Wilson's Reverse T3 Dominance Syndrome
Enzymes are the specialized proteins which facilitate every chemical reaction in the body. Human enzymes are designed to operate at a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees. When the temperature drops more than 0.4 degrees below that, symptoms may appear from every part of the body due to the fact that enzymes are not functioning correctly thus slowing metabolism.
For many years patients have been coming to doctors complaining of symptoms such as cold hands and feet, intolerance to cold weather, nausea, headache, fatigue, irritability, dry skin, dry hair, loss of hair, insomnia, unstable body weight, and many other vague complaints. These complaints remind doctors of hypothyroidism, however when tests are ordered and come back normal, mainstream doctors either treat symptomatically or tell the patient "It is all in your head." On the other hand, practitioners of alternative medicine have traditionally been willing to treat hypometabolism as if it were hypothyroidism by prescribing thyroid hormone because it helps, despite normal lab tests for thyroid dysfunction. More recently it has been noted that heavy metal toxicity, especially that involving mercury, slows metabolism and produces these kinds of symptoms – possibly by interfering with thyroid hormone receptor sites. This is by far the most common cause of hypometabolism in the face of normal thyroid hormone levels. An associated condition involves hidden chronic infection such as cavitations and gut wall infections which also slow metabolism even though thyroid hormone levels may be normal. Other conditions which slow metabolism are normal aging, hypoadrenalism, and human growth hormone deficiency. Few doctors realize that anything can slow metabolism other than hypothyroidism, so there is now an entire culture of patients out there dissatisfied with mainstream medicine on this score.
However, now we know that these same symptoms can also be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones rather than a simple deficiency. Dr. Denis Wilson has gotten to the bottom of this enigma. Let me explain. The thyroid gland makes T3 and T4. T3 is the active thyroid hormone and every cell in the body has molecular docking stations for T3. T4 is made by the thyroid, circulates and eventually ends up in the liver where it is converted to T3 and a tiny amount of a substance called Reverse T3 (RT3). RT3 has no action on the cell, except that it binds with the receptor sites, the tiny docking stations, and blocks the action of T3. However, in the normal situation, T3 dominates and RT3 is no problem.
However, when a person experiences prolonged stress, the adrenal glands respond by manufacturing a large amount of cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3 and favors the conversion of T4 to RT3. If stress is prolonged, a condition called Reverse T3 Dominance occurs and persists even after the stress passes and cortisol levels fall. Apparently, RT3 itself acts like cortisol and blocks the conversion of T4 to T3.
Reverse T3 Dominance is the cause of hypometabolism because too many receptor sites are blocked by RT3 and the chemical reactions of life slow down. These reactions give off heat and are the source of heat in the body. They make us warm blooded. When those reactions slow down, our temperature drops. This drop in temperature slows down enzymes in every cell of the body causing a condition of Multiple Enzyme Dysfunction which is the heart of hypometabolism.
What are the effects of Multiple Enzyme Dysfunction? Here they are: fatigue, headache, migraine, PMS, irritability, fluid retention, anxiety and panic attacks, hair loss, depression, decreased memory and concentration, low sex drive, unhealthy nails, low motivation and ambition, and on and on.
What is elegant about Dr. Wilson’s discovery is that the condition is easily diagnosed and treatment is curative. After proper treatment the patient is back to normal and there is no further need for treatment. Nevertheless, true Wilson’s is rare and the usual causes of hypometabolism should always receive consideration before thinking of Wilson’s.
The incidence of hypometabolism is about 20% in the general population and 80% for those people who visit doctors. Many of those people we previously treated as "sub-test hypothyroidism" are actually cases of hypometabolism from other causes, a small percent of which are Wilson’s Syndrome. If you have visited a doctor recently, chances are good that you have hypometabolism which can make your life miserable and which can predispose you to illnesses which put your health at risk (for example vascular disease). Here is one way to test yourself: using a mercury thermometer, take your oral temperature at 10 random times through the day. If the average is less than 98.0 Fahrenheit, you are hypometabolic. One possible cause of hypometabolism is Wilson’s.
Next you will need T3 and Reverse T3 tests so your doctor can look at the ratio between these two values and correlate it with your clinical picture. If the ratio of T3 to Reverse T3 is less than ten to one, and if you have a low body temperature and some of the symptoms mentioned above, then you may benefit from a trial of Time Release T3 Therapy. (Available only from compounding pharmacies.)
I suggest you also review the following article for the major causes of Hypometabolism.
If the ratio of reverse T3 to T3 is not thus disturbed, you do not have Wilson’s and treating you with Wilson’s Protocol will be of no lasting benefit. Let me mention again here the statistically most common causes of hypometabolism: (1) mercury toxicity and (2) chronic gut wall infection. Mercury toxicity is extremely common thanks to the dental profession which wantonly installs tons of mercury in people’s mouths every day (dental amalgam is 35-50% mercury). While dentists claim it is no problem, they are simply parroting the party line. Let them come spend a day in my office and talk to my patients. Mercury toxicity is frequently associated with chronic gut wall infection. The mechanism is this: acid forming diet plus dental amalgams leads to transitory leaky gut syndrome. Anaerobic bacteria leak into the gut wall and set up a permanent residence in the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) known as Peyer’s Patches. These bacteria produce acid toxins which have a systemic effect on long term health and disable the gut lining so that dysbiosis results. The symptoms produced are fatigue and bloating which is not dependent on any specific food intake. The treatment for this condition is completely different from Wilson’s and is covered in another article.
Back to Wilson’s
If you read Wilson’s manuals on Wilson’s syndrome, you will think Wilson’s syndrome is behind just about every symptom a human being can have. That is because Dr. Wilson apparently thinks so too and he is very convincing. There is a certain tunnel vision at work there. It is very important to correctly make the diagnosis before charging off to treat a person. About one out of 20 people who comes to my office thinking they have Wilson’s actually has Wilson’s. However, if you are one of those rare people with Wilson’s, only Wilson’s Time Release T3 Protocol will help you. In Wilson’s Protocol you begin with 7.5 micrograms (mcg.) of time release T3 every twelve hours, to the minute. You continue this for two days, taking your temperature three times each day. If your temp has nor hit an average of 98.2 or more, you then increase the dose to 15 mcg. every twelve hours and continue to measure your temperature. You continue increasing your dose of time release T3 by 7.5 mcg. every 48 hours until your temperature reaches an average of 98.2 or until you develop symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as increased blood pressure, rapid heart beat, or headache. (Of course, all this should be done under the supervision of your doctor.) The objective is to reach your ceiling dose, i.e., that dose which raises your temperature to 98.2 or is just under that dose which produces hypertension, tachycardia, or headache. You should then maintain that dose every twelve hours for thirty days. Then you taper off at the same pace, coming down 7.5 mcg. every two days until you are off the medicine.
At this point you may be back to a normal temperature without further treatment. If you are not, repeat the process. According to Dr. Wilson, most people are back to normal after one or two cycles of treatment. However, he does mention one case which required five courses of therapy before normalization occurred.