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talkhealth forums • Link between thyroid and ME?
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Link between thyroid and ME?

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:42 pm
by suedodkin
Can an under active thyroid be linked to ME?
I have tried everything to loose weight, but my weight does not change. Weight watchers, portion control, eat less do more, low fat, I've tried them all. Obviously I have to try and avoid boom or bust and not over exercise. I was referred to my NHS treatment centre in April but am yet to be seen, the service is so over- run and under funded.... So, despite being told my thyroid tests are 'normal'..... Is it worth perusing this avenue in more detail?

Re: Link between thyroid and ME?

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:26 pm
by Dr Charles Shepherd
An underactive thyroid gland (= hypothyroidism) will commonly cause fatigue and may cause some other symptoms that are found in ME/CFS

That is why thyroid function tests should ALWAYS be carried out before a diagnosis of ME/CFS is made

It is also why The MEA recommends that thyroid function tests should repeated at regular intervals in the over 50s with ME/CFS - when underactive thyroid gland problems become increasingly common and may simply be dismissed as part of pre-existing ME/CFS.

Although a number of hormonal abnormalities have been reported in ME/CFS - especially those connected to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction and hypocortisolaemia (= lowered level of cortisol) there is no sound research evidence to indicate that thyroid problems are more common in ME/CFS

So there is no indication to prescribe thyroid hormones to people with ME/CFS who have normal thyroid function tests. This can, in fact be very dangerous in view of the lowed level of cortisol that may be present.

Thyroid function tests are covered in more detail in the Investigations section of the MEA purple booklet

MEA website and pdf literature form: http://www.meassociation.org.uk

Re: Link between thyroid and ME?

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:34 am
by suedodkin
Thank you that is helpful.