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Gilbert Syndrome and hypothyroidism


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GWMB Power User
Posts: 84
(9/24/06 9:45 am)
Reply    Gilberts and hypothyroidism - proof!!! Read this!! I posted on this topic a while back, and have been continuing my research, as have others. On the basis of my previous post, a fellow Gilberts sufferer decided to get her thyroid checked out. She is a longterm 'Gilberts' sufferer, dismissed by doctors, diagnosed with chronic fatigue for years and unable to lead a normal life. She has now diagnosed by a thyroid expert as being hypothyroid, probably since childhood. Gilberts, aka elevated serum bilirubin, was the only condition to show up in blood tests: the 'gold standard' TSH so beloved of doctors was 'normal'. She has been suffering with 'Gilberts' for years -she is in fact seriously hypothyroid, and this is the reason behind her fatigue.

She came across a book recently, which has confirmed the link between Gilberts and hypothyroid. It is entitled 'A Home Reference - Your Thyroid' by Lawrence C Wood, David S Cooper, and E Chester Ridgeway. To quote: "Some patients with thyroid dysfunction have an associated tendency to develop jaundice, a yellow color of the skin caused by increased blood levels of a substance know as bilirubin. Though our knowledge of this relationship is incomplete, some of this patients with mild jaundice have a harmless condition known as Gilbert's disease. In these individuals, jaundice develops from time to time because the liver does not clear bilirubin from the blood properly."

The implication here is that GILBERTS IS A MARKER FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM, not some benign, standalone liver condition the doctors tell us it is. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are wide and varied, but include fatigue, digestive disturbances, carpal tunnel syndrome, blurred vision, lack of motivation, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, headaches, aches and pains in joints and muscles, hoarseness, constipation, feeling cold, recurrent infections, mental slowness, poor memory, inability to concentrate, low mood, nervousness, anxiety, weakness, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, choking sensation, sleep apnoea, enstrual irregularities, pins and needles, depression, mood swings, irritability, panic attacks, insomnia, palpitations, slow pulse, low body temperature, anaemia, hypotension, hypertension, heart disease, elevated cholesterol.

This is not to say that everyone with Gilberts is hypothyroid. Gilberts symptoms can be brought on by a variety of things - a virus, candida, antibiotics, living too hard, alcohol, bad diet - and should respond to a liver-friendly diet and clean living. Milk thistle and Vit C are also good. But if you have been living a clean life for 6 months or so, and are still fatigued with no relief, Gilberts is NOT your main problem. It is probably hypothyroidism, and you need to get your thyroid checked! As I explained in my previous post, the TSH test is meaningless in terms of measuring the active thyroid hormone at cellular level. More accurate are the Free T3 and T4 levels, which should be close to the top of their ranges for you to feel good. T4 only meds (Synthroid, Euthyrox) may work for some, but leave most undertreated. More effective are combined thyroid medications containing T3, T4 and T2. Armour and Thyroid S are good examples.

I hope this is useful to people, and will give fatigued people reason to go back to the doctor and ask for some proper testing, and hopefully get well!!


GWMB Power User
Posts: 124
(9/25/06 3:06 am)
Reply    ... Thank you for the valuable information, this is good to know. I know for a fact that it wasn't just my liver causing me all these problems. I knew it had something to do with my thyroid also. I guess when one gland doesn't function properly you have a higher possibily of others that work in unison also. Same principal as a car, one piece not working properly will cause others to do so also.

I know for a fact that I am hypothyroid. Because before I started taking iodized salt I was gaining lots of weight, and was continuously fatigued.

One of my most horrible symptoms that I experienced at the start was the hypertension. That just did not help me with sleeping at all. Getting these weird rush like feelings through my blood going up and down in my body, this really caused me a lot of grief. With the inclusion of iodized salt into my diet, I noticed tremendous changes in my body. I could actually play football for a good 2 hours and feel fine afterwards, of course the next day I would be saw, but I was like this before I had GS. The heart palpitations aren't as frequent, albeit they do come back when I get a cold or flu. I have more energy than before, but I have my moments, but it is a relief to be able to cope more with this. I work in a bar and are relatively symptom free.

Anyhow good work with the research etc...

GWMB Registered User
Posts: 16
(9/27/06 5:48 am)
Reply    Gilberts and hypothyroidism- proof!!! Read this!! Good work Nicola. Well done.

I can't thank you enough for saving my life. Back in March when I read Nicola's first post on her hypothyroid theory I was at a really low ebb. I had been ill all my life. It was as if I had been born tired but nobody listened to me. I had had new born jaundice and never really recovered. By the age of 6 I was misdiagnosed with hepatitis and when that was found not to be true my parents were fobbed off with the "high bili" label. They trailed around every doctor and the only diagnosis that has been forthcoming from the professionals is depression, gilberts syndrome and CFS.

I had 2 years of CBT treatment and followed the gilberts advice to the letter but still I felt dreadful. I had all the "gilberts" symptoms.

