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Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson's Chronic Condition Natural Treatment Blog

Intentional musings of a unique Shelby Township Michigan Chiropractic Physician dedicated to helping people find solutions to improving their health by rooting out causes to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, stubborn thyroid disorder symptoms, balance disorders, chronic knee & shoulder pain, migraines, sciatica, ADD/ADHD/ASD, back pain, peripheral neuropathy, gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disorders so they can Reclaim Their Life!

From the Desk of Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC.....

Hashimoto's: Is It a Thyroid Problem or An Immune Problem?

Posted by Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC on Sat, Apr 06, 2013

Hashimoto's was the first disease recognized as an autoimmune disease. It was first described by the Japanese specialist Hakaru Hashimoto in Germany in 1912. Hashimoto's is also known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or HT. In this autoimmune disorder the body produces an antibody that attacks the thyroid gland resulting in inflammation, and often decreased thyroid function (hypothyroidism).

"Hashimoto's thyroiditis very often results in hypothyroidism with bouts of hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis include:

  • myxedematous psychosis,
  • weight gain,
  • depression,
  • mania,
  • sensitivity to heat and cold,
  • paresthesia,
  • fatigue,
  • panic attacks,
  • bradycardia,
  • tachycardia,
  • high cholesterol,
  • reactive hypoglycemia,
  • constipation,
  • migraines,
  • muscle weakness,
  • cramps,
  • memory loss,
  • infertility and
  • hair loss." [1]

"Hashimoto's thyroiditis is often misdiagnosed as depression, cyclothymia, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and, less frequently, as ED or an anxiety disorder." [2]

If you are like the many patients I have seen who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, your physician likely prescribed some form of thyroid hormone replacement therapy in an effort to help with restoring your thyroid hormones and TSH to "normal levels".

Commonly patient's are asked to follow up with thyroid blood tests such as TSH and T4 periodically. Medication dosage is altered to keep the aforementioned thyroid test numbers within a range that is considered normal. Unfortunatly this approach doesn't end up helping a large number of patients control their symptoms based on all the patient that I see at my office. These patients were told that their thyroid managment was succesful and that remaining symptoms must be dealt with additional medications. Sometimes patients with multiple symptoms unresponsive to thyroid hormone replacement therapy are due to some other issue such as depression or fibromyalgia. Here is the story of one such patient who went for years trying to get help:

Although treating the HT patient with thyroid hormone replacement is necesary if thyroid hormone levels are low, the immune component of Hashimoto's is ignored.

My opinion is this approach is missing a key objective; finding out what triggered the immune system to launch an attack on the thyroid in the first place. It is similar to treating high cholesterol without launching an investigation into why the cholesterol is elevated.

Hashimoto's Triggers

Johannes Ott and colleagues from Kaiserin Elisabeth Spital and Medical University of Vienna, Austria, report that women with higher levels of anti-thyroid antibody had a significantly higher number of symptoms, even though their levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) -- a measure of thyroid function -- did not differ from TSH levels measured in women with lower antibody levels. In the article, "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Affects Symptom Load and Quality of Life Unrelated to Hypothyroidism: A Prospective Case-Control Study in Women Undergoing Thyroidectomy for Benign Goiter " the authors conclude that hypothyroidism is only one factor contributing to HT symptoms.[3]

In other words, the antibodies that are elevated in Hashimoto's have a negative effect on the body. This is a problem with the immune system. Therin lies the problem with typical medical treatment of HT; it is treated as a thyroid problem and thyroid hormone replacement therapy is often the only treatment deemed necessary or adequate for the standard of care. The immune system imbalance is ignored. I wrote a 55 page eBook entitled, "The Ultimate Strategy for Ending Your Thyroid Symptoms so You Increase The Zest in Your Life", which you can request for free by clicking on the blue button below.

I often see patients who have suffred with a myriad of symptoms whose lab ranges for TSH and T4 are kept in the normal range with thyroid hormone replacement. By using a thorough investigation, using lab work to discover what is underlying the cause or causes of an imbalanced immune system or nervous system, a comprehensive natural treatment plan can be developed.

Request Your Copy of My Thyroid Ebook Today 

For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look a the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets.

If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with Hashimoto's or low thyroid symptoms as well as other chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical managment. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!

All the best – Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions



1,2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashimoto%27s_thyroiditis

3. Johannes Ott, Regina Promberger, Friedrich Kober, Nikolaus Neuhold, Maria Tea, Johannes C. Huber, Michael Hermann. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Affects Symptom Load and Quality of Life Unrelated to Hypothyroidism: A Prospective Case–Control Study in Women Undergoing Thyroidectomy for Benign Goiter. Thyroid, 2011; 21 (2): 161 DOI: 10.1089/thy.2010.0191

Topics: Hypothyroidism, thyroid symptoms, autoimmune, Hashimoto's, fibromyalgia, thyroid

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