Chronic fatigue syndrome


Hormones affect our life sometimes even more than nerves, although it is not possible to accurately assess their “contribution”. Speaking of hormones, most often we recall genitalia, because they not only affect vital activity (provide the function of reproducing offspring and affect the mental functions associated with it), but also form the body structure and character. However, not only sex hormones have an important impact on our lives.

We have many glands that carry out humoral regulation. One of them is the thyroid, which simultaneously performs a huge number of tasks. And if the level of thyroxine - the main hormone produced by it, decreases, we quickly get tired and easily irritated. In addition, its lack negatively affects our memory and other cognitive processes.

It is more difficult for us to focus on imaginary images, the task that we want to accomplish. It turns out that the failure of one function in the body widely affects all other possibilities. Therefore, it is so important to maintain the hormonal system in perfect condition - any violations in it can lead to complex consequences.

Real life case

A teacher came to one doctor who complained of a decrease in concentration of attention, increased anxiety, and irritability. Any minor nuisance could ruin her all day. Someone said something wrong before work, the naughty saleswoman, the driver in the transport - and did not want to live anymore. In the evening she came home broken, and in the morning she woke up in a terrible state, as if she had not slept at all. And every day her condition worsened. It seemed to her that she had a serious and terrible disease.

The analysis results showed that the amount of thyroid antibodies exceeded the norm by 30 times. Can you imagine how she lived with such a reaction of the immune system to her own hormones? The patient turned out to have autoimmune thyroiditis, which was cured after undergoing a course of drugs.

She also lacked vitamin D, which is necessary for the normal functioning of all organs, including the thyroid gland. It is produced in the skin cells under the influence of sunlight, and therefore you need to be more in the fresh air. Vitamin D deficiency affects serotonin levels badly, which is why signs of depression appear. Since winter daylight hours are much shorter, vitamin D is also produced in much smaller quantities. Hence the famous winter depression.


One of the pathologies of the thyroid gland is called hypothyroidism. In this case, the body has a lack of hormones that it produces. It is this condition that makes you feel amoeba and leads to apathy. Everything starts to work slowly: the intestines, heart, nervous system and brain. Hence, such difficulties with focusing, the inability to remember seemingly light events, lack of imagination in everyday situations and so on.

In addition to problems of a psychological nature, hypothyroidism also manifests itself in somatic disorders, which include constant chills, obesity, constipation, infertility, severe menopause, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and many other unpleasant symptoms. It is worth noting that a third of all depressions is provoked by insufficient thyroid function, therefore, it is worth consuming iodine, which is not enough in our latitudes. Therefore, so many people have problems with the thyroid gland and are not even aware of it.

The thyroid gland also controls many of the neurotransmitters in our body: adrenaline, cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine. And if the last three are “good”: they help to stay in good shape, are responsible for successful learning and interest in life, then adrenaline and cortisol make us constantly in suspense. Now look what happens: the amount of dopamine and serotonin is reduced, and the level of cortisol and adrenaline is increased in order to compensate for the lack of hormones.

But these neurotransmitters cope with a non-specific task for them poorly. And it turns out that a person feels constantly tense, sad and anxious without any objective psychological reason.


Reverse hypothyroidism is called hyperthyroidism. This is an increase in thyroid function. And this condition harms the body, because everything works too fast. So, a person constantly wants to eat because of the increased activity of the digestive tract. At the same time, weight is reduced, as the metabolism is accelerated. There is a rapid heartbeat, exophthalmos (bulging eyes), trembling hands, sweating and irritability.

10 signs that you should check your thyroid gland:

  1. Fatigue, weakness, or drowsiness
  2. Poor cold tolerance
  3. Memory impairment
  4. Depression or irritability
  5. Weight gain or, conversely, weight loss during normal diet
  6. Hair loss
  7. Menstrual irregularities in women
  8. Wide-open, “protruding” eyes or frequent redness of the eyes, double vision when looking up and to the side
  9. Swelling of the eyelids in the morning
  10. Thyroid enlargement visible to the eye

So, if you find at least two of the symptoms listed above, be sure to take tests and visit an endocrinologist.

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Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency

The main symptoms experienced with adrenal insufficiency are:

  • fatigue
  • recurring and prolonged infections
  • nervous breakdowns, especially under stress
  • hypoglycemia
  • low blood pressure

Simple hypoglycemia test

If, during hunger, a person is annoyed to the state “Now give me something to eat or I will kill you!”, Then most likely he has a low blood sugar.
Adrenaline fatigue

With adrenaline fatigue, people experience periods of nervousness, dizziness, become irritable and tired.

