First off, a bit of news. Until very recently I was operating my practice out of my home in Southfields, SW London. 2 weeks ago we moved house and are now living close to Dundonald Park in Wimbledon. Hence the mini-hiatus in communications. I have to say, I love the new area and have had great fun exploring its green spaces with the dog. Do you know Merton Park and its connection to John Innes, he of the compost fame???
I have been lucky to be able to offer both online and in-person consultations in Southfields,
and will continue to do so in Wimbledon, where I have a practice room. When you book please just advise me whether you'd prefer an online or in-person consultation.
So, listening to your body. The house move happened super quick (43 days from offer to completion). Much of the packing and preparation was my job, and it was done at lightning speed. Then the hefting boxes and belonging around at the other end, the whole thing left me physically (and emotionally) exhausted. I was due back to work on Tuesday 30th May, after the bank holiday, but, such was my exhaustion I pushed it back to today. And I had to. It's these situations - the times when we have to push a bit harder, get stuff done - that require the time out. You must listen to your body, especially if you are trying to heal from some kind of condition or illness - viral, autoimmune, chronic fatigue, gut issues, anything really. Because if you don't stop, that's when your body might force you to stop.
It may seem unrelated, but do you know about the thyroid marker reverse T3? This has always fascinated me, the body is so intelligent. So, "regular" T3 is the active thyroid hormone - your thyroid mainly produces T4 then this gets converted peripherally to T3 which is recognised by the cells. Thyroid hormones are like your volume control, your gas pedal. Just about every cell in the body has thyroid hormone receptors - "Thyroid hormone affects virtually every organ system in the body, including the heart, CNS, autonomic nervous system, bone, GI, and metabolism. In general, when the thyroid hormone binds to its intranuclear receptor, it activates the genes for increasing metabolic rate and thermogenesis. Increasing metabolic rate involves increased oxygen and energy consumption". In other words, the thyroid controls the "speed" at which all the systems operate. If we are hypothyroid, then everything becomes slow. Conversely, hyperthyroidism speeds things up, often very uncomfortably.
But what if you've been pushing the gas pedal too hard, burning the candle at both ends, choose your analogy. It's these circumstances - not listening to your body - that can lead to your body switching on reverse T3 thyroid hormones. For the geeks out there, this just means that the body reverses the position of the iodine on the tyrosine base from the normal position to a different "arm" of the molecule - see the pic below and see how the iodines have shifted.
This means that the reverse T3 will no longer fit in the cell receptor for which the "regular" T3 was destined. The result of this is that the T3 no longer enters the cell to do its job; in effect, this situation forces a slow-down, it puts the brakes on. You may want to be going at 100 miles an hour, to get your stuff done, but your body in its wisdom is saying, "woah, matey, no way, I can't do that right now, I have some stuff to deal with, you are going to have to slow right down". It must feel awful, I'm sure, to want to be getting on with life but being forced to take a break. But this is what I mean by listening to your body, it may be trying to tell you something important.
There are so many other things to point out about the thyroid that I cannot cover in one post. One point to note is that an overwhelming majority of thyroid disease is actually autoimmune in nature. This is known as Hashimoto's. If you have recently been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, did they check your thyroid antibodies? The most commonly checked on blood tests are TPO Ab (thyroid peroxidase antibodies) and Tg Ab (thyroglobulin antibodies). Another is that supplementing with iodine in thyroid disease can be counterproductive. Another is that the thyroid is exceptionally sensitive to being "thrown off course" by a whole host of "stuff" in our bodies, including gluten, toxins and heavy metals.
Have you been pushing to the wire recently, and are now feeling exhausted? Or maybe you've recently been diagnosed with a thyroid condition? Maybe you had a thyroidectomy and therefore have no thyroid gland at all. Are you in or approaching menopause and feeling suddenly tired and putting on weight? Could be the thyroid....