Daleen Totten interviews Dr David Nye on Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome.
I would like to welcome Dr David Nye to the channel today. He is an integrative medical doctor. He’s also recently been appointed as chair for the South African Society of Integrative Medicine. Congratulations.
Thank you. And welcome. I have had readers mention that they have been diagnosed with Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. And I have had readers asking me, how would they know if they had Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome? So, I have a lot of questions for you. How is it diagnosed? How is it treated? Please just explain a little bit more about this fairly unknown condition. It is very unknown and it’s a pity that more people don’t know about it, because there are so many people who are suffering with it. Typically, we find people have been to the doctor, and their thyroid blood levels are all ok and they just have a sense that they know that their thyroid is not functioning. They are gaining weight, they’re feeling anxious, their hair is falling out and yet doctor after doctor will tell them that their thyroid is fine, because their blood levels are normal.
And Dr Wilson, who is an American doctor, delightful guy, has worked for the last 25 years with this condition which is called Wilson’s temperature syndrome. Some people call it subclinical hypothyroidism. And it is a situation where often the blood tests are completely normal, and we then have to diagnose it by using the person’s body temperature. Measured in the mouth and a collection of thyroid or hypothyroid symptoms.
So, if a person has a whole bunch of symptoms that are fitting, and their temperatures are low, below 37° Then we can make a pretty confident diagnosis of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. Do you need to take your temperature then and report back to your doctor at a certain time of the day? I generally tell patients to take their temperature 3 times a day, between the hours of 10am and 4pm. We don’t want to do it too early in the morning or too late at night because the temperature does drop then, and they must take it in their mouth not with an ear thermometer or any other kind of thermometer. That gives us a pretty good idea if they do that for 4 or 5 days.
We can see whether their temperature fluctuates or whether the temperature stays low. It is very revealing. And you prefer the digital thermometer or a mercury? The problem with thermometers the digital is quick and convenient to use, but it de-calibrates very quickly. So, if you drop it or bump it, or bang it around in your hand bag, it often reads inaccurately. So, the compromise that I have reached is that people should get two thermometers. They should get an old-fashioned mercury thermometer and calibrate the digital one with that once a week. And if the two read the same then they can carry on using the digital one.
And, as long as they calibrate once a week they can be pretty sure of reasonably accurate results. But, why would I want to know that I have Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome? Because, it’s very treatable. And, the difference between somebody who has an over hypothyroidism, means that they have got to be on supplementation for the rest of their lives. Supplementation as in? Like thyroid hormones.
Eltroxin or Tertroxin. So, medication? Medication, yes. Right. Is there a natural supplement that you can take? There are. We have availability of a glandular natural extract called Thyroid S. Which is the same as Armour Thyroid.
Which one can get in the states. Thyroid S is the only one that is available in this country and it’s a combination of T1, T2, T3 and T4, so it gives a nice balance. And, a lot of patients are very happy on it as an ongoing supplement. But, you can’t buy that over the counter? You have get it through doctors. Ok, Integrative medical doctors will know where to find the product.
What is it called again? Thyroid S. Ok. So, if somebody typically finds themselves exhausted, and they are anxious, and they have hair loss, and they are gaining weight.
There is hope for them. They don’t just have to be put in a corner and say, oh you’re just stressed or it’s midlife, it’s normal. You know. Unfortunately, many people are put on the heap like that and 20 years later when they discover Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. I have had patients weep because they realise how many years of their life that they have lost through not finding the answers. So, how quickly can you get to a solution if you on treatment? The treatment involves putting the patient on cycles of slowly released T3 which has to be made up at a compounding pharmacy. Is that, how do you administer that? It’s in a capsule. Oh, so it’s ingestible.
So, it’s very easy. It takes a little bit of meticulousness, from the patient’s point of view, because they need to document their temperatures 3 times a day so that we can monitor progress and when they reach their goal temperature of 37°. And the capsules need to be taken every 12 hours exactly on time. Which some people find a bit challenging, but it’s worth the effort because the results are very good, and we repeat the cycles of T3, the dosage will go up and it will go down over a period of a cycle which is 4 – 6 weeks.
We repeat those cycles until the temperature stabilises at a normal 37°. When the temperature stabilises then the thyroid is strong enough to work on its own. So, it doesn’t need to be on medication for the rest of its life. Not unless they needed medication before that.
Alright. Because we can with Wilson’s Temperature protocol, we can also treat people who are on medication and who have an underactive thyroid. But, quite often they reach a situation where their thyroid is or they are still having symptoms, because the medication is not working properly. In other words, the thyroid is becoming resistant to the medication. Right, almost like insulin resistance. Yes.
Alright. And we take them off their medication, put them on the protocol and when they have finished the protocol they probably will have to go back onto their medication. But, usually at a much lower dose and it works much more effectively. Right. So, you really have to watch your temperature. And, how low would it drop? By 1° or 2°? I have had some people with temperatures of 34°.
Wow. And, 35° is quite common even 36°, even if somebody has got temperatures of 36.5°. Half a degree less than normal. If they have got all of the symptoms they can respond to the protocol. What if it is in-coincidental that their temperature is low? Either their thermometer isn’t working, or they take it right after they have had a cold swim. Or, something like that and they are complaining with the same symptoms? Is there any harm that can be done in a misdiagnosis? No, and in fact I have had a few people where we have started them on the protocol and then eventually found that they have done much better on identical hormones Estrogen Progesterone. Because, a lot of the symptoms are very similar and when you treat with the one hormone or the other is a lot of cross reaction. So, often their one hormone system will come right when you treat with the other, so, we very seldom treat with both at the same time.
Right. So, what is the cause of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and why would the functioning thyroid suddenly be impaired? That’s a very good question and stress is one of the biggest causes. We find that stress really impacts the body in, so many physical ways and the thyroid is very susceptible to stress. A diagram that I often show my patients to explain how this comes about.
So, I can show you that. The body basically makes T4 which is an inactive form of the thyroid hormone, and this should covert to T3 which is the active form of the hormone. And, that has an impact on the cells of the body and has an impact on your thyroid. And, that’s how things should normally function.
What happens when stress comes along is that we get an enormous out pouring cortisol and cortisol has a blocking effect. So, it actually blocks this conversion between the T3 and the T4. And, what happens then the T4 coverts to an inactive form of T3 called reverse T3. And, this reverse T3 then blocks up the thyroid and it blocks up the receptors and the cells. So, when the blood levels are measured we measure normal levels of T4. We measure normal levels of T3, because it includes all of the inactive ones. Right.
This is why it is so often misdiagnosed. So, if one can understand about all of this reverse T3 floating around in the system, then one can understand how this condition arises. And, how it can be missed. There is a blood test for reverse T3.
But, it is very expensive and very seldom done. And, in fact with the temperature diagnosis we don’t even do it anymore. So, that’s an easy way.
Yes. Wow, very valuable. Thank you so much for your time David.
You are welcome.
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