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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?

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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.

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Join the conversation

    • You can get thyroid problems at any age. I’m 19 and have Hashimotos and I was diagnosed at age 16. Some people begin to have thyroid problems during pregnancy, & some in adulthood. There’s no “most common age” but usually thyroid problems are diagnosed in people ages 16 and up.

    • it can happen at any age. I was told with Hashimotos it is caused by a virus that attacked the thyroid. I’m not sure what it was for me…I started having symptoms after having my 3rd baby and didn’t get diagnosed until 10 plus years later. Now for my middle daughter, she had mono and soon was losing lots of hair that the hair stylist suggested she get her thyroid checked. But you have to make sure they order TSH, T3, T4 and antibody tests.

  1. This is my first time on any site asking questions regarding my thyroid. I’m 36 and 8 years ago I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis. I was a-symptomatical until about 3-4 years ago. My only symptom at first was hairloss, and not so much on my scalp but my eyelashes. Then I started feeling tired and foggy. Then my eyelashes started falling out in clumps. I finally went in and through some testing I was then diagnosed with Graves disease 2 years ago and was told I only had 2 options, 1 was to remove the thyroid and 2 was to take a radioactive iodine pill to kill my thyroid. I chose the pill. I have regretted this decision ever since. I took the pill 2 years ago and have since lost over half of my hair on my scalp. My eyelashes are very very thin now. I ‘ve been told by one doctor that these are symptoms I have to deal with. My labs are finally within the “normal” range, 2.9 tsh. A different dr then told me he can’t fix normal labs. I am still having bouts of fogginess, my hair loss has slowed down, very little though. My eyelashes don’t seem to be growing back. I am currently taking 100mcg of levoxyl and 2.5 mcg of liothyronine. I am eating, for the most part, as organically as I can, and also take iron, omega 3 fish oil, and evening primrose daily. I guess my question is, is there any hope? Or am I going to be bald with no eyelashes by the time I’m 45? I’m at a loss right now and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I’m fighting this on my own. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • I recommend you take the natural Armour, Nature-throid or Westhroid, which have 4 thyroid hormones, instead of only two of the synthetics you’re taking. If your Vitamin D3 level and/or Tyrosine levels are low, your thyroid can’t function. Also a Biotin (B vitamin) deficiency can cause hair loss. Foltene scalp treatment, purchased from a beauty supply really helps. I had “widow’s peak” balding until I supplemented nutrients I am deficient in. It all grew back!

      • You’re lucky to have found a doctor who prescribed T3, I really don’t advise switching to Armour or the like if you are a Graves’ patient. The T3:T4 ratio is too high in Armour, and without tests showing you are very low in T3, it can cause more problems that can ramp up your antibodies and make all Graves’ complications worse.

        Best of luck, Melissa!

        There’s a great Graves discussion group on Face book run by expert Val Collins. It’s called Graves Disease Research News.

        A Graves’ patient without a thyroid is NOT the same as a Hashimoto’s patient, or a patient with both Hashi’s and Graves,’ which you may be (and I am, as well).

        Do you know whether you had both sets of antibodies?

        To quell your immune response, you may be better off with a slightly lower TSH, but also keep an eye on T4 and T3 numbers and figure out where you feel your best.

        As far as alopecia goes, it may or may not be related to thyroid. You could try a low-inflammation diet (I do paleo), and see if you have good results. At least you’d likely feel better.

        • Thank you! Sorry it has taken so long to reply. No, I don’t know if both antibodies have been tested. I know I had a thyroid uptake scan which showed I had graves. I know a couple of weeks ago my tsh was at 2.9. In July it was at 1.9 and I felt better. The doctor increased my levoxyl to 112mcg. I start that on Tuesday. ..back in April my free t4 was at 148 and in April my total t4 was at 7.5. I have an appointment with a nature path doctor in a couple of weeks. Thank you for the advice. My eyelashes are falling out at a much higher rate this week and am feeling pretty defeted. Like I said though, I sure appreciate the advice and will look at the site on Facebook.

          • My hair was falling out profusely and my eyebrows were only half full (none on the ends). When my doctor added Cytomel (a T3 synthetic medication) I slowly started getting better. You have to be careful and go slow with T3 and increase every 6 weeks in small increments. I was extremely nauseated the first month, but then it went away. With each increase by 2mg, I got better and better, but it was a process you have to be patient with. I now take 15mg of Cytomel with 75mg of Synthroid each morning. My hair has stopped falling out and is growing back in. I have energy (since T3 is what makes your ATP and mitochondria work on the cellular level). My doctor first argued with me I didn’t need it because I was in the “normal range”, I argued back and asked what did he care as long as I didn’t get OUT of the “normal range”. Ends up that I was right. I do better on the higher end and am sick as a dog on the lower end. Even my reflexes went from Hypo to NORMAL. My Dr. is now a believer and listens when we talk.

        • Thanks, I didn’t know someone can have both! That could be why I have so much inflammation on Nature-throid. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos.

          Ref: One or more of the following tests may be performed to help establish a diagnosis of and/or monitor an autoimmune thyroid disorder:

          Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO)—the most common test for autoimmune thyroid disease; it can be detected in Graves disease or Hashimoto thyroiditis.
          Thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb)— this antibody targets thyroglobulin, the storage form of thyroid hormones.
          Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibodies (TSHRAb)—includes two types of autoantibodies that attach to proteins in the thyroid to which TSH normally binds (TSH receptors):
          Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) binds to receptors and promotes the production of thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroidism.
          Thyroid binding inhibitory immunoglobulin (TBII) blocks TSH from binding to receptors, blocking production of thyroid hormones and resulting in hypothyroidism.

          TBII is not routinely tested, but TSI is often used to help diagnose Graves disease.

    • So sorry about your eyelashes and hair:( hope it gets better for you! I am losing hair from my scalp and eyebrows. Ugh thyroid

      • Good luck with your hair loss as well. If I find something that helps I’ll make sure and share.

    • Hi I would really recommend looking up or researching Isabelle Wentz and Suzie Cohen. Isabelle has a book called the Root Cause. Suzie Cohen has books out too but u can find her on you tube too. They both have given me a lot of hope. I’m am now seeing a Naturopath. And she has given me a lot of hope. I prayed about who to see and her name popped up. You can go on Isabelle website and she will daily send you emails with loads of info. You are not alone. Will keep you in my prayers. That you may find the answer you need. Blessings.

    • Here’s some of what Isabelle Sent a has to say,

      Hair loss is a distressing symptom experienced by women with Hashimoto’s. For women, our hair represents our femininity, and losing our hair is a constant reminder that something is off and that we are not well.

      I hope that some of these strategies can help you get your hair back! If you have tried all of the strategies mentioned below.

      Here are some tips that may put hair loss at bay…

      1. Be sure to check you TSH, Free T3, Free T4.
      Sometimes, when your TSH is on the outskirts of the normal range, you can continue to lose hair, and your hair may lack luster and shine. If you hair tangles easily, this is a sign that you may not be getting enough thyroid hormone. Talk to your doctor. You should see a change within 4-6 weeks.

      2. Consider the type of thyroid medication you are taking.
      T3, the more active thyroid hormone, is actually your “beautiful hair” hormone that helps you grow your hair and prevents it from falling out. Synthroid, Levoxyl and Tirosint only contain T4, the less active hormone. T4 should be converted to T3 in the body…except this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes an addition of Cytomel (a T3 medication) or a switch to a medication that contains a combination of T3/T4 such as Armour, Nature-Throid or compounded T4/T3 may result in a return of your hair’s luster and shine.

