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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In order for a patient to be correctly diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, according to the Center for Disease Control website,

  1. The patient must be clinically evaluated (in person) so that other explanations of the fatigue can be ruled out. There is no test that specifically diagnoses chronic fatigue syndrome. Tests are for confirming or excluding other possible explanations.
  2. The fatigue must be persistent or relapsing for at least 6 months, must have a definite onset (i.e., not lifelong), must not be the result of ongoing exertion or substantially improved by rest, must significantly reduce a patient’s normal activities.
  3. Patients must also get four or more of the following symptoms for 6 consecutive months and after the fatigue starts:
    • decreased memory or concentration
    • sore throat
    • tender lymph nodes
    • muscle pain
    • multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
    • headaches
    • unrefreshing sleep
    • feel bad after exertion for more than 24 hours.

The CDC goes on to explain that before a patient is diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, other conditions that may explain the chronic fatigue should be ruled out. And the very first such example that is listed is untreated hypothyroidism. What the CDC means is that patients with symptoms of chronic fatigue might actually be suffering from low thyroid function.

The CDC also says that people can be correctly diagnosed for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome if they have sufficiently treated hypothyroidism. The standard mentioned to document and verify adequate treatment is “normal thyroid-stimulating hormone levels”! That is, normal TSH levels. But we know that many people with normal TSH levels still respond beautifully to T3 therapy for Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and many are also persistently cured. The whole concept behind Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is that people can still be suffering the effects of low thyroid function even though TSH levels are normal (far more people suffer from low thyroid function due to Wilsons Temperature Syndrome than due to hypothyroidism).

Thus, the CDC say that it’s OK to diagnose people with normal thyroid tests as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, when actually they could be suffering from Wilsons Temperature Syndrome and respond beautifully to proper T3 therapy. Indeed, many patients diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have responded dramatically well to proper T3 therapy for Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome.

About the Author:

Denis Wilson, MD developed the concept of Wilson 's Temperature Syndrome in 1988 after observing people with symptoms of low thyroid and low body temperature, yet who had normal blood tests. He found that by normalizing their temperatures with T3 (without T4) their symptoms often remained improved even after the treatment was discontinued.

30 Comments

  1. Mary Kappes May 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Is there any connection between Wilsons temperature syndrome and Wilson’s disease?

    • Dr. Denis Wilson May 7, 2013 at 7:24 am - Reply

      Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (low body temperature) refers to something different than Wilson’s Disease (excess copper stored in the liver). The only connection is that a low body temperature can affect every bodily function.

  2. patti moschonas July 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    hi dr. wilson..my husband has a stroke, and is presently taking 8 different meds to control bp, fluide retention, cholesterol, fibrilating heart beat, and a temp thats always under 98.6..it was 98.3 at the docs office two days ago. she wants to check his thyroid..he has a depressed look on his face. and he has lost 24 pounds since march…refuses to eat and I try every way to increase his appetite do you think T3 would help him???

    • Dr. Denis Wilson August 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      It may help him, but the risk is mainly cardiovascular. Since he’s already had a stroke, cardiovascular changes might provide him more risk.

  3. angellis March 5, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I’m always exhausted i can’t get enough sleep even ifi sleep all day ,i have horrible memory seems as if it’s getting worse. I’m 23 but my memory … i struggle to say simple sometimes (stove,towel,lamp,vacuum) i just I’m very worried there’s actually something wrong, i have to take care of people around me not be taken care of, my chest has bed hurting off and on for about 2weeks and it makes my left arm hurt aalmost Feels numb,My blood sugar has always been low, and today i checked my temperaturE 97.0 normally its above 98.5, should i be concerned and actually see a doctor,i have no Health insurance so i honestly can’t go unless its important.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson March 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Angellis, it sounds like you might be under a great deal of stress. Our bodies have limits as to how much stress they can endure before shutting down a little for self preservation. A low temp can explain many of your symptoms, but a low temp can come from a lot of stress. You might benefit from cutting back on stress (if possible) and taking better care of yourself with nutrition and exercise. You won’t be able to help anyone else if you’re too sick to take care of yourself.

  4. angellis March 5, 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I have all the symptoms listed except a sore throat,i yell with kids so i can’t blame that on being sick

  5. Matthew June 6, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Hello Dr. Wilson, I present classic low body temperature symptoms and almost always clock in between upper lower 96 and mid 97s. However, there seems to be so much variance in the readings. Both thermometers I have used were cheap ones from Walgreens. Can you recommend a go-to thermometer for consistency? A nurse told me the mercury ones were the most accurate, but I’m not so keen on putting that stuff in my mouth.

