Hashimoto’s: Your Body Is Not Supposed To Destroy Itself Right?

Hashimoto's Disease - When your body attacks it's own thyroid gland

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. Piece by piece your body chews up and destroys your own thyroid gland as if it is the enemy. In a healthy immune system, antibodies act as the body’s army to detect and destroy invaders not normally present in the body, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. In the case of Hashimoto’s disease, a defective immune system wreaks havoc on the body by directing antibodies against its own thyroid gland as if it is a foreign invader. Although Hashimoto’s disease is considered a leading cause of hypothyroidism around the world, it is a tragically overlooked disease in mainstream medicine. You might be thinking, “My doctor has never diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s disease. This post is not about me.” Are you sure?

You may have Hashimoto’s disease and not even know it.

Have you gone to your doctor complaining of common hypothyroidism symptoms, such as fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, muscle weakness, constipation, irregular menstrual cycles, frequent infections, dry skin, and hair loss? Has your thyroid lab test come back “normal” and your doctor tells you your thyroid is perfectly fine, yet you walk out of the office without relief from these common symptoms? Have you had your thyroid antibodies tested? Are you sure?

With Hashimoto’s, your body attacks and destroys the thyroid gland piece by piece eventually rendering your thyroid gland incapable of producing the hormones your body needs eventually leaving you with full blown hypothyroidism. This process of destruction can take years even decades, all the while you begin developing more and more hypothyroid symptoms yet your doctor’s thyroid lab tests come back “normal”. Traditional mainstream doctors rely on a thyroid blood test called TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism. The problem with Hashimoto’s is that your TSH can turn up ‘”normal” while your body is quietly destroying your thyroid gland and your doctor has no clue because the level of destruction hasn’t YET triggered an abnormal TSH reading.

The number one issue is that many traditional doctors do NOT test for thyroid antibodies. In mainstream medicine TSH rules, leaving millions of Hashimoto’s patients around the world undiagnosed and untreated. You must be an advocate for yourself and insist on the following two thyroid antibody tests:

  1. Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
  2. Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)

Doctors refuse to treat Hashimoto’s when TSH is normal.

Another major problem is that many traditional doctors refuse to treat patients who test positive for thyroid antibodies, even when they suffer debilitating symptoms, all because their TSH level is “normal”. Unfortunately TSH rules above all else in mainstream medicine when it comes to hypothyroidism. You may have Hashimoto’s disease with elevated thyroid antibodies, yet all because the destruction of your thyroid gland has not YET destroyed enough of your gland yet to trigger an abnormal TSH reading, you are refused treatment and forced to cope with your symptoms.

It is also possible that the thyroid hormone levels circulating in your blood show up “normal” on your blood tests, however the problem is they are not getting into the cells of the body to take their effect, known as thyroid resistance. Your blood tests turn up normal yet you have symptoms of hypothyroidism.

There are a multitude of people with Hashimoto’s disease who suffer low thyroid symptoms even though their lab tests are normal. Doctor’s trained in the mainstream protocol that “only patient’s with TSH higher than X should be treated” leave their patients with thyroid antibodies but normal TSH level untreated. They use this medical protocol to justify why their hands are tied. There are countless Hashimoto’s sufferers around the world feeling helpless right now because their doctors refuse to help them.

In a 2005 article in the Endocrine Journal, 33 patients were studied who were diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (positive for thyroid antibodies) but who were euthyroid (meaning their TSH levels were normal). They were divided into two groups and studied for 15 months, one group received thyroid replacement drug treatment and the other were followed with no treatment. Researchers concluded:1

“LT4 treatment at doses keeping TSH at low-normal levels appears to be effective not only in decreasing the auto-antibody levels but also in the goiter size…there appears to be an inhibitory effect of LT4 treatment on the ongoing disease process in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients. Early treatment of euthyroid Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients with L-thyroxine may slow down not only the disease process itself but through its immune modulating effects, it may also affect the course of other auto-immune disease which accompany.”

If only mainstream doctors would treat a person who is positive for thyroid antibodies as soon as possible, even if their TSH level is normal, they may prevent full blown hypothyroidism from occurring to that person. If only mainstream doctors would do this, imagine how much suffering they would prevent for their Hashimoto’s patients.

