Is it Fibromyalgia or Wilson’s Syndrome?

Wilson’s Syndrome is a hypothyroid condition characterized by the body’s inability to convert inactive hormone into active useable hormone. Individuals with Wilson’s Syndrome suffer from chronic low body temperature. Doctors have estimated that Wilson’s Syndrome affects up to 30% of our population, with women accounting for 80% of the diagnosed cases.

Even if your thyroid blood test results are within normal limits, you could still be suffering from thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid tests measure the hormone levels in the blood. However, thyroid hormones remain inactive in the blood and are active in the cells. Medicine is not advanced enough to measure the hormone inside the cell therefore we are unable to know exactly how much thyroid is actively working in the body rather than just present in the blood.

Currently the best way to test if you are experiencing an under-active thyroid is to take your temperature. Temperature is an accurate indicator since it reflects what is going on in the cells of the body. A consistently low body temperature (1-1.5 degrees below 98.6) can be a result of poor thyroid stimulation in the cells. Chronic low body temperature triggers a plethora of symptoms due to a slowing of the enzymatic processes that keep the body functioning properly.

Symptoms associated with Wilson’s Syndrome include sleep disorders, low motivation and ambition, irritable bowel syndrome, decreased sex drive, depression, fatigue, headaches and irritability. Since a number of the symptoms overlap with the symptoms reported by CFS and FM patients it may be worth your while to check your temperature in order to investigate if you’re a possible candidate for Wilson’s Syndrome.

Fortunately there is a multitude of therapeutic options at your disposal if you do indeed have Wilson’s Syndrome. Taking liothyronine (T3 hormone) can easily treat Wilson’s Syndrome. Liothyronine is an instant release medication that must be prescribed by a doctor. The treatment is more effective and better tolerated when tempered by a sustained release agent.

The Wilson’s Syndrome Foundation advocates trying a “therapeutic trial” in order to establish whether or not you do if fact have Wilson’s Syndrome. There is no chance of damage to your thyroid gland if your temperature does not return to normal levels and you do not feel better as a result of treatment. On the other hand, if the treatment alleviates your symptoms it is most likely you will only need to take the medication for a short period of time. Patients who had their symptoms vanish discontinued taking liothyronine and found that the symptoms did not reappear.

Non-drug treatment options include engaging in regular physical exercise. Sufferers report that the raise in body heat after consistent sustained (10-15 minutes) exercise reduces the intensity and frequency of their symptoms. Incorporating Molybdenum (metabolic catalyst), Choline, Alpha Lipoic Acid (helps raise body temperature), Coenzyme Q10 (Mitochondria support) and anti-oxidant supplements into the diet can aid in healing. Some report feeling better as a result of taking a very hot bath upon waking to temporarily raise their body temperature.

Sources: The Wilson’s Syndrome Foundation

The Cold Body Page: Chronic Sub-Clinical Hypothermia and Wilson’s Syndrome

Skelly, Mari and Helm, Andrea. “Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Hunter House Publishers.

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