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Author Topic:   Hypothyroidism & Ichthyosis
Angel
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Posts: 94
From:Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2002

posted December 07, 2003 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Angel   Click Here to Email Angel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a quotation from an article on the Doctor's Medical Library website. My sister (who does not have Icthyosis) was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism and in doing some research, came across this passage. She forwarded it to me because my two daughters both have Lamellar Ichthyosis. I find it quite interesting that there is a link between Ichthyosis and Hypothyroidism. Does anyone have any further information regarding this?
"Skin Diseases
The most common skin finding in hypothyroidism is dry, flaky skin. However, skin disease of almost any kind should raise suspicion of hypothyroidism. Circulation to the skin is decreased, as it is to the rest of the body, and also the production of mucopolysaccharides is increased dramatically in the skin. These two factors together predispose the patient to acne, impetigo, erysipelas, cellulitis, eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis (fish scale skin). Often these conditions are relieved with thyroid extract. The same is true for the syndrome of "winter itch," in which the skin below the elbows and knees itches severely during the winter. Even some cases of lupus involving the skin clear up with thyroid extract, and when they clear up, the disease does not progress to systemic involvement of the internal organs."
In case anyone is interested in reading the entire article, the link is http://www.medical-library.net/sites/_hypothyroidism.html#skin

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annecohen
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From:Kingston, NY, USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted December 10, 2003 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for annecohen   Click Here to Email annecohen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Angel, I'm curious. Is there any connection between ichthyosis and hypothyroidism? I know this article mentions it, but do others find this to be true or have their doctors mentioned this?

Anne

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Chandra
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Posts: 668
From:Beaverton, OR
Registered: Nov 2000

posted December 12, 2003 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chandra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for sharing this article. I will take it with me to my next doctor's appointment.

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Angel
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Posts: 94
From:Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2002

posted December 12, 2003 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Angel   Click Here to Email Angel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spoke with our family doctor about this and he didn't seem too interested. I will probably still do more research on this, but the doctor also informed me that all children (here in Ontario, Canada) are tested at birth for thyroid problems.

Angel

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threerxli
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Posts: 515
From:virginia
Registered: Jan 2003

posted December 17, 2003 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for threerxli   Click Here to Email threerxli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that the hypothyroidism can case ichthyosis type skin, a lot of things can cause it...but adding the thyroid hormone will not eliminate ichthyosis from those born with it. Children and the elderly with severe nutritional disorders can also get ichthyosis. Some forms are caused by lacking a hormone or having too much of a hormone. Everytime I asked a doctor about this connection, I always received the same results.." we do not know and no one is doing a study at this time". or they answer like I wrote above..."some types of ichthyosis are brought on by nutritional and hormonal disorders" they then go on to say that my childrens condition is not related and would not respond to that type of therapy. It just makes me wonder how close this is though, it seems resonable that it should be linked. I stumbled on this about 6 years ago...let me know if anyone hears something new connecting them.

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Keith Charsha
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Posts: 466
From:Southern California U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted December 18, 2003 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Keith Charsha   Click Here to Email Keith Charsha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just out of curiosity I looked up hypothyroidism in my Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, and the list of problems associated with it is longer then you would believe but dry flaky skin seems to be one of the lesser symptoms. I wish I could copy and paste this but I'll have to do it the old fashion way.
Symptoms: Symptoms may include obesity, dry skin and hair, both of which become lusterless; low blood pressure; slow pulse; sluggishness of all functions; depressed muscular activity; intolerance to cold; decreased metabolic rate; easy fatigability; cool dry scaly skin;hypercarotenemia; hair and eyebrow loss; brittle nails; facial puffiness and periorbital edema; paresthesias; ataxias; bradycardia; reduced cardiac output; aching muscles and joint stiffness; changes in bowel habits; irregular menses; and decreased libido.
WOW, some of this sounds like ichthyosis symptoms, most of it sounds like chronic fatigue syndrome or things associated with obesity. The only treatment for this is longterm hormone replacement. I have a few of these symptoms, like the dry skin and achy joints, but nothing like everything else listed here. If you really think your ichthyosis is related to this, look it up and evaluate your condition to see if it matches any of these.
Keith.

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SusanLaRae
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Posts: 34
From:Lodi, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2002

posted December 19, 2003 01:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SusanLaRae   Click Here to Email SusanLaRae     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been waiting to post a reply but I think its time I did. When I was younger my Dr. put me on thyroid replacement. Mostly due to the dry skin and other symptoms that share the same symptoms as ichthyosis. My Dr passed away when I was a young teenager and the new Dr. didn't see the need in continueing the medication. At that point I started gaining weight and even though it did help my skin some, it wasn't a drastic change. Since I had had my thyroid tested several times and my tests always come back okay. Hmmm could there be a connection? Interesting isn't it?