      3. Iron deficiency
      Iron deficiency is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in pre-menopausal women. People with Hashimoto’s often have poor levels of stomach acid, which is required to extract Iron from foods. Be sure to check your Ferritin levels. Ferritin is the Iron storage protein and is an early indicator of Iron deficiency. When we have a lack or Iron, our body pulls it from hair, and conserves it for more vital processes.

      4. Balance your blood sugar!
      Blood sugar swings brought on by eating too many carbohydrates and not enough quality proteins and fats can wreak havoc on your health and hair! Blood sugar swings encourage the conversion of T4 to reverse T3. Reverse T3 is a inactive hormone that blocks the body’s utilization of T3, resulting in increased hair shedding.

      5. Consider a Biotin supplement.
      Hashimoto’s always co-occurs with inflammation in the body. The inflammation puts the adrenals on overdrive, depleting our Biotin stores. Biotin is an important vitamin and deficiencies have been found to cause hair loss.

      6. Be sure to get enough essential fatty acids; “good fats”.
      Fatty acid deficiencies result in dry, dull, lifeless hair. Eating Omega-3 containing fish, taking an Omega-6 supplement like Evening Primrose Oil and even doing an Olive oil hair mask at home can help bring back the shine to your hair.

      7. Ditch those processed hair products
      Opt for an organic shampoo and conditioner. Although I believe that healthy hair comes from within, shampoos that contain toxic chemicals and gluten can be detrimental to your scalp resulting in inflamed hair follicles.


      Dr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD
      [email protected]

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      Wentz LLC PO BOX 1471 Des Plaines, Illinois 60017 United States 844-Dr-Wentz

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    • Melissa,

      You’re the only other person I’ve ever heard who has lost eyelashes! Years ago they said it was alopecia. I knew that wasn’t the case. Recently, I’ve been researching pyroluria and I think I’ve finally stumbled upon something. I’ve got a test coming my way. You can test without a doctor’s order. It’s inexpensive. Though labs for zinc, copper, ceruloplasmin, B6, etc. might be helpful especially if the pyrrole test is positive. Then you know where to start with supplementation (pyrrole is due to a zinc and B6 deficiency) as well as gauge progress with followup labwork. Maybe it’s something for you to investigate too.

    • you need to go to a natural path doctor. Primary care physicians only treat if your labs are abnormal. The natural paths will treat if you have symptoms. That’s what I’ve experienced and I feel so much better…

    • Find an Integrative Medicine Doctor who treats the entire body. You could be “Subclinical”, having symptoms but within normal range. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos when I was 30, now 60. Initially hyper thyroid, now hypo with weight gain, fogginess and hair loss. Synthroid didn’t assimilate in my system. Switched to Nature-Throid aka natural thyroid (I was allergic to the binder in Armour) which has both T3 and T4. My thyroid has totally atrophied to not seen on an ultrasound. Since menopause, med. has to be adjusted 1 -2x yr., spring and fall is recommended.

    • Hi I just found this site and I am feeling like if I have ant chance of feeling normal again it is going to be by my own hand in research. I have been to so many doctors of many specialties and to no avail. I have had so many side effects from throid cancer that resulted in a thyroidectomy. I have severe burning nerve damaged peripheral neuropathy that has really affected my quality of life. It started within 2 months of thyroidectomy. As well as blood sugar going into duabetic range, cholesterol etc.After 5 years of research I have determined that gluten is a no no, exercise is a must, a contnual watch of vitamin absorption. But above all there is definitely a direct relationship
      between what is happening in my gut. The only doctor that I have received some confirmation from was a neurologist on tv, Dr. Daniel Aman. Next step I think is holistic nutritionist. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. My feet hurt within 15 minutes of eating and I cannot sleep without a pain pill. 6 years is enough! Help please!

  2. i am hypothyroid patient , i am taking 75mg tablet now , iam giveing blood each 6 month once , few days ago i told i have a such type of issue , blood bank refuse to take blood , they told u haave tyroid patient so not possible to take ur blood , so i am asking u to is it not possible to give a blood as thyroid patient , is that any problem if i give blood ?

  3. Hey I just wanted to leave a comment here on “steroids used for autoimmune disease” which can have heavier consequences than the initial problem. IF any one here is considering taking humira/already is taking humira. I IMPLORE YOU to do a search on “humira, cancer” on google. You had better be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that your particular issue is BAD ENOUGH to put yourself at VERY HIGH RISK of cancer. I am not saying that every one who takes humira gets cancer. But it is not an arguable case to say that humira doesn’t increase your risk of cancer. My doctor didn’t explain this to me, but it SHUTS OFF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. Not just thee part that’s attacking your body but also your defenses. People are getting sick from simple celled cancers that would have been killed off by the body’s natural immune system, or not being able to fight off a basic cold. Please just be wary.

    • Hey it’s John updating my status. I’m sorry for speaking from my angry emotions from the CDC and just have to move on.
      First I like to thank you for the reply and recommendation.
      Its hard trying to live on my own with numerous disabilities.
      My Thyroid level is coming close to the limit. (I have no Thyroid) I’m getting my blood work done every 2 months unless something comes up to do it weekly. So my cholesterol is still high, and I just got a frantic call from the Dr. Office that I need to increase my Vitamin D. The gallon of milk, cheese, sun and daily Vitamin D just haven’t been working. Now this is my thyroid doctor and I’m not sure he took blood samples for my Liver. Can the illness confirmed on this blood work test, (and I know all doctors do not like to here the word LYMES) and have an excuse for something else. But I was in perfect health until I contracted Lyme Disease twice. But read the LRN article on line where we had 13 people die from LYME including children. I believe they are now considering it’s a chronic disease and what damage it does to your body after having it very bad your entire life. Not everyone gets it bad if its caught right away but some do and it just stays with them.
      As of today, I am numb from my waste down and have taken several falls, still having my seizures, also the arms and the typical joint pain enhanced from all my accidents with broken back, arms, legs, ribs, 10 concussions i received from 11 car accidents. ( I was the passenger) 1400 hundred pounds slammed to the ground which took 15 min to get off. 7 of the accidents I shouldn’t have lived. so with that being said I have a lot of factors which could have caused these diseases and illness’s I have today.
      All I can say is smile if you wake up, if its a bed day or week whatever. God Bless and keep the faith

      • Hi John, thanks for the reminder about enjoying one day at a time. I was wondering if you ever contacted Dr. Foley(?) I saw a Lyme specialist article by Dr. Paul G. Auwaerter who seems to understand the disease. Good Luck to you.

      • I sent a relative info from somewhere on the internet a few months back regarding hyperthermal treatments for her lyme disease. One site directed basically home hot bath type treatments. You will have to google this as I don’t recall much.There are some centers that use such therapy but apparently the cyst form is resistant so it has to go on regularly to catch the spirochetes out of that form.

