Frequent infections could be from hypothyroidism

February 28, 2012

Brain fog, Colds, Fatigue, Headache, Health, Thyroidism

One of the hallmarks of a sluggish metabolism (hypothyroidism) is a tendency to suffer frequent infections that last longer and are more severe than the norm.

by Dr. Mark Starr — 

One of the hallmarks of a sluggish metabolism (hypothyroidism) is a tendency to suffer frequent infections that last longer and are more severe than the norm. Upper-respiratory problems such as ear infections, colds, bronchitis or even pneumonia are the most common types of infections and are often due to a lowered immunity, resulting from a slow metabolism.

Other common symptoms of low thyroid function include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and hair, constipation, muscle and joint pain, headaches, menstrual difficulties and brain fog.

Infection agents are everywhere. They live on the skin and in the mouth, nose and GI tract. We are constantly exposed to our own bugs, as well as those from other people, animals and insects. As long as our immunity is high, the bugs are unable to multiply and cause infections.

The Berlin doctor given credit for founding modern medicine was Rudolf Virchow, M.D., (1821-1902). Near the end of his career, he stated, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat — diseased tissue — rather than being the cause of disease; e.g., mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant.”

Virchow correctly surmised that those who were susceptible to infection had an underlying physiological problem that predisposed them to their illness. In the vast majority of people, the underlying problem is hypothyroidism.

Broda Barnes, M.D., Ph.D., ( earned the name “Mr. Thyroid” in the mid-20th century. While teaching endocrinology at the University of Chicago in the 1930s, he demonstrated that baby rabbits whose thyroid was removed suffered continuous sniffles, repeated infections and early death from pneumonia. After becoming a physician, Barnes first reported that Armour (desiccated) thyroid alleviated or greatly diminished recurrent illnesses in 150 patients who had been susceptible to infections. “They not only felt more vigorous and in better general health, but they experienced far fewer infections,” he reported.

Barnes devoted much of his research to proving that thyroid blood tests missed a large percentage of those affected with hypothyroidism. Furthermore, he concluded that the desiccated thyroid that was successfully used to treat hypothyroidism for many decades was much more effective than the synthetic thyroid that has become the mainstay of treatment for almost 40 years.

Often, the body prefers simple, natural solutions. Young and old alike become much more resistant to infection with natural, desiccated thyroid. Other symptoms of low thyroid also improve. We owe a great deal of thanks to Barnes and his mountain of research.


Mark Starr, M.D.(H), is a lecturer and author of Type 2 Hypothyroidism: The Epidemic. He is board certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine. His office is in Paradise Valley, Ariz. 480-607-6503 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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