Posted by Nat (Denver, CO) on 02/22/2015
Most doctors know hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease. But most patients don't. The reason doctors don't tell their patients is simple: it doesn't affect their treatment plan.
Studies show that 90% of people with hypothyroidism are producing antibodies to thyroid tissue. This causes the immune system to attack and destroy the thyroid, which over time causes a decline in thyroid hormone levels. This autoimmune form of hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto's disease. While not all people with Hashimoto's have hypothyroid symptoms, thyroid antibodies have been found to be a marker for future thyroid disease.
The following are the five major thyroid patterns that don't show up on standard tests
1.HYPOTHYROIDISM CAUSED BY PITUITARY DYSFUNCTION:
TSH below the functional range (1.8 ? 3.0) but within the standard range (0.5 ? 5.0). The T4 will be low in the
functional range (and possibly the lab range too).
2.UNDER-CONVERSION OF T4 TO T3.
This common pattern is caused by inflammation and elevated cortisol levels. T4 to T3
conversion happens in cell membranes. Inflammatory cytokines damage cell membranes
and impair the body's ability to convert T4 to T3. High cortisol also suppresses the
conversion of T4 to T3. it doesn't matter how
much T4 you take; you won't be able to use it. you'll have hypothyroid symptoms, but your TSH and T4 will be normal.
If you have your T3 tested, which it rarely is in conventional settings, it will be low
3. HYPOTHYROIDISM CAUSED BY ELEVATED TBG.
Thyroid binding globulin (TBG) is the protein that transports thyroid hormone through the
blood. When thyroid hormone is bound to TBG, it is inactive and unavailable to the
tissues. Elevated TBG is caused by high estrogen levels, which are often often associated with
birth control pills or estrogen replacement. When TBG levels are high, levels of unbound (free) thyroid hormone will be low, With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be low, and T3 uptake and
TBG will be high.
4. HYPOTHYROIDISM CAUSED BY DECREASED TBG.
But too much free thyroid hormone in the bloodstream causes the cells to develop
resistance to it. So, even though there's more than enough thyroid hormone, the cells
can't use it and you'll have hypothyroid ? not hyperthyroid ? symptoms. Decreased TBG is caused by high testosterone levels. In women, it is commonly
associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring
blood sugar balance is the key to treating this pattern.With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be high, and T3 uptake and
TBG will be low.
5. THYROID RESISTANCE.
In this pattern, both the thyroid and pituitary glands are functioning normally, but the
hormones aren't getting into the cells where they're needed. Note that all lab test markers will be normal in this pattern, because we don't have a way
to test the function of cellular receptors directly.
Thyroid resistance is usually caused by chronic stress and high cortisol levels. It can also
be caused by high homocysteine and genetic factors.
Causes (read more in the Chris Kressser free ebook"Thyroid Disorders"):
-The Gluten-Thyroid Connection
-Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Crucial Nutrient or Harmful Toxin?
-Selenium ? The missing link for treating hypothyroidism?
-Thyroid, Blood Sugar, and Metabolic Syndrome
-The Thyroid-Gut Connection