  4. Hello everyone, I really don’t read many sites with blogs etc.
    I guess I just very angry with the CDC, Ins companies Board of doctors etc. I’v have Lyme since 1997, Now im 54 and received other tick bites with the bullseye and tested positive several times. Anyway my story is in 97 I developed the wonderful cyst you can get from LD. Had 8 surgically removed and actually was able to remove them myself thats how bad and disgusting it was. But after numerous diasese treatments, (Lupus, as, ms, and several others. After insisting treatment for LD after 9 months of the disease and medication games, i began to feel better) Long story short, after the 4th massive bulls eye, it attacked my thyroid which had to be removed last year, we cannot get it under control going from hypo to hyper and visa versa. Im on total disability because of passing out driving, seizures,and 63 more out of the 85 symptoms of LTL, and other autoimmune diseases.
    Im poked like a pin cushion every 2-3 weeks.My question is when it ends up attacking the Liver is that basically it for people whom died from this disease? and is this what I should be expecting. I would like to hear from people who’s brother, friend mother, child etc who actually died from this disease and let them be heard. Maybe it will help people what to expect. And please this is no disrespect to anyone, and I apologize if I offended anyone.

    • I take Nature Throid by Western Laboratories – no additives. Because I am also allergic/get a rash from the preservative in Armour Thyroid. Best price at Costco, not kept in pharmacy inventory though, has to be ordered. Most pharmacies will get it for you as well. Western Laboratories also mfrs an alternate less expensive formula with less additives than Armour.

      For best results, take the tablets sublingually, dissolved under your tongue, to bypass stomach maldigestion issues.

    • i too would like to know the answer to your question, because my liver has been affected by my throid condition,or the lack there of. I had mine out in 09

      • All tests are a good recommendation to others.
        I’ve had them. I would add Amino Acid assay. Tyrosine is necessary for thyroid function. Thyroid affects lipids like Cholesterol, therefore the liver.

  5. I never thought to look for support online for hypothyroid. It took over 30 years to finally get diagnosed. For decades I was told I was borrderline and my symptoms were ignored.

    I have several autoimmune issues which began with endomitriosis. Later I was just diagnosed with IBS, Fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, borderline cholesterol problem, Reynauds Syndrome and much more. Finally, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid.

    I have major intolerances to medication. I am allergic to Armour Thyroid and have had doctors tell me I cannot be. Once they see my hives everywhere they finally see I can’t take it. Synthroid/Levothyroxin seems to do nothing for me. Out of 5 doctors, not one has ever said to not take it 12 hours prior to having blood testing done.

    I had lost weight but now no matter what it is coming back with a vengeance. I have major spinal issues and exercise is beyond painful.

    Wow….finally sharing this. I have not had anyone to talk to but i cope. Where do we go for true help with hypothyroid? My daughters dog has hypothyroid and the medicine she is taking seems to be working great for her. How us it her dog gets better help than we do?

    • You just asked the question of the century that no one seems to have an answer for. I dropped from 2.5 to .65 in 2 weeks. Still in considered okay range but that’s a big drop. And I get the everything is okay blah blah blah. Here, do some more blood work and we’ll call you next month. I wish the best of luck.

      Here’s mine

      anti dna antibodies 9
      anca asculitides myeloperoxidase ab 20.8
      thyroid peroxidase ab >900
      histamine release 94
      c reactive protein 1.6
      tsh .65
      cortisol 7.3 am highest
      rheumatoid factor 17
      3 thryroid masses and giant goiter
      more than 20 fatty tissue benign tumors
      severe back pain
      cancelled my gallbladder surgery till JULY!
      gained 48 pounds since fall
      and last but not least Alapesha

      I honestly believe no one cares or will care until I become comatose.

    • I bet you the dog gets better because his medicine is something nutritional. I came across the cause and cure for those hives recently but I just cant remember what it was. 2 things everybody should do is cut out all the genetically engineered wheat because of the gluten as stop with all the polyunsaturated oils.. All the supposedly healthy oils like canola, safflower, vegetable, soybean,, etc.. That means no salad dressing or mayo because these are all made with soybean. these polyunsaturated oils destroy your ability to produce and absorb thyroid hormone. Switch to butter, REAL olive oil (Put it in your fridge overnight.. if it isnt solidifying by morning then its not olive oil and throw it out) coconut oil and red palm oil

      • Mike, you’re spot on! I’ve been sick due to low thyroid over 10 years. Traditional western medicine hasn’t helped me. Since I’ve married an Aussie, I’ve been seeing a naturopath in Oz. She has totally changed my nutritional lifestyle – gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free, cow’s milk free. Butter, coconut oil, gluten-free grains, nut milk, & lots of veggies are my new life-long friends. Eating a clean diet with appropriate supplements help decrease the inflammatory response that many low thyroid patients experience. Although we’re still searching for other triggers &/or conditions that continue to plague me, I have seen some improvements. And knowing that what I’m putting in my body is good for it brings peace of mind. Good luck & prayers to everyone on the road to better health!

        • Hello,
          I have a 1.1 papillary nodule plus hoshimotos. The doctors I have seen recommend I remove my entire thyroid mainly because they say the hoshimotos will evently burn it completly out anyway. From what I read I could get the hoshi under control by diet. I feel like I would have less trouble taking medication if half thyroid= half dose?!?! Does anyone have any experiece/advice for me? I have also read a lot linking leaky gut with Hoshimotos. Does anyone know anything about that either?

          • I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and a cyst at age 31. I take Nature Throid at the average daily dose, because it has all 4 thyroid hormones and no additives, unlike Synthroid/Levothyroxine, and Armour Thyroid. I’m nearly 60 now. My thyroid hormone levels (T3, T4, TSH) have fluctuated but I get it checked annually and dosage adjusted accordingly. My thyroid has shrunk, but remains noncancerous. Fortunately I had a conservative Endocrinologist who believed the thyroid shouldn’t be radiated or removed unless it is cancer. I’m glad I didn’t do surgery. I know several people who had the complication of damaged vocal chords after surgery, and it affected their voice for life. They have a large obvious scar, besides. Take Thyroid sublingually, without caffeine. Good luck on your decision.

            • have you had your reverse t3 checked as well as antibodies,and a vitamin,and metibolic panel done?

              • All tests are a good recommendation to others.
                I’ve had them. I would add Amino Acid assay. Tyrosine is necessary for thyroid function.

              • Hi Missy, Would you please advise what specific tests your Dr. routinely does, and if he’s nearby S. CA. I’ve noted a link to an excellent explanation of how the Thyroid hormones function.

          • I have read that L-glutamine and probiotics can help with leaky gut if offending allergens are discontinued.

        • Try “the plan ” by lyn genet
          Its a life style change that helps you pin point your trigger foods, that cause you, hives, bloating, migraines everything that you put in your body. There is a 20 meal plan to go by and it helped me alot? Found a ton of triggers for me

      • I don’t mean to fight with you. But from what I can tell, and research on tip toeing around inflammation from food, here’s a much better explanation for oils for people.

        Regardless of what any one has every told you, OLIVE OIL is made to be kept at very low temperatures and is NOT meant to be cooked with. Coconut oil, on the other hand can remain fairly well intact at high temperatures and is perfectly safe, and healthy to cook with, unless of course you have a coconut allergy.

        So, I suggest using Extra-virgin, First Cold pressed Olive oil for anything that is NEVER going to be heated, so dressings and such

        Coconut oil for the things that you heat. Perhaps I just don’t cook as often as you guys, but you can buy GIANT containers of coconut oil for reasonable prices at sams club and costco around here, and I don’t know why I’d ever need any other oil.

