Guest author; Christine Brenner.
For those of you diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, wondering if a thyroidectomy or TT will cure you of having Hashimoto’s disease, it unfortunately, will not.
Removing your thyroid is not a cure. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. If you have Hashimoto’s, you will always have Hashimoto’s. However, it is possible to slow the damage Hashimoto’s can create through diet and supplementing. If antibodies can be lowered and the inflammatory response be minimized, there’s a possibility that Hashimoto’s can go into remission.
A sonogram of your thyroid gland can definitively confirm if Hashimoto’s is present. It is possible to have the autoimmune disease without showing high antibodies in its early stages. Most patients will have the TpoAB blood test which may indicate the presence of antibodies. Above 30 by most labs standards, is indicative of being a Hashimoto’s patient. The higher your antibodies are and the more inflammation you have indicates how active your Hashimoto disease’s attack your thyroid gland has been. More dysfunction occurs as time goes on, causing your thyroid to produce less t4 hormones. This is why thyroid hormone replacement is needed, to supplement what your damaged thyroid is no longer producing at full capacity.
When Hashimoto’s continues to attack your thyroid gland some patients develop a goiter (an inflamed thyroid gland) and/or a nodule(s). The thyroid’s ability to remain functional becomes more difficult and more thyroid medication will be needed. Development of nodules also complicates the ability to stabilize thyroid levels even while medicated. Thyroid levels will begin to swing more frequently. Eventually, the thyroid gland can incur so much damage, that it can no longer produce any thyroid hormone. This is why it’s imperative to implement measures that will encourage your antibodies to lower and place your Hashimoto’s disease into remission prior to this level of damage. Once this much damaged has occurred, options become more limited and the patient is traveling down the path of removing the thyroid gland or opting for RAI. But by removing your thyroid gland, you have only removed the first victim of your Hashimoto’s condition. Hashimoto’s will find another part of your body to begin its attack again. This is where fibromyalgia or MS or some other autoimmune disease can manifest.
“…by removing your thyroid gland, you have only removed the first victim of your Hashimoto’s condition.”
Prior to all of this occurring, work on getting your antibodies down and calming your Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease so that it slows it’s attack on your thyroid or other parts of your body while taking your thyroid medication. If done early enough, a person may be able to encourage a better functioning thyroid gland. To optimize the chances of placing your Hashimoto’s disease into remission, you have to lower your antibodies, remove inflammatory foods that cause inflammation and replenish any vitamin nutrients that have become depleted by addressing deficiencies. Many find it beneficial to omit both inflammatory foods as well as thyroid function inhibiting foods from their diet. Some have stronger reactions to certain inflammatory foods, while others do not.
The most common inflammatory culprit that most Hashimoto’s patients react to is dairy and dairy products and gluten/gluten products. The casein protein in dairy (http://www.avoidingmilkprotein.com/ReadingIngredients.htm
) may cause inflammatory reactions such as nasal congestion, seasonal allergies, GERD etc. Gluten may set off other inflammatory responses perhaps IBS, Colitis etc. Other considerations may be nightshades, it depends on how sensitive your bodies own reactions to various inflammatory foods are. Patients may find it helpful to discover what their food sensitivities are through an IgG test or implementing a food elimination diet. At the same time that you are eliminating inflammatories, you also want to provide the proper support for your thyroid function. So here it is also important to omit thyroid function inhibiting foods. For example this would be soy and soy products, for some…peanuts, raw cruciferous vegetables. These may inhibit thyroid function, discourage optimal absorption of thyroid medication, and encourage goiter growth. http://lowthyroiddiet.com/foods-to-avoid.htm
Another consideration when it comes to Hashimoto’s disease is testing for vitamin deficiencies and supplementing to optimal (but still in) range for your own bodies benefit. It is very common for anyone, including healthy people without ailments to begin depleting important nutrients that help support our bodies. This is especially true, even more so for those with autoimmune diseases, deficiencies will have a greater impact on those with a compromised immune system.
A multitude of symptoms can occur from having low levels of vitamin D, B12, iron, etc. It is also a good idea to supplement with the daily recommended doses in general such as magnesium and zinc, unless your levels are elevated above range. Adding 100-200 mcg of selenium can be very effective in lowering antibodies. (Be careful to retest levels you are supplementing to confirm you have not gone into toxic levels.) Adding a fat soluable vitamin C along with your supplements may encourage better absorption. Adding a reliable live probiotic on an empty stomach can add healthy flora in the gut, further lowering inflammation & encourage healing. Just be aware of when choosing any of your supplements that you still want to read labels, just as you would with foods, for ingredients that are not thyroid friendly. You wouldn’t use a probiotic with L Casie, lactose, whey if you’re trying to avoid dairy. You also wouldn’t choose a supplement containing raw cruciferous vegetables, raw vegetables, soy, and gluten.
Becoming an ally of your thyroid to combat your Hashimoto’s disease is where your focus should be. (This response is not covering cases that involve carcinoma/cancer nor does it cover the various options of thyroid medications).
About Christine Brenner,
My name is Christine Brenner. I’m a mother of three kids. My oldest daughter has had an array of medical issues, more mild as an infant but gained momentum with each passing year. She was finally diagnosed as Hypothyroid at age nine. The following year we were told she has Hashimoto’s. Currently her antibodies test does not reflect that. Over time, I’ve tried to do all I can to educate myself on this disease in hopes in improving my daughters well being for the better. It’s an ever evolving process.