Heard of Hashimoto’s disease? Nor had I until I found out I had it.
It’s a sub-category of Thyroid disease in general although Hashimoto’s is categorised as being an auto-immune disease and when you get your bloods tested having antibodies in a high range will indicate this.
I am not in any way part of the medical profession or giving out medical advice in any way, but I thought it would be helpful for fellow sufferers or for readers that have taken an interest, to have a summary of some basic information here.
At the end of this page is a list of websites which I have found useful over the years.
To quote a chap called Mark Ryan from www.Hashimotoshealing.com:
Hashimoto’s Is Everywhere: It’s epidemic and many are starting to take notice and are looking for alternatives to the treatment and care that is currently being offered. Because for a lot of us the current treatment approach is inadequate at best and just plain worthless at its worst.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism? Each person is unique, and hypothyroidism presents differently in different people.
Regardless of what is driving the hormone imbalance, hypothyroidism can cause a wide range of symptoms of highly varied severity from head to toe.
The root cause of the hypothyroidism may also be contributing symptoms such as the existence of an autoimmune disease. Lack of sufficient thyroid hormone affects every body system and there are hundreds of symptoms. It must be noted that all symptoms of thyroid disease do not need to exist in order to get a proper diagnosis.
Thyroid UK identifies these hypothyroid symptoms as the most frequent:
•Slow movements, thought and speech
•Pins and needles
•Loss of libido
•Hair loss especially outer third of eyebrows
•Muscle and joint pain
•Carpal tunnel syndrome
•Loss of appetite
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease and is also known as Hashi’s, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, autoimmune thyroiditis. It is the most common cause of thyroid disease in the Western world affecting .1 to 5% of all adults. In a patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the body creates antibodies which attack thyroid tissue. This attack on the gland causes inflammation which prevents the thyroid from effectively producing hormones.
Many individuals with Hashimoto’s will be rendered hypothyroid for life and need thyroid hormone replacement to restore their health. Since autoimmune diseases are chronic and progressive, many patients will not be aware of the onset of Hashimoto’s and may have increasing symptoms over time which will lead to a hopeful diagnosis.
If Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is not treated there can be many complications. Due to antibody attack, a patient’s thyroid may swell causing a goiter. A goiter can become uncomfortable and cause a choking sensation for the individual. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also associated with hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol which can affect the heart and increase your risk for heart attack. Hypothyroidism can lead to an enlarged heart and in rare cases, heart failure.
Women are more likely to have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and as a result, are at higher risk for preeclampsia, anemia, miscarriage, placental abruption and postpartum bleeding.
Additionally, untreated Hashimoto’s increases an infant’s risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, stillbirth and thyroid disorders. Therefore, a woman’s thyroid antibody status is significant to her pregnancy success and should be considered a vital evaluation when preparing to conceive.
You Can’t Get Better Without Addressing Diet: One thing I have learned is that diet is the foundation of success. And the reason this is true, in my opinion, is that the digestive tract is ground zero for autoimmunity.
An estimated 70% of the immune system is found there, and a breakdown of the gut and the intestinal lining leads to the systemic inflammation that is at the root of diseases like Hashimoto’s.
Increasing Food Sensitivity Is Very Stressful: Another important observation about this process is that having to worry about food all the time and having an increasingly smaller and more restricted diet is very stressful. It makes it difficult (if not impossible) to go out with friends and relatives. It can create anxiety over what to eat and it can make you feel further alienated and frustrated.
And stress is a really big deal for people suffering from autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s. The body is already under a great deal of physiological stress, to add further daily stresses regarding what to eat and where to find the right food can be really counter-productive to the process of healing.
Lastly, here are some websites that have helped me an enormous amount in my researching of Thyroid disease and Hashimoto’s disease specifically:
https://healthunlocked.com :this is an amazing community discussion group website which you can join and choose whatever health issue you like to be your focus. I am part of the ibs network, the gluten-free guerrillas and obviously the thyroid uk group. They are all amazing fonts of knowledge with very experienced people commenting and joining in to answer questions or on general discussions. I have found it invaluable for things that I needed to ‘talk’ to someone personally about and talking to people who actually know what you are going through is a blessing. I highly recommend it.