"Thyroid Resistance" - Understanding Why It's So Important In Hypothyroidism
Thyroid resistance is a very real phenomenon which occurs far too often in hypothyroidism, otherwise known as an underactive thyroid, subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism type 2.
Just as medicine now recognizes a pre-diabetic phase called 'Insulin Resistance' - or Syndrome X - so too does medicine urgently need to awaken to the reality that a similar situation occurs in the case of a progressively underactive thyroid.
If you're not sure as to what 'subclinical hypothyroidism'; hypothyroidism type 2 or an underactive thyroid means, you might like to click here
Any discussion on thyroid resistance would be remiss in not mentioning Dr. Mark Starr's name. He defines thyroid hormone resistance as a type 2 format of hypothyroidism, (much as 'insulin resistance' occurs in pre-stage to diabetes type 2), and explains that it has more to do with... "peripheralresistance to thyroid hormones on a cellular level".
You may want to read that sentence a few times to really grasp the hugely significant way this perspective completely changes the present, medically accepted concept of hypothyroidism.
In comparison, type 1 hypothyroidism has more to do with a primary failure of the thyroid gland itself, rather than its peripheral effects within the body.
What Dr. Starr is saying is that an underactive thyroid, causing a wide range of thyroid symptoms, is not solely caused by a form of central hypothyroidism; in other words, a primary failure of the thyroid gland itself.
Such thyroid symptom presentation very often can have more to do with a failure of the T3 and T4 hormones - produced by the thyroid gland – in not being fully functional within the more peripheral aspects of cellular metabolism, or cell function.
Let's correlate this concept to what's now scientifically accepted within diabetes type 2.
This notion of an underactive thyroid dysfunction, as elucidated by Dr. Starr, echoes the accepted scientific validity of an 'insulin resistance' phase occurring before poor blood sugar control progresses to full-on insulin dependent diabetes.
During this pre-diabetic phase, the body is inevitably still producing 'adequate' amounts of insulin – according to the 'normal' diabetes tests.
However, due to the now accepted phenomenon of 'insulin resistance' - this insulin is not fully active, and this fact is therefore still capable of causing diabetic-like symptoms!
Is it really so inconceivable that what is happening within the pancreatic system could not also occur within the thyroidal system?
What's being presented in this thyroid resistance discussion is the fact that the frontiers of research are showing that exactly the same phase of 'thyroid hormone resistance' does occur in far too many people, before they slide into the more medically recognized, and advanced state of full-blown hypothyroidism.
Within the sphere of subclinical hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, this phenomenon can be called 'thyroid hormone resistance syndrome', just like in pre-diabetes, this initial phase towards full blown diabetes can be caused by 'insulin resistance syndrome', better known as Syndrome X.
Hypothyroidism Type 1 And Hypothyroidism Type 2
In summary, when talking about thyroid resistance as a phenomenon within hypothyroidism, it needs to be equally understood that there are two layers of dysfunction – a central gland failure – which could be labeled 'hypothyroidism type 1' – and then a secondary, and more peripherally driven thyroid dysfunction – labeled 'hypothyroidism type 2'.
It's during this latter, earlier phase of dysfunction of the thyroid gland, that any treatment protocols would have maximal impact in turning such a trend around.
Yet, again and again this unique opportunity to not only relieve symptoms, but actually reverse an early phase of underactive thyroid, caused by thyroid resistance, is neglected by the present medical worldview, because of their limited understanding of the various phases that occur in the slide towards full-blown hypothyroidism.
This neglect has serious repercussions for all the millions of people worldwide who do suffer from hypothyroidism, due to a very real thyroid resistance phenomenon. Presently, they are not being picked up via the 'normal' thyroid blood tests, and therefore also not getting the proper thyroid treatment.
Thyroid resistance can be the cause of many symptoms, such as acne, allergies, arthritis, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, headaches, obesity, panic attacks, let alone being an important component to such health issues as attention deficit disorder (ADD), and even dementia.
To gain a better understanding of why thyroid resistance, as a basis to hypothyroidism can cause so many disparate symptoms, you might like to do some further reading here.
Equally, to gain a better understanding of the vast range of thyroid symptoms that can occur, you might like to do the 'Hypothyroidism Quiz'.
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