Hypothyroidism: The Most Important Thing You May Not Know About
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The Most Important Thing You May Not Know about Hypothyroidism


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Reviewed by Christina Graham, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC


This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see a comprehensive eBook on thyroid health, click here.

An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of these people are unaware of their condition. One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. The number of people suffering from thyroid disorders continues to rise each year. (1)

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid disorders. It’s estimated that nearly 5 percent of Americans age 12 and up have hypothyroidism. (2) It is characterized by mental slowing, depression, dementia, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, hoarse voice, irregular menstruation, infertility, muscle stiffness and pain, and a wide range of other not-so-fun symptoms.

Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone. These hormones are responsible for the most basic aspects of body function, impacting all major systems of the body.

Thyroid hormone directly acts on the brain, the G.I. tract, the cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, red blood cell metabolism, gall bladder and liver function, steroid hormone production, glucose metabolism, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, protein metabolism and body temperature regulation. For starters.

You can think of the thyroid as the central gear in a sophisticated engine. If that gear breaks, the entire engine goes down with it.

That’s why people with hypothyroidism experience everything from weight gain and depression to infertility, bone fractures and hair loss.

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One of the biggest challenges facing those with hypothyroidism is that the standard of care for thyroid disorders in both conventional and alternative medicine is hopelessly inadequate.

The dream of patients with thyroid disorders and the practitioners who treat them is to find that single substance that will magically reverse the course of the disease. For doctors, this is either synthetic or bio-identical thyroid hormone. For the alternative types, this is iodine.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases neither approach is effective. Patients may get relief for a short period of time, but inevitably symptoms return or the disease progresses.

So what’s the problem? Why have replacement hormones and supplemental iodine been such dismal failures?

Because Hypothyroidism Is Caused by an Autoimmune Disease

Studies show that 90 percent of people with hypothyroidism are producing antibodies to thyroid tissue. (3) This causes the immune system to attack and destroy the thyroid, which over time causes a decline in thyroid hormone levels.

This autoimmune form of hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is the most common autoimmune disorder in the United States. (4) While not all people with Hashimoto’s have hypothyroid symptoms, thyroid antibodies have been found to be a marker for future thyroid disease.

Most doctors know hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease. But most patients don’t. The reason doctors don’t tell their patients is simple: it doesn’t affect their treatment plan.

Conventional medicine doesn’t have effective treatments for autoimmunity. They use steroids and other medications to suppress the immune system in certain conditions with more potentially damaging effects, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

But in the case of Hashimoto’s, the consequences—i.e. side effects and complications—of using immunosuppressive drugs are believed to outweigh the potential benefits. (Thanks to conventional medicine for a relative moment of sanity here.)

So the standard of care for a Hashimoto’s patient is to simply wait until the immune system has destroyed enough thyroid tissue to classify them as hypothyroid, and then give them thyroid hormone replacement. If they start to exhibit other symptoms commonly associated with their condition, like depression or insulin resistance, they’ll get additional drugs for those problems.

The obvious shortcoming of this approach is that it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the problem, which is the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. And if the underlying cause isn’t addressed, the treatment isn’t going to work very well—or for very long.

If you’re in a leaky rowboat, bailing water will only get you so far. If you want to stop the boat from sinking, you’ve got to plug the leaks.

Extending this metaphor to Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid hormones are like bailing water. They may be a necessary part of the treatment. But unless the immune dysregulation is addressed (plugging the leaks), whoever is in that boat will be fighting a losing battle to keep it from sinking.

What the vast majority of hypothyroidism patients need to understand is that they don’t have a problem with their thyroid, they have a problem with their immune system attacking the thyroid. This is crucial to understand, because when the immune system is out of control, it’s not only the thyroid that will be affected.

Hashimoto’s often manifests as a “polyendocrine autoimmune pattern.” This means that in addition to having antibodies to thyroid tissue, it’s not uncommon for Hashimoto’s patients to have antibodies to other tissues or enzymes as well. The most common are transglutaminase (Celiac disease), the cerebellum (neurological disorders), intrinsic factor (pernicious anemia), glutamic acid decarboxylase (anxiety/panic attacks and late onset type 1 diabetes).