    • I have been on thyroid meds for almost 50 years.I wish they gave me my energy back,I wish they would control my weight gain,my hair loss my dry skin,my fog and yes my vitiligo “loss of pigment “that makes me look like I’ve been burned.It is an autoimmune disease. Which makes sense now that I read that thyroid problems are that.I had gastric bypass surgery thinking that would take care of the weight problem,but that lasted a whole 6 months.My metabolism is so slow.My temp.is 96.8.Dr. are so dumb on this subject. Now there is a ciest on my thyroid and I’m thinking hey maybe it will grow and some how speed up metabolism. Wishful thinking.

      • Candy, this is John. I had a cyst on my thyroid, Mine began to grow because of my LYME Disease. I started to having a hard time swallowing then I started to choke and almost died a few times. Anyway it had nothing to do with cancer the cyst turned into this goiter which grew around my esophagus and trachea. The ins didn’t approve and the CDC to have it removed because it wasnt big enough to remove. Now thanks to them the entire thyroid had to be removed and cannot get it under control. Seizure after seizure, almost into a coma. And now I can’t take the pain day after day, treatment after treatment. It feels like Chinese torchur. I just want it to end. So If I were you, I would have paid a doctor to remove it now.

        • Wow i am so glad I stumble onto this article. First I have seen quite a few doctors in the last year in a half. Feel like I’m dying trying to get my social security. I was rushed into surgery without much information or testing be,side of a 50 gram growth on my thyroid so they took half of my parathyroid as well with no voice at all for 4 1/2 months A.D. the Igor was not the same A.D. barely any sound to my laugh. Eight months after my surgery and almost died of a bacterial infection I had to look it up on the internet and with the bulleted well I have lyme disease and cannot get it to clear up. Doctors talking to me and testing me like I am crazy be,side I have been saying it is an auto immune disease if would of knowthis I would t n

        • Wow i am so glad I stumble onto this article. First I have seen quite a few doctors in the last year in a half. Feel like I’m dying trying to get my social security. I was rushed into surgery without much information or testing be,side of a 50 gram growth on my thyroid so they took half of my parathyroid as well with no voice at all for 4 1/2 months A.D. the Igor was not the same A.D. barely any sound to my laugh. Eight months after my surgery and almost died of a bacterial infection I had to look it up on the internet and with the bulleted well I have lyme disease and cannot get it to clear up. Doctors talking to me and testing me like I am crazy be,side I have been saying it is an auto immune diseaseif would of knowthis I would of known this I would of let nature take it course. People think I am on method and want nothing to do with me. And the pain is unbearable.

      • An Immunologist told me that if your average morning temp. before rising is less than 98, you have a thyroid problem, despite “normal” lab results.

      • Did you try Natural Dessicated Thyroid. Also Selenium helps perk you up. I also do Adrenal Complex and Dhea 10mg compounded time release Vitamins Fish Oil Vit C Vit D3 Turmeric I take Armour Thyroid. Magnesium if I feel jittery. Low carb diet to lose weight.

    • Hi Judy…your journey sounds identical to mine. Feel free to add me on facebook-
      Jill Calderone – maybe we can help each other. Things we have or haven’t tried, what works and doesn’t work for us.

    • BEWARE: ANYONE WHO IS ALLERGIC TO PORK SHOULD NOT TAKE ARMOUR THYROID! Doctors and pharmacists are clueless about patients with pork allergies and their need to avoid Armour Thyroid. I made my all my physicians aware of my pork allergy and NONE of them were aware that the symptoms I experienced were related. I figured it out myself after first not realizing that Armour Thyroid comes from pigs. DUH. I called the pharmaceutical company that makes Armour Thyroid and was told by a nurse that NO ONE with a pork allergy should be taking Armour Thyroid. I encouraged them to be more assertive in informing physicians and pharmacists of the need for those with pork allergies to avoid Armour thyroid. My symptoms were: abnormally high thyroid levels, intolerance to a heat and a fever everyday for 7 months. When I brought this to my doctor’s attention, he said he didn’t go by the thyroid blood test results, but by how I felt. I told him I felt AWFUL, but he wouldn’t believe me. BTW, the reason I was put on Armour back in 2009, was because I was also diagnosed with celiac disease and at that time I was told my synthetic thyroid med could not be guaranteed to be gluten-free. That has changed since then. I eventually went back on a synthetic thyroid med.

  6. im 38 i just opened a booming bussiness and 3 months in i might have to close ,im in extreme pain all the time burning pain through my wrist up my arms into my shoulders i now have carpel tunnel and im so tired.im hypo and have hashimoto. i am really thinking of driving my car off a bridge. wont be able to see the specialist for 3 weeks

    • I have had two carpal tunnel surgeries and know that pain well. I have had 29 surgeries in my adulthood for varying medical issues, and those two surgeries were so worth it!!! It made a huge difference.

      Researching is important so you can find the right doctor/surgeon. You can make it through….honest!!

    • Becca your too young to feel sorry for yourself… I’m 11 yrs. older then you I to have Hashimoto’s, but was and you to can reverse it to just a thyroid disfunction. It first starts with a vela very organic diet. Al-cat test to see what your body can’t tolerate. I was only diagnosed 3 yrs ago. Decided myself it’s up to me to fix it. After cleaning my diet going organic cooking mostly my own food I’m now in a very normal range under 1. You have to decide to make a commitment because with that disease comes lots of other organs to go under attack. Al-cat testing and hormone testing I suggest to do it to get yourself better to heal your cells. Sorry but you can blame the company Monsanto for all the crap in our soil today and foods you think are healthy from your local grocery are just killing your system. Educate yourself clean your diet and taking vitamin D3 is a must. It took me about 3 yrs to really get better. Start by detoxifying your body. Go on a colon and liver cleanse. I promise there’s hope when you feel line it’s a dead end. Drugs levothyroxin or nature thyroid is a must. You will probably never get off hormones either natural or synthetic, but rest assure Hashi disease can be reversed. Christina k.

      • Christina.. She is not feeling sorry for herself..she is sick.

        What is Al-Cat?

        what do you mean by you are normal at 1?

        There is no proof Hashimoto’s can be reversed. There is no proof these “cleanses” do anything and many say they are not safe or necessary. Vitamion D3 has really not been carefully/fully studied. I got mine to optimal and i felt no better.