    I would love to get on the protocol. However, I’ve been on an adrenal fatigue protocol (mostly rest, some dietary adjustments, and supplements) through another doctor’s website, and they’ve recommended not doing any T3 or thyroid glandular until the adrenal reserves are restored. I’ve been doing this protocol for going on 3 months now and feel a lot of improvement, but I get the sense low body temperature is a big part of my issue. I have the coldest hands and feet of any one I know, despite being 25 years, what most people would consider to be fit, and I eat a clean and balanced 0-blood type diet with a lot of protein and greens and hardly any junk. I’m desperate man and I don’t have healthcare or $ for doctors because I’m supporting my parents who are going through some health stuff! Biggest concerns are low energy, low libido, thinning hair, and popicicles for extremities.

    Can your protocol be integrated with adrenal fatigue? Is it true that boasting the thyroid can further exhaust the adrenals? Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Gratefully – Matthew

    • Dr. Denis Wilson June 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Sometimes Thyroid Support can alleviate adrenal fatigue. Sometimes thyroid support can worsen adrenal fatigue. It’s often beneficial to provide thyroid and adrenal support at the same time.

  6. Ann June 27, 2014 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Dr.Wilson, I have low body temp 95.2-97.6 am currently taking armour thyroid which has helped some with my Chronic Fatigue symptoms. I would like to approach my doctor about attempting your T3 protocol. My symptoms were much worse before starting armour, have improved 20% with armour. Would I wean totally off armour to start your protocol? And if so what options do you recommend to avoid symptoms returning. Symptoms do get worse if current dose is lowered.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson July 2, 2014 at 6:12 am - Reply

      Though I can’t give medical advice over the internet, I’d be happy to consult with your doctor for free on your case. He can call 800 420 5801 to make arrangements.

  7. jackie August 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    hello DR. WILSON im a 35 year old women i have been told i had a under active thyroid but i have had short term memory loss i have had am still have extreme fatigue i mean i can sleep for days and never feel refreshed i have talked to my doc about T3 but they said my T3 AND T4 leves r fine i have always been a hard worker had a job since i was 16 had a baby boy at 21 went back to work asap after having him my life has been HELL since i started feeling this way i had to quit my job after working there for 19 years and went on disability i have been dealing with this for almost 4 years now with not one answer i left my primary care doc because i started asking for copys of all my tests and they were telling me for months that my thyroid fine when it really wasnt so i got all my records and began investigating on my own i just know something isnt right my quality has diminished so much i was always responsible now i forget to pay bills appointments i lost so many things that i have worked so hard for my hole life i felt like the only place i could turn was my OBGYN because she has been there for 10 years at that point and shes the only doc. i seen all the time no PA just her she ordered a brain scan and it showed lessons so to be safe she sent me for a MRI Witch showed the same she sent me to a Nero doc that told me i need to get a shrink witch i had been seeing one already the Nero doc gave me adderall it does help at times but there r times it dont help at all . i went to the ms center about a year and half ago still no answers the only one that seems conserned is the eye doc at the ms center i beleive my grandmother had something wrong with her adrenal thing not to sure what that is i have joint pain muscle pain at times i cant eat i try but most of the time it comes right back up it seems like i can keep a little salad or fruit down my body temp is crazy i cant take heat at all i never use to sweat now its out of control i have the wrost hot flashes then when i try to cool down im to cool my fingers turn white and go numb my feet and hands r always cold i also notice my toes get extreamly red for no reason . anything you can think of please get back to me im desperate please

    • Dr. Denis Wilson August 17, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Jackie, no matter what your underlying problems, a low body temperature can contribute to many of the complaints you have. Normalizing that body temperature may help improve your condition.

  8. Kristen Imhof August 22, 2014 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Hello Dr Wilson,
    I feel I am the poster child for this issue. I have fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue and can barely move anymore. Body temp is consistently low especially in the mornings. Have been on Armour thyroid but isn’t helping anymore. My question is HOW can I find a Dr to help me try this T3 protocol?? My doctor looked at me like I had six heads when I mentioned WTS…..totally disregarded me. I desperately need to find someone to help me here in Long Island, NY. THANKS!

