A study from the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands suggests a possible link between ME/CFS symptoms and lower thyroid hormone levels. The researchers focused on signs of low-grade inflammation and subclinical hypothyroidism, and found that ME/CFS patients had normal levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), but lower levels of key thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The group also found a higher percentage of reverse T3 (rT3) compared to T3, and evidence of chronic low-grade metabolic inflammation in patients.
The research was also highlighted in a recent article published by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News: “In hypothyroidism, the body tries to encourage thyroid hormone activity by releasing more thyroid-stimulating hormone—however, this does not happen in patients with [ME/CFS].” This is an interesting result, and if the findings are confirmed by more studies, could be a first step in finding possible treatments for a subset of patients with this disease.
To read the full study in Frontiers in Endocrinology, click here.