Tweny five years later I read Nicola's posting and asked my doctor what my last TSH was. I had never had one!!!!! They did the test and it was normal. They wouldn't do the FT4 and FT3 because the lab said " this patient does not have a thyroid problem" so I had them done privately. They were in range but low. TSH measurement will not tell you if :-
1. there is a conversion problem with T4 and T3
2. you are converting too much T4 into reverse T3
3. your thyroid is being attacked by thyroid antibodies
4. There is T3 receptor resistance
5.You have adrenal insufficiency
6. You are deficient in those vit and minerals essential for thyroid health.

It was only because I persevered past these initial tests and saw a private thyroid doctor that I got the treatment that I needed. Admittedly my problem has proved to be complex because it appears that I have antibody, conversion and adrenal problems. However if I had never read that posting and persevered past the normal tests I would not be on the road to recovery now.

I urge everybody with Gilberts( who is not getting better from the advice given on this site) to look at the following site.


You will see there that there are many undiagnosed thyroid patients. If you are hypothyroid then the gilberts diet of cruciferous vegetables will not be doing you any favours! and bear in mind that it was not until the seventies when TSH was adopted as the gold standard of thyroid tests that contitions like ME CFS started to emerge. Could gilberts be in this bracket, after all it is supposed to be symptomless if we listen to our doctors.

There is one test that you can do at home. It is the Broda Barnes Temperature test. I took mine and it was 35 instead of 37. My pulse was 50 !!!!! My thyroid doctor was the first to notice my low levels.

Please check it out thoroughly.

Thank you Nicola. I will never be able to repay you.


Information taken from:



In a message dated 3/1/99 10:16:42 AM Pacific Standard Time, ####@hal-pc.org writes:

<< Mostly my concerns
are fatigue, inability to engage in activities requiring physical exertion
and intense problems with diminished cognitive skills which you may be
referring to as brain fog... >>


Thank you for responding to my web page. I will be adding a segment on thyroid
function since I started taking natural thyroid hormone last November. Although
the fatigue and brain fog disappeared after the bacteria was controlled I still had
a difficult time getting up in the morning and I felt that there was still something wrong with me. I started with the lowest dose and doubled that every two weeks until I reached 120 mg. At 150 mg I started to experience overdose symptoms so
I am now back at the 120 mg level. Last week I took my family on a skiing vacation
and had the stamina of a 17 yr. old. I no longer have that nagging feeling that there is something wrong with me.

The following information was given to my wife Janet by my doctor:



1. Use any mercury thermometer. Shake it down the night before to
96 degrees fahrenheit
= 35.55 Grad Celsius
less and put it by your bedside.

2. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, put the thermometer deep in your armpit for
ten minutes and record the temperature. Do this before you get out of bed, have anything
to eat or drink, or engage in any activity. This will measure your lowest temperature of
the day, which correlates with thyroid gland function. The normal axillary temperature is
97.8-98.2 degrees Fahrenheit
= 36.55 - 36.77 Grad Celsius

We frequently recommend treatment if the temperature averages
97.4 or less.
= 36.33 Grad Celsius

The temperature should be taken for five days. However, if the temperature is
97.0 or less
= 36.11 Grad Celsius

for three consecutive days, you do not need to take the last two temperatures.

axillary (underarm) temperature is used because oral (mouth) temperature does not correlate
closely with thyroid function.

3. For women, the temperature should be taken starting the second day of menstruation.
That is because a temperature rise occurs around the time of ovulation which may lead to
incorrect interpretation of the test. If you miss a day, that is OK, but be sure to finish the testing
before ovulation. For men, and for women who are menopausal, it makes no difference when
the temperatures are taken. However, do not do the test when you have an infection or any
other condition that would raise your temperature.


There is considerable evidence that blood tests often fail to detect hypothyroidism (underactive
thyroid). It appears that many individuals have "tissue resistance" to thyroid hormone.
Therefore, your body may need more thyroid hormone, even though the amount in your blood is
normal. A low axillary temperature suggests (but does not prove) hypothyroidism. We
frequently recommend a therapeutic trial with a natural thyroid medication for individuals who
have typical hypothyroid signs and symptoms and a low body temperature. This approach to
thyroid therapy is controversial and is currently outside of the medical mainstream. However,
we have found this method to be safe when properly administered, and in some cases it is the
most effective or the only effective treatment for certain chronic problems.


Fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, difficulty getting up in the morning, cold hands
and feet or intolerance to cold, constipation, loss of hair, fluid retention, dry skin, poor
resistance to infection, high cholesterol, psoriasis, eczema, acne, premenstrual syndrome, loss
of menstrual periods, painful or irregular menstrual periods, excessive menstrual bleeding,
infertility (male or female), fibrocystic breast disease, and ovarian cysts.


We consider thyroid hormone to be safe when administered properly. Occasionally, people
taking thyroid hormone experience nervousness, rapid pulse, insomnia, and (on rare occasions
chest pain. If any of these side effects occur, reduce the dose and call the office.

............... read on in the above mentioned link


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