For more on how to balance the immune system and treat Hashimoto’s, check out this article.

Research Spotlight: Health Coaching and Thyroid Health

With the Support of Health Coaches, Diet and Other Lifestyle Changes Reduce Hashimoto’s Symptoms

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and sufferers score lower on quality of life measures compared to healthy controls. Additional symptoms can include chronic fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, and irritability, making work and social life difficult. A study published in Cureus, a medical journal known for raising funds via crowdsourcing, indicates that through collaborative healthcare, including health coach support, patients with Hashimoto’s can successfully change lifestyle behaviors to result in improved quality of life and lower symptom burden.

Study Summary

The main objectives and findings of the article were the following:

  • In this pilot study, researchers sought to determine whether the support of health coaches and other professionals could help women with Hashimoto’s successfully change diet and other lifestyle behaviors, leading to improved thyroid function, metabolic profile, and quality of life.
  • Seventeen normal and overweight women, aged 20 to 45, with Hashimoto’s participated in a 10-week online health coaching program that focused on implementing the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet along with other lifestyle modifications, including sleep hygiene, stress management, and increased movement. Participants were also part of an online support community with each other and met with nutritional nurse practitioners and physicians periodically.
  • During the duration of the 10-week program, patients were strictly adherent to the AIP diet about 95 to 100 percent of the time. Although no significant changes in thyroid function were measured after the program, six of the 13 women who were initially on thyroid medication were able to lower their doses. Symptom burden, BMI, weight, and inflammation all significantly decreased. Furthermore, patients reported improvement in all eight subscales of the quality of life survey, including physical, mental, social, and emotional health.

Key Findings and Significance

These findings stress the role of health coaches as change agents. The AIP, Paleo diet, and other similar diets are often discounted for being too “restrictive” and impossible to practically follow. However, participants in this study were 95 percent compliant with the dietary template and lost weight without tracking calories or macronutrients. And the diet resulted in significant health improvements! There is no doubt that the health coaches and online support group played key roles in the participants’ success. The program used in this study is called the “SAD to AIP in SIX”: Standard American Diet to Autoimmune Protocol in SIX weeks.

Although no measures of thyroid function significantly improved after the 10-week program, patients reported significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life, and many were able to lower their medication doses. When patients have support outside the 15-minute doctor’s appointment every six months, they are more able to change behaviors and lifestyles to benefit their health.

Reference: Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Health coaches support people who are trying to make big changes—like adopting a new diet or incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. How do they do it? By developing and honing skills like facilitating change and learning to listen. Find out more about becoming a health coach with the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.


Join the conversation

  1. Hi !
    I contracted Hashimoto’s at the age of 39 and was diagnosed with type one diabetes. (C petide and all blood tests confirmed) at the age of 54. I seem to follow your theory. I’d like to hear more of your ideas.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I am writing to you out of total frustration.. since it appears that my beloved GP feels it best to just send me by referral to an endocrinologist, and since I am permanently disabled, and do not have the greatest insurance in the world, it is becoming apparent that there are few endocrinologists that are willing to take me on.
    I was fortunate to find one however, and had my levels tested. of course she said that there was nothing she could do for me, and I would just need to “deal with it”… lol.
    I cannot tell you what they were, but I can tell you this much.
    At this time I suffer from many of the same things that I see everyone else suffers from on your site. Brain fog(which is significant, I am 52yrs old), I have had hypothyroidism for approx. 19yrs. , not too bad with the weight gain, although whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, I suffer from seizures and need to take medicine that not only causes memory loss(plus major brain fog), it also causes weight loss. So I am actually on the thin side. And I believe I fluctuate between the hypo and hyperthyroidism..having days of incredible fatigue..exhaustion, you name it. Then other days I feel like I’m on uppers, as we would have said in my younger days, running around like someone has lit a fire under my nether regions, lol.
    I have extreme issues with fatigue. But then I am a single mother of 3 children, the youngest being 9. So that is probably part of the problem for the fatigue…lol.
    But my major concern at the moment, and I know this may seem vain, but it the substantial hair loss!
    It doesn’t look significant when I brush it and doesn’t look as if its coming out in handfuls. And I need to say, I have NEVER been one to have this huge luscious head of hair to begin with. I guess this is the reason for my panic. I am down to this teeny tiny little wisp of a pony tail and I am not exaggerating one bit. It’s scary to think where this may go if it continues.. The other day when brushing my hair and looking at it from the back in the mirror to make sure that I had all of it combed, i could see, I mean actually SEE how thin it was at the crown of my hair!!! I almost wanted to cry!!
    I mean I am only 52 years old, I look like I’m 42 ( or so I am told). And I feel like I am starting to look like those older women that I use to pity that you could see their scalps through their hair!!!
    What can I do? I have tried supplements that I have read about that are suppose to be good for hair growth. products that have been recommended for me, but well, as I am sure you are aware. Not much is working.
    I am right now taking 137mcg. of synthroid. and i pretty much have been taking this dosage for years.
    If you or ANYONE has any thoughts or help/advise to offer, I would be greatly appreciative!!
    Thank you!!

