The Fussy Thyroid

Lyme has turned me into a hypothyroidiac, but surprisingly, I remain thin as a spirochete. Maybe the Lyme critters are chewing away at my body–or the adrenals are stealing muscle mass for energy (more likely), but whatever the case, my thyroid is in tortoise mode. But at least now it’s moving along at a decent pace, which is a major change from two years ago when I really got slammed by the bugs.
It took me awhile to figure out how to keep the poor little gland functioning, and especially in concert with my adrenals. I learned that if I gave the thyroid too much food, then the adrenals would start gasping for sustenance, and I’d be hyper as a hare plugged into a socket. Alternatively, not enough food meant that my days were spent as a fog-brained, achy blob on the couch.

So what ended up being my optimal thyroid “food?” For me, it was pure bioidentical T3 hormone. Some synthetic thyroid supplements are made from T4 hormone, and these rely on the body to convert T4 into T3, which is what the body mostly utilizes for optimal thyroid function. The problem with synthetics is that folks with Lyme or CFIDS often convert T4 into an unusable form of T3, termed “reverse T3” and hence cannot utilize the T4. This should be a consideration when choosing a thyroid food in the form of hormones.
If you are hypothyroid (and if you aren’t sure if you are, stay tuned for another post on this…routine blood testing of the thyroid is fraught with pitfalls), consider iodine supplementation before hormone replacement therapy. A high-quality product is critical. Lugol’s is a good one to try. The body synthesizes thyroid hormones from iodine, and this is a better way to help it along, as it can decide what it needs, whereas with hormone replacement, it doesn’t have much choice but to swallow the stuff.
If you are like me, however, your body might be inefficient at synthesizing thyroid hormone from iodine. In this case, hormone replacement therapy becomes a necessity.
Persevere….there are several options for getting the thyroid into gear, and the optimal choice will be different for each person.