Hashimoto's Is The Most Common Cause of Hypothyroidism

autoimmunity hashimoto's hypothyroidism thyroid Oct 22, 2022

According to the American Thyroid Association, approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and most of them are middle-aged women. Of those 20 million, up to 60% are unaware that they have it, until their health starts to fall apart.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) is Hashimoto's disease, which account for more than 90% of all thyroid problems. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system produces antibodies against your thyroid that cause other parts of your immune system to attack and destroy your thyroid gland. It destroys the cells that make thyroid hormones, leading to hypothyroidism.

Chronically elevated TSH levels can lead to an enlarged thyroid, called goiter, which can cause discomfort in the front of your neck, and as it enlarged may impair swallowing.

The most common symptoms of Hashimoto's:

  • Cold hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Brain fog and memory problems
  • Irregular menstrual cycles


How Hashimoto's Is Diagnosed

The most common test used to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone - which comes from your pituitary gland). If your TSH levels are high, it means that your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, indicating that you have hypothyroidism.

It's also important to check also for antibodies against thyroperoxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (ATA), which are markers for Hashimoto's, the underlying autoimmunity.

What Can You Do?

While there is no cure for Hashimoto's, the hormone deficiency it causes may need to be managed with medication. Whether or not you need medication depends on how low your hormone production has become. And the choice between synthetic or bioidentical hormone replacement is not always an obvious one. Some do better with one, some do better with the other.

The most common type of medication used to treat Hashimoto's is levothyroxine/Synthroid, which is a synthetic form of the hormone thyroxine (T4). Both Levo/Synthroid replace the hormones you can't make because of the thyroid gland destruction caused by the underlying Hashimoto's autoimmunity, and that works well for some people. But many don't do well with synthetic thyroid hormones and get better results from a combination of bioidentical T4 and T3..

Either way, the goal is to bring your TSH levels back to normal and prevent you from developing a goiter, and hope that higher thyroid levels improve your symptoms. But 50% of people taking synthetic T4 may have a normalized TSH but still have unresolved thyroid symptoms.

Here's What Is Most Important of All

Since the underlying cause of hypothyroid is this autoimmune destruction of your thyroid gland called Hashimoto's, the most important thing is to find ways to restore balance and control to your immune system. Simply replacing lost hormones is usually not enough - the immune imbalance of the Hashimoto's itself needs to be controlled so that you don't keep losing function and quality of life year after year. The best way to do this is to follow a personalized diet/lifestyle and nutritional supplementation program.

Priority 1: Discover your Ideal Diet

Priority 2: Leverage your Ideal Lifestyle

Priority 3: Find and fix metabolic imbalances that promote more frequent and aggressive autoimmune attacks

Priority 4: Develop a protocol of nutritional supplementation that help you control YOUR autoimmunity (it may be different than someone else's)

If you think you may have Hashimoto's disease or any other form of thyroid disease, getting diagnosed properly and having a personalized diet, lifestyle and supplementation plan can help protect your thyroid and your health for years to come.

Check out my 4 Pillar Thyroid System program to learn more, or call/text my office to schedule an initial consultation to see if we should work together.



Want to schedule a consult? Are you ready to start taking charge of your health and get this thing figured out? Everything start with a 1-hour consult to see if I can help and to make sure we're a good fit.

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