You are taking thyroid replacement medication, but you still have symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Are you on thyroid replacement medication and your doctor insists your thyroid lab results are in the normal range, but you still don’t feel well? Your doctor increases your dosage, you feel better for a short while then the symptoms come back again. Why do you feel sick even though your thyroid lab tests are normal?

Or perhaps you are like many Hashimoto’s sufferers with TSH levels fluctuating high and low like a wild roller coaster ride with symptoms of hypothyroidism one month and hyperthyroidism the next. Your doctor happens to catch your TSH level during a low point and decides to reduce your thyroid medication as a result, even though you suffer terrible symptoms. Why can’t your doctor figure out why you are sick and tired?

First of all, many doctors fail to test for thyroid antibodies and they have no idea you have Hashimoto’s disease. However, even the ones that test for thyroid antibodies may not know how to help you. They rely strictly on your TSH levels and base thyroid replacement medication dosages strictly on these results and while your thyroid antibodies are high, their attention is focused on your TSH level.

What about trying to figure out what caused your high thyroid antibodies in the first place? Or what factors may be causing a worsening of the attack on your thyroid gland right now? There are many possible triggers for Hashimoto’s disease, but it takes a great thyroid doctor to think outside the box and investigate each patient’s case fully.

Hashimoto’s is a genetic condition. We inherit particular genes that can be triggered at certain points in our life to turn them “ON” like the flip of a light switch. Women are particularly vulnerable at 3 different times of their life to turn “ON” these genes.

  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Perimenopause

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism following the birth of my first son. With each pregnancy, my symptoms worsened. Really my symptoms trace back to childhood however with puberty and each successive pregnancy my symptoms worsened and worsened. While my thyroid antibodies turned out negative, I showed all the signs and symptoms of someone with Hashimoto’s. It is interesting that a percentage of people with Hashimoto’s actually don’t show positive on their thyroid antibodies blood tests yet they suffer from Hashimoto’s just the same. If your doctor relies strictly on lab results they may miss your condition. A good thyroid doctor is one that treats the patient not the lab results. Take a look at my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism.

Once these genes are turned on, the body begins producing antibodies against your own thyroid and the destruction begins. In addition to these particular points in life, there are additional possible triggers for Hashimoto’s. These same triggers, if left untreated, will also worsen the attack and kick it in high gear. It is crucial to determine if one of these things is happening in your body right now.

  • Gluten intolerance
  • Gut issues
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Viral infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Sex hormone imbalances
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Environmental toxicity

When you have one autoimmune disease, you are at high risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.

If nothing is done to calm down the autoimmune attack on your thyroid gland, the risks are high that your immune system will then begin attacking other parts of your body. You become vulnerable to develop other autoimmune diseases.

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Vitiligo
  • Psoriasis

Although Hashimoto’s disease is a leading cause of hypothyroidism around the world, it is a tragically overlooked disease in mainstream medicine. Hashimoto’s sufferers often find little help from their doctors living decades with debilitating symptoms. If nothing is done to slow down the attack on your thyroid, you become vulnerable to develop other potentially life-threatening autoimmune diseases. Your whole body becomes fair game for attack, all while your doctor insists you are fine.

Thank you to thyroid patient activist Janie Bowthorpe for including my story on Stop The Thyroid Madness. When I was at my lowest point, with extreme symptoms of hypothyroidism after the miscarriage of my baby, it was sites like yours that let me know I was not alone. I am honored. Ladies: Hypothyroidism in pregnancy can be dangerous, says this woman who suffered a miscarriage.