Susan

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sofia
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Posts: 53
From:Little Neck, New York , Queens
Registered: Aug 2000

posted December 21, 2003 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sofia   Click Here to Email sofia     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think there might be connection. I have Ichtyosis and was diagnosed with a thyroid conditon almost 2 years ago. This took alot of complaining on my part and my doctor a fertility specialist ran some very expensive thyroid tests to prove it. My thyroid is very slow and one of the main factors was that I was so cold even in 100 degree weather. I am now on synthroid which has in some ways improved my skin. Funny part my father was diagnosed with a thyroid condition just 1 yr ago he may have had this for a while.

[This message has been edited by sofia (edited December 21, 2003).]

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Mary W
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From:Lake Wylie, SC
Registered: Sep 2003

posted February 18, 2004 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mary W   Click Here to Email Mary W     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My old time family doctor thought at my birth that my icthyosis was a thyroid condition.

He was partly right. I have icthyosis. And I am hypothyroid. Although the hypothyroidism was not diagnosed until my 30's when I was going through infertility treatments.

While the hypothyroidism may make my skin worse, taking Sythroid did not cure my icthyosis. Although my ichthyosis is much worse when I'm having trouble with my thryoid being too lot.

My anecdotal advice to those taking thyroid medication, NO CAFFEINE.

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CarolT
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Posts: 8
From:Silver Lake, CA, USA
Registered: Apr 2004

posted May 05, 2004 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CarolT   Click Here to Email CarolT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi: I'm pretty new to this board and I'm sorry i didn't notice this posting sooner. i posted a topic in the Vulgaris section asking if anyone had other genetic problems associated with Ich. it seems that this issue isn't so much "does hypothyroidism cause ichthyosis?" or "will thyroid meds help ich?" as it is "if you have ich, should you be looking out for other things?". from some of your postings and my own experience, i would say yes. if i had any idea that they could be interrated, i would have investigated it sooner. as it is, i've known i have ich all my life, whereas i was just diagnosed hypothyroid fairly recently - in my mid 40s. and just because "the doctor" says they've tested for thyroid and you - or your kids - are "fine", that doesn't always mean you are. i've heard story after story of (mostly) women who had to go from one doctor to the next, begging to get the proper testing done before they were finally diagnosed with thyroid disease. same thing with trying to get doctors to prescribe anything but Synthroid. by the way, since i started taking thyroid (natural, not synth) and growth hormone (my other deficiency), my skin has improved quite a bit. thanks to you all for keeping the information flowing.
Carol

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Hearsay
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Posts: 801
From:Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted July 06, 2005 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hearsay   Click Here to Email Hearsay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to share that I had Nathan with me at my daughter's pediatric appointment today. The doctor is fairly young and was not with the practice when Nathan was born.

He touched Nathan's hand and commented on the dry skin. I told him that it was a congenital ichthyosis. He asked if Nathan had been tested for hypothyroidism. I was a bit amused, as this child has been hospitalized 4 times now plus a stay in the NICU at birth, plus he has seen our pediatricians every month for the first 18 months, not to mention his 2 dermatologists and the geneticist. The child does NOT want for medical attention.

This doctor was telling me about another patient he had that had skin like Nathan's but was also falling asleep in school and had all the hallmarks of hypothyroidism. As you have posted, the skin cleared right up with treatment.

I think what got missed (in previous posts and my well-meaning doctor), though, is that while hypothyroidism can cause ichthyosis, ichthyosis does not cause hypothyroidism. They are two totally different mechanisms with the same outward result.

1. low blood flow and screwed up blood calcium and glucose and metabolism levels = decreased oxygen to skin cells, skin cell death and ichthyotic appearance. Give thyroid medication to fix metabolic rate and glucose and calcium levels = ichthyosis goes away.

2. genetic mutation which makes the keratin protein fold incorrectly or the skin cells completely lack certain receptors that control skin growth rate = ichthyotic appearance. But in this case, upping the metabolism by giving thyroid medicine is likely to make the condition WORSE or the same, nor better. Which means that treating a person with normal thyroid function with thyroid hormone will have zero effect on skin quality.

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Lisa Marie
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Posts: 160
From:NY
Registered: Jan 2001

posted July 07, 2005 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lisa Marie   Click Here to Email Lisa Marie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My skin is particularly dry this summer. That in adition to other symptoms, I just had my thyroid checked a few weeks ago. I was so sure that was the problem. The results came back clear. So I don't think they go hand in hand necessarily. I wouldn't doubt that many people with Ich also have thyroid problems because our body is in overdrive all the time that I think it leaves it open to many other problems. I doubt there are many of us on here that JUST have ichthyosis.