    • I am currently 30 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimotos at 4 years old. Almost completely unheard of. I have been on Levo ever since but my levels are constantly up and down and have been my whole life. People who don’t live with it, including my husband, do not understand and often times think it isn’t real. Growing up it didn’t seem to phase me or my body. However, now that I am an adult it takes a huge toll on my life. I can’t remember a time in my adult life when I haven’t been overly fatigued. I wake up every morning from 8-10 hours of sleep ready to go back to bed. On the weekends I generally sleep 8-10 hours at night, wake up for 3-4 hours, then take a 3-4 hour nap. Due to the fact that I don’t have time to take naps on weekdays, Monday through Friday tend to be somewhat of a blur. Living with this disease is terrible. It isn’t a visible disease worn on the outside and, is thus, misunderstood by many people. Unfortunately for me, this includes my spouse who many times says I use it as an excuse (completely untrue). As a result of Hashimotos I am constantly fatigued, suffer from depression and anxiety, have shooting electric type pains in my extremities almost daily (although this has seemed to have gotten better recently), thin hair, extremely dry hands, and the list goes on. I would love to know what normal people feel like. I can only hope that one day they will find a better, more effective treatment.

        • It does make me feel better to hear that I am not alone in my misery! I Was diagnosed with Hashimotos 2 years ago by my endocrinologist but it did not really register with me because I was not very symptomatic. Then it hit me! I had an emergency radical hysterectomy last december. About 2 weeks following I fell into a deep depression, lethargy, puffy eyes and face, memory loss…..the list goes on. I changed my diet and was put on levothyroxine as well as estrodial. Things seemed to improve. Then I caught the flu a few weeks ago and all of a sudden the hashi symptoms are back and worse than ever. I am so depressed. I feel like I would rather not live than go on the rest of my life feeling and acting like I do…this is not me!!! Someone please give me a magic trick to make it all better.

      • 2 years ago I found the best endocrinologist Ever. After the initial 1st meeting and blood brawling with in 48 hours she called me and said “yes you do have Hashimoto thyroid disease but your D level is so low it barely registered.” She put me on Ergocalciferol(vitamin d2) 50,000 units. 1 per week. Yes 50,000 not a type o.
        This got rid of the phantom pain pulsing through my arms, legs anywhere else it hurt. It also put my sleeping pattern back on track. I was sleeping 8 hours at night and waking up like I actually got 8 hours of sleep. Now I’m on over the counter vitamin d3 but she still keeps an eye on all my levels. I feel like a human again.

      • Oh my gosh Jen!! You are the first person I have come across that has the same story!! I was diag when I was 5, I am now 38… the hardest part is knowing ‘what is normal’. All the research i have been doing all assumes you know what normal energy levels are… it is sooo frustrating. Thank you for sharing. You are not alone in suffering.