But after eating something sweet, they feel relieved, as this briefly raises the energy level and mood. Often suffering from adrenaline fatigue are addicted to sweets.

Sweet for a while raises the blood sugar level to normal, and the condition improves, but soon the sugar level drops again and health deteriorates.

If you are annoyed when you are hungry, then it does not bother to check the adrenal glands.

Sugar is the only source of “fuel” that is used by the brain. Therefore, with a decrease in blood sugar, a person feels anxiety, irritation, and then fatigue.

Problems Adrenal Function Testing

When testing adrenal function in a laboratory, cortisol levels are considered. But the determination of a low level of cortisol, when indicators hit 2.5% of the lowest, means that, most often, the adrenal glands are already damaged and this poses a threat to life.

Most people have a morning cortisol level of 16-20 mcg / dl, but even a reading of 6.1 mcg / dl is considered normal, and this is at least three times lower than the norm of a healthy person.

To determine the insufficiency of the function of the adrenal cortex, the level of cortisol should be lower than 6 μg / dl, while 5.9 μg / dl is considered life-threatening.

The difference between “normal” indicators and “life-threatening” is only 0.1 μg / dl, but, unfortunately, sometimes an error of 8 μg / dl is encountered when performing two tests from the same blood sample.

Why adrenaline fatigue is increasingly observed

The body’s defensive response “hit or run,” which is activated in a stressful situation, is designed to save our lives. This reaction ensured the survival of our species, but now it plays a cruel joke on human health.

In those days when survival depended on this mechanism, a person after stress had time to recover - several weeks, and sometimes months.

In modern society, people experience a stressful reaction every few minutes. For example, if you are late somewhere, but stuck in traffic.

Every time getting into a stressful situation, the “hit or run” reaction is activated, so adrenaline fatigue is characteristic of all, even healthy, people, but with CFS it is more pronounced.

Thyroid problem

To date, there are no accurate tests for changes in T3 function, and treatment can be obtained only at critically low T4 values, when the results are included in 2.5% of tests with the lowest results.

If the attending physician does not know the individual level of the hormone norm in the patient, then the test results cannot provide sufficiently useful information.

Therefore, most often with complaints of weight gain and cold intolerance, even if free thyroxine is not within the lower 2.5% of the indicators, the patient will need thyroid hormone therapy.

Potential side effects

With blood clots in the arteries, thyroid therapy can trigger a heart attack or angina pectoris as well as exercise.

Thyroid therapy can also increase the heart rate, and if you feel chest pain, you should stop taking the medicine and consult a doctor.

Moreover, in the long term, thyroid therapy of asymptomatic hypothyroidism reduces the risk of heart disease by 39%.

Thyroid problems: the main symptoms.What tests to pass?

Daniel Amen neuroscientist, neuropsychiatrist, MD (USA), founder of a network of clinics, author of books on brain health, TV presenter

Not only sex hormones affect how you look and feel. Among the most influential are hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Their lack leads to fatigue and irritability, and also affects brain function and memory. What other symptoms indicate problems with the thyroid gland and how to approach treatment?

Anne is a born teacher. She is solid, kind, creative, intelligent and organized, and from year to year she receives the love and admiration of her students and their parents. She was a teacher of my second-grader daughter.

Anne told my wife Tanya that she wants to see me because she feels tired, clouded, and thinks she has ADHD, although she never had his symptoms in the past. I volunteered to help her.

Ann is a vegetarian, but complained that she is sensitive to many foods and drinking alcohol only intensifies her pain. And if Ann didn’t work out in the morning, she was restless and annoyed the rest of the day. In addition, she painfully reacted to loud sounds and was worried a lot. Her anxiety and tendency to scroll through everything in her head many times prevented her from relaxing.

The first thing I did was assign her key tests. It turned out that Ann had a very high level of thyroid antibodies: her thyroid peroxidase antibody index was almost 1000, with a norm of less than 35. This meant that Ann had an autoimmune state, that is, her body was attacking her own thyroid tissue. In addition, she was deficient in vitamin D, which is essential for the health of many organs, including the thyroid gland.

By optimizing vitamin D levels and appropriate thyroid treatment, we helped Anne gain focus and vitality. She did not have ADHD or any other similar condition. Like many women, Anne needed only a complete balancing of hormones.

Thyroid Failure: Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Not only sex hormones affect how you look and feel. Among the most influential are hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

Thyroid activity is too low - and you feel like an amoeba. Yes, hypothyroidism makes you feel like you just want to wallow all day on the couch with a bag of chips. Everything works slower, including your heart, intestines, and your brain. A general decrease in brain activity during hypothyroidism leads to depression, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and blurred consciousness.

