Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thyroid Function Linked with Alzheimer's

You don't want your thyroid function to be too high or too low if you're worried about developing Alzheimer's. I love it when we figure out that moderation is the best for our health.

This is the first part in a series I'm highlighting on hormones and the big "A."

This is from a Medscape article by Pauline Anderson & Hien T. Nghiem, MD:

The study, published in the July 28, 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, did not find an association between extreme thyroid hormone levels and Alzheimer's disease in men.

Between March 1977 and November 1979, Dr. Zaldy Tan and his colleagues measured thyrotropin levels of 1864 participants in the Framingham longitudinal, community-based, observational study who had been free of dementia for 3 years (this window of time minimized the risk of inadvertently including patients with early Alzheimer's disease in this study). They later divided these hormone levels into tertiles according to serum concentrations.

Thyroid Function Intricately Linked to Central Nervous System

At this baseline and then biennially, researchers used neurologic and neuropsychological examinations, plus interviews and various other expert sources, to establish dementia status of the study participants, whose mean initial age was 71 years.

During a mean follow-up of 12.7 years (range, 1 - 25 years), Alzheimer's disease developed in 209 participants (including 142 women [12.8%]). After adjusting for confounders such as age, educational level, smoking, body mass index, and various cardiovascular risks, the researchers observed that women with the lowest serum thyrotropin concentrations (<> 2.1 mIU/L) were more than twice as likely to have Alzheimer's disease vs women with mid-range levels of the hormone (hazard ratio, 2.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47 - 3.87; P < .001 for those in the lowest levels and hazard ratio 2.15; 95% CI, 1.31 - 3.52; P = .003 for those in the highest levels).

Short version: Keep your TSH between 1-2.1. In addition to thyroid dysfunction, multiple studies have shown that insulin resistance, high cortisol levels, and decreased estrogen and testosterone levels are associated with the development of dementia.

So prevent insulin resistance (no flour, no sugar, no stress & exercise), normalize your cortisol levels, and keep your estrogen and testosterone in the normal range....

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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.