    • hi all, this is the first time I’m joining an online conversation referring my complicated history of thyroid tryst since 11 years old. especially to Becca, I can say that pure colloidal silver saved my wrists and a lot of pain gone. I moved to France 2 years ago from Melbourne, Australia. I can say due to the autoimmune nature of my body, I find colloidal silver indispensible in my life. in Australia it’s perfectly legal and safe and you can purchase it in natural health food stores. http://www.discountvitaminsexpress.com.au/colloidal-silver-1-l.html or, you can enquire direct at the source http://www.naturestreasures.com.au/ I had autoimmune graves disease first diagnosed at age 11. following I burnt out at 24 and had to have emergency radioactive iodine which destroyed my thyroid gland. following that episode my body was so weak and for months I wasn’t sure if I’d ever recover. I now just turned 36 and my battle with thyroid issues has plagued me much of my life. however I was perhaps born naturally otimistic. I was my own guinea pig out of lack of choice and lack of adequate medical help. doctor after doctor I sought and all of them told me a “sorry”, that’s the “best” they could do… so, I found alternative GPs who prescribed me what I asked for- natural dessicated thyroid which is not on the subsidised list of medication in Australia (originally I was living in New Zealand). I had lupus-like symptoms prior to going on NDT. my fingers went bent, I was told I had all kinds of illnesses under the sun. but I sought my own answers online while still in NZ. colloidal silver was and still is my answer for the past 10 years to a compormised immune system since young. it took the pains away and helps my body to cope. I haven’t gone blue yet! lol. by all means I’m an attractive Asian woman still not by my own account, but others ;). I can only recount my own trials and errors. everyone is different. now that I’m in France, I found out that NDT (natural dessicated thyroid) is illegal and not available in this country! this really goes to show just how convoluted and tiresome the entire matter is concerning our addressing our health. I feel strongly that we should have the right to chose our own course of treatment, especially given the blatant discrepancies. yesterday I prepared myself for going into the French endocrinologist’s office and triumphed against the man in prescribing me for the first time the best that France can offer me: combination treatment of T4/T3 called Euthyral here. apparently, just across the border I can get NDT from Holland… yes. this makes me mad. but you have to work the system and not let them, a stupid endocrinologist defeat you. he even said something as dumb as that L-thyroxine is “natural”… can you believe that? anyhow, this is the first time I’m trialling synthetic T4/T3 combination, having had to forego all hormone replacement to find my true thyroid levels. sadly, after 25 years, there’s definitely no hope of my thyroid returning and my tests came back whopping terrible. but becuase I eat a very healthy diet, take a lot of supplements to support my body and recently making effort to get back to freshest food possible, I gained a few kgs and feel a bit more tired but nothing too terrible physically. on the morbid upside, I should do quite well should there be a nuclear disaster given my thyroid was already taken? lol… I hope this gives others hope and encourage all to seek own answers. get educated. no doctor can fix you. my holy grail on top of the colloidal silver recently has been the rediscovery of larger doses of vitamin C and Taurine together. both very helpful in fast acting detoxification. this is from a girl who’s literally tried everything under the sun… made my own strangest vegetable juices and all!

    • Becca…Perhaps you should also test for Lyme Disease. I have been reading many of these comments, and so many of us with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have Lyme Disease, which can cause Hashimoto’s. The problem is getting accurate results from the blood tests, so I would recommend testing through IgeneX Laboratories in Palo Alto, CA. It is a Specialty Lab for vector-borne diseases that utilizes much more sensitive criteria to screen the blood. Treatment for LD is usually an antibiotic protocol or an herbal protocol. You also need to get inflammation under control with diet; including gluten-free, dairy-free, non-processed organic food. You also need to strengthen your immune system. This can also be achieved with healthy food and lifestyle choices, but there are supplements for this too, such as “Russian Choice Immune”, “Cat’s Claw”, “Astralagus” and others. Best of luck to you!

      • RE: Vector Diseases (Lyme) Labss is one of the best. Fry Labs is one of the most advanced. Also for parasites: Genova Diagnostics and Institute of Parasitology in Scottsdale, AZ

    • Please don’t do that. There is hope. You can feel better. I am 41 and have been in your shoes. You are strong and you will get through this.

      Have a great day!

  7. I have had hyperthyroidism for 7 years after taking radioactive iodine because I suffered from hyperthyroidism. I was on Levothyroxine for a long time, and often never felt better. I now take a natural NDT medication and feel so much better, although I am still struggling to lose weight. I keep reading that gluten is bad for you if you are hypo, but mine was not caused by an autoimmune, should I cut it out too? Or would I just benefit from cutting gluten because I am now hypo? Thank You!

    • Christina.. She is not feeling sorry for herself..she is sick.

      What is Al-Cat?

      what do you mean by you are normal at 1?

      There is no proof Hashimoto’s can be reversed. There is no proof these “cleanses” do anything and many say they are not safe or necessary. Vitamion D3 has really not been carefully/fully studied. I got mine to optimal and i felt no better.

      • Gluten causes inflammation, so everyone would actually be healthier on a gluten-free diet!

      • In The Thyroid Cure, Ms. Coley has had no anti-body response for 5 years after having anti-thyroid antibodies previously. She does take a small dose of T3 still.

  8. So I am scheduled to take out my gallbladder on Wed. Good riddance! Hashimoto’s and Graves, IBS or IBD , severe hives, joint pain, muscle weakness, sweat like a pig in the sun but freeze to death too. I can’t sleep at times and others I sleep all the time. I have dry skin and oily hair, bumps all in my scalp and my hair is falling out, terrible ear aches that last months and tinnitus. I’ve gaining so much weight. I’m steady gaining a couple pounds every couple of weeks. My pulse is high even at rest and my blood pressure goes up but then comes back down. I have a bi polar body it seems. My rheumatoid factor is now up and about to start that route. I have 3 nodules and an appointment for that in another month and getting a biopsy. I’m vitamin D deficient and B12 is steady going down. Oh and some COPD thrown in there for good measure. I did that one to myself.

    I’ve give up cigarettes, eat healthy now and exercise when there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground and above 40 degrees. I am not giving up coffee. That’s all I have left and about the only thing that gets me out of bed now days. I’m just now finding most of this out and have a long way to go. I am no spring chicken at 46 but I hope that there is some hope for us. I am really hoping someone on here is going to say “yeah, I was all screwed up but things are looking up”? I’d love to hear someone say their hair started growing back in and they lost all kinds of weights. It bad enough to feel like death but do we have to look like it too?

    • I need help if anyone has any ideas I’m hypo thyroid I’m on 75mg synthroid a keep gaining weight but they tell me my number are good now I have been diagnosed with crohns except for the fact I have constipation and weight gain any ideas any one need help please

  9. I have been on 50 mcg and 75 mcg of Levothoxine, i,e Eurothox. Intially, I was happy to recognize that my problem is not mental as I had problems concentrating, depressions and lethargy, later I realized that it was my hashimatos – was happy to see the cause of my problem. After , i started the medication for a few days I was happy and everything was fine, and alter I started gaining weight and a hugs covering over my belly sack, made me a little depressing. I planning to stop the medicine, and counter it by healthy food and habits. Any suggestions?

  10. The Dr. told me yesterday I had hypothyroid, wanted me taking levothyroxione25mcg for the rest of my life. Also said something going on with my liver, no alcohol, no tylenol, herbs, or juices from other countries. Also, blood pressure 130/90, too high, no caffeine or sodium and will test thyroid after pill taking and liver in two weeks, blood test. I am unsure of the pills and her summary. My cholesterol very good, H and L. everything else great. I did have lyme disease twice since 2006 and was not treated very long. Should I have a blood test again for lyme before starting this thyroid treatment and questionable liver? I am 61, weigh 170 and have been more tired and cannot lose weight in past year. I question the cholesterol being so good in comparison to liver and also, gall bladder out since 1986. Thank you.

    • Linda, yes, I agree with you, that you might benefit from being screened for Lyme Disease, as, if you have read so many of these comments, they are from people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and they also have Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease causes a number of autoimmune conditions, and Hashimoto’s seems to be common in LD patients. I would recommend blood testing through IgeneX Laboratories in Palo Alto, CA. This would give you the best chance for an accurate diagnosis, as they specialize in vector-borne diseases and utilize much more sensitive testing methods, and analyse more blood bands to detect the Lyme bacteria (Bb).

