Adrenal fatigue/insufficiency can also. for thyroid to work properly u need adequate cortisol levels. Pregnenolone which is a precursor to cortisol helped increase my body temp to normal, i have since stopped pregnenolone and my temp has remained normal. There is a concern about using thyroid meds with someone with a low cortisol in that it can worsen adrenal fatigue, they say cortisol levels need to be sorted first and then if thyroid is needed then add it. I have noticed since my body temp is normal, i am now able to lose weight, so must be an indicator of a poor metabolism/adrenal-thyroid axis. so caledonia is spot on with the adrenal aspect.
I suspect it's more of a problem with the ANS. There is no indication that I have thyroid problems and when I supplemented it didn't make my body temp go any higher. I also tend to have higher than normal cortisol. My body temp generally is around 96.2.
Hi Slayadragon, this may also be answered from the point of view of Marty Palls work, or the Lights recent study. ME/CFS induces increased levels of heat sensors in the body. This means that the brain is getting more signals that it is too hot. It not improbable that the brain's response might be to produce less thyroid hormone and lower the body temperature.
This is not certain of course. It will take years more research before we know. It is just to say that in the next few years we might have these answers.
Fundamentally, a low body temperature means that the rate of heat production relative to the rate of heat loss from the body is lower than normal. Heat production in the body comes from oxidation of fuels we derive from our food. So this means that fuels are being oxidized at a lower rate than normal. That is, the metabolic rate is lower than normal.
In ME/CFS, there is published work indicating that the actual core body temperature (measured inside the body) is normal. This is very important, because it maintains the functions of the vital organs. However, the peripheral body temperature is often lower than normal in ME/CFS. This can be noted particularly by measuring the armpit temperature, as recommended by Broda Barnes. A low value here indicates that the peripheral tissues (in particular, the skeletal muscles) are operating at a lower than normal metabolic rate.
It's true that normally the metabolic rate is governed by the thyroid gland, particularly, and also by the adrenals. The thyroid hormones influence gene expression of the enzymes involved in metabolism, particularly in the mitochondria.
In ME/CFS, we know from the work of Myhill et al., as well as a lot of other published research, that the mitochondria are dysfunctional. Some PWMEs/PWCs benefit from suppleenting thyroid hormones. At the same time, many PWMEs/PWCs have normal levels of the thyroid hormones, and do not benefit from supplementing them.
In my hypothesis, the mito dysfunction stems initially from glutathione depletion (verified by lots of lab testing now), which allows rise of reactive oxygen species, which are known to inhibit both the Krebs cycle and the respiratory chain in the mitochondria. Dr. John McLaren Howard's testing at acumenlab shows that over time, several other problems arise that contribute to mito dysfunction. These include buildup of toxins that block enzymes and act as DNA adducts, interfering with gene expression. They also include disruption of levels of essential minerals and buildup of lactic acid from anaerobic glycolysis, which is accelerated to compensate for the mito dysfunction. In addition, the methylation deficit that is associated with glutathione depletion in ME/CFS causes a drop in production of certain substances needed for proper function of the mitochondria, including Co Q10, carnitine and creatine.
Under these circumstances, supplementing thyroid hormones will give limited, if any, improvement. The mitos are simply not able to respond to the thyroid hormones, because of all their problems. In these cases, I think the answer is to restore the function of the methylation cycle, which will correct the glutathione depletion.
I have a borderline thyroid and have been offered thyroid supplementation. From the above information, where blood results don't show irregularities, I gather it's not a good idea to take these thyroid tablets. What I'd like to know is , should I consider taking tablets where the blood results are consistently irregular, even though borderline?
RHIANNON, get your cortisol levels checked, do a 4 times a day saliva test. poor cortisol can decrease thyroid function and adding thyroid to someone with low cortisol is suppose to make things worse. If cortisol checks out ok then go the thyroid, if cortisol low try treating it and see how u go, u may need to still add thyroid down the track. Pregnenolone is a down stream hormone that can help build up other hormones and might be worth looking into and a trial.
Thanks, I will certainly ask my doctor to check my cortisol levels, whether she'll agree to it, we'll see. In the meantime, I'll start RichVan K's protocol. Can you tell me more about the saliva test please?
saliva testing just involves basically spitting into a test tube(till full) 4 different times of the day, some to 2 test a day sample as well eg 6am and 6pm. Then u send it away for testing and they measure your dhea and cortisol at these different times. A normal test would register cortisol high in the morning and low at night, some of us are low all the time or low in the morn and high at night which can interfere with sleep and then makes everything worse and u sort of get into a viscious circle. Dhea is suppose to help negate any negative aspects of cortisol so if low this can let cortisol wreck havoc. With me, my dhea is very low and my cortisol instead of looking like a big up and down curve on a graph, is like a flat line but night time cortisol is high enough to wreck my sleep and because my dhea is so low, it lets cortisol do what it likes, makes me feel tired but wired.