Reference:

  1. Aksoy, D.Y., Kerimoglu, U., Okur, H., Canpinar, H., Karaagaoglu, E., Yetgin, S., Kansu, E., Gedik, O. Effects of Prophylactic Thyroid Hormone Replacement in Euthyroid Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Endocrine Journal 2005; 52(3):337-343
About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? Hypothyroid Mom was created in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. If you don’t have antibodies in your blood, then how do you know you have Hashimoto’s?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Great question. Hashimoto’s disease is typically diagnosed by one or more of the following:

      -Enlargement of the thyroid at the base of the neck (called a goiter)
      -High levels of antibodies
      -Fine needle aspiration of the thyroid (known as biopsy)
      -Ultrasound

      There are a percentage of Hashimoto’s sufferers who show up negative for antibodies. In addition to the tests above, some other tell tale signs are if your TSH fluctuates up and down and you suffer hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms. Your antibodies will fluctuate up and down too. Your doctor may happen to test you on a day your thyroid antibodies are low.

      Some people have very weak immune systems that are not healthy enough to produce the antibodies so the tests turn up negative but they really have Hashimoto’s.

      I was lucky to find a great doctor that tested my immune system very similar to the work of Dr. Datis Kharrazian in his book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”. I highly recommend reading this book. Here is a link to Dr. Kharrazian’s site which includes a look at people that test negative for thyroid antibodies but they still have Hashimoto’s….

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/unraveling-thyroid-antibodies/

      • I am searching high and low (for 3 years now) to find out if the sagging neck, chin ,arm, and mid section lose skin will ever go away? I went from looking 20 to looking 50 in less than a month. Most of my hair fell out and the rest broke off to above shoulder length, will I ever look young again or am I doomed to look 50 until Im 50? I am only 35 and this started at 32. There is a ton of info about this being caused by Hashimoto’s but in 3 years of searching the net I have found nothing discussing whether or not it ever reverses with proper treatment? If you can please help me find the info for others as well. I can send you pics to show what I am talking about if this didn’t happen to you. Thanks so much for your time.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Terrie,

          I am very sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I know particularly well how hard it is as women to lose our hair. The good news is that there is hope to be well despite Hashimoto’s. First off be sure you’ve had full testing including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, iron including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, D3, B12, selenium, food intolerance. A great deal is written about the link between gluten and Hashimoto’s so worth trying a gluten free diet to see if it helps.

          Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote a great book about hair loss for thyroid sufferers that you should read with great tips.

          http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/hairloss.htm

          http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hairloss/a/hairloss.htm

          • I hope i am doing this right! I am a bit confused @ my blood results! Let me just tell u a lityle about myself. I developed hypothyroidism about 3 yrs ago im not familiar with readings but mine was.777? The.highest my specialist has ever seen he basically called me a walking zombie i felt horrible! Anyways i just found out im 9 wks pregnant and my labs came back as a positive antiibody?? The nurse told me shr thinks its a false positive.since.ive nvr had a blood transfusion or a rogam(sp) shot b4. So of course.me i google & im confused i found this forum and im wandering if maybe i could have hashimoto? She did say my thyroid level was a bit elevated .. Its still taking me 3+ yrs @ 150mcg of levonthyroxin(sp) to get it regulated! Press help .or maybe if u might know something i don’t about why i might of tested pos for antibody . Keep in mind she said it was a weak positive and it could be.a false

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Kat,

            Congratulations on your pregnancy. It is possible that your scores as the nurse said were not elevated to be of concern. Given that your score is not listed it is hard to say. However better to be cautious and see your doctor rather than waiting for 1 month for retesting. Bring a copy of the American Thyroid Association guidelines for pregnancy to your doctor and ask what your TSH score is now. These guidelines recommend a TSH less than 2.5 in the first trimester of pregnancy. Ask about your thyroid antibodies. Check your lab results and see where your score falls relative to the normal range that will be listed to the right of each score.

            There are also recommendations on what to do for women with positive thyroid antibodies. So bring a copy of this to your doctor. There is hope to have beautiful healthy babies. Best wishes to you and your baby.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3472679/

          • Jessica Lynne says:

            But what about the sagging neck, chin ,arm, and mid section that Terrie asked about… will those reverse with treatment? I am 47, but have stayed out of the sun AND had upper eyelid surgery a few years ago. When I started having symptoms, I went from looking 35 to well over 50 within a couple of months time. Just starting treatment with Armour (have been gluten free since 2006 just because I feel better without it) and I’d like to know if the face sagging will go away OR if I need to start saving up for a face lift (or a cheek lift)- its one thing being 30 lbs heavier than I was a year ago…. but having a saggy face with saggy tear troughs and cheeks is the worst!

