Asthma and Thyroid

Asthma and Thyroid

Hey there!

Im looking for a bank of info on the link between Hypothyroidism and Asthma. Is there such a thing?

Ive had Brittle Asthma since I was 18, I think probably before but it wasnt diagnosed until I ended up in ICU for a while. Now I am at the top of the drug tree.

A consultant suggested getting my thyroid checked. I did came back as TSH 4.8, T4 17 and T3 4. My GP has told me this is all normal. However on Hypothyroid Mum I have all but 6 of the 300 symptoms she lists and my Basal Temp each morning is between 35.3 and 36.5 giving an average temp of 36.1. I sleep in a jumper, thigh high socks and thermal leggings even when its 25 degrees outside.

I want to say to my GP I want to approach my asthma looking at stuff going on with me not external factors and I dont want to be drugged to the eyeballs anymore.

I know that if my cortisol is raised it will prevent conversion of T4 to T3. Cortisol can be raised by Seretide 500 a drug I have to take an unlicensed dose of everyday as Im allergic to steroids - no one has checked my cortisol however. I have a lump in my throat that at times restricts my breathing.

My Doctor is currently encouraging me to give up my horses, my sheep, my dogs, my cat without running further allergy tests to see if Im still allergic to them. So solutions are needed.

Thoughts - ideas - help - greatly appeciated.


9 Replies

  • Not sure about thyroid hormones, but I think it is linked to sex hormones, B12 and vit D (also a hormone) - perhaps cortisol-related. I had asthma from pre-school until about 2011. Allergy tests indicated that I was allergic to pollen, grass, moss, dogs, cats, horses, eggs (but not milk). I was a horse riding instructor so that wasn't good. Since sorting out my B12 and vit D and getting sex hormones balanced, my asthma just went - not overnight. I just realised that I hadn't got a new prescription since 2010 and hadn't opened that pack of inhalers. I also take T3, but improvements started before that. I did go through a spell in 2011 of being very breathless on exertion, but inhalers made it worse - then I got better.

    I found that steroid inhalers just gave me a hoarse voice and oral thrush so I never filled the prescriptions (since the early 1990s). No point giving up the things you love, that's what life is about. I just stuck with salbutamol (and the branded ventolin inhalers worked much better than the others - I think it is the carrier. And non-CFC free ones were better than CFC-free)

    Sorry, can't be more help.

  • Ah, forgot something. Sounds crazy, but I bought a small boook on Buteyko breathing and tried doing it (didn't do very well), and stopped breathing through my mouth - even out - putting micropore tape over my mouth at night. Also got a cheap Frolov breathing device from Russia - search web. You are desperate - it's all worth a try.

  • Hey,

    Sounds horrible to get rid of your pets since you seem like a real animal lover! I think the doctor told you to give up animals because animal related allergens are very common triggers- I'm not sure if you were tested or not? Sadly, allergies do not 'go away'- if something triggers a response it won't ever stop triggering that response- the only difference in your reaction is your body's degree of resilience. The easiest thing to see how you are now is to think how you feel respiratory wise when you're not with any animals (recent holidays away from them?). And I know you said you want to look at internal factors but hopefully these asthma related tips that completely 'cured' us, will help you- because doctors here only ever push drugs, not come up with drug-free solutions. It's based on a gigantically large sample size of 2: my sister had a tiny bit of childhood asthma but then was undiagnosed for years since her main symptom was a chronic hacking cough (she ended up being drugged to the eyeballs with a large variety of inhalers, steroids and antihistamines daily, so probably a bit closer to you than me) and I had really bad childhood asthma (been in hospital several times but never icu) it went away but got bad as my hypothyroid got worse and the GP refused to do anything more about it (standard 'your test results are normal, who cares you have all these symptoms, now please go away and stfu). Now, neither of us even need to take any inhalers around with us- asthma symptom free for 4 years (her) and 1 year (me)!

    1) Find your trigger- through observation or testing- mine is dust, pollution, animals, perfume, cigarettes, chlorine, mould, fine particles- lots of things I can't personally control, by this time I'm sure you know yours! I manage to be around them (to a certain extent) by:

    2) Air purifier in bedroom- OH MY GOD. This literally kicked my asthma's butt overnight. The Asthma UK website has a list of recommendations. I went for the mid priced Fellows one and it's amazing. I suppose since you have pets it might involve hoovering daily and no pets in the bedroom... my theory is that the resp. system is getting a good 'rest' for 8-10 hours meaning that it can deal with everything else the other hours of the day. I travel a fair bit and now I am one of those annoying people who requests one in the room if possible.

    3) Nasal Cleansing- Clean nasal passages = better filtering = clean air! Forget neti pots- they are difficult to master and therefore scary- an acculife nasal irrigator is much safer and easier as long as you remember to breathe throughout (that's how the water gets into your mouth and you get scared and turned off it). Don't get the squeezy bottles as one of the 'concerns' about nasal cleansing is damaging your nasal passages- you can definitely squeeze too hard by accident!

