I ordered a book, The Insulin-Resistance Diet by Cheryle R. Hart, MD, and Mary Kay Grossman, RD. I found it recommended on a PCOS board. Anyway, I found some interesting information in it that makes me think "thyroid". In it, they discuss levels of dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters). They say that...
"The right amount of dopamine helps you feel energetic and less hungry. Symptoms of low levels of dopamine can include the following:
Decreased sex drive
Increased appetite: feeling hungry a lot of the time
Cravings for chocolate, caffeine, sweets, fatty foods, and salty foods
Chronic allergies, headaches and muscle aches
Premenstrual breast tenderness
The right amount of serotonin helps you feel calm and secure. Symptoms of low levels of serotonin can include the following:
Difficulty knowing when you feel full
Cravings for bread, bagels, and pasta
Cravings for alcohol and nicotine
Premenstrual symptoms of mood and appetite changes
They also say that stress causes you to use up the available dopamine and serotonin leading to "nervous eating" and "boredom eating".
Quite interestingly, they say "Commonly prescribed antidepressant medications,..., work by using the dopamine or serotonin alreday in the brain. These medications do not work very well if you are already depleted of neurotransmitters."
It goes on to suggest foods, activities, and supplements that boost the bodies ability to manufacturing these transmitters. The book indicates that there are no current replacement therapies.
Some of these symptoms describe exactly what some thyroid sufferers have in common (chronic allergies, emotional imbalances, fatigue, muscle aches, etc). I'm wondering if there's a link between low levels of these neurotransmitters and thyroid dysfunction.
Has anyone heard of a connection? I hope everyone didn't know this already!
The Following User Says Thank You to GracesMomMom For This Useful Post: Weasel49 (09-23-2011)
The Thyroid Solution outlines a lot about brain hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. (Sorry to say I don't have a photographic memory, and the book's back at the public library, so I don't have the specifics.) The way Dr. Arem describes it, the brain must convert its own T3 from the available T4. It can't use the T3 that the liver converts; it must do it on its own. If that conversion doesn't take place, all kinds of things go wonky... (My word, not his, LOL) Not enough T3, not enough of the brain chemicals, plain and simple.
It's all so very complicated, isn't it?
That would then become a cycle probably. So in the case where the conversion is stymied for whatever reason, the thyroid could look totally normal, but all the symptoms would be there. I'm just thinking out loud here. Feel free to tune out whenever I'm sure I've read what I'm thinking a hundred times by now. So if T4 is low, the tissues should stimulate the pituitary to produce more tsh, which makes the thyroid work harder, thus the ths normally would increase. when you're hypo this doesn't happen, because the thyroid has low function. If the thyroid has normal to high function, hyper occurs. In the normal thyroid, the processes that stimulate the pituitary should shut down to a normal level once the desired th increase is obtained. Hypo is understandable, it'll never produce the needed th level. Hyper, on the other hand should should shut it down fast, but doesn't. Theories for this are the antibody receptor blocking qualities and disease of the thyroid tissue hyperfunctioning by itself. These both occur outside the control of the pituitary response system.
Now, if I assume proper pituitary response, no obvious thyroid tissue disease, high "normal" tsh, low "normal" Free T4 & T3 (particularly free T4), no obvious sign of any antibodies, and diffuse asymmetric swelling of the thyroid. The swelling indictes to me it's somewhat in overdrive. Probably due to the low Free T4. Low T4 would be responsible for low conversion. Low conversion would stimulate the pituitary. What if conversion were taking place correctly in some tissues and not in others? Wouldn't that confuse the pituitary and account for both the normal numbers and the all over the place symptoms? Who knows, right? I haven't noticed, does the taking of T4 increase some particular subset(s) of symptoms, not all? Or taking T3 increase particular subset(s) of symptoms as well? Again, who knows. And without a medical degree, my own research lab, and loads of cash, I haven't a chance of finding out, I'd say. Haven't researched Dr. Arem yet, will have to do that.
You didn't completely lose me, but I don't know enough about the chain reactions in the system to completely follow along, either. If I ever win the lottery, I'll fund that research lab for you since you seem to have the knack for it.
Does taking either T4 or T3 increase any "subset of symptoms"... hmmm I never thought about that. But of course a lack of either one separately affects some body systems more than others. Lack of T3 is strongly linked to the mental effects, but I'm not aware of other associations. I would love to find out more about all that, but I hardly ever see these things mentioned in that specific detail. I might've read that T4 affects muscles... but there's that non-photographic memory rearing its head again... This muscle pain is going to be the end of me... I don't know why it isn't improving... Everything else has, and it's depressing.
How the heck long will it take before you get that TSI result? Seems like it's been weeks. Shouldn't it only take a couple of days?
hypoglycemia is when the sugar levels go way down and it may make you feel tired and may even make you feel like you are going to faint.