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Jessica,

            There is a direct connection between hypothyroidism with weight and swelling, so yes it’s possible to lose weight and to reduce swelling with proper treatement. Now whether or not treatment will help with sagging I am not sure really. I hope so but I have not read about that specifically.

        • The same thing is happening to me. I had no idea what it was. Losing my hair. Loose skin in arms and under my chin. Did the same as you. Almost like I aged over night. I am on Synthroid and have been for about 5 years. Today I was changed to Armor thryroid. I am not sure what to expect. I am exhausted all the time. I tend to perspire much more than befor I was on medication for my thyroid. Honestly all this is scary.

        • I have the same issues with my skin. It seemed like within a couple years my face fell. I went to a Dermatologist that said it was bone loss and i have had to add fillers. So no it will not go back to normal.

      • Dear Dana

        Thank you for having these articles. They have helped me to understand more what’s actually going on with my body right now.

        I am very sensitive to cold … Its now summer and I still sleep with an electric under blanket. I usually wake up corpse cold and frozen to the bone. My hands, feet and knees gets real stiff and painful, I get tingling, pins and needles in hands and feet, feel like fainting, sore throat a lot of the time, very tired, currently on 20000 iu vitamin D, my speech becomes very slow when my fatigue level is high..not to mention foggy brain. Skin rashes are a way of life not to mention frequent allergic reaction to a lot of food, skin care products or even environmental factors. I was diagnosed with fibro myalgia some years ago. My cholesterol is very high even though my diet and life style is pretty healthy; not over weight. Thyroid tests came back normal. My symptoms are becoming more severe. I am contemplating seeing an endocrine specialist. In the e mean time any advise will help.

        Thank you so much
        Romi

      • Dear Dana –

        Your situation sounds all to familar. I have been suffering with thyroid disease for 11 years and there isn’t a doctor out there that can help me. I have been on every medication including taking the natural route. Currently my TSH levels do not exist, my body does not produce TSH. My FT3 is borderline normal and my FT4 is high. My medication is constantly being adjusted only to make my symptoms worse. I did just have a scan of my neck done for the first time and after 11 years of battling was finally told that I have Hashimoto’s disease but I have also been told that I have hyperthyroidism as well? So confused! The scan of my neck did reveal that the right side of my thyroid is nearly gone and the left is nothing but scar tissue. To make matters worse I have gained 40 pounds in less than a year, I’m completely depressed because of it and even though I try to exercise, when I feel well and I have limited my calorie intake to 1300-1500 calories per day and I am still gaining weight at a rate of almost 2 pounds per week.

        Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. I think my husband is ready to divorce me beause he just doesn’t understand what it’s doing to me mentally and physically! :(

        Thank you so much I look forward to your response!
        Carrie

        • Ms Carrie,
          How are you doing now? I am so sorry to hear this. I, too, think my husband is about to leave me and thinks I am crazy. May I kindly recommend counseling for the both of you?

  2. charlotte says:

    Hi
    Thank you for writing this up, it has been very helpful, last november i found my goiter, it took a few months to go through and i had blood tests and a scan, the blood tests were apparently normal (i never saw them neither did i see what they tested for) in the scan they found the big nodule which was 2.5 cms and 2 others the big nodule looked suspicious as it had high vascularity so i had an FNA done results came back benign and that the tissue was follicular and thats all i know, then i had a follow up scan and FNA same results as far as i know, the UK dont tell you much. Since i have moved to France and i have been feeling alot of hypoT symptoms lately so i thought i would see a doc here, although my french isnt that good, but he sent me for bloods, and you get to see the results here, everything was normal well TSH was 2.18 ans ft4 was within range also TPOab was in range but my TgAb was 122 when the ref was 112 not majorly high, but over, what do you think of this? could i have Hashimotos? i know i must go back and see the doctor and battle with the language barrier, but i thought id do my own research before i get palmed off!
    Great article and yes its no fun having hypo symptoms when you have children :-)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hello Charlotte,
      If you’ve found a goiter and your TgAb was above normal is cause for concern, especially considering you are experiencing hypothyroid symptoms. Have you been taking thyroid replacement medication? Please read my post “Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism” to be sure your doctor has run all the right tests. From your comment, you haven’t mentioned testing for T3 hormones. Ask your doctor to test you for Total T3 and Free T3. Is your doctor open to treating you since you have symptoms and your TgAb levels are high? You may want a second opinion from another doctor. Here is a link to a thyroid patient advocate Mary Shomon who has a list of Top Thyroid Doctors internationally to see if there are any in your area.