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Hearsay
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Posts: 801
From:Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted July 07, 2005 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hearsay   Click Here to Email Hearsay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that there are a lot of problems that are a direct result of the ichthyosis, of which hypothyroidism can certainly be a cause. The reason I was amused by my encounter is that my 2yo son has NO symptoms of thyroid deficiency. Except the skin.

Most of the side effects seems to come with age as the body wears out. I am not at all surprised to see posters say that they developed thyroid problems at 30 or 40. I also wouldn't be surprised to see adrenal problems like Cushing's Disease or kidney problems to develop in older ichthyosis patients. But it would be pretty unusual to see in in a child that has not yet finished puberty, when the growth rate is accelerated anyway.

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Keith Charsha
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Posts: 466
From:Southern California U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted July 10, 2005 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Keith Charsha   Click Here to Email Keith Charsha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't posted in quite a while which is unusual for me. Lately I've been taking a different approach to not only my EHK but all my health problems. Call it holistic or just plain anti western meds, in the end its the same to me. After doing alot of research with the help of a few knowledgable friends I've learned alot about why I hardly sleep at night, tired during the day, ache all over, weight gain around the mid section only and on and on. It was suggested to me that my hormones may be out of balance and to have them checked and not with the traditional "blood method". It took a while but I found a compounding pharmacist who does a saliva based hormone panel test. You fill up a tube with saliva in the morning, afternoon, evening and before bedtime. These are then sent to a lab where they measure your hormones, Estradol, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA's, and your cortisol level morning, noon, evening and bedtime. Needless to say mine were way out of balance, my progesterone was extremely low( and yes men have progesterone as woman do have testosterone also)and my cortisol was extremely high in the morning, diving by after noon and trying to make a come back in the late afternoon and then diving again by evening. Normally your cortisol should be elevated in the morning and slowly fall until bedtime, mine looked like something you'd see on an EKG. I'm currently balancing them with all natural supplements and a custom made cream with all natural progesterone applied twice a day. What was the cause of all this? STRESS! STRESS! and more STRESS! No surprise to me, I am the king of stress, I worry about everything. The stress can be in any form, more then likely half of my stress comes from my Ichthyosis condition and dealing with it in public all the time. Sorry if I've gotten off track here, my whole point was that your thyroid is heavily involved when it comes to your hormones. Balancing them is easier then you'd think and should be done with all natural products. It is hard to find a doctor who does this saliva test because its basically going against the mainstream medicine machine and isn't covered by insurance. I've just started the hormone balancing and my next step is to see a thyroid specialist who uses only natural products for that too. I've seen synthroid mentioned here a few times, do your research on it and I bet you'll never consider using it. I don't think our Ichthyosis is caused by a malfunctioning thyroid, but I do think our thyriods are overworked and probably out of whack, as well as our adrenals. It was recommended that I read two books on these topics, "Adrenal Fatigue, the 21st Century Stress Syndrome" by James L. Wilson and "Hypothyroidism type 2" by Mark Starr, M.D. I haven't started reading them yet and I can't tell you yet how the supplements and natural hormone replacement are going, it's a long process that will take a few months. If anyone would like more detail on this whole program I'm doing let me know and I'll try and explain it to you as well as I can. By the way, I have been told "guaranteed" that I can reverse my accutane side effects simply by bringing my PH(once again, saliva and urine, not blood) into the healing range which is 6.4-6.5. I have checked my ph and do everyday and I am extremely acidic, no surprise there. So I am now on a high alkaline diet and taking forms of calcium that are extremely alkaline. There is so much more to this then I can possibly type here without boring anyone who reads this. Any of you having bone problems from accutane use and want more details let me know. It is simple but takes a disciplined diet program, no prescriptions, just good foods, proper supplements and plenty of water. Feel free to contact me.
Keith.
Keith.

[This message has been edited by Keith Charsha (edited July 10, 2005).]

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Hearsay
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Posts: 801
From:Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted July 10, 2005 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hearsay   Click Here to Email Hearsay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keith,

You might want to check the credentials of Mr. Wilson.

A google search on him came up with this: "A naturopath named James L. Wilson has been promoting the use of products made from bovine mesenchymal cells. (Mesenchyme is a type of embryonic connective tissue.) According to Wilson, the cells "have the ability to migrate to any tissue in need of repair and, once at the site, take on the characteristics of the healthy cell it associates with." [6]. Wilson even claims that a mesenchymal product can be administered under the tongue. Studies have been done -- mainly in laboratory preparations -- in which mesenchymal stem cells demonstrate reparative ability when placed directly in contact with certain tissues [7]. However, it is absurd to believe that they can migrate to where they are needed in the body. Moreover, when taken orally, they are digested and can exert no significant effect on body function."