  11. Hi I’m a 42 woman that began with a horrible itch and rash through out my body (July 2014) At first I was told I had fatty liver and I needed to lose weight. After about 2 months I had lost a total of 5 pounds WOW!!. Later(October 2014) I began to have blurry vision, I was very tired, I had severe joint pain in wrists and knees, my face looked like I aged about 10 years from rash and wrinkles, my skin felt like leather, I would scratch until i made my skin bleed i would wake up at all hours of the night from itchy skin…. I became very irritable and not to mention ugly and mean( can you blame me)…. I saw a skin specialist, a joint specialist and they could not figure out what my body was doing, BUT that it was an Auto Immune disease!! I finally got a thyroid test done(November 2014) and it was so out of wack… my TSH was 22.4 ,my antibodies were over 1,000, and had signs of different
    disorders(Lupus, graves diseases, etc) but tested negative. so I had an Iodine test done that showed several nodules (hot and cold). They weren’t sure if I had cancer or not. So I started to see a nutritionist to help me stay on the right track and it seems to help my energy bit. I also MAKE myself get up and walk around the block,and or run if i feel good… I was sent to a wonderful Clinic in Santa Barbra(Feb 2015) were they diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Disease. The doctors were awesome and had results for me the same day. When they did an ultrasound to see exactly where the nodules were to do a biopsy, they were nowhere to be found. Miracle!!!
    I know this disease can take what little sanity you have left, but please don’t give up. I am very spiritual and know my heavenly father listens to me. I have awesome support from my husband, kids, family and friends… Dont get me wrong I still scratch and have sores that bleed, still losing my hair, and good and bad days… But I know somewhere else someone is worse then me and I pray that everyone gets well. I know changing your diet, some exercise, and prayer helps…love Elizabeth

  12. Hello All,
    I could really use some guidance. I am a 50 year old male. I had a substantial growth on my thyroid with abnormal biopsy results about 10 years ago. Diagnosed with Hashimoto at the same time, it was recommended by my GP and the endo that the thyroid be removed. Foolishly perhaps, I went in that direction. I have been on synthroid and levoxyl and never quite felt right. I recently started going to an alternative guy/acupuncturist. He has weaned me down to ¼ of my dosage and I am much worse. My temp bounces between 95.3 and 97.4, checking 4 times a day. I am dismayed that the Alternative doc did not suggest taking my temps at all. Seems to me, the general consensus is that low temps are a excellent indicator. He has run a thorough panel of blood before I started the wean and I hope to go again soon before I freeze to death. My general questions are as follows:
    1) Is moving to Armour or a similar NDT a good idea?
    2) Is my low temp a good indicator of too low dose of medications?
    3) Should I be trying to fix Hashimoto and if so how?
    4) Is abdominal cramping an indicator of an issue…

    Thanks for anyone who might respond!

    • Joe –

      Yes, switching to an NDT is a great idea. It makes sense that our thyroids need T3 and T4 which you are not getting in your current synthetic meds. People stay on Synthroid way too many years – not feeling well.

      Yes low temps are a very good indicator that your thyroids are not healthy. When people begin to be optimal they do see their temps rise back to normal!

      Yes you should try to help fix your Hashimotos. The only other choice is to be satisfied with how you’re feeling now and I’m gathering that you don’t feel that great!.

      It would be a good idea to seek out another medical professional – one that truly understands the thyroids and Hashimotos. This is not an easy task but don’t give up until you find one that helps you feel better. A functional medicine doctor is a good place to start or there are some MD’s who actually practice holistically. Those are usually the ones that are open to prescribing NDTs.

      There is an excellent website and or facebook forum that will be of interest to you. It’s called Stop the thyroid madness. Check it out.

      Best wishes to you.

      • Thanks Val,
        All makes sense. Saw the Doc today, he “does not think” my symptoms are from the lack of thyroid hormone but he did order the blood work anyhow. I think I will see low levels of T3 and T4 which would explain my low temps.

        • Hi again Joe – remember to NOT take your thyroid medicine 12 hours prior to your blood draw! This way you’ll get a true reading of your thyroids working on their own, not what the medicine is doing to your thyroids. Many doctors forget to remind their patients of this. : )

          • Too late……he told me to take as normal. I have been down to 1/4 dose for over a week so I think we will find out some stuff anyhow. Whereas I have at most, 10% of my thyroid intact, I think blood test will show that most if not all of the hormone is from the levoxl.

      • ndt flared up my Hashimotos and it can actually be a BAD idea. Dr. Mark Starr, will not give it to his Hashi patients.

    • Joe–

      Look into low dose naltroxene (Aka LDN). It has taken away the doom & gloom, fatigue, & brain fog & hashi symptoms. I too have hashi. It has been a miracle drug & definite game changer. It has given me my life back. Good luck in your journey to good health.

      • Thanks Amy,
        Never heard of the LDN but researching now it looks like something to learn more about.
        Thanks again

    • Sure you should be trying to fix your hashimotos because thats the cure. Cut out grains and polyunsaturated oils and any garbage food that would deplete your vitamin/mineral stores like white sugar.. Eat nutritionally dense foods from the cruciferous family and make sure you get iodine from some dried seaweed or kelp capsules… Its also very important to get Vitamin D, Iodine, and selenium in your diet. I dont recommend vitamin capsules but you can walk in the sun, or take cod liver oil (walmart sells a good tasting type),..

      If you buy selenium tables make sure the source is from l-selenomethionine.. It will say on the back of the bottle. Other sources are unreliable.

      For heavy duty iodine you can get lugols solution of iodine but i wouldnt recommend starting off on that until youve taken 200mcg of selenium a day for a month.

      Bottom line is you have to change your nutrition. You have to increase your intake of minerals and trace minerals and stop eating foods that deplete those nutrients..And in order to do that you are going to have to eat things from the ocean .. I like Sardines and, herring.. Seaweed is probably the best thing you can do. you can buy a package of dulse from whole foods and sprinkle it on anything.. Vitamin D and selenium should immediately give you improvements to your thyroid.. They will lessen oxidative damage

      • As far as I’ve read, Cruciferous veggies are goiter forming foods & unless cooked/steamed can cause more problems for Hashi/thyroid problems than might be imagined.

        If I eat them, I do so very infrequently & w/caution. But I usually avoid.

      • I also tried NDT (Armour) and it didn’t work for me. I actually felt worse. Like Emily said it is all trial & error, one med can work for one person & make someone else feel horrible. I believe the first thing anyone diagnosed with Hashi’s should do is go gluten free and eliminate processed foods. I believe there is definitely a correlation between Hashi’s & digestive health.

    • Hi I suggest you test for gluten intolerance if you are sensitive to it will be a must to get it out of your diet. I’m completely gluten free. Al cat testing also to see what your body can’t tolerate. I suggest a organic diet. Also taking a supplement to clean your blood. Digestive enzymes after each meal. Good luck.

    • yes going to a natural thyroid medication is most helpful,and a more healthy choice. i was on synthroid.levothyroixine for many years. i have been on armour and now my dr. added a t3 called cytomel. taking a ndt med is not equivalent to the synthetics. alot of people ask about the conversion. truth is ,its a learning game. finding the right dose for your body will take some time. but you will start to realize when your starting to feel better that your getting close. ndt is a t4 and t3 thyroid medication. the t3 gets used up pretty quickly and the t4 build in time in your body. for me i needed a lower dose of t4 and a higher t3 because i wasnt converting my t4 into my t3. so my reverse t3 was too high and its called pooling. so thats why im on armour and cytomel.