      http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/index.htm

      Also Janie Bowthorpe from Stop The Thyroid Madness has an international Facebook group. You could join and ask the members if they know of any doctors in your area. Here is a list of links to Janie’s various Facebook groups.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others/

      Best of luck to you. It is hard to be a mother raising children. It is even harder to be a mother with hypothyroidism or any chronic illness. It takes energy to raise children and we are often suffering from fatigue! Oh my it’s challenging!

      • charlotte says:

        Thank you for getting back to me!
        Like you said in some of your posts its hard to fund a good doc to take you seriously! The doc who ordered the bloods didn’t seem too concerned but did the bloods anyway as i have been feeling under the weather recently! so i will see what he says when i go see him next week if not i will have to take trips back to the UK so i can search for a good doctor who is English speaking! Thank you for the useful links i will look through those shortly! Am i right in saying that any ‘normal’ person with a ‘normal’ functioning thyroid shouldnt produce TgAb ? if so why do they need a reference range? just curious ;-) !! yes agreed with the children comment, and after a bad day you feel guilty that you didnt do this and that with them!! oh the joys of motherhood! thanks again x

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Absolutely Charlotte, the key is finding a great doctor and that’s not always easy to do. Unfortunately given the language barrier you are experiencing, I imagine it would be even more difficult. Everyone forms some level of antibodies, however anything above the reference range is considered abnormal. Many people with Hashimoto’s have positive antibodies but the rest of their thyroid lab tests come back normal. As I mention in my post, this is a huge problem for Hashimoto’s sufferers. Our doctors are too focused on TSH and T4, and they don’t help people with high antibodies if their TSH and T4 levels are normal. People are left to suffer symptoms. I recommend finding a good thyroid doctor for a second opinion. I hope those links I gave you are helpful. Keep in touch. It is great to hear from you.

          • Hi on one of the websites I found a recommended endo in Albi just 40 mins from where I live! I will keep you updated! Many thanks again :-)
            Charlotte

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Fantastic Charlotte! Happy to hear that. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Hello,
    I just read about you in Mary Shomon’s article, leading me here to your blog, and I wanted to let you know I’ll be following your posts with great interest. As a hypothyroid/hashimoto’s person, I can relate to what you’re saying. Thank you for your research and dedication. You have my sincerest sympathy for the health-nightmare you’ve experienced; that shouldn’t happen to anyone. It is an outrage how thyroid patients are treated by the medical profession. Hopefully with people like you bringing awareness and education about these issues, we can look forward to better treatment and better health in the future!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Thank you very much Kay. I am happy you found my blog through Mary’s article. Welcome! The loss of my baby unnecessarily to hypothyroidism has turned into a personal mission to build awareness. I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for this post! I completely agree with your viewpoints on treating patients with Hashimoto’s in hope to slow or prevent full-blown Hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was 15, but I was “euthyroid” and therefore my doctor at the time didn’t find it necessary to treat me. In fewer than 4 years I was diagnosed as Hypothyroid. I’ll always wonder if I would be better off if we had started treatment earlier.
    Definitely fight for how you feel and don’t continue going to doctors who don’t consider all of the options!
    -Jena Marie

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Thank you for sharing your story Jena. It upsets me very much how invisible we are in mainstream medicine. If only doctors treated people complaining of symptoms when Hashimoto’s is positive, even if they are euthyroid, if only!

