Gain (especially belly fat to protect your vital organs under stress)
Can't lose weight no matter how hard you try - your metabolism just is not working!
Fatigue/Lethargy
Insomnia
Puffiness around the face
Cold Hands and Feet
Hair Loss
Loss of outer third of the eye brow
The half moons on your finger nails are no longer visible
Depression/Lack of motivation
Lack of vitality and joy in life
Sugar, Salt and Carbohydrate Cravings
As a holistic practitioner I use numerous tests including saliva testing, functional blood labs, and kinesiology to get a full view of what the endocrine system is and is not doing. Often times we find many fertility cases we see are simply an endocrine imbalance.

Functional testing tells me what type of imbalance is present with the thyroid and why. Is it hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or an autoimmune disorder called Hoshimotos Thryroiditis, where your body views the thyroid as an invader and attacks it (more on that next time).

Hope this explanation of the endocrine process helped. If you or a loved one feels they have more than just a thyroid problem we'd love to take a look and see if we can help.

2 comments:

Wilma James said...

Porcine tablets have been able to help massive amounts of people that have thyroid problems. Depending on your symptoms, hypothyroidism can be treated.

erin love said...

I am currently on Generic T4 and T3 and I still feel tired all the time my blood levels show as normal now but I cannot seem to have energy I used to have. This week I've added a 1/2 grain of dessicated medication to my current prescription. I know I should check with my Dr. but I may continue for 3 weeks and get my blood tests done again and see if I'm still okay, I've read in many places that it's more about symptoms than blood tests...