Thyroid Fatigue – Why You Will Never Feel Better
Does your thyroid fatigue seem like an endless mystery with no solution in sight? I hate to say this, but your future doesn’t look much brighter either. Going from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, will result in you still waking up tomorrow morning questioning how you are going to get out of bed, much less tackle your “to-do” list. Doesn’t that bother you? Surely, someone must have an idea of how to help. With all the advancements in medical technology, why has no one figured out how to improve thyroid fatigue?
Your Options ARE . . . Wait, Your Option IS . . .
Here is the long and short of your thyroid issue and an attempt to find a solution. There is one strategy that dominates for supporting thyroid. Simply, replacement. Thyroid hormone replacement is the option. Sure, it comes in several flavors, Synthroid, Armour, and many more. Don’t let this mixed bag of what appears to be numerous options fool you. T
hyroid hormone by a different name is still thyroid hormone. And you may get the option of taking a T3 (active thyroid hormone) medication like Cytomel in place of a T4 (inactive thyroid hormone produced from the gland) option. Regardless, the strategy is still replacement.
Now ask yourself for a moment, if so much thyroid hormone is dispensed for thyroid fatigue, why then do you still have symptoms? Doesn’t that seem ironic. Now, this brings me back to the title of this article. I stated you will NEVER feel better. This may seem bold, but I stand by it. If in 6 months or 6 years you have not felt better on thyroid hormone replacement, is it logical to think that another 6 months is going to make a significant change. Probably not. Logic would say find another option to pursue. But, if thyroid hormone replacement is the only option, you have no option. Or do you?
It Does Exist . . .
It does exist. There is another option. Another paradigm altogether. Yet, if you confine yourself to the traditional model of thyroid hormone replacement, you may well miss out on your chance to overcome thyroid fatigue.
Rather than think hormone, instead ask why the thyroid is not functioning as it should. Now here is the exciting part. There are numerous reasons and we are going to focus on those related to your nutrition. I have what you have been desperately waiting to hear and turn that “never feel better” into “never felt better”.
Let’s Start with the Letter A
Thyroid function is complex, influenced by the rest of the body and always adapting. This is one of the reasons it can appear difficult to balance. It can be simplified though. Just as simple as the letter A. A is the first letter of the alphabet, but part of many complex words and and part of an even more expansive language. However, it is just a single letter. So too is vitamin A. If you are not familiar with vitamin A, it is a vitamin, nothing fancy. But it directly controls activities in the thyroid and literally the entire body.
Where is all this going you might ask? I don’t understand the discussion about vitamin A you might say. Don’t worry, neither does your doctor. In fact, they never considered the critical role that vitamin A serves in regulating thyroid function. You see, without vitamin A, your brain and thyroid gland don’t communicate efficiently. They lose control of how much stress the brain (pituitary specifically) hormone should place on your thyroid gland. When this communication breaks down because of vitamin A deficiency, so do you. You call it thyroid fatigue.
Thyroid Fatigue Ends with the Letter Z
All your labs look normal, but you still have thyroid fatigue. What gives? We started with the letter A. Let’s span the entire alphabet and jump to the letter Z. Since it starts with the letter Z, we are going to talk about zinc. Oh, the frustrated patients I have seen with zinc and vitamin A deficiencies that struggle with thyroid function. Look at your finger nails. Are there white spots? This is a known indicator of zinc deficiency.
Zinc is unparalleled in its roll in the thyroid. Zinc deficiencies have frustrated many a doctor and patient alike. Not being heard is the issue. Do you like it when someone does not hear what you are saying? Of course you don’t. That is exactly the situation with zinc and thyroid. You can produce and supplement thyroid hormone, but unless you have adequate zinc,
thyroid hormone is falling on deaf ears. In this case, “deaf ears” means it is not being used efficiently to create the changes that we expect from thyroid hormone.
There are other nutrients that we could have the same discussion about. They start with B, C, D, I, and T just to name a few. They can improve the thyroid alone or as part of a plan that includes thyroid hormone replacement. The key is to make sure they are in place, otherwise your thyroid fatigue frustrations are guaranteed to persist.
Now, you might be inclined to simply start taking vitamin A. Of maybe you are saying, “I don’t have white spots on my fingernails, I don’t need zinc.” In both cases, you could be making a mistake by not knowing your exact needs. Test, don’t guess. Determine what you need that to help you zero down which nutrient or combination is going to move you past your thyroid fatigue.
HI, You mention B, C, D, I, and T. It would have been great if you had elaborated a bit more. I am assuming I is for Iodine- Which alone I think needs a write up, since this comes up over and over for woman with all kinds of issues, mostly Thyroid.
Not sure what the T stands for, maybe you can share? People are left to guess here. I understand you want to draw them into a vitamin test but….
And if you ever do a write up on Iodine, which would be great, can you speak to the co-factors like selenium.
Thanks for the emails, in general, they are very helpful.
Thanks for taking the time to read the emails. You present one possible option for the letter I, which is iodine. Many are familiar with this connection. However, the letter I could equally stand for iron, another nutrient often overlooked with thyroid function. Contrary to the suggested rational for the blog post, its primary intention is to help those frustrated by their current lack of options a possible path to pursue. While nutrient testing is of high value, nutrients like iodine, iron and tyrosine (for which the letter T stands for) are not able to be tested with intracellular analysis. In addition, several B vitamins affect thyroid function, as does vitamin D and copper, for which the letter C represents).
I do have white spots under fingernails! How much zinc should I be taking!
In general, 30-45mg would be a reasonable dose. Take into consideration the effects of different forms. The more bioavailable form of zinc is zinc bisglycinate. Choose this if possible. I find most are able to resolve zinc deficiencies in 6 months and see resolution of white spots on the nails. To the original intent of the post, your thyroid will have a necessary cofactor for optimal function. Lastly, if you have never supplemented zinc, it is best to take it with food. Zinc is known to create nausea when taken on an empty stomach. Food tends to prevent this.
Should you need a source, here is a zinc bisglycinate option my patients have seen consistent results with.
My understanding is that tyrosine competes with hormone replacement at the cellular level. My experience makes me believe this. My labs were optimal for thyroid replacement hormone, as was my iron, zinc & D3 but I’m still horribly fatigued so I added tyrosine and within 3 days I still had the fatigue and most of my hypo symptoms returned.