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Most often referred to as ‘National Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month’, focusing on just the US, I prefer to drop the ‘national’ and call it Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, making it an international event.
So nine out of ten of us that have hypothyroidism, have Hashimoto’s causing it.
An autoimmune disease is a lifelong condition in which the body produces antibodies that attack its own tissues, leading to the deterioration and in some cases, to the destruction of such tissue. Hashimoto’s causes your own immune system to launch an attack against the thyroid gland, slowly destroying it over time, causing hypothyroidism. This is the cause of around 90% of cases of hypothyroidism.
You can find out if you have Hashimoto’s by testing for thyroid antibodies (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies), but these are often not tested by doctors, who refuse to acknowledge its importance. You need both to be done preferably, as often just the one test is not accurate enough to be sure. One could have results ‘in range’, while the other not.
Where Can I Order Thyroid Antibody Testing From?
In The UK
Medichecks is a very popular choice for inexpensive yet comprehensive testing with a fast turn around. You can order the thyroid antibodies test to check for autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s) or to monitor how your numbers may be going up or down over time.
With it being Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, it is crucial that we raise awareness about how important testing these antibodies and knowing if you have Hashimoto’s, is.
You may be reading this right now and have no idea that you even have autoimmune hypothyroidism, but it’s worth knowing that having Hashimoto’s can alter how your hypothyroidism is treated and managed, so it’s worth knowing.
For instance, Hashimoto’s can cause your thyroid test results to move up and down, which is thought to occur due to attacks on the thyroid gland. These moving results can make you look falsely over-medicated or require your thyroid medication dosage to increase and decrease repeatedly. You may even struggle to get initial medication or be took off them because your results are suddenly ‘OK’, but this often leaves patients unwell.
Other signs of Hashimoto’s can include symptoms that don’t go away with optimal Free T3 and T4 levels, such as brain fog, mood swings, on-going fatigue, acid reflux, aches and pains, skin problems and even heart palpitations.
Optimal thyroid medication, whether NDT, synthetic T3 and T4 or just T4, is of course important to feeling better with hypothyroidism, but with Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism) you likely need to look at some other things too.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
Do you know if your hypothyroidism is autoimmune?
The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, which discusses how I got my own health back on track with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.✨ Like this article? Follow Rachel on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest for more great thyroid content. ✨
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.