The thyroid gland controls the production of many neurotransmitters. Among them are serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Low thyroid activity can lead to a compensatory increase in adrenaline (it is produced by the adrenal glands), which makes you feel constant tension, as well as cortisol, another stress hormone. Thus, you feel tired, tense and stressed at the same time.

According to cautious expert estimates, one third of all depressions are directly related to thyroid imbalance. More than 80% of people with mild hypothyroidism have poor memory.

Even if the activity of your thyroid gland is slightly reduced, you may still have symptoms of the so-called subclinical hypothyroidism. If you experience chronic fatigue, have gained excess weight, you have dry skin, you feel dizzy, you are prone to depression, you are constantly cold and if your body temperature is constantly below 36.6 degrees, then you may have an insufficiently active thyroid gland.

An overactive thyroid gland produces hyperthyroidism. In this condition, everything in the body works too fast, including the heart, intestines and digestion, as if you are rushing forward at a crazy speed. A person feels nervous and inflated, as after large doses of caffeine. If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, chaotic thinking, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, weight loss, despite increased appetite, causeless heat, then you may have increased thyroid activity. In extreme cases, other characteristic signs appear: goiter (growth on the thyroid gland), significant weight loss, bulging eyes.

What the thyroid gland suffers from

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the bottom of the neck. When the doctor runs his hands along the base of the throat, he checks to see if there is a clear enlargement of your thyroid gland. But without a blood test, you can’t say exactly what is happening there. And it may take some time to optimize the thyroid gland.

The main hormones associated with the thyroid gland - TSH, T3, T4 - must be balanced. It is estimated that tens of millions of people worldwide (5–25% of the world's population) have problems with the thyroid gland. In their book The Mental Thyroid Power, Richard and Karily Shames write that “over the past 40 years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of synthetic chemicals that lead to hormonal disorders. These substances penetrate our air, food and water. the most sensitive human tissue was the thyroid gland. ”

Most thyroid problems are autoimmune when the body attacks itself. This may be due to environmental toxins present in the body or an allergy to the food we eat, or to something contained in the air that we breathe. There is a suspicion that the recent sharp increase in hypothyroidism may be due to the fact that the toxins we absorb interfere with the peripheral conversion of T4 to T3.

Thyroid problems - after giving birth

Thyroid problems can occur in a woman’s life at any time. But a particularly vulnerable period is the birth of a child. During pregnancy, the immune system partially relaxes so that immune cells and antibodies do not tear off the placenta, through which the baby feeds. This is why many women with thyroid problems believe that pregnancy is the best condition in their lives.

However, after nine months the situation is changing. The baby was born, there is no placenta, and the functions of the immune system, which were disabled in order to prevent early rejection of the placenta, are now sharply turned on. It is well known that thyroid disease usually returns within 6 months after delivery. According to researchers from Prague Charles University, in 35% of women who have antibodies to their own thyroid gland, 2 years after the birth of the baby, the thyroid gland again starts to malfunction.

Having problems with the thyroid gland when you struggle to cope with a two-year-old baby is a disaster. Studies indicate that about 70% of women with hypothyroidism in the postpartum period become careless and make more mistakes taking care of their children.

Thyroid problems are one of the main causes of postpartum depression and anxiety. According to one study, 80–90% of cases of postpartum depression are associated with thyroid disease. And without her effective treatment, it is impossible to recover.

The period after pregnancy is not the only vulnerable period in this regard. It was estimated that one in four postmenopausal women has an imbalance in the thyroid gland.

How to check the thyroid gland

You can check the thyroid gland with a blood test. Do not settle for a single TSH analysis (thyroid-stimulating hormone of the pituitary gland). Its level may be normal even when you have undiagnosed thyroid problems. Insist your doctor check the following.

TTG (According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, values ​​above 3.0 are abnormal and need further verification)

Free T3 (active)

Loose T4 (inactive)

Antibodies thyroid gland: thyroid peroxidase antibodies (AT TPO) and thyroglobulin antibodies (AT TG)

Checking liver function. The fact is that 95% of T4 is activated in the liver, so the condition of the liver should be considered.

Ferritin level. Ferritin transfers active T3 to cells. Its value should be above 90.

These tests may be helpful, but you should be diagnosed with a doctor. If you have thyroid problems, they can be effectively treated with a number of drugs. Your doctor should check your thyroid hormone levels regularly to make sure you are not taking too much or too little.


Watch the video: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at UCLH (March 2020).