Thyroid Symptoms, Normal TSH… now what?
Your thyroid test is normal, so now what? If you continue to feel unwell, press on and seek a second, or even third medical opinion. You know your body best. You need a doctor who takes you seriously.
Talking to a doctor who takes into account ALL your health concerns in combination with clinical judgement and a thorough screening process is required to catch a thyroid imbalance, prior to your symptoms becoming a thyroid disease. Why? Because the TSH test is not the be-all and end-all of thyroid health. Rather, it truly can be one of the last tests to appear abnormal after years of symptoms, weight gain, trials of multiple medications and so on.
The TSH test was developed over 60 years ago. An endocrinologist by the name of Dr. Robert D. Utiger, who ultimately developed the TSH test stated:
“I hope that doctors will still practice medicine and treat the patient not the TSH; still the best test is evaluating body temperature and heart rate and a therapeutic trial of T3”.
Unfortunately, this clinical wisdom has been lost to most physicians.
What is Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome?
Many times, people who have normal thyroid blood tests, but still experience hypothyroid symptoms, may have a low body temperature. Body temperature is really the entire point of thyroid physiology – to give you a normal body temperature and to keep your body in homeostasis. So if your TSH is normal but your body temperature is low, you may have Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome.
Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is defined by a normal TSH but a low body temperature with hypothyroid symptoms. The symptoms of WTS are the same symptoms as if you have Hypothyroidism: Weight gain, fluid retention, migraines, constipation, headaches, insomnia, PMS, irritability, panic attacks, depression, brain fog, eczema, asthma, itchiness, etc., there are about 80 different symptoms a person may experience.
How do you Diagnose WTS?
The diagnosis of WTS is really the diagnosis of exclusion. It is important to ensure there are no other major explanations of potential disease and a person has been properly screened by a medical doctor or a naturopathic doctor. Some considerations include screening for iron deficiency anemia, infection, leukemia, kidney problems, liver problems. So before you are totally excluded from a thyroid disorder, the last screening tool to asses is your body temperature.
Imagine for a moment, that you constantly run a mild fever, one degree above normal. You are not expected to feel well. You should rest, support your immune system, get more sleep until the mild fever passes. Opposite to this, if you are running one or one and a half degrees below the normal body temperature of 37ºC or 98.6ºF, why would you expect to feel well? A very common symptom of thyroid disorder is cold extremities, cold hands and feet, a classic symptom of low body temperature
I generally recommend that a person takes their body temperature daily, ideally 3X/day, 3 hours after waking. For example, if you wake up at 7 am, then attempt to take your body temperature at 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm, to get a daily average. If a person’s daily average is running 1.5 degrees below the normal range, this is adequate evidence to support the diagnosis of WTS. Because that is the entire purpose of the thyroid system – to generate a normal metabolism, or in other words, a normal body temperature. If this is something that you would like to monitor on your own prior to seeing a physician trained in Wilson Temperature Protocol to re-establish a healthy thyroid, print out this convenient Temperature Chart.
How Common is WTS?
WTS is very common. It is a coping mechanism for stress, job stress or family demands, stress from lack of sleep or accidents. Actually, the number one cause of WTS is the stress caused by pregnancy and childbirth. A woman may never experience hypothyroid symptoms until pregnancy or after childbirth. In some cases, this is due to the doubling demand of the thyroid during the first trimester of pregnancy. Overall, up to 30% of the population may be afflicted by WTS.
WTS Therapy & Thyroid Regulation
Some patients may improve with desiccated thyroid overall. Desiccated thyroid is a combination of porcine glandular thyroxine (T4) and Tri-iodothyronine (T3). Even when a person’s thyroid test appears to be normal, a person can improve dramatically with the correct thyroid medication. However, in some cases, there are still patients who do not respond to combination therapy, such as desiccated thyroid. In these cases, there may be a conversion issue in which patients are unable to convert T4 thyroid hormone into T3 thyroid hormone, which is quite an energetically demanding process in the human body.
These patients may require T3 therapy alone over the course of varying doses and over several months. In some cases, patients may be able to wean off of this form of therapy without further reliance on medication and without any relapse. This would be considered a form of reversible Hypothyroidism.
Of all the problems that can affect physical or mental well-being, thyroid gland disturbance is the most common. None is more readily and inexpensively corrected. And none is more often untreated, and even unsuspected.
I have been treating thyroid imbalance for the last 10 years, so if you suspect your thyroid is not working optimally, I invite you to book an appointment. Every patient undergoes a comprehensive consultation, physical exam, expanded blood testing and ongoing treatment plan. If you live outside of the Okanagan of BC, please visit AARM – Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine to find a WTS-Trained physician, near you.
If you would like to learn more about Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome & Protocol, please visit the WTS website.
Written by Dr. Emina Jasarevic, ND