You are correct, elevated cortisol levels will definitely affect your health and can develop into Cushing's Disease, as I mentioned above. However, I'm having a hard time following the connection between saliva or urine pH and cortisol level. Sure, cortisol causes sugar to be released into the bloodstream and an increase in metabolism. However, this would cause an increase in blood CO2, which either makes you breathe faster or gets converted into bicarbonate ion, which helps your blood stay basic by binding up all the free H+ ions that would otherwise be excreted in the urine. So ultimately, an increase in cortisol would make your urine more basic, not more acidic. Another thing that increases urine pH is eating more protein because the protein binds up free H+, too.

Am I missing something here?

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Keith Charsha
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Posts: 466
From:Southern California U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted July 10, 2005 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Keith Charsha   Click Here to Email Keith Charsha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes you are missing something or I left it out. PH has nothing to do with Cortisol. PH has everything to do with your joints and arthritis, which is another problem I have from taking accutane. In order for your body to be in the "healing range" or homeostasis you should have a saliva/urine PH of about 6.4. PH measurements should be taken as follows, saliva: first thing in the morning before brushing your teeth, or eating or drinking anything, by placing the ph paper under your tongue. Urine, measure your second "void" of the day before eating or drinking anything, if you can't wait that long to eat or drink measure it at least an hour after eating or drinking anything. As far as Dr. Wilson goes, you may be right, I haven't even opened the book yet. However it was just recommended reading on adrenal fatigue. From the time I started this treatment everything I have taken is all natural and can be bought in any health food store. In fact it was a point constantly reinforced by my compounding pharm, nothing unnatural would be used. That is one reason why it will take 3 months to balance my hormones, I am receiving it through an all natural cream. I could go the other route and have a doc shoot me up with a synthesized hormone and have it be instantaneous. Another word on the PH, I have no doubt that a proper PH works, since bringing mine out of the acidic basement where I was well below 5.5 I have been able to toss my antiinflammatory pain meds. I am far from being cured of my bone and cartiledge damage, it will probably take 2 years, but what are the alternatives? Keep taking drugs/chemicals and working my liver for the rest of my life without helping my condition at all? Eating right is not that hard to do, at all. If someone is too lazy to do that to help rid themselves of pain and suffering then I wish them all the best in the path that they choose. I'm not profiting from any of this nor endorsing any specific products. I will be posting my results for everyone to look over and take what they want from my experience. I'm reading this over I sound a little hostile, we've met and I hope you know that's not the case. You know I love ya baby , thanks for the info on Dr. Wilson, I'll bring it up to my Dr. next time I see her.
Keith.
PS The book recommended to me originally on adrenal stress was called "The schwartzbein Principle" I haven't gotten it yet but the man who told me about it knows his stuff. I'm not sure of the author or the spelling, see what you can dig up!

[This message has been edited by Keith Charsha (edited July 10, 2005).]

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Hearsay
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Posts: 801
From:Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted July 10, 2005 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hearsay   Click Here to Email Hearsay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Keith! Let us know how it is working for you. I certainly can't say anything bad about a healthy balanced diet. I just get worried for my friends because there are so many predators out there that don't look out for anything but their own interests, not their clients or patients. Too many fads, not enough results to back them up, you know? I think as long as you're aware of the possible benefits AND consequences of whatever you try, you can only come out ahead.

I certainly didn't mean to attack you. I hope I didn't come across that way. I just couldn't tie the two - cortisol and pH - together with the info you posted. Thanks for clarifying.

Jennifer

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jama
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Posts: 26
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: May 2002

posted July 13, 2005 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jama     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,
I do so enjoy reading all the posts from Keith and Hearsay...they are both so knowledgeable and do a lot of research. I find it interesting, Keith, your post about hormones...I have just recently completed a saliva test and had it sent to a lab in the states...my progesterone is also very low and I am about to start using the cream, as soon as I get the order(also from the states). I also had a TSH blood test..thyroid stimulating test...shows that I am hypothyroid...I never really had any major symptoms...the dry skin, of course, weight gain around the middle, despite exercising and maintaining a healthy diet; also starting to have thinning hair. My doctor wants me to start using the drug 'synthroid', but I am looking into more natural products. An excellent book for thyroid help is "Thyroid Power" by Dr. Richard Shames and Karilee Shames. Another great book on the adrenal system is "Tired of Being Tired" by Dr. Jesse Lynn Hanley and Nancy Deville. I'm all for natural supplements....keep me posted, Keith, on how you are doing.
jama

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