Recently I have been finding out some new information to further my deeper awareness of self healing. The information on some levels has been quite shocking and has really made me step back from things I have thought were healthy for most of my life. This I suppose is a sort of continuation from the article I wrote at the end of January of 2016 called Cortisol & Lead Unite.
For those of you who read that article you might remember it was detailing the effects of excessive cortisol production in the human body and a few reasons why abnormal levels of cortisol are found in certain people. Near the ended of the article the issue of low level chronic lead poisoning was also touched upon. Yes that article was written in response and after much study after my own diagnosis dealing with both of those topics.
The whole winter of 2016 and now well into mid spring I have continued my research into the issues to not only educate myself as much as possible, but also to obviously find natural and successful ways to correct the issues. This has led me down a path I did not expect.
During the winter I was under the impression, by-way of medical communications, theories and tests that my abnormally high levels of cortisol output was due to diagnosed complex post traumatic stress (cptsd), ongoing. As this still may be the case, with further research I have been finding out this many not be the full story.
Excess cortisol production comes from the adrenals working overtime. Obviously the adrenal glands are a major part of the endocrine system. This led me to question the issues and question my doctors time and time again as to how the entire endocrine system is involved in excess cortisol production. I received very few answers. To me it made no sense that the excess cortisol issue could just be caused by overactive adrenals. Yes I was told it also had something to do with the sympathetic nervous system and the two part function of the adrenal glands, but that was about it; vague and incomplete. Because I wanted to know as much as I could, I had no choice but continue researching on my own.
Eventually I came across the information I was looking for that put more of the pieces together. The Thyroid was the missing key and it boggled my mind to think that all my doctors did not know the information I found!
The thyroid gland is the major player in the endocrine system. The health of the thyroid determines the entirety of our well-being. When the thyroid suffers, our whole body suffers. One of the main functions of the thyroid is the metabolism of our energy. Cortisol is energy and is produced by the adrenals from the endocrine system, of which the thyroid gland is king. The information I found stated that it is an impossibility to have excessive cortisol output without having a thyroid issue. Humm, but what is the issue?
When the thyroid is suppressed, hypothyroidism, it causes a sluggish digestive system and liver. This makes it difficult for the liver to create glucose, the main energy food of the body. The suppressed liver function creates low blood sugar, which in-turn forces the adrenals to produce too much cortisol and or adrenaline. Only in cases of extreme hypothyroidism does the output if high cortisol cease because the adrenals become so fatigued they can no longer pump out cortisol or adrenaline.
Basically cortisol is being produced in abnormally large quantities which degrades the bone and connective tissues; create ongoing extreme bouts of fatigue and exhaustion, hormone imbalances, insomnia, suppressed immunity, low lung energy, muscle cramps and spasms and a list of other symptoms I detailed in my previous article. The reason is now thought to be founded in a sluggish thyroid, hypothyroidism. This is also causing issues with proper blood sugar and so mild hypoglycemia is also involved or possible insulin resistance.
The biggest question is what came first because that will determine how best to work with it and heal it. The cortisol could have come from years of extreme stress and injury, which in-turn could have suppressed the thyroid leading to low blood sugar. However, the stress and trauma could have caused the thyroid to suppress by stealing energy from the digestive system for years, which then could have created the low blood sugar and low blood sugar will spike cortisol production. CPTSD also creates a low level of CO2 in the tissues which make it difficult for the body to metabolize O2, which is another possible area of complication.
Right now we are still in the testing phase to try and gather all the numbers so we can see a clearer image of the overall issues. When people go to get their thyroid checked out the doctors usually only run the basic THS test, which is one of the most inaccurate thyroid tests out there. If you want a chance of finding out if there is or is not an issue with the thyroid there are a number of tests that should be run.
- TSH – of course it’s the most unreliable/Inaccurate of them all
- Total T4
- Total T3
- FREE T4
- FREE T3
- Anti -TPO
- Anti –TgAB
Typically due to costs, doctors in general will only order the very minimal amount of tests they can, which does the patient no justice whatsoever since the standard THS test is so inaccurate. If you want the tests you need to do your own research and then tell, not ask the doctor to order them.
Even with all those tests, still the best way to measure for a healthy or struggling thyroid is through basal temperature and pulse rate. In combination with the above listed tests, the basal temp and pulse rate can paint a far clearer image of any thyroid issues. I will not detail the temp and pulse rate process here. Instead I will direct you to a very eye-opening and highly informative article explaining it.
I have been tracking my basal temp and pulse rates for a good while now and they are consistently low, compared to their normal high rates for most of my life. I am also tracking my glucose levels periodically throughout the day and recording those suppressed numbers as well. Together those numbers alone show a very telling story of a suppressed thyroid. Combine the cortisol numbers and it intensifies the picture even more. PhD Ray Peat has some truly astounding information available on the endocrine system that I think a great many people should study up on because it goes against so much of the garbage most of us have been told through the course of our lives. He also has an incredible amount of interview information as well for further study.
Through personal email communication with Dr. Peat and reading tons of his articles, plus Kate Deerings eye-opening and very practical book called How To Heal Your Metabolism, (I cannot recommend this book enough!)I have also found that what I thought was a very healthy diet and lifestyle was actually harmful. My extremely lean diet and excessive physical activity over the years is said to also have contributed to the suppression of thyroid function. “Lean and athletically fit is and efficient body, but not necessarily a sign of health.” say all my doctors. They say people who are extreme athletes (which I was through my job) are actually not very healthily, just efficient and the body will rebel eventually and the signs of degraded health will show up quickly.
I was eating lots of polyunsaturated fats and avoiding saturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats produce endotoxins which get stored in the liver. Those endotoxins prevent the liver from successfully producing glucose to feed the body. They suppress liver function. I was also consuming tons of fiber and meat, also things I have only recently found to suppress thyroid function and increase extreme levels of inflammation. Yes you read correctly, I said fiber. I was also avoiding many sugars, which was robbing my body of energy since the body feeds on glucose. I was even avoiding all dairy since I had been told time and time again that it was all very unhealthy and almost impossible to digest. Wow was that wrong info! The one thing I was doing properly was avoiding all grains, soy, fermented foods, conventional foods, processed foods, fried foods, refined foods, sodas and all that garbage. Even so, my diet was so “healthy” that is was doing harm where I never would have expected.
Excessive exercise also suppresses thyroid function. Again, the lean and mean athlete has a highly efficient body, but the medical stats and research shows that most of them are actually not “healthy” and are in for a hard systems breakdown down the road. All I can do it point you to the areas containing all this information. The rest is up to you. (links above) They speak clearly for themselves and far better than I could do. Now I do not agree fully with everything they say, but certainly enough to share the links to their information.
So once I get all the numbers back from all the tests and add the charts of glucose, pulse and basal temp we will have a clear image of the pattern of the issues. Then we can layout a solid plan of healing. It can all be healed, but the pattern needs to be understood so the process can be uniquely created to the issues.
Nevertheless, these challenges have certainly brought some amazing opportunity for continued learning and awareness. We must always strive to make the best of any situation.
(There is a lot more valuable and detailed information posted in the comments section available to Wolf’s Den Members!)