      • Missy, That’s very interesting, could be my problem. Who is your Dr., or does anyone know of a good thyroid doctor in S. CA?

    • I don’t mean to be negative but I had multiple nodules for years that kept multiplying and growing. 5 endos kept ordering ultra sounds, blood work, took temp. Etc, and all were normal. I finally insisted on a biopsy and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. So go with you gut and keep a close check on nodules, size and if they begin to multiply. Good luck.

  13. I find this article a little… negative…

    Unfortunately, if you have Hashimotos Disease, there is indeed no cure for it and most people are likely to have their thyroid slowly get more scarred. What this article seems to dismiss if fortunately, it is easily treatable for most people. Although i do acknowledge there are complications and uncertainties with the disease, such as people commenting on this site who complain they still have symptoms despite normal TSH. (this is a small percentage compared with all the people who have thyroid disease, though, it must be acknowledged).

    For example, i am a more typical case. I had hypothyroidism, to the point my TSH level was somewhere around 19. I felt terrible, with many of the typical symptoms. I was given Levothyroxine and then had blood tests for Thyroid Antibodies. They were present and it was confirmed that i had Hashimotos Disease. Within a few weeks i started feeling better… gradually… and within a few months i was completely healthy again.

    I have indeed had to raise my dose over time, due to my immune system still attacking more of my thyroid, which isn’t ideal, but at the same time it isn’t really a concern when your tablets are doing the job your thyroid is failing to do. I feel completely healthy again due to being in a normal TSH range.

    Therefore, the analogy that you are on a sinking boat to doom is completely uncalled for. Once treated for, most people feel much better again. It isn’t ideal that your thyroid is still being damaged, but can you really say it is a big deal even if your thyroid completely packs up, if your tablets do the function your thyroid was supposed to do and makes you feel better again? I can’t say it is in my scenario. Ideally, i would look to the future for Stem cell treatment or Lab grown thyroid organs to replace my own damaged thyroid, but until then i am perfectly fine on my tablets.

    I do sympathise for those who have had complications but it seems no way representative of most people with Hashimotos. Yet i do agree T3 and T4 need to be considered in the blood samples when treating the disease, and general blood tests should be done for some select hormones and vitamins / minerals which can be affected from thyroid disease. Lifestyle factors such as stress and diet also need to be considered and maintained as they do cause inflammation / immune hyperactivity, and so would make the onset of the disease worse.

    • I’d say your situation is a little unique and you’re one of the lucky ones.
      – Also, TSH is a rather useless lab nowadays when determining full thyroid function. I wouldn’t rely so heavily on that….

  14. Hi Chris,
    I am doing a research project for school. I am in a CAM program at American College of Healthcare Sciences. I was wondering when this article was originally published as I have not been able to find that info here. Thanks so much! Your research is so great!!


  15. My daughter is 17 and has no thyroid. It was removed with radiation (not sure the correct medical term) She is on levothyroxine now. I am trying to figure out what she should not be eating. Her skin is so messed up and she eats nothing but JUNK. Starbucks mocha frappacinno’s, chips, cookies, etc. I try to explain to her but I am wondering if she should eliminate gluten and what other foods she needs to eliminate

  16. There’s a huge option for treatment that you completely left out and the only one that has a good proven track record that it works. Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDTs) It’s FDA approved and has been well before synthetic Synthroid came out. Even though Synthroid is among the most prescribed it does not mean it has good results. It only gives back to the patient T4. Our a normal healthy thyroid produces and requires T3 and T4. Natural Desiccated Thyroid contains both and is effective. There’s no explanation why so many Doctors want to argue this or continue to keep their patients sick. Patients need to do the research and advocate for themselves.

    • This has helped me understand what is happening with me and as you said the doctors just want to argue with what is going on. They act as if you don’t know your own body. I have been suffering with that condition for some time now. I’m just looking for some relief from these symptoms and get back to life as best I can. Looking forward to going back to the doctor to discuss this article and to compare it to what is happening with me. Thank you and God bless !

  17. Hello, my name is Marissa i am 18. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 11. My last dosage of levothyroxin was .175 and was still not high enough. I am now on .75 because my current doc. lowerd it due to me not being able to take it for over a month. I am now not on any because i can’t make it into the doc. atm due to lack of transportation. My doc refuses to refil my script, and i am feeling awfull. I am honestly worried for my life. I am cold even when sweating, i get shakes, my s and feet go numb, i get sharp side pains on both left and right, i cant sleep throught the night but when i do sleep i get lethargic and almost comotosed. I have moments when i get dizzy and light headed, almost to the pint of passing out, im nauses almost constantly, and constatly in pain all over. I supose my questions are
    Is this all due to thyroids?
    Can my doc refuse refils?
    Why havnt i been tested for other disorders like hoshimotos
    Is there a way to convince my doc. Im not crazy and there is something not right

    • Hi! You need to find another doctor. I had a doctor who basically told me just do what I say & be quiet. I got rid of her fast. You will need blood tests to check your TSH levels for the doctor to prescribe the correct dose of meds. You also need to check for Hashimotos. Your health is important so find a way to get to the doctor or hospital asap.

    • You need to ask for several things to chech, not just the TSH. Free T3 & T4, Iron levels, glucose levels, Total T3 & T4, antibodies, Vit D & Bs, progesterone and testosterone, magnesium, selenium, and probably zinc too. Find someone who can tell you what your test results are saying. If it says you’re in the “normal range”, you need to find out what the Optimal range is for you to start feeling better. Find a DO, Not an MD. Maybe a female one. I’ve also been this way since 05 and I’m just Now learning what I need to know.

    • Find another doctor. Consider switching to a Natural Dessicated Thyroid medicine instead of the synthetic one you’re on which is only giving your body T4.
      The website Stop The Thyroid Madness has a ton of great info – there is also an online facebook group.

      FYI, learn about which lab work is the necessary lab work – FreeT3, FreeT4, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies. TSH is pretty useless. Be your own advocate!

    • Your doctor cannot refill your prescription unless you get tested so that he knows he has the right dose. You need to be responsible for yourself and stop blaming others – I can say this because I have been in your shoes. Do whatever it takes to get to your doctors and pay for your appt. It is more important that food. Walk to your doctor if you need to -even if it takes you 3 or 4 hours. Then once he/she writes that prescription, take it to Walmart – they only charge $4 for it! Take your pill every morning on an empty stomach and wait an hour before eating anything. This will be your new lifestyle and you will feel much better. I do and I made this change 20 years ago. Since you haven’t taken it in a while, you will not notice a change immediately because it is something that has to build in your system over time. Give it at least a week.
      Good luck

      • I have been taking my pills for over a month and I still don’t feel any better fatigue nausea sweats/cold tingling in my feet and hands chronic pain in neck and shoulders. Most days I can’t function properly. Tired constantly taking 100mg of my pill a day

