I had a fascinating talk with one of you the other day (thank you Lesley!) about the lack of diagnostic and treatment help for adrenal and thyroid conditions on the NHS.
Lesley told me about a brave couple of women who have put a petition before the Scottish parliament to help doctors identify and treat people with hypothyroidism related to an inability to convert T4 into enough active T3 and those whose thyroid is related to poor adrenal function. In these type of cases, TSH testing and pills are just not likely to help and so many continue to be really poorly because they are missed.
Now, I suppose I know all about this and have been testing and treating this type of ‘under the radar’ hypothyroidism for over a decade now, so I have really forgotten how little doctors know or are able to help people in that circumstance. Here’s a couple of bits from my Adrenal Plan on it, for example, where there is a whole section on the link between the various hormones including thyroid and adrenals:
- people with adrenal fatigue often have a poor response to thyroxine meds so this could act as a clue that your problem might not wholly be thyroid.
- many hypo-adrenia sufferers also have thyroid issues as we have said above. In this case, often the person has secondary hypothyroidism; in other words, something is depressing the thyroid and this can be the adrenals. If the body needs to recover, it will downregulate production of some of the thyroid hormones such as free T4 and free T3 (even though the normal blood T4, T3 and TSH looks OK) and even encourage more production of the inactive Reverse T3 hormone. The body wants a rest.
Instead, what happens most often is that the person is given thyroid meds to increase metabolic energy – just what the adrenals are trying not to do. Sometimes, this adds extra adrenal stress and the person becomes more fatigued and adrenally-compromised, but their ever-increasing thyroid meds make them feel hyper at the same time – the so-called ‘tired and wired’ syndrome.
That’s just one circumstance where the adrenals can affect the thyroid and vice versa. Worth knowing about and checking especially if you’re not doing well on thyroxine and feel something else is going on.
Anyway, well done to these ladies for putting their case. if you would like to, you can watch the presentation of the petition on You Tube… and the following round table meeting….89 mins in, before their segment comes up.
It is a subject I deal with in some way or another most clinic days and it does need sorting!