  9. acker September 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    hi i have been diagnosed with graves’ disease a few years ago, and able to keep it in check with medication. good.
    i have been off added iodine all this time. i take selenium and a number of other supplements.
    someone i know with graves is taking iodine supplement. so – yes iodine, no iodine, or some iodine? thanks.
    my body temperature has been running a degree below normal lately. i haven’t had thyroid medication for 6 months, and my last blood test was all within range but tending to the lower end of free T4. that’s why i was wondering if i am going hypothyroid.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson September 7, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

      Yes, I feel that some iodine can be helpful in many cases of Graves disease. It is true that iodine can sometimes contribute to hyperthyroidism and sometimes hypothyroidism. Good luck to you :)

  10. pam September 25, 2014 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Hello,
    I found your website by looking for answers. I was diagnosed with EBV in 2012, then Bells Palsy as a result from the EBV. I now have CFS that is debilitating. I had Graves Disease in 1995, they treated that with Radioactive Iodine, then I was put on Synthroid 100mg daily. Was placed on a 88 mg. in the last couple of years, then was put back on 100 mg. Test are coming back normal, but I can’t shake the fatigue. I am also cold in my legs, ankles & feet, my body temp always has run low, around 95-97. I just ordered your thyroid, how many should I take? I am at whits end here. Thank you.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson September 29, 2014 at 5:49 am - Reply

      You can try the suggested use on the bottle. Or, I can speak with your doctor to help him/her with your specific case. Best :)

  11. Jacci July 30, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Dr.Denis Wilson, July 30-2015

    Hello, I’ want to Thank You for finding and pointing out that CFS is something other than a waste of Doctor’s time!
    to simply throw “Anti-Depression” meds at!! A big reason i’ve been working to make harder to give those type of meds for the wrong reasons.

    Question: I’ve done research on CFS & Fibromyalgia for 3 years..
    The 2 have a lot in common. Does this idea of Wilsons Temperature Syndrome fit in other than for CFS?

    Thank You ~

    Jacci ~ [email protected] /

    Our What and Why’s~ A need for those with chronic fatigue to have an accurate, research based information. Many have been labeled Wrongly as depressed! Because CFS is not tested, It is Mandatory for every Doctor to do a few simple blood test’s by Medical Law before any kind of antidepressant medications can be prescribed. That is suppose to keep people who have a real physical issue that presents,act’s & can look like depression.,from being misdiagnosed.Taking an antidepressent medication if you so not need it can Dramatically mess up a Life!!!

    p.s. I’dI do not see any comments past 8-14, if this page is still active… like to add,

    • Dr. Denis Wilson August 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Jacci, I have seen many patients diagnosed with either Fibromyalgia or CFS that have recovered completely with normalizing their temperatures with T3 therapy. Perhaps they were diagnosed as Fibro or CFS when they had WTS or perhaps some Fibro or CFS can be due to WTS or perhaps they are all part of the same spectrum of disorder. Hard to say, since there aren’t conclusive diagnostic tests for any of them. Best :)

  12. Marie August 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Dr. Wilson,
    I have been diagnosed with cancer but a great nurse practitioner started me on t3 when my temperature was around 95 consistently. I felt better for awhile then I mistakenly went to an endocrinologist who I did not like at all. He said too much t3, I am on about 25 Mcg of cytomel was too much and was causing my fatigue. I am so utterly confused. I am now monitoring my temp again, and after reading your website, stopping my t4 and hoping for better relief from terrible fatigue. Can you explain how to reconcile what he said so I can get back to a treatment that at one time helped. Thank you.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson August 20, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Sometimes, when people are on T3, the T3 levels can become unsteady and that can contribute to fatigue. Other times, when people take T3, their body adjusts and their temperatures are still low and that can contribute to T3. So taking T3 isn’t what helps lessen fatigue. It’s taking T3 in such a way as to make the temperature normal and steady that can often lessen fatigue. Sustained release T3 (instead of Cytomel) helps keep the T3 levels steady.

  13. Jane Lumley August 17, 2015 at 3:16 am - Reply

    I am trying to find a Dr in the UK who will treat me according to your protocol. My own General Practitioner wants to help as I have been ill off and on all my life, had loads of tests and nothing ever conclusive until I found significantly low Magnesium Red Blood Cell level in private blood tests last year. Lots of Magnesium since then (picometer Mg internally and transdermal application by MgCl) has helped considerably but my low temperature (and awful tendency to get hot or frozen at the slightest change in ambient temp) continues to be a problem as does weakness in muscles and limbs, sudden feeling of collapse, over emotionality (crying even when want to smile). overwhelmed by life even when good, exhaustion after any exercise. I am very keen on walking and cycling but suddenly run out of energy drastically afterwards (often two days after and can last weeks). I am fifty five,female, well qualified in Psychology, nutrition, health issues but am at a loss what to do next. I have been interested in your Temp syndrome for some time as mine is low, around 95-96, I get dangerously cold in poor weather and ill when temp is warm – no-one I can find in the United Kingdom seems to be working with T3 sustained release – is there any way you can treat me/prescribe from a distance? I look froward to hearing from you.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson August 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      No, but I am happy to consult for free with your doctor so s/he can help you recover. Best :)

  14. Shawn September 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    I have had 5 Dr’s diagnose me with cfs. It has nearly destroyed my life. Ivy league mba and almost bed ridden unable to support gamily. I can go into details but had normal T3 and T4. Body temp almost always mid 96 to mid 97. My mother has been on synthroid since 1955 for slow metabolism and can’t live without.

