The statistics surrounding Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are quite concerning:
- One in five Americans are estimated to have hypothyroidism.
- If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to develop a thyroid problem by eight-fold.
- 60 percent don’t know they have a problem with their thyroid.
Causation of Hypothyroidism is Important
If you end up with a hypothyroid diagnosis, there’s a good chance it could be Hashimoto’s Disease. The unfortunate thing is that many who receive a hypothyroid diagnosis won’t know that they actually have Hashimoto’s. This is a common occurrence for two reasons:
- Your doctor has not tested for antibodies that would lead to a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s.
- Your doctor thinks the treatment of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s should be the same and so does not make the distinction.
This is because many conventional doctors still think the best approach for treating both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s is simply hormone replacement therapy. This approach is entirely wrong and needs changing. Let’s look at these two conditions and see what the differences are in diagnostics and treatments. Because we believe knowing whether or not you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s or both, is critical for developing a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disease or disorder is when the immune system becomes overactive and mistakes healthy tissue for invaders and attacks these tissues. In the case of Hashimoto’s, the immune system is attacking the thyroid gland. Eventually, if the attack on the thyroid isn’t stopped or slowed, the gland won’t be able to produce thyroid hormone. This destruction results in hypothyroidism. This process can take years or even decades to develop. In fact, on average a person has Hashimoto’s for about 10 years before they finally receive a diagnosis. This is because symptoms don’t become bad enough for attention until late stage diagnosis of the disease. The good news is – if you’re reading this – you’re aware of this possibility that your hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s. Meaning, you can be tested for Hashimoto’s and begin approaching your disease from a more functional standpoint. This is significant because there’s a lot that can be done for autoimmune disease. And keep in mind that if you do have Hashimoto’s and don’t identify and address it, over time more and more damage occurs with the thyroid gland.
What is Hypothyroidism (Low Thyroid)?
By definition, hypothyroidism is a clinical state, which means it’s characterized by low levels of thyroid hormone in the body, plus noticeable symptoms. You can also be considered as having subclinical hypothyroidism, which would mean you aren’t having symptoms but through lab testing you have low thyroid hormone levels. Low thyroid hormone levels can be caused by iodine deficiency, certain medications, damage to the thyroid, Hashimoto’s Disease or surgical removal of the thyroid. Iodine deficiency used to be a big problem in the U.S. until 1924 when the government stepped in and began adding iodine to table salt. In countries where iodine is added to the salt, most hypothyroid cases are actually Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
The Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease
The major difference between these two conditions is their underlying cause. Again, many doctors don’t seem to think the causes matter because they focus on treating the symptoms. However, if you want the best chance at an optimal life with your thyroid condition, knowing the cause is essential because it means you can work on both the symptoms and the root cause. This is a functional medicine approach and has been found to be much more effective in treating Hashimoto’s. Additionally, if you have thyroid conditions that run in your family, you should also be tested for both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.
One thing is for certain – if you’ve been tested for hypothyroidism, you should absolutely be tested for Hashimoto’s Disease as well.
Here at Dynamic Life Health Center we order a full panel of Thyroid Testing to get a complete picture of what is happening with your Thyroid including testing for the Possibility of Hashimoto’s Disease. For more information about our diagnosis and treatment of Hashimoto’s, please click here.
What it Means if You Have Hashimoto’s Disease
It might sound as though an additional diagnosis is a bad thing, but in the case of Hashimoto’s it’s actually a good thing. With autoimmune disease, you can take steps to return your immune system back to homeostasis. First, you’ll need to identify your personal triggers. A few common triggers of autoimmune disease include:
- Food sensitivities (gluten is a major culprit here but not the only one by far)
- Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
- Chronic infections
When you reduce your triggers you also reduce the attack on your thyroid.
Other steps that help those with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism include:
- Specialized diets
- Food sensitivity and GI testing
- Improving detoxification pathways
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing stress
- Emotional therapy
- Treating infections
- Low dose naltrexone
- Laser therapy
- And of course, correcting thyroid hormone levels.
Find Out If Your Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Disease
Don’t ignore early signs of hypothyroidism, which include:
- Weight gain.
- Difficulty losing weight
- Increased sensitivity to cold.
- Dry skin.
- Muscle weakness.
If you have thyroid conditions that run in your family, we recommend being tested in your thirties. At the Dynamic Life Health Center, we have helped hundreds of people uncover their autoimmune disease and to treat the underlying causes to the result of greatly reduced symptoms. When it comes to thyroid hormones treatment, our patients are often happy to find that a Hashimoto’s diagnosis means a better treatment plan that reduces the overall amount of thyroid hormones needed. It gives us a clearer picture of your health so we can provide you with the steps you need to improve your quality of life. If you suspect your hypothyroidism is actually Hashimoto’s (and statistically, it very well could be), you can make an appointment with the Dynamic Life Health Center today. Simply fill out the contact form here or call 817-912-1600. If you aren’t in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we recommend checking the American Thyroid Association website or the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Call our New Patient Coordinator at 817-539-6168
Or fill in the inquiry form below and tell us the best way to reach you.
We can provide you with the paperwork that contains the diagnostic and CPT codes that you can submit for possible reimbursement with your insurance company. We do encourage you to contact your insurance company prior to your first visit to ask them what benefits they give for seeing an out of network provider and for comprehensive lab-work. If for some reason they will not cover lab fees, we can offer our patients a substantial self-pay discount and we will work with you to keep costs within your budget. You are also able to use Health Saving Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
Contact our New Patient Coordinator for more information
When many patients come to see us, they have lost hope because they’ve felt unwell for so long and don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s rewarding as a practitioner to be able to help so many people realize a much better “normal” and a regained sense of wellness!
Please call 817-539-6168 for more information about how our clinic and Dr. Berutti can help you with your health goals and when you are ready to schedule an appointment.
We look forward to the opportunity to restore your health and regain your vitality for life!