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    Old 04-28-2003, 01:02 PM   #1
    crystal j
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    Post caffeine and thyroid

    A silly question but can caffeine make your thyroid bad? What about your adrenal glands? I was drinking way too much caffeine after I had my son --I didn't know I was hypo I thought I was just exhausted from being a new mom!!! Then I had a reaction to armour and now I have been off thyroid meds for 3 weeks --I never want to be here again!!! My TSH levels have been going up one level every week!!! The symptoms have come back ten fold!! I'm just so tired!!! The endo wants me start differant meds I'm just so scared!! I have an appointment tommorrow. Anyway just thought I'd ask about caffeine --I'm living on coffee and green tea just to stay awake I didn't need them when on armour --help I'm so tired !!!

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    Old 04-29-2003, 06:45 AM   #2
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    Caffeine has no real direct effect on the thyoid gland. However, as a stimulant, it is stressful the the Adrenal glands. Many of the self-help books that I have read (including from "Fatigued to Fantastic" and "Adrenal Fatigue:21st Century Stress Syndrome") suggest eliminating caffeine as a first step toward combatting fatigue.

    I can attest that they are right. When I eliminated caffeine fromr my diet entirely, my energy level ROSE. There weren't the peaks in energy from the caffeine followed byt the crash of the caffeine wearing off, and my average level of energy throughout the day was higher. Lately, I have let myself slip and have been using caffeine again. The old problems are coming back. Hmmmm...

    If energy and alertness were money, caffeine is like taking out a loan that you have to pay back with high interest. Sure. That high interest loan lets you buy that shiny new car that you absolutely must have, but the payments are awfully high. Sure, caffeine gives you the energy you need to make it through the day and stay alert right now, but later, your energy level is even lower due to over-stressed adrenal glands, dehydration (caffeine is a diuretic), and lack of glycogen. Then you drink another cup and it starts all over.

    This is a bit over-simplified, but the concept is good: Normally, your body uses glucose as a fuel. In times of stress, your adrenals release Cortisol, which (among other things) helps bring your blood glucose level up to deal with the extra stress. A long period of time with high Cortisol levels may cause weight gain and actually appear like Diabetes, due to the higher sugar levels. When your adrenal glands are no longer able to produce enough Cortisol to meet the demands of your stress levels, your energy leve plummets, and the adrenals think you are in crisis and try to compensate by releasing adrenaline instead.

    The problem with adrenaline is that it isn't supposed to be used all the time--only in crisis situations. Adrenaline (and caffeine works similarly) prompts your tissues to burn glycogen, which is stored in your muscles Glycogen gives you a boost that glucose can't and energy to do things that at times might even seem super-human--IF you have enough in reserve.

    If you aren't producing enough Cortisol and your body has been using glycogen because of adrenaline and/or caffeine, you probably don't have enough glycogen in reserve in your muscles to respond in a crisis situation.

    Have you ever read the label on many herbal diet pills? Most of them have ephedra and caffeine in them. Ephedra also affects your glycogen reserves in the same way. Glycogen in your muscles attracts water. When the glycogen goes, so does the water (thus the diuretic effect of caffeine and similar chemicals). That is a bit of an oversimplification, but the message is this: The loss of water means lost weight, but at the expense of your ability to respond to stress in a crisis.

    Hope this helps!

    I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...

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