Insulin resistance is an impaired metabolic response to our body's own insulin so that active muscle cells cannot take up glucose as easily as they should. The blood insulin levels are chronically higher which inhibits our fat cells from giving up their energy stores to let us lose weight. (I get it when I eat anything with too much sugar, my sugar levels go way up and soon after way down (hypoglycemia).
You can be insulin resistant and experience hypoglycemia. I am insulin resistant and I experience hypoglycemia if I don't eat for many hours, or if I eat rich foods high in carbs and sugar.
Diet is the best solution for both. Eating small low fat, low carb foods several times a day is what is recommended for both. Some people might get prescribed metformin that helps increase the insulin absorption at the cell level.
Last edited by mintchocolate; 06-09-2004 at 10:44 AM.
I developed type 1 "juvenile" (autoimmune, insulin-dependent) diabetes after having Hashi for 15 years. I am not insulin resistant at all, despite being 50 pounds overweight, so in my case I'd have to say that having thyroid disease has not had any detrimental affects on insulin use/metabolism. I actually require LESS insulin than would be expected per pound of body weight. I do know, however, that when I'm more hypothyroid I require less insulin, and when hyperthyroid require several units more per day. This is because when you have too much thyroid hormone it also increases/speeds up the release of glucagon & therefore glycogen ... putting more sugar into your system. A normal body, of course, would respond by simply making more insulin to handle this and the person would never know. I don't make my own insulin & must inject it, so I am acutely aware of minute differences as reflected in my blood sugars.
Of course, excess insulin is generally what eventually leads to insulin resistance and type TWO diabetes, so it would seem that being hyPER thyroid & therefore needing more insulin would be more likely to lead to insulin resistance probs.
But stupid hypothyroid messes up so much in the body, who know... ~sigh~
Insulin resistance sounds like what my mother described to me as a condition my cousin was recently dx with(she is only early-20's).She described the problem but did not know the name of it.I have never heard of it til real recently.We have a strong family history of diabetes type 2 & also history of thyroid problems.Is IR an auto-immmune disorder ?Are diabetes I or II or both auto-immune ?
Type 1 & Type 2 are completely different, actually. The term "diabetes" simply refers to high blood sugar. But HOW it gets high is the real disease culprit. I wish they'd just change the darn names because it's confusing for people. Type 1 and Type 2 are essentially opposite diseases that happen to result in the same problem: high blood sugar & the complications that follow.
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly destroys the islet cells of the pancreas... i.e. the cells that make insulin. This leaves the body without the ability to produce insulin. Without insulin, death follows quickly. There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes and there is no cure. Type 1's are reliant on insulin shots daily for the rest of their lives. Most type 1's develop this disease as children (which is why it was formerly known as "juvenile diabetes"), however approximately one fourth of type 1's actually develop it as adults. It can happen at any age. I was 29 years old. (Halle Berry was in her early 20's. Mary Tyler Moore was around 30.)
Type 2 is most common (90% of diabetics have type 2) and is usually (although there are rare exceptions) associated with excess weight & lifestyle issues. It frequently runs in families. It is not an autoimmune disease. The hallmark of type 2 is abnormally high insulin levels and the insulin resistance that then follows. The body stops responding properly to its insulin and therefore the blood sugar levels rise too high. Prevention lies in exercise, keeping a normal weight & healthy eating. Some type 2's can control their disease with just diet & exercise, while many need pills that help the pancreas produce still MORE insulin and/or help sensitize the body to the action of insulin. In some cases, insulin shots are prescribed when other treatments are not sufficient.
Hope that helps. The one connecting factor I can think of between hypothyroidism & Type 2 Diabetes would be that hypothyroid can cause weight gain, weight gain increases your body fat percentage, which, in those genetically suseptible, can lead to excess insulin levels, insulin resistance, and eventual diabetes. This is why the news keeps talking about "diabetes" (i.e. type 2) being at epidemic levels... in direct proportion to the "obesity epidemic" in our country.
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in April. At the same time my doctor told me that my insulin resistance was worryingly high for my age, I'm 33. He told me to immediately stop eating sweets and really watch my sugar intake. Go on a balanced diet, exeerise and lose weight. I had gained about 20 lbs in about 6 months.
Yes, I saw that... didn't comment because I couldn't add anything. (Although I was glad you finally got the results back, it was disappointing they weren't definitive... darn it.)
When hypo is "subclinical", the experts often recommend starting treatment when there are symptoms and ABs, even if TSH is somewhat normal. Is that ever done for "subclinical" hyper?
Isn't the computer age wonderful? Having the benefit of all these experts to e-mail for advice will give you the solution... I just know it! Keep your chin up!
I just don't know if that is the case for hyper. Treatment is a bit more radical than for hypo, so they are probably less likely to. Yes having all these resources at our fingertips is fantastic, therapeutic in some ways too. Thanks for listening.