Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is grossly under diagnosed and may be the root cause of your tiredness, brain fog, poor stress resilience with anxiety, hair loss and dry skin.
Do you regularly wake up tired, and continue to be tired all day long? Do you end up depending on stimulants such as caffeine double shots and sugar in all its glorious forms? Maybe you even try forcing some exercise for an adrenal kick! If this is you it may be worthwhile to have your thyroid comprehensively checked.
Very often, I have patients reporting that their “thyroid is fine”, but the only parameter that is ‘fine’ is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). Now, the TSH is the most widely used marker in the world to test thyroid function. The range is extremely wide (0.5 – 5.0) for a ‘normal’ TSH reading. The TSH will only tell you very limited information about the way your thyroid is functioning. It won’t tell you about the amount of T4 (thyroxoine – the precursor to T3 which is the more active hormone) being produced and how much of this is being converted to the more active thyroid hormone called T3 or Triiodothyronine. It also won’t tell you if your thyroid hormones are not converting properly … which may give you a high reading of rT3 (reverse Triiodothyronine) and a comparatively low reading of Triiodothyronine.
If your most active thyroid hormone (T3) which helps to govern energy and metabolism is actually working in reverse, there’s no wonder why you must be feeling tired all of the time! Your thyroid hormones are working against you. And to complete the picture, this may mean that your thyroid is being damaged by autoantibodies. Yes, antibodies are produced because your thyroid gland thinks that it is an invader or imposter, and they end up attacking your thyroid gland. What a miscommunication! These autoantibodies (called TPO or thyroxine peroxidase and Tbg or thyroglobulin) may continue to elevate years after you have excepted that you are tired all of the time, and that you can never lose that bit of weight around the middle. These little guys (the antibodies) are the major parameter that singles out your low functioning thyroid as being an autoimmune disease in addition to having the low functioning thyroid called hypothyroidism.
What are the common signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis OR Hypothyroidism?
What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid governs energy and metabolism. It is your body’s thermostat. It helps you to regulate your weight, provides cellular energy and beautiful hair. The Thyroid hormone affects every cell in the body. The great news is that Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is reversible. It is very common affecting 13 – 27% of general population with women 8 x more affected with peaks times at pregnancy.
The progression to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s hypothyroid is where our own immune system as a part of the body lodges an attack leading to a destruction of thyroid tissue. This may begin in the late teens or early 20’s and progress over the years. Like all autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s is progressive, so as early as the diagnosis it is imperative to slow down the progression.
The precursors for autoimmunity are:
- Genetic predisposition
- Elevated antibodies – this is where the white blood cells and immune cells get into the thyroid
- Signs and symptoms or diagnosed hypothyroidism
- Other autoimmune disease such as celiac disease
What are the major causes for low functioning thyroid
- Environmental toxins
- Insufficient vitamins, minerals and amino acids that support the thyroid
- Intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’
- History of viral or bacterial infections e.g. Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever); Blastocystis hominis
- Cross reactive proteins such as gluten via molecular mimicry
- SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
If you suspect that your thyroid may be the root cause of your tiredness and other symptoms, book in for an initial naturopathic consultation so we can get your health, energy and vitality back on track!