Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS) is an extremely common condition, yet is poorly recognised and diagnosed. It is caused by dysfunction of the thyroid gland, even while the thyroid blood tests are normal. Many doctors and members of the public are not even aware of its existence!

How is WTS diagnosed?

There is no blood test to diagnose it, and in fact thyroid hormone levels are usually normal. It is diagnosed by a sub-normal average body temperature [normal = 36.8ºC – 37ºC] together with many of the following symptoms:

1. General symptoms:

  • Inappropriate weight gain
  • Fluid retention
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Insomnia, and needing to sleep in the day
  • Allergies, hives, asthma
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Heat and/or cold intolerance
  • Low blood pressure
  • Frequent colds and sore throat
  • Light-headedness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dry eyes, blurred vision
  • Flushing
  • Poor coordination
  • Increased nicotine or caffeine use

2. Mental symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Decreased memory and concentration
  • Low motivation
  • Low self esteem
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Irritability

3. Gastro-intestinal symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Food cravings
  • Excessively tired after eating
  • Abnormal throat or swallowing sensations
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Bad breath
  • Acid indigestion

4. Muscles, joints and skin symptoms:

  • Hair loss, dry hair
  • Premature grey, white hair
  • Unhealthy nails
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Arthritis and joint pains
  • Muscular aches
  • Sweating abnormalities
  • Slow wound healing
  • Easy bruising
  • Cold hands/feet, turn blue
  • Skin infections, acne
  • Changes in pigmentation
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

5. Gynaecological symptoms:

  • Decreased libido
  • Irregular periods
  • Severe menstrual cramps
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Infertility

Many of these symptoms are characteristic of hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an auto-immune disorder affecting the thyroid gland. Many patients will be treated with Eltroxin, or similar T4 medications, for their underactive thyroid, for years. Some will feel well on this medication, whereas others never feel well, in spite of being told repeatedly that the blood tests are “normal”. Often they will be told by the doctor that all is well, even when they still complain of many of the above symptoms. Sometimes the dose of their T4 medication is increased in an effort to relieve the symptoms. This may afford temporary relief, but actually worsens the situation.

Unfortunately, many doctors treat the patients’ blood tests and not their symptoms, which leave many patients confused and frustrated, when they do not feel well. Dr Denis Wilson has studied and documented this condition for over 20 years in the USA, and has now given his name to it. See his extensive website www.wtsmed.com

How does WTS arise?

It is more commonly found in women [80%]. It is caused by exposure to one or more acute stresses or prolonged stress over years. People whose ancestors have a history of struggle or famine, such as Jews or American Indians, seem to be more susceptible to suffering from WTS.

A normal thyroid gland produces T4 thyroid hormone, which itself is inactive. T4 is converted to active T3 in the peripheral cells of the body. Under stress, the T4 is converted instead into inactive reverse T3, instead of into the active T3. This reverse T3 blocks the receptors for T3 on the cells. This means that the cells can no longer receive signals from the circulating active T3, with resultant slowing of many metabolic processes. When the metabolism slows down, less energy is produced and the body temperature drops. When body temperature is lower than 37 degrees C, the enzymes perform more slowly, with further slowing of metabolism [Multiple Enzyme Dysfunction]. As efficient enzyme function is essential for most metabolic processes, this slow-down results in many of the symptoms described above.

How is WTS treated?

WTS can be treated with herbal combinations to support the thyroid, or with cycles of slow-release T3 hormone under the supervision of a certified WTS medical doctor. The dose starts low and rapidly climbs to a peak, then cycles down again over the space of a month. The oral body daytime temperature and pulse rate are closely monitored. Within one or more cycles the temperature starts to normalise, and the aim is to ‘capture’ the temperature at 37 deg, with the result that the temperature remains normal while the medication is slowly withdrawn and stopped. Patients are usually amazed by the sense of well-being experienced when their temperature approaches normal. Sadly, it is often a feeling that has eluded them for years!

Once the temperature has been successfully ‘captured’, and the T3 capsules withdrawn, the thyroid resumes production of its own T3, which can now effectively regulate the metabolism. 70% of patients successfully finish the treatment in 3 months, but a few may need 6 months or more. Often no further treatment is necessary, but occasionally T3, or even a small dose of T4, will need to be taken on a maintenance basis.

The schedule requires diligence and attention, as the capsules of T3 must be taken on time and exactly 12 hours apart, to prevent instability in the blood T3 levels. Instability can arise from missing a dose or taking a dose late, and can give rise to mild, but uncomfortable side-effects such as headaches, irritability, tiredness, fluid retention or body aches. Palpitations can also arise from T3 therapy, which may be uncomfortable, but not dangerous. Herbal antidotes are usually taken to counteract the palpitations.

T3 therapy according to the WTS protocol possibly provides the missing link which has eluded so many, for many years. Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel for those who feel their thyroid gland is not working optimally; yet for whom no-one has been able to provide relief.

VIEW NEXT PAGE for case history of Betsy, 40 years old

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