Hashimoto’s Health Tip: Thyroid Hormone Resistance

Aged wooden double door

Today’s health tip is about thyroid hormone resistance. This is a common cause of feeling like crap because when this happens in your body, the cells aren’t absorbing and utilizing thyroid hormone.

So you might be taking thyroid hormone and your lab work might all look great, but you still feel like they just scraped you off the tires of a Greyhound bus.

It’s as if thyroid hormone is knocking on the cell’s door and the cells are saying,

“I hear you knocking but you cain’t come in.”

“Please let me in? Please, please, please, please?” says thyroid hormone.

“I’d like to, really I would, but no.” answers the cells.

What is their problem?

Well, there are lots of possible reasons for this. Let’s focus on 1 today:

Inflammation: The Root of All Evil

Inflammation suppresses the hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid axis, by reducing the body’s available stores of TSH , T4, and T3.

The pituitary/hypothalamus also regulates many other hormones, including sex hormones; therefore, taking thyroid hormone medication may help some symptoms of hypothyroidism, but will not help all symptoms (since the hormone supplementation does not do anything if the cause is the pituitary or hypothalamus).

Inflammation can also reduce the number and sensitivity of thyroid hormone receptors throughout the body. All thyroid hormone (in the form of T3) has to be able to get into the body’s cells in order to have an effect;

if there are not enough cells, or they are not sensitive enough, it doesn’t matter how many thyroid meds you take.

Inflammation also decreases conversion of T4 to T3. Ninety percent of the thyroid hormone produced by the body is in the form of T4, but much of that has to be converted into T3 to be used.

Which is why T4 thyroid medications are not a great idea–you may end up taking more and more, and you’ll definitely get _effects_ from them, but not necessarily the benefits that your body would receive if it were able to convert T4 into T3 and utilize it to begin with.

Basically: Hashimoto’s is an inflammatory condition, and you must address inflammation in order to heal.

This begs the question: How do we address inflammation?

By any means necessary, if you have Hashimoto’s this should be your job, hobby, passion and obsession 24/7, 365.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Optimize vitamin D levels in the blood via supplementation with D3. Inflammation inhibits the body’s ability to convert Vit. D from the sun, and of course in people with Hashimoto’s, inflammation is everywhere.

2. Get to know and love glutathione, since this helps prevent oxidative damage. Autoimmunity and stress depletes the body’s stores of glutathione. (This can be challenging and there’s more to this than simple supplementation…more on this to come.)

3. Fatty acid balance is also very important. Omega-six fats promote inflammation, and omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. The best way to get omega-3s is to eat a lb. of fatty fish (salmon, makerel, sardines, halibut, herring) per week.

Of course, you have to weight this with all the chemical toxins in fish. Smaller fish like sardines, generally have less.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat. Reducing inflammation is key for overall healing. And STRESS AND LEAKY GUT are also the all stars of the Professional Inflammation League (The P.I.L.).

People who find the most success in healing their healing their Hashimoto’s are the ones who deal with both of these things.

Leaky gut is to inflammation what money is to politicians. It’s a license to ill, people.

And a lot of people don’t really take the impact that stress has on their health seriously. For people with autoimmune disease, research has shown that over 80% experienced a very stressful event prior to its onset.





About the Author Marc Ryan

Leave a Comment:

Sissy Koleva says

Dear Marc,
Thank you for your brilliant posting about Thyroid hormone resistance! It’s so well explained and structured! It was my Aha! moment and gave me an answer why I still feel bad despite taking L-Thyroxin and the pain in my muscles and joints is getting even worse. I know it’s down to inflammation and despite being on very strict NG, non-dairy and no soy diet for 3 months, still can’t see any improvement. I got very interested in taking Glutathione as a supplement as well as Astaxanthin (I’ve read lots of info about this supplement for being a great anti-inflammatory supplement). Can you, please advise me what quantities I should consider taking them, so they can act in a balance with the Turmeric I’ve been also taking?
I will greatly appreciate your comment and advice!
Also, thank you for your previous reply to my comment! I did a lot to decrease stress in my life, left my highly stressful job and dumped all the toxic people in my life! 🙂
Looking forward to your reply!
Best regards,

    Marc Ryan says

    Hi Sissy,

    Thanks for your question. You know dosage is really a subjective thing. You need to take enough to feel better. That may require a larger dosage at first. You can’t really take too much glutathione or the other supplements mentioned, they aren’t toxic in even large quantities. I would be concerned about the quality of product I am buying. That can make a big difference – some manufacturers are terrible. And you must be careful with glutathione to get it in a form that the body can absorb. There are liposomal creams and there is a form that you can absorb in capsule form called s-acetyl-L-glutathione.

    I actually have an online store that I only have available to people who work with me and I offer the best quality products of these that I could find.


Valerie G says

Can I take glutathhione if I have had a complete thyroidectomy?

    Marc Ryan says

    Hi Valerie,

    Thanks for your question! Absolutely, there are tremendous benefits to glutathione even if you have had a thyroidectomy.


Anna Herro says

I am devouring everything that you have written. You are simply amazing!!!!!

Add Your Reply