    • Have you googled lyme disease symptoms…..I was bit years ago by a tick and had begun getting very sick ( slowly) because I was so active and fit.My thyroid was so out of control that they removed it when I was 20…I noticed my hair go first. Skip ahead many years …when I went to my physician of 14 years with my thyroid results…My T3 wasn’t being absorbed either, he just didn’t tell me ..he said ..because he doesn’t know why. But: I was the one that had to ask him about it.
      What I’m trying to get at is..alot of the symptoms you’re talking about may well be lyme disease.Thyroid disease symptoms are caused by what. I bet you’re exhausted and need to check your adrenals , as well.
      Just something to consider.
      Wish you the best

    • Hi Darla, I am going through the same issues with hair loss. I am 37 years old and I have always had a thick head of hair but recently my hypo symptoms became much worse. The doctor had to up my levo to 175 mcg. I have read that at higher doses levo can actually lead to increased hair loss. Three weeks ago I started taking evening prlmrose oil, I have not seen any new hair growth yet but I have noticed my hairbrush is not filling up with my hair anymore. From what I have read and what my hairdresser actually told me it will take up to three months on two capsules of evening primrose a day to see new hair growth. I am waiting patiently and hopefully.

      • Hi Darla and Kara…I came across an article written by “Hypothyroid Mom” (she has a facebook page), and her recommendations for the hair loss reversal aspect of Hashimoto’s/hypothyroidism are to also check Ferritin (iron) levels (make sure it is Ferritin), and you may need to supplement to correct your iron levels if too low. Low iron and low Vit. D can result in hair loss, and it seems common to be low in those with low thyroid conditions. She recommends a supplement called Carlson Labs Buffalo Liver. She also suggested making sure you are getting an adequate supply of protein, so eat alot of chicken and other high protein foods. She also wrote that low stomach acid is often a factor, and recommends ingesting a couple of tsp daily of apple cider vinegar. Also, drinking lemon in water. Another recommendation was to iincrease alpha omega 3 fatty acids with using at least 2 tsp daily of fresh ground flaxseeds; as well as a GLA supplement (Black current oil or evening primrose oil 500 mg 2xdaily), a Biotin supplement, and a supplement she called Biosil Silicon (ch-OSA). Test for adrenal fatigue as well (saliva test for Cortisol levels)..If adrenal fatigue is an issue, she recommends the supplements: ashwaghanda, rhodiola, Holy Basil. I just found this article, so I haven’t implemented these suggestions as yet. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as a result of chronic Lyme Disease.

  3. Has anyone tried meditation as a way to help heal the autoimmune system? When I left the drs office today after being diagnosed with Hashimotos I listened to a teaching from Jai Dev at the Life Force Academy and ironically he talked about the Digestive and Autoimmune systems being KEY to our health. He went on to promote how meditation can help to heal these systems and bring about balance. I then went on to research a little more and found this article http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/meditation-as-a-to-overcome-auto-immune-disease
    It’s free and it’s worth a try! No negative side effects! Would love to find out if anyone has tried this or is willing to try.
    The video I talked about is here: http://training.jaidevsingh.com/the-science-of-sadhana-video1-freqdes/
    You should watch them all so it’s easier to understand.
    Please note I am not here to promote anyone or anything. Just thought id share what I came across today. Freaky how I just so happen to play this video today after being diagnosed….
    Let me known if anyone has any luck with this type of treatment. I’ll be giving it a try!

  4. I was taking 6.25 mg per day (1/2 of an Iodoral tablet) for about 2 1/2 years. After reading that it may not be safe to take so much, I reduced my dosage to 225 mcg per day. Now I have become hyperthyroid. TSH extremely low or zero, Free T3 & Free T4 both high & outside the normal range. I’ve lost about 20 lbs on my already slim frame. Dr thinks I may have Grave’s but I haven’t had the antibody test yet. What on earth did I do to myself? How do I fix it? Why would I feel ok all the time on 6.25 mg’s, then fall apart when I reduced my dosage to 225 mcg’s? Should I go back to the large dosage, or should I never take iodine again. As of now I’ve completely stopped both iodine & selenium. Thanks.

    • Hello, Steve.

