Dr. Steven Hotze
“Hypothyroidism is a very common problem and can cause you to have low energy, concentration problems, it can affect mood and cause you to gain weight. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, I would suggest that this is one of the first things you should have checked. Hypothyroidism is a disease that can manifest itself in a very similar way to chronic fatigue syndrome. These two problems often co-exist.” (From Chronic Fatigue Treatments)
As I have discussed before, some patients with hypothyroidism do not regain their energy even when they are taking natural thyroid. I was puzzled by this phenomenon until I learned about Dr. Broda Barnes’s (Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness) use of natural cortisol and read Dr. Jefferies’ book Safe Uses of Cortisol. Dr. Jefferies had found that adrenal fatigue often occurs in conjunction with hypothyroidism, and that, in the absence of adequate cortisol, thyroid hormone replacement was less effective.
The reason is that when the adrenal glands are weak, even normal thyroid activity is a burden. Adding supplemental thyroid hormone may result in initial improvement in energy levels and other symptoms, but as the adrenal glands become more exhausted, energy production is shut down. The solution is not more thyroid hormone. What is called for is adrenal support with small doses of cortisol:
“Cortisol is normally secreted in a circadian pattern, rising to a high of 20 ug/dl in the early morning and hitting its low range of 5 ug/dl in the late evening. When we take salivary samples at 6AM, Noon, 4PM, and Midnight we look to see if cortisol is in a normal range. You must know your cortisol all four times and treat it at the time it’s abnormal. As cortisol levels distort high or low this can have a negative effect on insulin and DHEA. Testing is recommended at least once a year. Find out if your cortisol is too high and how to normalize it safely and effectively.” (From the Integrative Health Newsletter)
In my experience, as well as that of Drs. Jefferies and Barnes, low-dose cortisol can make a tremendous difference in the energy and well-being of patients with hypothyroidism. Not only does it improve energy, raise body temperature, and increase resistance to infection, it also helps the body utilize thyroid hormone. Natural cortisol is especially helpful for patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, an extremely common cause of hypothyroidism. Like other autoimmune conditions, autoimmune thyroiditis can develop when the adrenal glands are stressed, especially following pregnancy or at menopause. As documented in Dr. Jefferies’ book, natural cortisol actually reduces levels of thyroid antibodies, enhancing the effectiveness of thyroid hormone.
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