What is Hashimoto's Disease?
Hashimoto's Disease is an autoimmune thyroid condition that leads to total destruction of the thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism if left untreated. Many doctors do not realize that Hashimoto's is treatable if you uncover and remove the root causes. The number one root cause is gluten. See Dr. Kharrazian's website, www.thyroidbook.com for a better understanding of the gluten/gut/thyroid connection.
What are the symptoms of Hashimoto's Disease?
People who suffer from Hashimoto's Disease will have all or some of these symptoms. These symptoms will worsen if the disease is left untreated.
weight loss (in the early stages)
depression, mood swings, irritability
loss of sex drive
skin changes such as hives, bruising, dry skin
IBS, heartburn, GERD
diarrhea (in the early stages)
swelling in neck area
redness around neck and chest
feeling like you are 100 years old or have the flu
How do I test for Hashimoto's Disease?
Many doctors will rely on the TSH, and only the TSH, to diagnose you. They are wrong. TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is a pituitary, not a thyroid hormone, and should never be used as a sole indicator of thyroid disease. TSH can fluctuate from low to high. Depending on the day and time, you might have "in range" TSH when you are actually very sick. That is why you need more tests.
The tests required for diagnosis are the antibodies TPOab and TGab (thyroperoxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies). In addition to the antibodies, you will need the FT3, FT4, RT3, and TSH tests to determine current thyroid levels.
*Please note that AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) lowered the TSH hypothyroid threshold to 3.0 about ten years ago, but most doctors and labs still go by outdated values of 5.0 or higher.
**About ten percent of Hashi patients will have negative antibodies. In that case, a thyroid ultrasound can be used for diagnosis. Either way, we recommend a thyroid ultrasound.