Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weight Gain and Thyroid tests

Are you perplexed because you are putting on "unexplained" weight even though you maintain a healthy diet and a good level of exercise?

Do you keep asking your doctor why this is happening, to which he/she does yet "another" T3 and T4 thyroid test which shows normal values and then you are told that it is not your thyroid that is causing the problem.

This is a very lengthy and complicated problem that I can not possibly explain in full detail (without writing a whole book) as there are so many factors that contribute to all the variables... your endocrine system, Hypothalamus disorder, Hypopituitarism, AUTOIMMUNE problems and many, many more.

So lets just touch on your thyroid for now...

Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.

The thyroid plays an important role in all this activity; it has something of a managerial position. Without the thyroid bossing everybody around, lots of work around the plant wouldn't get done -- or at least wouldn't be up to quality standards. Don't go thinking the thyroid is the top dog, however. It gets its marching orders from the pituitary gland, which in turn answers to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. But instead of memos to conduct all this communication, the body uses hormones.

The th­yroid's main job is to produce two very special hormones. T3 and T4!
(The ones the doctors seem to concentrate on solely and largely base their evaluations on these levels alone)
They both have deliciously unpronounceable names, but luckily, they also have abbreviations if you're not in the mood for a tongue twister. The first one is triiodothyronine and the second one is thyroxine (or tetraiodothyronine).

After they're released by the thyroid, these little guys hitch a ride in the bloodstream and get to work. Like door-to-door salesmen or restaurant flyer distributors, the hormones stop at each and every cell, knock on the door and tell the cell if it needs to be consuming more oxygen and nutrients -- thereby stepping up its rate of metabolism -- or vice versa. The hormones also have a hand in stimulating heart muscle contraction and nerve function, increasing the utilization of cholesterol and nutrients, ensuring normal growth and brain development -- some pretty important stuff!

BUT what if your problems/symptoms is NOT caused by low levels of T3 and T4? But your doctor just doesn't/won't check any further?

You may have to push for it but ask/insist that your Rheumatologist does a complete ANTI-THYROID ANTIBODY lab test.

If you have a HIGH Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Ab that may explain all the problems you are having with weight gain as well as all the other symptoms, such as:

Sluggishness in the morning
Poor concentration and memory
Low-grade depression
Dry skin
Hoarse voice
Thinning hair, skin
Coarse hair
Being very sensitive to cold and having cold hands and feet
Low body temperature
Muscle pain
Weakness or cramps
Low sex drive
Fluid retention
High cholesterol
A thick tongue
Swollen feet
Swollen eyelids
A dry mouth
Absense of the outer third of the eyebrows

This is when your thyroid "hormones" (not your thyroid directly) comes under attack by your body’s own immune system. Normally, substances called antibodies protect you from dangerous bacteria and viruses. These antibodies play a role in the destruction of the thyroid hormones by the immune system.

When I first became very ill I put on 30 lbs in 1 month for no apparent reason. And couldn't take it off regardless of how hard I tried. I am by nature a thin person and from a family of thin people.

I can't tell you how many T3 and T4 tests I had repeatedly with the same normal values and NOTHING being done about it. I knew by the way I was feeling and by my extensive research that there was "something" going on pertaining to my thyroid somehow!

I finally insisted that my Rheumatologist test "everything imaginable pertaining to my thyroid. Walla..... very high titers of Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Ab.

Try googling (or whatever search engine you prefer ;))about this little know antibody. You won't find much and nothing of any help. And the doctors will want to do a "wait and see" to see if the body corrects it and/or if the thyroid just quits working.

After 8 years I decided to take things into my own hands (you'll find I do that alot AND I highly recommend you take your health into your own hands "responsibly" as well) and did some research....

I started myself on 500 MG of L-Tyrosine, with a few days of the week doing 1000 MG (along with a regiment of other herbs for other problems) And I immediately dropped 25 pounds in a VERY short period of time.

Now to "unintentionally" test this result I quit taking all my herbs and supplements. It gets expensive and when you have CFIDS everything is a effort to do.

Guess what? I immediately put the weight back on. No change of diet or exercise during all of this time.

I am currently back on the L-Tyrosine and the other supplements and lost the weight except for alittle of it... I am getting older, after all.

In one of my other postd I mentioned L-Tyrosine. Tyrosine is very essential to the structure of almost all the proteins that are present in our body.
Thyroid hormones that have a role in all the procedures in our body also contain Tyrosine as an important part of their structure. L-Tyrosine can help bring the thyroid gland function in normal position.

Please... again... I am not a doctor and since it is my own body I feel free to experiment upon much research.

If you are taking prescription thyroid hormone medication, it is important NOT to take L-Tyrosine without direction from your doctor. Do not take L-Tyrosine if you have high blood pressure.
As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to get your problem diagnosed before starting any treatment.



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