      I did the exact same thing except that I took a full Iodoral tablet every day and for a longer time period than you did. I reduced the amount also about six months ago (although I did this because my new multi vitamin had iodine in it). I have also lost 20 pounds on a slender frame. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist on January 7 and will be tested for antibodies before then. They found this after a bone scan showed significant deterioration in bone mineral density. I have cut out all iodine and am eating lots of cruciferous vegetables (raw, in salads). I have also ordered some tea that is apparently good for hyperthyroidism. Good luck to you and please let us know if there are any updates. Best wishes

      • Hi. Could you please let me know which tea you are trying for your thyroidism as I would be interested in trying it for my own hypothyroid problems. Many thanks. J x

    • I went to an endocrinologist and he did not tell me I had Hashimoto. I got my lab results and diagnosed myself. I asked the endocrinologist if I had Hashimoto. His comment was good investgation work. I was disappointed he did not tell after 4 visits. I had to find it myself. So, I ordered the book hashimoto’s thyroiditis lifestyle interventions for finding and treating the root cause by Izabella Wentz. So far following her book my antibodies have dropped to half of what they were and I found a new MD that is working with me and following the book to find the root cause. This can be cured in 3 months to 3 years with the right MD and your own research. Do not depend on doctors to find the cure. You need a doctor that is willing to look for the root cause and stop it there.

  5. I just read Ann Stones post. I was confirmed with Hashimotos disease 3 years ago. I had all of the same symptoms migraine headaches, extreme fatigue, 30 lb. weight gain, depression. My regular medical doctor put me on Levothyroxine and that was it. It helped momentarily and then I swung back unto the myriad of symptoms. I prayed I would get to the bottom of why I felt so badly still! I could relate to Ms. Stone’s feelings. I seriously did not feel the need to live as my quality of life had deteriorated so fast. I could barely get up with my kids in the morning- I would go back to bed after I got them off to school and get up when they came home. I’m able to keep up with the day now. A girl at my church suggested a Doctor who has helped me feel normal again. The doctor’s name is Hilda Maldinado in Westlake, California. After a series of blood tests I have been put on Naturethyroid and about 30 vitamins a day which include adrenals, magnesium, fish oil, etc.. I am able to function as a normal person now. I still have fatigue but I can manage it. This program saved my life. The vitamins are a must! Especially my latest edition to the lineup a vegetable based Vitamin B. When I went off the magnesium for a month the headaches came back. See the best doctors! It’s well worth it for a better quality of life!

    • Hi,

      I am 29 now and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis 3 years ago after being 6 months post-partem. I feel as you described yourself feeling, tired all the time, and have been taking Synthroid 118mcg daily.

      I live in NY and Dr. Maldinodo is in California. Can you please list all the supplements you take, how many milligrams per day, and which name brand you use. I would really appreciate it.

      Thank You!
      – tired in NY

  6. You are the first sane person I’ve come across in the medical field, which is driven (owned) by pharmaceutical companies. I told my doctor I was not myself regardless of the levothyroxin keeping my levels in an acceptable range. She refused to do anything further. I went to Mayo for my huge list of additional symptoms. After spending $60,000 of my own money in the past five years on medical bills, I was diagnosed as having fibromyalgia. I have IBS, overactive bladder, mental fogginess, extreme fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, hoarseness, depression and anxiety, which they say are part of that. But couldn’t they be part of the thyroid issue? I was diagnosed 8 years ago after I had my first son. I would honestly rather die than live like this. I am not myself, and I wonder if I could donate my body to a research organization that studies hypothyroidism. Please let me know so I can put it in my will.

    • Hi,just read your comment and i sympathise with you.I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 7 years ago,never been the same since.Ive had a myriad of complaints from migraines to weight gain(a lot)mood(angry)swings.A permanent sore throat,tiredness and the list goes on and on and on.I have had 16 cysts removed from my chest, been diagnosed with a 6cmx8cm fibroid,been through the disgusting menopause and now im waiting to see a specialist for RA.Ive been in agony for 7 weeks now, taken 2 trips to A and E,and they just send you home again.I was going to ask if they wanted my body for research, but to be fair, i dont think there will be much left that hasnt been chewed up and spat out by the autoimmune friend in my system!

