Do you continue to suffer with low thyroid symptoms even after taking replacement hormones for months or years? Do you continue to suffer with any of these thyroid symptoms?
- Tired, Sluggish
- Can't lose weight even with exercise
- Feel cold in hands, feet, or all over
- Require excessive amounts of sleep to function properly
- Increase in weight gain even with low-calorie diet
- Gain weight easily
- Difficult, infrequent bowel movements
- Depression, lack of motivation
- Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses
- Outer third of the eyebrow thins
- Thinning of the hair on scalp, face or genitals or excessive falling hair
- Dryness of skin and/or scalp
- Mental sluggishness
- Nervous and emotional
- Night sweats
- Hypoglycemia / Low Blood Sugar
- Problems with Balance and Coordination
Are you tired of feeling this way? Are you tired of hearing that there is nothing else that can be done? Or, worse than all of these, are you tired of hearing..."your thyroid levels are normal now, your remaining symptoms can't be from your thyroid?"
If you said yes to any of these questions then you are not alone. In the United States 4 out of every 1000 women suffer with hypothyroidism with up to 90% being due to a destructive autoimmune process called Hashimoto’s. Just like you, most of these people continue to suffer, even after they receive the standard thyroid replacement hormone treatment.
Thyroid symptoms and disorders are caused from a multitude of factors – not just a lazy thyroid or insufficient pituitary function (termed primary hypothyroidism)! The problem is finding the cause and then knowing what to do about the cause (or causes) discovered for each individual. According to Kharrazian, low thyroid symptoms are caused from one or more of 6 functional problems that cannot be treated like a simple infection, broken arm, or disease. There is something wrong in your body, likely multiple functional shifts that can be found, and reversed, if the proper testing and treatment are done.
As stated previously, thyroid replacement (external thyroid hormone management), as the sole basis of treatment, will only work for the pattern of primary Hypothyroidism, not the other 5 patterns of low thyroid function. Treating Hashimoto's Autoimmune Hypothyroidism with replacement as the sole treatment is like treating the common cold virus with antibiotics. Antibiotics never were or never could be effective against the cold virus because antibiotics don't kill viruses, yet it is still commonly used.
In the United States, the number one cause of low thyroid is Hashimoto's Autoimmune Thyroid. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune attack against thyroid cells, meaning your body's immune system is targeting and killing your own thyroid tissue.
Although Hashimoto's can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, in most cases there is a slow gradual attack against the thyroid. This eventually leads to the loss of enough thyroid cells and function that it presents as primary hypothyroidism. When the thyroid does not work adequately, in this case because the cells are being destroyed, the pituitary gland (in your brain), increases the production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) as an attempt to increase thyroid gland activity.
Over time people with Autoimmune Thyroid's start to develop the symptoms of low thyroid function which will prompt them to have their thyroid checked by their medical doctor. When the TSH is measured it will usually be found to be increased, representing low thyroid function, and they are typically diagnosed as having primary hypothyroidism. They are then placed on thyroid replacement hormone, for the rest of their life.
"Yet the question is never really asked, "why did they become hypothyroid?..."
The issue of the autoimmune attack is not addressed. Instead, they are considered to be managed and treated properly when the TSH normalizes with the replacement hormones. In a sense the patient is having their TSH managed, but not the underlying mechanism for their thyroid loss (their autoimmune attack).
In the replacement model when the TSH is "normalized" from taking the thyroid replacement, any symptoms that remain, after the normalization of the TSH, are attributed to something else.
For example, if your thyroid condition is causing depression, which it commonly does, then the doctor will give you antidepressants. Why? Because if the thyroid levels are now in the "normal" range, how can the depression symptoms be coming from the thyroid?
On the surface it seems logical but I'll show you why the symptoms are still coming from poor thyroid function.
If you haven't had this experience yet, you probably will. You will go into your doctors office because you STILL suffer with the same symptoms, and in an attempt to move you out of the office in the allotted 10 minutes the doctor has given for your visit, he or she is going to shove an antidepressant prescription at you, and tell you that it will help some of the symptoms.
Do you suffer from depression? Maybe...as a result of the thyroid problem that is not being managed properly, or maybe you’re depressed because you have a chronic problem that no one is taking seriously and just wanting to shove pills at you so you will go away. Either way, an antidepressant isn't the FIX.
In most cases, since the actual autoimmune response is ignored, over time you will continue to lose more thyroid cells, and the requirements for your thyroid replacement hormone continue to rise. Even more importantly, despite the fact that "TSH is considered managed" with replacement thyroid hormones, Autoimmune Thyroid patients will continue to have all the symptoms of low thyroid function.
Stay tuned for additional details regarding stubborn thyroid symptoms despite being on thyroid hormone replacement...
All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions
 Autoimmunity and hypothyroidism. Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Aug;2(3):591-617. [PubMed].