Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism? Have you been prescribed levothyroxine but still seem to be suffering from the same symptoms?
Still have fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, depression or gut issues but you are told that your blood results are normal?
You may have Hashimoto’s
The reason for this could be that you haven’t been told that your hypothyroidism is potentially an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. Over 90% of patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism are actually suffering from an autoimmune condition where their own immune system is attacking and destroying their thyroid tissue.
conventional Medicine Approach
Most doctors know that the majority of hypothyroid cases are autoimmune but they don’t test to confirm it or inform their patients. The reason for this is simply that it doesn’t change their treatment plan.
Immune suppressants have too many potential side effects and complications to be used for Hashimoto’s so conventional medicine simply waits until the immune system has destroyed enough thyroid tissue to require hormone replacement. If they develop additional symptoms these can be treated separately.
- Depression? Here are some antidepressants
- Fatigue? Get more sleep.
- Constipation? Take a laxative.
- Insulin resistance? Have some metformin.
The clear problem with this approach is that non of this deals with the underlying problem of the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. Thus any treatment is not going to be effective for very long.
It is critical to understand that Hashimotos is not a thyroid problem. It is an autoimmune problem that is targeting thyroid tissue. There are consequences to the immune system being triggered:
- Left unbalanced the immune system may begin to attack other parts of the body and develop further autoimmune diseases. Over 30% of people with 1 autoimmune disease will develop another.
- An activated immune response leads to chronic inflammation in the body This can lead to increased fatigue, chronic pain, brain degeneration and exhaust your immune system increasing the risk for multiple chronic health conditions.
- Chronic inflammation can be caused by food or chemical intolerances but at the same time can cause increased reactions to food and chemicals. Leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability is often cited as the cause of autoimmune disease but hypothyroid disease left unchecked can exacerbate this condition.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The goal should be remission which is the absence of disease activity. With Hashimotos that would be the prevention of further tissue destruction by the immune system.
To achieve this we need to identify what your personal triggers are which can take some digging. We are all unique and everyone’s root causes will be different due to genetics, lifestyle factors and medical histories. So we want to work through why you may have developed this condition.
- The most common triggers are:
- Food intolerances
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Chronic Infections
- Intestinal Permeability
So it’s a case of being a detective and working through each of these in turn. Current symptoms and information on medical histories and diet can inform which trigger is the best place to start.