    • Marissa,
      Everything you have mentioned sounds like you are going into a myxedema coma; this can be DEADLY, and you must seek emergency care. This happened to me, I am very lucky to be alive and blessed beyond words to be functioning mentally. I lost 90% of my neurological functioning for about 3 months and I had to do my own physical therapy to get them back, my short-term memory is still lagging. Doctors do not know diddly squat! I finally had to find out what happened to me through extensive research. Good luck to everyone who is in need of a neurologist! I went to ER at least 4 times and NOTHING, they were more concerned with me seeing a psychologist and my every month mouth sore (blister on roof of mouth) for two years, “was an abscessed tooth.” Yeah, right; the tooth has never hurt! This happened in August of 2013 and finally sent on a voyage of 18 months to 8 different “Specialists” for ALL the symptoms to be treated. I have been through Hell and back and still not being properly treated and misdiagnosed with other issues instead of focusing on the damage caused by the disease itself. Trying to get my Endo to medicate me correctly is like pulling teeth! What’s the problem? They act as if Levothyroxin and Lionthyronine are controlled substances and I’m an addict. It’s not her that is losing her hair and skin by the handfuls, freezing to death, tired, brain fogged, and dizzy every time I get up to the point of falling hard. There is no excuse for you not to get into your doctor! Especially, knowing you have Hasimoto’s Hypothyroidism, I didn’t! GO to ER!!! You need urgent treatment for myxedema and you are more likely to be deficient in vitamin’s B12 and D. I realize you posted awhile ago, I truly hope you are still around to read this!

      • I am 49 and peridot have always needed B12 shots. Medical record gone (made the mistake of telling my Dr a yr ago I was going for my ssi) he stopped seeing me and now I cannot get another primary to treat me. Thank God my encronologist didn’t call him. He put me on D3 which seems to be helping some if I could get a Dr to properly treat the lyme disease almost a year later and still picking out ticks. I would rather be dead than exist like this with no income no car and not even a friend to help me with anything.

  18. I was FINALLY diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 2 years ago after having blood tests every 4 months for 10 years. After 10 years of blood tests and changing medications by a supposed Thyroid Specialist and continuously telling him my symptoms, I changed Dr.’s and went to Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and she told me I probably have had it all my life. I also have IBS and Ringing in my ears.

    Previous Doctors had explained to me that as soon as I’m on the right Thyroid medication and dosage, I will be myself again. And that’s how it worked…no big deal.right? But it was a big deal to me because I didn’t feel better and the more I told them the more they looked at me like I was Crazy. So I stopped telling them and just took the medication and had my blood tests, which consistently came back abnormal.

    I’m very happy that I finally found the time and strength to change to Mass General Hospital, and do feel better. Changing my diet completely definitely was a huge positive factor in my feeling better. Kale and coconut milk/oil I add to almost every meal. BUT, I wish I could find an Autoimmune Specialist. Is there such a Dr.? My Thyroid Specialist doesn’t know of one either. I feel like I still need a Dr. who will treat my immune system…if that makes sense?

    In the Summer, I still get a fever for about a week or so and ache all over and in the night, my asthma is horrible. My Dr. says it because I’m putting too much stress on my body and I need to relax more. I have 2 very active teenage boys 1 of which has Aspergers, so my Anxiety (worry level) is pretty high.

    My questions are:

    1. Is there such a Dr. as an Autoimmune Specialist?
    2. Does anyone else get Fevers for over a week?
    3. Does anyone else lose track thoughts in the middle of conversations?
    4. Does anyone elses family treat them as if they wish they were never born?

    • Hi Kathryn,

      I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimotos and have had a long stint of illnesses due to a damaged immune system. From what I have been discovering, I am trying to improve the immune system through vitamin supplements and cutting back on gluten. I am in Melbourne Australia and have discovered medical doctors who also integrate ‘alternative’ medicine (the supplements, diet, etc) to help their patients. These doctors are called Integrative doctors and you might have some close to where you live. I have found since taking the supplements, my health is feeling improved. Vitamin B multi, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin K all work as a team. People with weakened immune systems often have deficiencies in these vitamins. I also take vitamin C powder. Hope this helps

    • Oh also Vitamin D3. That one is very important and is often very low in people with hypothyroid. My sister and I both have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and we both had extremely low readings for vitamin D

    • Kathryn, for concerns about autoimmune diseases, I recommend seeing a rheumatologist. Your symptoms you described overlap with mine caused by my lupus, fibromyalgia, hashi’s and other illnesses. I hope you get the help you need. Definitely do some research. Good luck!

  19. I sent this letter to two Endocrinologist clinics I recently had appointments at.
    I have had symptoms of low thyroid for about twenty years and had every primary care doctor
    say, “Your TSH is normal, you do not have a thyroid problem”
    I recently had below normal temps each am that never even reached 98.0
    but three times from mid October 2013 until late April when I spent
    hours and days online with Naturepathic doctors, a DO, Nurse
    Practitioner reading their research and
    researching myself the thyroid gland and how it works, and the whole
    thyroid hormone process.

    Dr. Manoff looked at me as I described all of those in my Mom’s family
    with thyroid disorders, my own sister having half her thyroid removed, and he said “I don’t think you have hypothyroidism” and did another TSH which my primary doc had just done and nothing else.

    Dr. Purnell at OSHU did a thyroid panel as I requested, never called me and I requested a copy and his nurse mailed me one. He looked at the TSH as normal and completely ignored the free T4 at the highest level and the free T3 at the bottom of the level. From my studies and advice I knew plenty of T4 was being made by my Thyroid but it was not
    being converted to T3. A normal level of free T3 for an elderly person would be halfway or better in the range
    consistently. He ingnored all that because TSH was normal!!

    Seven weeks after that thyroid panel Dr Purnell called me and said he could not tell me why I had low temperatures. By that time I had been taking a Dessicated Bovine supplement and my temps were back to normal 24 hours a day. Now
    they are many day back to under 97.6 most of the 24 hours and the symptoms are much worse and I am very sick from a very slow metabolism that just is not working.

    Endocrinologists are no longer Endocrinologists, they are Defenders of TSH, that does not work and 20-30 million (estimated ) Americans have hypo or hyperthyroidism and cannot get a diagnosis and suffer year after year with no help.

    I will not go to another Endocrinologist that charges Medicare but does NOTHING! I will use a Naturopathic doctor who is doing what Endocrinologists use to do
    before TSH and doing great things for patients, even though I have to save up and pay for it myself.

    Elena Parton

    • I had to go to a surgeon with all of my blood work, US, etc to be treated for low free T4 and low T3 levels. She said just because my TSH is normal that doesn’t mean my thyroid is working just fine. What she said is that because my TSH is normal that tells her that the T4 and T4 is able to travel to the pituitary. I had other problems besides low levels–which is why my GP referred me to her–but she started me on synthroid and within 5 days or so I’d noticed a huge difference! I no longer had that extreme exhaustion mid-afternoon. I’ve come to realize that specialist don’t necessarily know anymore than regular GP’s or only look at numbers from blood work. There is more going on than numbers. The endocrinologist that I was seeing refused to listen to me and how I was feeling. He only said “Your TSH is normal so there’s nothing wrong.” You know your body best. Don’t give up. I know it’s frustrating but you deserve to feel good! BTW–I’m 10 days post-surgery for a total thyroidectomy due to large nodules that were affecting my breathing and swallowing. I see my surgeon on Thursday and am feeling so-so. She already told me before I left the hospital that she will be doing regular blood work to make sure my levels are consistent and where they need to be. I’m expecting my synthroid to be raised. Hang in there everyone!