    • I can completely relate to this. The suffering, the endless misdiagnosis over 20 years from a young age, unable to function anymore, losing a job and ability to work at age 35, useless useless useless doctors, wasted money I did not have as a single parent with no financial help from anyone. I have zero income. Zero. This disease is horribly painful, frustrating, mind altering, depressing, hopeless. Each symptom requires a different treatment. Exhausting and bitter. I say the same thing every day, “how can I end this life and allow others to research what lies beneath because I literally do not have the resources, support, money or energy to live one more day like this”. And the worst part is, no one around me, and there are not many, understand this disease and the suffering. Hashimotos is the worst kind of heartache I have ever tried to endure. It is the pure essence of loneliness. Chronic invisible duress. Just so we are clear, I had to diagnose myself. Twenty years of self analysis, journalling and research gave me the answer. Now I am too far gone and my neural networks no longer function. Earlier genetic testing and unconventional aware eager to listen and affordable to treat health care providers are needed. In all countries. There are zero in person support groups in Ontario Canada for people with Hashimotos disease. Zero support. Zero recognition. Unfortunately, if one ends their life here, one cannot donate their body to science….only ” natural cause deaths” are accepted. How many more ways are we going to be denied?

      • Bella –

        I sincerely hope that you are at least still alive. I just saw this post as I was searching for more Hashimoto’s info. Sounds like you were thinking of taking things into your own hands, which I understand, since I have had Hashimoto’s for at least 15 years. I can relate to everyone’s symptoms and feelings. I’m so sorry you have no support for this. I hope that you have at least found some support online. Please update us. I wish I (or someone) could help.

      • Bella, don’t give up! As Chris Kresser mentions in another article, there is another option that is meeting with success for a number of auto-immune diseases, including Hashimotos. It’s called LDN (low-dose naltrexone). Please do a youtube video search on it’s efficacy. Here is a good website: http://ldnscience.org/
        You can read up about it here too. Also, they recommend purchase of the capsules at buyldn.com. The first doctor (Bernard Bihari) who did research on it in the 80s said that 3mg amounts per day worked excellent for many conditions. It’s about $40 for 3mg caps/30 day supply. Not bad really. It may be worth checking out. Good luck!

    • Dear Ann Stone, I have all of the symptoms that you do, and I have Lyme Disease and the co-infection, Bartonella. Bartonella has caused alot of the neurological things, such as panic, vision changes, memory loss, and Interstitial Cystitis (overactive bladder due to inflammation) I have had extreme chronic pain in muscles and joints and mostly musculoskelatal issues and skin changes from Lyme Disease. Your symptoms are also so suggestive. If you research the symptoms of Lyme Disease and Bartonella, and think you may want to be tested, I would recommend IgeneX Laboratories in Palo Alto, CA. It is a lab which specializes in vector-borne diseases and utilizes much more sensitive testing methods to find the Lyme bacteria (Bb). I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as a result of LD, and have just started treatment at a very low dose of 15mg Armour. Antibiotic and herbals have improved many of the symptoms I had, that you are experiencing.

  7. Thank you for a brilliant article on Autoimmune Thyroiditis.
    Happy I found this article.

    I’d like to know what is the correct age for menopause? I’ve been told the NEW findings is from 31, I am 43 and was diagnosed as menopausal at 42. My gynae informed me that I would experience earlier aging despite the fact that I feel 27, he also mentioned earlier death etc. I’m saddened as I’ve taken great care of myself and feel life is such a waste of time. I’ve also been diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis and on the Paleo diet, bio-identical hormones, selenium, moducare and a whole lot of supplements to reverse the condition, excluding iodine. Should I be taking this? What are the symptoms that one experiences at a later stage of autoimmune thyroiditis?

  8. I was taking anatabine and metformin. my thyroid harmone TSH is now very low and the T3 is very high. Either could have caused it. Does anyone know of any information about anatabine affects on normal thyroid.

