A lot of people who have chronic fatigue are anxious, depressed, having insomnia, memory and concentration problems, dizziness and other problems. Of course, there can be numerous reasons for this condition but increasing the number of people who have problems with the thyroid gland.

Anyone might have felt fatigue for some time like there is a lack of energy and sleepiness out of nowhere. Sometimes it might mean nothing, but in some cases, it is an indicator that some more serious problem might occur. Tiredness that doesn’t disappear even after efficient and good rest and lasts for at least 4-6 months, and more is chronic. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has estimated that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects thousands of people in the US.[1]

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Thyroid most common symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Pain
  • Sore throat
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory problems

Looking at these symptoms, it is clear that most of this symptoms can attribute to various kind of health problems like simple cold, stress, diabetes, etc. thus it is hard to diagnose. It is still common belief even among some physicians that CFS isn’t a real condition. The cause of CFS can be different, but thyroid disease is one of the main ones.

It is also clear that low thyroid means low metabolism. This condition can also lead to the inability to absorb proteins and minerals.

 

Causes of thyroid problems

A thyroid is a gland located in front of the neck. It produces numerous hormones called thyroid hormones. There are numerous conditions that can occur when something in the thyroid isn’t working quite right. As one of the most common conditions is hyperthyroidism, that means that there is too excessive production of thyroid hormone. This condition is mainly caused by Graves disease (autoimmune). On the other hand, when there is a too low production of this hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. The main cause of it is an autoimmune disease.[2]

Thyroid dysfunction

There are also some other thyroid dysfunction manners, but most of them also link to the eating in a harmful manner. There are many examples from real life that has proved it to be true. As one example from Shin SR, Hal AL[3] is a patient who was eating raw tuna for at least two times per day for five years. He complained about fatigue that occurred in the last year. It means that in this case, it took rather a long period but still thyroid dysfunction appeared that caused chronic fatigue.

The diagnosis of the man was with the mercury test as blood and urine tests were normal. He chooses to go for dietary supplements that helped to reduce the amount of mercury. Just in a period of few months, the fatigue improved. If mercury from a fish can cause this CFS, it means that it is highly likely that also other chemicals in food might cause it.

Also “solvents, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and pesticides are linked to chronic fatigue syndrome.”[4] Pesticides can be spotted even in food that appears healthy like fruit and vegetables as well as some other like butter, beef, bread, ice cream, and eggs. Even more shocking is the fact that “pesticides can persist for years in the soil, contaminate groundwater and drinking water, and accumulate up the food chain.”[5] Furthermore, other metals are in other food like grains, pasta, flour as due to contaminated soil or/and fertilizer. The most common contaminant is cadmium, but even in the US, there are no limitations for its use. Despite the fact that the link between food and CFS is clear, it is still hard to distinguish it from an allergy as they can also cause fatigue. When toxicants are in the body, there should be different methods to remove them.

Treatment of fatigue and thyroid

It is possible to use thyroid supplementation. Broda Barnes, MD mentions about it in the book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness in case. It is possible to do so even with using coffee before sleep as it increases the level of thyroid.[6] There are also various other supplements like Nature-Thyroid or porcine thyroid. They have different compatibility with different patients. In case that there is an overproduction of thyroid hormone, there can be antithyroid medications. The most popular of them are propylthiouracil and methimazole.

Stronger medicine includes radioactive iodine that works as overactive thyroid hormones and external radiation from high-energy rays. There are also thyroid hormone pills that work as absorbers of the excessive hormone. As one of the most drastic interventions is thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy) when a part of the thyroid is surgically removed. The main causes of the use of this method are thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, and goiter.

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Fatigue has become a common problem that cannot be easily overcome. There is no single cause and treatment but yet it is possible to diagnose and treat it as part of a thyroid problem. Modern medicine allows finding the right solution but a lot of still depends on each person’s eating and lifestyle habits. A person needs to have an understanding of various sides of the connection of thyroid hormone, fatigue, and causes of health problems.

 

Reference:

[1] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): Diagnosis and management of CFS/ME in adults and children. 7. 2007; NICE clinical guideline 53.

[2] Women’s Health. Accessed from: http://www.webmd.com/women/picture-of-the-thyroidrel=”nofollow”

[3] Shin SR, Han AL. Improved chronic fatigue symptoms after removal of mercury in patient with increased mercury concentration in hair toxic mineral assay: a case. Korean J Fam Med. 2012 Sep;33(5):320–325.

[4] Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chemicals in Food. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/Nov2014/enviro1114.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[5] Marchese M. 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness. Petaluma, CA: Smart Publications; 2011.

[6] Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia: The Adrenal–Thyroid Connection. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/Dec2011/monthmiracle1211.htmlrel=”nofollow”