Is Hashimoto's Causing Your Hypothyroidism?
If you're one of the 10 million people in the United States struggling with low thyroid levels, you may be wondering: why is this happening to me?
Hypothyroidism symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, fertility issues, and trouble sleeping. If a blood test reveals you have low thyroid levels, your conventional doctor will likely prescribe a synthetic thyroid replacement medication.
Taking a synthetic thyroid replacement medication everyday may temporarily relive your most troubling symptoms, but it won't get to the root cause on why you have this issue in the first place!
The Autoimmunity Link
Research suggests that 90% of thyroid disorders are triggered by an autoimmune condition - meaning your immune system has misidentified your thyroid as a foreign invader.
The most common type of thyroid autoimmune disease is called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This disease triggers thyroid inflammation, which reduces thyroid function.
It is most common in middle-age women, but Hashimoto's can also impact men and children. There also is a genetic link to Hashimoto's - so if your mother had it, you're more likely to suffer from this autoimmune disorder as well.
Bloodwork for Hashimoto's
If you've been diagnosed with low thyroid levels, you may be surprised to realize that you haven't been checked for Hashimoto's.
To rule out Hashimoto's, your bloodwork must be checked for anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA) tests, including thyroid peroxidase antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. Most doctors, however, do not check for these antibodies because it will not change their conventional treatment plan (synthetic thyroid replacement medication).
Synthetic thyroid replacement medication may normalize your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, but it does not address the underlying autoimmunity.
This is why many women continue to experience negative symptoms and worsening blood work while taking their thyroid medications.
Another common scenario is when a person's symptoms and levels fluctuate between being underactive and overactive. Many doctors will incorrectly diagnose someone like this with having an overactive thyroid - but the real issue is the Hashimoto's attack on the thyroid is waxing and waning.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
Autoimmunity can impact any tissue in your body. It's important to make sure you have a proper diagnosis and plan of action if you do, in fact, have Hashimoto's. That's because you're much more likely to develop a second - or third - autoimmune disorder if you already have one unmanaged condition.
If you suspect you could have Hashimoto's, it's important to work with a functional medicine provider to follow a nutrition and supplementation plan that will calm your immune system and balance your thyroid levels.
Functional medicine offers complete lab testing that can screen for different types of autoimmunity. Our strategies for wellness, including an anti-inflammatory diet, blood sugar stabilization, good gut health, the elimination of heavy metal and toxin build-up, and good lifestyle habits can help reduce your risk of developing another autoimmune condition.
Contact our clinic to learn more about our approach to autoimmune disorders.