Less news this time because we have been swamped by readers' comments (especially about chronic fatigue and a possible link to an underactive thyroid), and we wanted to give as much space as possible to all your views and observations.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): A healer writes in with the view that most cases of CFS/ME that he's experienced have been caused by a virus, often found in the spinal cord. There are four viruses, all man-made, that he's detected. But he accepts that exhaustion can be caused by an underactive thyroid, but also by infection-induced anaemia, organophosphate poisoning, digestive and liver problems, and so forth.
Another practitioner agrees that most of his patients with CFS had underactive thyroids, but believes the cause is the result of previous vaccinations, and especially the polio vaccine.
One woman is convinced there is a link between CFS and the thyroid. She found that her pituitary, which controls the thyroid and other glands, had been malfunctioning for most of her life, and can easily be affected by stress. Homoeopathic remedies for thyroid and Bach flower remedies helped her, she says.
Another woman, who suffered for 10 years with symptoms that her GP said was ME, actually was hypothyroidism.
Quite a few readers endorsed the cause as an underactive thyroid. One woman had been ill for 21 years before making the thyroid connection after blood tests. Another, who suffered from chronic fatigue for 14 years, finally turned herself round with doses of thyroxin. One woman, convinced her CFS is caused by thyroid problems, is having problems getting her condition properly diagnosed because the tests are hopelessly inaccurate. One woman found the same problem until she was tested with the basal temperature method, which successfully discovered thyroid problems. You don't need thyroxin, either; you can treat an underactive thyroid with L-tyrosine tablets, an amino acid, and kelp tablets, says a reader. Start with low doses and build up until you start feeling the positive effects, she suggests.
Others still accept that the thyroid may have a part to play, but it's just part of a more complex picture.
One person who runs an ME/CFS helpline agrees that it can help treat for an underactive thyroid (provided anyone can get a definite reading). Many people's symptoms improve, although none that he knows has been cured. In his experience, ME causes thyroid problems, not the other way round.
Another reader says that the thyroid can be a cause of ME, but so can many other conditions, ranging from arthritis, obesity, depression, diabetes, heart disease and circulatory problems. Researching the problem for herself, she discovered that one in six people have an underactive thyroid, which can be remedied by supplementing with selenium, zinc and the B complex vitamins.
A practitioner agrees that ME can be multifactorial. Causes can also include nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, food allergies, long-standing Candida, parasite and other infections, prolonged stress (including geopathic and electromagnetic stress), high toxicity levels, including mercury leakage from dental fillings. Test with a kinesiologist, our reader suggests.
Another reader emphatically denies a link, even though the symptoms can be similar. ME causes damage to the central nervous system, and so is a neurological disorder, as defined by the World Health Organization.
One reader suffers from an underactive thyroid, but doesn't have ME. Her symptoms include lack of energy, lack of mental alertness, feeling cold all the time, weight gain, dry or sallow skin, swelling, heavy or irregular periods, and a lack of interest in sex. Thyroxin can usually treat the problem, she says.