Type-1 Diabetic’s Thyroid Function Appears to Double

Before Nicole stopped taking thyroid replacement medication her TSH (thyroid stimulating hormones) levels were almost non-existent. In other words if saying this: The medication was  keeping her thyroid hormone levels in the normal range. As  result, her pituitary gland wasn’t even trying to stimulate the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone. That may sound a little confusing. So I’ll say it another way….

A Fridge Full of Snow

The pituitary gland stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone. It only does this when thyroid hormone levels in the blood drop too low. It’s sort of like my fridge. When the temperature goes above 2oC it turns on the compressors. The compressors start cooling the fridge down. When the fridge drops to  2°C it turns off the compressors.

If I fill my fridge with snow from the balcony every four hours, it would never turn on. Why? Because the snow would keep it at 2°C or lower. Likewise, fill your bloodstream with synthetic (or even non-synthetic) thyroid hormone every 24 hours from and the pitiutary wouldn’t even try to turn on the thyroid gland.

A useful chart provided by Nicole’s lab shows that between March 2012 and July 2014 her TSH levels went as low as 0.03 mIU/L. Her TSH never went higher than 2.48 miu/L. According to the lab, anything under 0.5 is too low and anything over 5.0 is high.

TSH Overdrive

During this time her T4 thyroid hormone level hovered between 14-18 pmol/L. In other words, her thyroid wasn’t even trying to produce thyroid hormone, because the pituitary gland registered more than enough in the bloodstream already.

Now, in October 2014, Nicole stopped taking her thyroid pills. Her energy crashed and her doctor gave dire warnings. Her TSH rose from 2.48 to 31.62 miU/L. And her T4 dropped from 16 to 8 pmol/L.

By January of this year, Nicole’s TSH hit 213.4 miU/L. Her T4 sank to less than 5 pmol/L (it seems the lab couldn’t measure it exactly because it was so low). Obviously, without the synthetic thyroid hormones flowing through her blood, her pituitary gland went into overdrive, flooding her bloodstream with thyroid stimulating hormone (about time!).

During this period she felt particularly weak and low in energy. Sometimes she wouldn’t even laugh at my jokes. Her nephrologist at the dialysis unit strongly cautioned her against continuing without thyroid supplementation. He could understand why we  refused their deadly potassium binders – but no thyroid supplement, this was starting to sound crazy.

The Light at the End of the Dysfunctional Thyroid Tunnel

Three months later (April 2014) we had a new and promising lab report in our hands. Nicole’s TSH has dropped from 213.4 to 98.08 mIU/L. Did her pituitary gland just get worn out? Doesn’t look like it. Her T4 has risen from somewhere below 5 pmol/L to 6 pmol/L. Based on the reduction of her TSH, this suggests she’s gone up 3pmol/L in three months.

In other words, her thyroid appears to be producing as much as two times more thyroid hormone.

Of course, blood tests are a little finicky. They can vary hour to hour. There may actually be a little more or a less thyroid hormone circulating in her blood stream. However, hair tissue mineral analysis isn’t as finicky.

What Nicole’s Hair Has To Say About Her Thyroid

Hair mineral analysis reports the average biochemistry for the last three months of hair growth. Nicole’s last two hair tissue mineral analysis shows a dramatic improvement in her thyroid function.

Dr. Paul Eck discovered that the ratio between calcium and potassium in the body regulates the thyroid gland. “Calcium slows down the thyroid gland and potassium speeds it up,” said Eck in a 1981 interview in The Healthview Newsletter (#27). “If a person has too much calcium in his tissues  (in proportion to potassium) he will have an underactive thyroid gland. If he has an excess of potassium in his tissues (in proportion to calcium) he will have an overactive thyroid gland.”

Nicole’s hair test in September of 2014 showed that her ratio of calcium to potassium was 31:1. Eck found that normal is 4:1 So, one way of interpreting the test is that Nicole’s thyroid was working 775% slower than it should (last September).

Nicole’s most recent hair tissue analysis in January, however, showed that her ratio of calcium to potassium had dropped to 5.6:1. Much, much closer to the ideal ratio of 4:1.  Remember a lower ratio reflects an increase in thyroid function. Her individual levels of calcium and potassium, however, are still too low (about half of ideal). Eck says this would also slow down the thyroid.

We sent a new hair sample in at the beginning of this month (May 2014). The results haven’t come in yet, but I would expect (based on her blood tests) that the ratio or individual mineral levels will have improved.

Sorry Synthroid But We’re Moving On

Again, my wife isn’t taking any thyroid hormone supplements at all. Not Synthroid. No supposedly ultra-natural Armour thyroid. She’s not even taking a thyroid glandular supplement (ground up dried cow thyroids) which she discontinued in January.

As I mentioned before, one of the main reasons we discontinued the thyroid hormone supplement was because it inhibited the pituitary gland from producing thyroid stimulating hormone. The lab results back this up and demonstrate that the excessively high levels of TSH seemed to have helped get her thyroid working better.

Of course, simply stopping the thyroid supplement was not all we did. For most people, that might be a bad move with little hope of recovery. Nicole is following a complete biochemical restoration program with Pam Killeen. Her program is based on the work of many researchers including Dr. Paul Eck, Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Lawrence Wilson.

Nonetheless, without reducing or eliminating the thyroid hormone supplement I think it is clear that the pituitary gland would have no reason to produce thyroid stimulating hormone.  And without thyroid stimulating hormone, how can we expect the thyroid to know it’s time to get back on the job of producing thyroid hormone?

There are several other reasons why we think that it is necessary to eliminate the thyroid supplement. I’ll discuss these in future posts along with the results from her latest blood tests and hair mineral tests. I’ll also explain exactly what we are doing to increase thyroid function. P.P.S. For more articles on type-1 diabetes and hypothyroidism you can read: Should Type-1 Diabetics Take Thyroid Replacement Hormone? and Two Burnt-Out Adrenals, One Weak Thyroid and Type-1 Diabetes.

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..