Having undiagnosed autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is one of the key reasons why it’s common for women and men to continue suffering with stubborn thyroid problems. Auto Immune Thyroid or Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the number one cause of hypothyroid symptoms in the United States.
This nasty autoimmune condition of the thyroid means that your immune system is attacking your thyroid.
An autoimmune condition is defined as a destructive immune system attack on a part of your body. In the case of stubborn hypothyroid symptoms (often with normal TSH and T4 blood tests) the immune system is most likely attacking your thyroid gland.
Remember, your thyroid controls your body's metabolism. ALL OF IT! Hashimoto's thyroiditis (aka. Autoimmune Thyroid) is the number one cause of low thyroid in the United States. When your immune system is relentlessly attacking your thyroid, you will eventually have abnormal thyroid function and will need to take thyroid replacement hormone for life. Taking thyroid hormones when you need them is very important, but something very important is never addressed….ignored…or just not evaluated.
The bigger problem that is often ignored is the immune system. With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, you just don't have a "thyroid" problem; you have an "immune" problem.
Unfortunately, thyroid hormones do nothing to address the thyroid autoimmune attack. Additional strategies must be employed.
You will continue to lose more and more of your thyroid gland while you are taking the thyroid replacement hormone medications. It is a slow, progressive, downward slide.
Stated another way, autoimmune thyroid as a diagnosis isn't just a problem with your thyroid gland; it is also a problem with your immune system. When you have an autoimmune disorder, it is vital to consider the immune system problem, and work toward balancing your immune system. Thyroid hormones are not going to help you heal your immune system.
There are many “parts” to your immune system. Two very important partners are the TH1 and TH2 “parts”. Both are important, but these two distinct portions of your immune system must partner together to be effective…and not cause problems. Your immune system is designed to detect and destroy substances deemed as detrimental to your body’s health. Problems develop when either the TH1 or the TH2 part of your immune system becomes dominant, like what would occur if the children on a teeter-totter were extremely different in weight. In autoimmune processes, this is exactly what occurs; either the TH1 portion or the TH2 portion becomes dominant.
If your immune system goes out of balance because of stress (physical, chemical or emotional), one system (TH1 or TH2) will become dominant and will cause your immune system to attack your body.
There are specific blood tests that can be run to determine if you are autoimmune and other methods can be used to determine if one part of your immune system is dominant.
The problem with autoimmune conditions is that the unruly immune system doesn’t attack just one area of your body, for example your thyroid in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but instead goes on to attack other areas of your body.
Your immune system can, and often does (when the immune imbalance is not addressed), attack your pancreas, causing diabetes, or it can attack your gut - your stomach lining - causing IBS, or it can attack your joints leading to rheumatoid arthritis. The autoimmune process can continue to attack other areas of your body such as the insulating covering over your nerves leading to multiple sclerosis types of disorders or even the back part of your brain, the cerebellum, leading to vertigo and other balance disorders.
The bottom line is this; if you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or Autoimmune Thyroid, you need to deepen the investigation to discover the triggers to why you have developed the autoimmune imbalance. I’ve seen too many people over the years that didn’t know they should have continued the investigation beyond thyroid hormone replacement therapy and unfortunately they’ve developed more severe health challenges. Don’t let this happen to you. Seek help from someone knowledgeable about in depth testing and natural help for immune system modulation. If you have questions, feel fee to contact me.