Subclinical Hyperthyroid Increases Mortality Risk in Elderly
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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An Italian study of 965 adults age 65 and older has found that those with subclinical hyperthyroid1 had a 65% chance of increased mortality from any cause in a six-year study period. Of particular concern is that 9% of the population tested had this problem, indicating that many elderly people could be at risk.
Subclinical hyperthyroid means that their resting metabolic rate is simply going too fast. In healthy aging, the metabolic rate actually slows down a little bit to help pace the rate of metabolism to accommodate the aging process. Going too fast places stress on the heart, bones, brain, and general overall health.
Symptoms may be somewhat subtle and so not easily recognized and may include a racing heart or abnormal heart rhythm, anxiety or easy irritability, or trouble sleeping. Since these “wired up” type symptoms can be caused by other issues this type of problem can go unrecognized.
On lab tests it means that the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) will be low while the T3 and T4 are still in the normal range.
The absence of a TSH signal indicates the lack of a TRH signal, which is the signal going from the hypothalamus gland to the pituitary to initiate thyroid production in the normal way. TRH does many things in the brain besides stimulating the production of TSH. It is a major anti-inflammatory compound that helps the glial cells reduce brain inflammation. It also helps coordination, meaning that another symptom of subclinical hyperthyroidism is worsening coordination/balance that would increase the risk of a fall. Depression of TRH indicates a highly inflammatory condition, especially in the brain.
As is typical, the medical profession would have no logical explanation or treatment for this issue. If it was actually on their radar they would likely come up with eradication of the thyroid gland in whole or in part as their “remedy.”
The solution is to reduce inflammation in the brain so that the TRH and TSH signaling can normalize. In this situation, almost any nutrient that helps reduce inflammation would likely help, especially nutrients that help reduce inflammation in the brain. Blueberries, grape seed extract, resveratrol Natural phenol or type of antioxidant found in red grapes, red wine. Research has shown beneficial effects as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents along with supporting healthy blood sugar and cardiovasculature function., fisetin, magnesium, and DHA Docosahexaenoic acid Essential omega 3 fatty acid integral to the health of all cell membranes, nerve and brain function. Must be gotten through the diet via cold water oceanic fish or some very limited plant sources or taken as a supplement. would be top choices.
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