    4) Probiotics- My sister now lives in Germany where they believe a lot more in holistic treatments rather than drugging you up to the eyeball (well... privately of course but at least good practitioners are in abundance and it's a widely accepted practice) and her therapist put her on the probiotics/ nasal cleansing which is part of the reason why she hasn't taken any asthma drugs since she moved there- she moved from cambridge to berlin, so it's hardly arguable that the air is 'cleaner'- may be less mouldy? She also did lots of treatments concentrating on opening up her diaphragm and sorting out the digestive system.

    5) Sort out your digestive system if you have any problems. It's not just her naturopath that yammers on about the relationship between lungs and digestive system. My awesome chinese doctor does too. There's lots of info on how the digestive system is 'our second brain' and it's importance on the internet- makes sense too... if we don't digest and absorb nutrients properly how are we going to function properly?

    6) Sort out your breathing. Once you're getting clean air in (no point if you're just making it worse with dirty air) practice diaphragmatic breathing every day. Lie on the floor and put your hands on your ribs. Breath in deeply and slowly making sure to activate the diaphragm with every breath. Asthma sufferers also often have very tight chest and 'lazy' diaphragm (our natural position- short breaths= no need to move those lungs and diaphragm so much and also asthma attacks/ wheezing/ unhappy resp. naturally make these muscles really really tight) lying on a foam roller positioned vertically under your spine or a 1/2 inflated 7-11 inch pilates ball (this is really just dependant on your comfort) positioned under your bottom ribs will help open this area up- when you're short of breath the ribs tend to be very tight and you need to loosen and open this area to facilitate lung expansion.

    5/6 works hand in hand to loosen your solar plexus (the area between the bottom of the sternum and the small intestine- this needs to be not tight/ knotty in order for the digestive system and respiratory system to work well. Think of it as a giant knot in a knitted scarf- things directly above (resp) and below (digestion) gets all puckered, warpped and unhappy.

    7) Hopefully 2-6 will help you before you need to completely get rid of triggers or get rid of your pets.

    8) Personal experience: Asthma decline probably related to thyroid decline but recovery wasn't linked to thyroid recovery at all.

    P.S 4.8 tsh sounds pretty low to me- you'd be 'within range' and 'normal' at the GP but I'd say you're hypo- just my opinion.


  • My allergies went away, or at least stopped causing asthma attacks, me and my cat can sleep in the same bed quite happily now. And that's after more than 50 years of asthma.

  • Oh yay! That's great :) There's hope for all of us yet!

    That's what I mean by resilience- sometimes with my oysters 'allergies' I can eat a whole dozen in a go and no reaction but there has been really sad times when I could barely manage a bite before everything starts to get really itchy and little swollen and I have to watch everyone else eat my portion :( May be one day I won't have to be careful and eat all the oysters I want! (And visit hyper polluted cities like Hong Kong without getting really tight chested and all runny nose and eyes!)

    Our bodies are such funny ol' things.

  • I'm pretty certain there is a connection between asthma and thyroid. But I don't have any research or anything to back that up. There's also a link between thyroid and allergies.

    Do you have the ranges for the FT4 and FT3? That FT3 looks pretty low, to me. How many times have you been tested for thyroid? If your TSH has come back several times at that level, then you are hypo. A 'normal' TSH is around one. But, the problem with the TSH is that so many things can affect it and make it rise or lower. What time of day was that test done? Had you eaten before it?

  • I don't know if these are relevant to you - articles on thyroid antibodies and asthma.

    Association between anti thyroid peroxidase antibody and asthma in women. Inas Mohamed Sabry --- Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol.

    Thyroid Antibodies in Patients with Bronchial Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis


  • I would not get rid of your pets. The asthmatic issues can be linked to auto immune conditions. Some even consider asthma here in the US auto immune. I have asthma and hashi's and hypothyroidism. i will tell you that once i got my vitamins especially iron and Vit D3 up my shortness of breath diminished (and i am a runner) to the point i don't use any inhalers. I have read they think there is a link as drs diagnose people with asthma when really it is something else causing the breathing issues like low or deficient levels. I wouldn't doubt this is true. Asthmatic meds are major money in the dr and pharmaceutical fields.

  • Thanks all!

    I did get tested for allergens but it changes every time they do it. I got told to sell my competition horses when I was 22 and just starting to make the pro field. I sold them. My asthma didn't get any better so this time I'm refusing.

    My T3 is 4 and my T4 is 17. TSH is 4.8 - I dont know how these things work as to what that means. I just am so tired. I feel like I'm wading through treacle and now Ive started to piece things together it's been like this since I was small. Back along my old GP told me to move more to get warm and did a dementia test as I said I couldnt remember how to do simple things like find the brakes in my car.

    I've also started taking my body temp every morning. Its been as low as 35 celcius. It doesn't climb much above 36. Its 16 degrees outside at the moment and I'm shivering in doors. My temp is 36.1 and it's midnight. It's all so banana's!

    Seeing GP on Saturday - any advice on how to get her to take me seriously, other than refusing to leave would be great.


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