Thyroid and Adrenal Gland Problem

Presentation given by Dr Peatfield


Report produced by Steve Gray, Tyne Valley ME/CFS Support Group

About 70 people attended a very interesting presentation. Many thanks to Barbara Reed who organised this event, but due to her many commitments has asked me to write a summary for Focus.

Dr Barry Durant-Peatfield from Surrey gave a very interesting presentation to about 70 people in Morpeth in August. His subject was ME, Thyroid and Adrenal Gland problems. He began by giving his thoughts on possible causes of ME which included unremitting stress, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, unresolved infections including Lyme Disease, Candida and Metabolic Down Regulation. (Metabolic Down Regulation is a reduction in the rate of energy production in the body cells, causing a slow down of all the body processes). Dr Peatfield said “he has never met an ME person with normal metabolism”.

The Role of the Thyroid Gland

The critical role of the Thyroid Gland and it’s hormones in regulating normal energy production was outlined. A list of possible symptoms from under active Thyroid Gland was provided and certainly many overlap ME symptoms. Indeed Dr Peatfield thinks the two conditions often overlap, with the ME actually causing Thyroid problems.

Briefly the symptoms of under active thyroid gland (Hypothyroidism) may include: slow pulse, weight gain, poor sleep, slow thinking, breathlessness, memory loss, intolerance to cold and heat, low body temperature, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of body hair, raised cholesterol (strong link with Hypothyroidism), frequent upper respiratory and urinary infections, hoarse voice and enlarged tongue.

The Role of the Adrenal Glands

Dr Peatfield then explained the workings of the Adrenal Glands. These lie on top of each kidney and produce many hormones. Among their functions is to allow the body to deal with stress in a wide sense e.g. hunger, infection, immediate danger and emotional stress. Although the Adrenal Glands are remarkable in their capacity to keep us going through long term stress and illness, they can eventually begin to fail. Dr Peatfield calls this “Low Adrenal Reserve”.

Low Adrenal Reserve

The possible symptoms of Low Adrenal Reserve overlap with Hypothyroidism and ME to some extent. This is no surprise as Hypothyroidism stresses the Adrenal Glands and Low Adrenal Reserve stresses the Thyroid! A vicious circle. Symptoms of Low Adrenal Reserve can include: repeated infections, poor recovery from infections, irritable bowel, sensitivity to cold and heat, hypoglycaemia (low and unstable blood sugar and the need to eat regularly), fainting attacks, dark rings under the eyes, breathlessness and asthma, muscle weakness, blood pressure falls on standing up, loss of body hair, aches and pains in muscles and joints, palpitations, hissing in ears, memory loss and confusion and waking in the night with breathlessness, anxiety, sense of doom and hypoglycaemia.

Alarmingly Dr Peatfield believes that many people are suffering from Hypothyroidism and Low Adrenal Reserve yet their Doctors are unable to diagnose and treat their problems.

Why is this?

Because the standard Thyroid Function tests are very unreliable. Doctors only look at the blood test now and ignore the patient and their symptoms of Hypothyroidism.

Dr Peatfield thinks the blood test will only pick up people with advanced Hypothyroidism, perhaps when the Thyroid is already under 30% under active. A reduction of 10% in Thyroid function will make us quite ill however and we are told the Thyroid is fine.

Blood test for Low Adrenal Reserve are distressing and of virtually no value he says. One simple test he advocates is to measure your body temperature immediately on waking for a few days. The thermometer should be used in the mouth for two minutes. A normal temperature is 36.9 - 37C. If your temperature is 36.5C (97.6F) or less you could be Hypothyroid. Women who menstruate should measure their temperatures on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th day of their cycle.

Now some better news, Hypothyroidism and Low Adrenal Reserve can be treated.

Dr Peatfield uses nutritional supplements and natural Thyroid and Adrenal Gland extracts from cattle and pigs.He states he has certainly returned as many people to health in the last 20 plus years of his private practice. Alas this incurred the wrath of the medical establishment.

His book “The Great Thyroid Scandal and how to survive it” costs £14.94 including postage from Barons Down Publishing Ltd, Barons Down, Whitehill Road, Meopham, Kent DA3 0NY.

“ We are very grateful to Steve for providing this report”