Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month 2018

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Do you know if your hypothyroidism is autoimmune?

It is estimated that 90% of the cases of hypothyroidism are caused by the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

That’s nine out of ten of us that have hypothyroidism, that 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 the immune system to launch an attack against the thyroid, slowly destroying it over time if it not controlled, which causes hypothyroidism.

You can find out if you have Hashimoto’s by testing for thyroid antibodies (TpoAB and TgAb), but these are often not tested by doctors, so many patients seem to be testing them themselves online.

With it being Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, it’s crucial that we raise awareness about how important testing these antibodies and knowing if you have Hashimoto’s, is.

Many will 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.

Signs and symptoms 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 more.

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;

  • Most commonly, going gluten-free is favoured by Hashimoto’s patients to relieve Hashimoto’s symptoms, calm down swinging test results and high antibodies. this is because gluten is believed to trigger the same autoimmune reactions that cause you to have Hashimoto’s in the first place, since  the cells of your thyroid are similar to the genetic make up of gluten, and it confuses your body, increasing inflammation and antibodies, as an attack on your thyroid is launched, destroying more thyroid tissue, and so worse/extra hypothyroid symptoms occur.
  • Addressing other food allergies/sensitivities – citrus food, nuts, it could be anything. Pay close attention to what you eat and if any food has any negative effect on you, it likely needs removing.
  • It’s also important to check your adrenal health.
  • And Blood sugar imbalances
  • Also Nutrient/Vitamin Deficiencies, e.g. Vitamin D, B12, Iron, Ferritin, Selenium, Iodine
  • Consider your gut health – leaky gut
  • Avoid caffeine 
  • Avoid toxins/try detoxing

Another important part of awareness months is using them to raise awareness of the condition/s to those who don’t have them.

You can use my open letter to friends and family for example, to make them more aware of what it’s like for us to live with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, too.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

This post may contain affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclosure statement.
If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, whilst also raising awareness. "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate."

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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