    Read most info here. This really resonates with me and I desperately need help but someone in my united Oxford plan, near me in northern new jersey . My GP is not interested. Tried Dr lookup but no help.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson October 5, 2015 at 5:21 am - Reply

      Hi Shawn,
      We definitely need to see how you do with a normal temperature. I’ll be happy to consult on your case for free with any doctor that will listen. Best wishes.

  15. TastyLizard December 13, 2015 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    I can say that I experience severe fatigue, would wake up every morning feeling nauseous. On Monday mornings, after usually grilling out on the weekends (I don’t/can’t drink alcohol), I felt so sick and would vomit so bad, I couldn’t go to work, my boss started to think I was either a drunk partying too hard on the weekends or a hypochondriac, either way, neither is good. I still am extremely tired all the time, to the point I can sleep most the weekend away. I have no motivation to do anything, and can’t remember what it is like to truly enjoy something. I lack the ability to feel extreme enjoyment, or to get excited. My memory got so bad my boss would tell me I was only allowed 1 “I forgot” a day. It was so bad people would drop off their keys and car in the AM and when they came to pick it up later that same day, I wouldn’t recognize them at all. I have severe itching spells all over my body, ones that drive me crazy sending me into an itch fit, where I’m cursing and digging at myself, and have to lock myself in my room to calm down, as stress and anger make it worse. I lost a ton of weight really fast, went from size 11 to size 1 in just 2 years, no change in diet, or exercise. I have always been a moderate size, not toothpick skinny, with a pooch belly, then one day I was invisible sideways, and everyone kept telling me to eat a sandwich. I went on a fast food diet, eating all I could, when I wasn’t nauseous, so binge eating, and didn’t gain a single lb. I went to my GP, they told me it was stress. I have chest pains on my left side, causing slight tingle in my shoulder, arm area. Upon visiting the hospital a few times, I was diagnosed with Stress/anxiety, or Pleurisy without infection. They couldn’t actually pinpoint the cause of pain and didn’t want to send me away freaking out about my heart. I then told my OBGYN about my weight loss, and my concern and fear of how fast it happened, and how crappy I felt all the time. He told me I should feel happy, a lot of women would love to have a weight loss problem. I was completely offended, and demanded he test my thyroid. He did one thyroid test, and supposedly the results were negative to defects. (I had to call to get this result after a week, because they never followed up with me, just like when I had a 10cm cyst on my right ovary, and my ovary was the size of 2 walnuts.) After being told I was stressed/depressed/anxious/etc. I was then told I had a gallbladder issue because I started getting bad cramps in my right side, under my rib cage. I know what they were now, dehydration cramps, but the Dr.’s didn’t think about this, and told me removing my gallbladder would 98% probably make me feel better. They were wrong, as I wasn’t absorbing nutrients to begin with, and removing my gallbladder caused me to develop chronic diarrhea. Just last winter, just before Christmas, my father started talking to me about my issues, telling me he had the same things, but was recently diagnosed with GRAVES DISEASE. I was blown away, as his symptoms were identical to mine, down to the blurred vision. (although his eyes are now bugged, and mine are not.) I ran to my Dr. with this info and demanded more thyroid tests (4 1/2 years after thyroid test at OBGYN) weight before sickness 147 5′ 7″ tall. Weight at OBGYN thyroid test 115lbs. Weight at 2014 thyroid test 102lbs. height 5′ 6″, possible shrinkage of bones. All tests my Dr. gave me came back positive for Hyperthyroidism and Autoimmune disease. Further diagnosed as Graves Disease my endocrinologist via Radioactive Iodine test, treated with Radioactive Iodine, now taking levothyroxine for hypothyroidism, and have these same symptoms when I forget to take my meds. Good luck all, hope this helps.

  16. Brian May 12, 2016 at 7:47 am - Reply

    I have been very sick with Lyme disease for many years. It went undiagnosed for 10 years and antibiotics didn’t help and caused severe gastrointestinal disease. My temperature has been around 97.0 all this time and I have an extreme heat intolerance that forces me to stay indoors during the summer. My thyroid tests have always been normal. Can T3 supplementation be helpful for me? I also have severe adrenal fatigue due to the Lyme disease and I am homebound due to the neurological manifestations.

    • Jen Palmer May 17, 2016 at 5:31 am - Reply

      Hello,
      Holtorf Medical group works with thyroid issues and many Lyme’s cases- you may want to try them. https://www.holtorfmed.com/ They have several locations and may be able to help you. Best of luck!

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