  9. Hello, I am 25 and have been diagnosed with Hashis a couple years ago. I have most of the symptoms there is with it which can be a hard thing to live around. Not that I am surrounded around my looks or anything but we all know that women with hair loss get looked at in a totally different way than men do.. My hormone levels are under control and normal right now with my hormone replacement therapy but I still suffer from some pretty crappy symptoms of brain foggyness, fatigue and hair loss. I have been on spirlactalone for about a year and with that not working, my Endocrinologist wants to put me on finasteride, a pharm made for men. My pharmacist strongly urges that I do not take it, and so far I haven’t. What else can I do for hair loss? How to I treat the underlying problem for it? Can that even be done? Or should I start shopping for wigs and head wraps?

    • Lily…There are some great suggestions to reverse hair loss from low thyroid conditions…I wrote about it on this forum already, but if you can, go to “Hypothyroid Mom” on facebook. If you don’t find her article there, I did post her suggestions on an earlier post!

  10. I have hypothyrodism and have all the symptons you have indicated when a lower dosage is prescribed for me.. Unfortunateley for me, I have a gland that functions partially. My current doctor relys soley on the lab report and not on symptoms I report. I have tried to explain that I can tell when the gland begins to work and many times when my levels are checked it is on one of those days. Medication is then prescribed based on those labs. After the doctor reduces the dosages, I start having the symptons. Do you have any suggestions. My wieght has increased by 50 lbs over the past 6 months.

  11. I like your article except for the point where you say alternative doctors will inadequately address autoimmune hypothyroidism. I am a naturopathic doctor and 90% of naturopathic doctors I know would treat the underlying cause of autoimmune thyroiditis from stress, to nutrient deficiencies, sleep disturbance, other related hormone imbalances, high toxin burden, dysbiosis, and food intolerances to start.

  12. Hi there, I just wanted to give some of you hope out there if you have Hypothyroidism. I had a partial thyroidectomy and was diagnosed two years later with severe hypothyroidism. I am the 10% that is not autoimmune, but caused by surgical removal; however, have experienced the same hurdles and inadequate medical assistance. I have fought for year to educate myself. The long and short of it is, after one year of treatment I am better. I take started out taking Synthroid T4 and still had a miserable quality of life, even after entering the “normal range”. I requested that my doctor add a T3 medication. He recommended Cytomel. Cytomel has changed my life. I reasoned with him why should he care as long as I stayed within the “normal ranges” on T3, T4 and TSH. He could not argue, and hesitantly gave the medication. I was extremely nauseated the first month, but then my body adapted. With each increase the quality of life improved. I take 75mg of Synthroid and 10mg of Cytomel at 5am on an empty stomach. It jump starts my body with the T3 (energy to the cells) and I wake around 7am. I take 5mg at noon. This last visit my reflexes went from reacting hypo to normal. That is a huge deal. I am at the TOP range of the “normal range” now. I was diagnosed with a second chronic illness six months ago (three years after surgery) called arthritis. I fight it every day with 2 hours of stretching/ walking. I am getting healthier, better, and stronger every day. With the proper thyroid levels I am no longer lethargic, my cells are receiving T3 (energy) and ABLE to exercise, focus, and work. I also eat well in order to reduce the inflammation in the body by eating gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free. I have discovered that Cytomel treats Myxedema (all that swelling you get in your face, arms and all over). People thought I was loosing weight when I started the Cytomel, but really I was loosing all that swelling. The tops of my arms have definition again. After my reflexes changed and my body was getting proper levels of thyroid hormone for me, then I started loosing weight effortlessly (remember I also started walking daily for the arthritis and eating right). From what I understand with arthritis is the rest of my life and I will have to fight it daily as it battles me daily to lock up. I went through the five stages of learning to deal with chronic illness and now I am at acceptance. Grieving was the worst part. The loss of who you were and used to be is a hard one. But, it is easier to talk about and share with others now, I accept that I have a different level of abilities and learning to live this new life. I refuse to be miserable. I look for the good in each day and how I can have the best quality of life possible. I am constantly learning more and more about this disease and how to manage it. Vitamin deficiencies are important such as D3, B12, Selenium, and Iron (100-130). We must be proactive, persevere, and live life the fullest of our ability. Where we fall short we have to learn to accept and love ourselves completely regardless of circumstances. When you have a bad day you have the small quiet voice inside that is called courage and say “tomorrow I will try again”. On the really bad days I think about those who have kids with cancer, incurable cancer themselves and dying, and I count my blessings. Fight for you health and don’t ever give up.

