T Nation

Any tips on increasing thyroid function?

I suffer from a condition that constantly keeps my body temperature in the low end(95-97f). My extremities are always cold and so I feel my thyroid function might be sluggish. I have tried many things: increasing iodine, increasing fats, increasing total calories. I was wondering if anyone(Tampa-Terry or Kelly Bagget, in particular) can suggest some safe ideas? I was thinking maybe experimenting with original T-2 cycled with T-2pro?

I am curious what the condition is (if you know) that causes you to have such a low body temp? First thing I’d recommend is get a comprehensive thyroid analysis from a progressive practitioner. Usually osteopaths or holistic oriented MD’s are good for this. Make sure you get a comprehensive analysis including t3 as they will usually only test thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which isn’t very accurate. If you are in fact hypothyroid many if not most cases of hypothyroidism can be fixed/treated without drugs. If it is not caused by you dieting severely or not eating enough often the hypothyroidism or symptoms of it stem from adrenal fatigue. When the adrenals fatigue or exhaust the thyroid will try to compensate which eventually leads to symptoms of hypothyroidism and even having adrenal fatigue alone can contribute to these symptoms. Stress is the biggest contributor to the adrenal fatigue which manifests itself in an imbalance in the sympathetic branch (which speeds you up) and parasympathetic branch (which slows you down) with cold hands and feet frequently being one of the main symptoms of this. How much stress have you been under? Do you get enough sleep? Are you eating a good healthy diet? Have you been overtraining or perhaps had a big drop in bodyweight as of late? All these things can be contributors. If this is the case destressing yourself will give you big dividends and can be accomplished by the avoidance of any and all artificial stimulants to start (caffeine, ephedrine etc.), eating a wholesome whole foods type diet (avoid particularly sugar, wheat, dairy, or any other food you may be intolerant to as adrenal fatigue/exhaustion and food allergies/intolerances often go hand in hand), and using adaptogens and supplements to repair your adrenal glands such as ginseng, high dose Vitamin C, and even licorice root tea. Also a breathing technique I learned to tone down the sympathetic nervous system will often stop cold hands and feet in seconds if that is the cause of it. To do this you take a deep breath in over 4 seconds. Relax and hold the breath for 8 seconds and then slowly exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat 4-8 times. As for your questions regarding t-2 and t-2 pro I would say the use of t-2 would be a big no no as it would tend to just cover up the symptoms and could further suppress your TSH and thyroid. Once you start any thyroid treatment using drugs you’ll likely have to stay on it the rest of your life. However, since t-2 pro is all natural I wouldn’t see anything wrong with using it and it may help.

Thanks Kelly. I’ve been suffering these symptoms for about the past 16-17years(I’m now 30). I’ve had many tests done and seen many specialists and the doctor’s think it’s is either Hyperhidrosis or Raynaud’s or a combination of the two. Neither of those would explain my low body temperature but my physician says that body temperatures vary among individuals and if you are a degree or two below 98f, it’s perfectly normal. They don’t seem to think it’s a thyroid condition but I’m not so sure. I do seem to get tired and depressed often, even though my diet is very,very good:plenty of efa’s, high protein, low sugar, no stimulants. I also have one eye that doesn’t naturally stay as open as the other(I’ve read this is a sign of an inactive thyroid)? One of the specialists I’ve seen says that clipping the T2 nerve(via Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) would probably solve the hyperhidrosis/raynauds situation, but like I said I think the problem might be the thyroid even though they don’t think so. Perhaps I will take your advice and see the specialist you mentioned.

Hey loopfit. Sorry to hear about your problems. Although many will say that the body temperature being a degree or 2 lower than normal has no negative effects there are plenty of others that disagree and many people have been greatly helped by normalizing a lower body temperature. There are thousands of enzymatic interactions occuring in the body that depend on the right body temp. For more information run a search on Wilson’s thyroid syndrome or check out the book Solved: The Riddle of Illness by Stephen Langer M.D.

Don’t take this as medical advice because I am not an MD, I’m only a first year medical student. When you said that one eyelid didn’t stay open as well as the other the first thing that popped into my head was a disease we covered in a Cell Biology Problem Based Learning session know as Chronic Progressive External Opthalmoplegia. It is a disease of the mitochondria, thus leading to deficiency in energy production. One of the symptoms is the drooping eyelids.

My advice would be to present the possibility of this to a physician and bring up the possibility of a mitochondrial disease.

It looks like you are getting advice from two people in Arkansas, as I’m in med school at Little Rock. We are all just stupid hicks you know!!!

Coconut oil i sknown to increase thyroid function. MAny populations that use it in their daily life have been shown to be naturally hyperthyroidal.

Kelly, I spoke in the past with some physician’s about Wilson’s Syndrome as I first read about it in Jay Robb’s Fat Burning Diet(great book, by the way!) and they feel the condition doesn’t really exist. They basically think he has no credibility. Are you more familiar with his work and what does he recommend to increase thyroid production?

To my recollection Wilson’s syndrome just means a low body temp so I’d say the condition does definitely exist. Whether most docs want to call it a “condition” is another thing altogether. For treating Wilson’s syndrome they try to get the body to reset it’s thyroid thermostat by using long duration t-3 alone and monitoring body temp slowly increasing the dosage which will eventually bring the body temp to normal. Taking t-3 alones will eventually clear all the t-4 out of the tissues. The reasoning is that it isn’t the total amount of thyroid that is off but the t4 to t3 conversion isn’t working effectively. By clearing the body of t-4 and using long duration t-3 (which doesn’t give such a quick spike and problems with anxiety etc.) the dosage can gradually be tapered off and the body gradually resets itself, begins producing tsh and t4 again and the t4 to t3 conversion ends up being better. You can read all the testimonials and physicians who use the treatment. I believe the website is www.wilsonsthyroidsyndrome.com Just as kind’ve a sidenote. I think for the most part if you go on regular thyroid therapy (t4) you’ll end up having to take the stuff the rest of your life many of those in the bodybuilding community and even this site who have experimented with once/day low dose t3 often notice a quick upregulation in thyroid activity after ceasing the t3 so I’d say that does give the wilson’s treatment some credence.