    • I’ve been on synthroid for 20 years and armour. They chemically removed my thyroid
      I’m so confused. How do I know if I have hashimoto or just no thyroid. I’ve been on 50 synthroid and 30 armour My latest blood test said I went from hypo to hyper so dr decreased synthroid to 25. My tsh is now 2.3. Feeling better
      Eating well. Does it sound like I have Hashemite. I was never told that??

    • WOW….. I didn’t know how much I NEEDED to find this website.
      I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last week and am an absolute mess :'(
      But I guess my feelings ARE normal…. I’ve started the regiment of meds (75mcg of Synthroid each morning) and of course LOTS of vitamins because I am very deficient in Vit. C, D and Iron.

      BUT my question is… do I have “Hashi”. Is it all the same …. ????” “hypothyroidism” and “hashi”?
      Please help someone.

      I am feeling so confused and alone. I just want to feel happy again… lose weight… and not gain…. ahhhh. HELP!

      Thanks in advance. I really hope someone can answer my question.

    • I don’t know what kind of arthritis you have but taking Nettle, Boswella and Chinese Skullcap quickly eliminated all the pain and stiffness all over in all affected joints and in a few months even the lumps on finger joints except a slight bit in three spots. I could actually “unstick” my fingers from their curved positions and flatten my hands except for a slight curving left in my right hand. This was self researched to address some common cytokines involved in inflammation.

  13. I have Hashimotos as a hereditary condition as do 3 of my 5 siblings. Shows up at age 45. Controlled fine with Armour. Can I expect other symptoms/issues? I am 65 and have been primal diet for 2 years.

  14. Suffering from Hypothyroidism for about 2 years now, I have been taking Moringa enhanced products for about two months and I have seen increasing levels in vitamin d(30 points) and good cholesterol(20 points).
    (Moringa is packed with all sorts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and inflammatories).

    I have also lost 15 pounds in that same time frame. This is a major accomplishment with all of the problems that hypothyroidism brings to the table.

    Now in order for this to happen, I had to stop taking my prescribed Synthroid because I felt the Synthroid was causing more issues than exactly helping.

    My thyroid is inactive due to taking the RAI twice and this is the part, I would like to receive some advice on. My TSH levels are off and my bad cholesterol is still high which was pretty much expected.

    My main goal is to find a good alternative thyroid medication to resolve this issue. I think once I find a thyroid medication that works better than the synthroid, hopefully that would be the key.


  15. I’ve had Hashimoto’s for about 7 or 8 years. Synthroid has been what my Doctor has been treating me with. Recently my symptoms were bad enough that I went to the Dr, and pushed for testing (normal) and then requested a T3 med (Cytomel) which she gave me.
    I then requested an ultrasound for a feeling of pressure in my throat, this revealed multi-nodules, the largest one over 2 cm.
    So I am getting referred to a ENT Dr. What should I be aware of before this new Dr. starts treating me? Thank you

  16. Hi Chris
    What about non auto immune? I have been tested and found to not have Hashimotos. There seems to be no explanation for my thyroid failure?

  17. Chris, thank you for your good work. One thing I seem to find unclear is how to know when your thyroid is completely destroyed from Hashis and how to proceed if it is beyond repair. It may be a simple answer but in my research I don’t seem to find anything explicitly stated. This would be a much appreciated post. Thanks again!

    • I was under the impression that if yo are taking maximum dose of Levothyroxine (I think this is 200mcg?) to balance your TSH levels within 0.5 – 3, then it would mean your Thyroid is releasing absolutely no T3 and T4 hormone any longer and you are supplementing these hormones solely from your tablets. This would mean your Thyroid would be as good as gone, unless future Stem Cell treatment can fix a scarred Thyroid.

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