  5. Dana, I am lapping up all your articles as quickly as I possibly can get them. Thank you so much for your research. I have posted several of your articles on Facebook for my friends and family. My thyroid has been crazy for many years. My doctor diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s a few years ago and I have been on synthroid for years. Lately, I have had heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure. They keep wanting to band-aid me with more or different blood pressure medicine. I have always thought that there is something missing in the thyroid medicine synthroid. My recent blood tests show my levels as normal. The doctor also tested my Renin, Plasma that came back as 2.4 and was flagged as acceptable. Also, she ran a test on me for Aldosterone that came back in the normal range, 8.4 in the range of 1.0 – 21.0. This is all Greek to me, but I am attempting to learn as much as possible. The doctor lowered my diuretic because I complained of edginess along with the elevated blood pressure and palpitations. Any suggestions, I will gladly take into consideration. Until then, I will keep learning from your insightful articles. Thank you.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Marsha, Thank you very much for sharing my articles with your friends and family. Much appreciated! I am sorry to hear about your Hashimoto’s. I wonder which thyroid tests turned out normal. I ask because mainstream doctors often rely on one test TSH to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism but this doesn’t give a complete picture of the problem. Testing should include at least Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. A debate has been going on over defining the “normal” TSH range with many doctors using 0.5 to 5.0 so anything between these numbers is “normal” but thyroid experts are pushing for a narrower range. Thyroid Advocate includes this great article where thyroid experts are beginning to feel a TSH of 1 to 2 is ideal, so that means you may have a TSH between 2 and 5 which is technically too high but because the lab is using 0.5 to 5.0 your TSH is deemed “normal”. Also it is possible to have normal TSH, but too low Free T4 and Free T3. Many of us don’t do well on your medicine Synthroid because our bodies don’t convert the T4 hormone in it to the active T3 our bodies need. Speak with your doctor about these additional tests especially to see if your Free T3 is low which may mean adding a T3 drug may help. Also with Hashi’s people’s thyroid lab tests tend to go up and down high and low between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid levels so if you happen to take your lab tests during the hyper part of the phase they will turn up normal. Speak with your doctor about this and if you don’t get help, get a second or even third opinion. High blood pressure can happen with hypothyroidism and improving your thyroid health may reduce your blood pressure too. Take a look at these posts to help make things clearer.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/is-your-thyroid-killing-you-heart-disease/

  6. Thank you so much for your website and especially this article. I can relate to you so much as I have also recently lost my baby through miscarriage (Dec 2012)….I firmly believe it is down to this illness which I was diagnosed with in Oct 2011 after the birth of my son that May. I find it extremely frustrating that in the UK T3 or any other form of T4 other than levothyroxine are not prescribed and I can’t help feeling that T3 my help alleviate some more of my symptoms. Since the miscarriage my hormones have been all over the place and add that to my rising TSH levels etc because of the pregnancy, let’s just say it’s been really tough! Did you experience anything similar? I have also been advised I may have gallbladder issues. Through research it seems this scan be common with an under active thyroid. Have you experienced this or any other associated illnesses?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      I am sorry for the loss of your baby Lisa. Your story sounds so similar to mine. Yes my miscarriage, as well as my pregnancies with both sons, all of them worsened my condition and my postpartum periods were so challenging including post-miscarriage. My thyroid levels worsened after the miscarriage and that was very upsetting because my baby didn’t make it yet I had to suffer the thyroid consequences. It just didn’t seem fair. There is a great thyroid advocacy group in the UK called Thyroid UK. They have a great site with access to a list of doctors who support their advocacy. It is worth it to contact them to find a doctor who understands the importance of T3. Best of luck to you and welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/diagnosis/private_doctors.html

  7. Thanks for the information. My nameis Francie and i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 2 years ago. I have been on medication for 2 years. My vitamin d and B12 levels are in the tank as well. I have my regular follow ups and labs drawn like im supposed too. But i recently had some labs drawn and my TPA came back 7216 on earlier labs all it said was greater than 1000, but my concern is something you said about slowing it down, well my seems with that lab result does not seem to be slowing down. Im concerned i need to be doing something else? I need some advice. Oh my TSH is in normal range and has been for at least 6 months tio a year. Also, i was told prior that it was not hereditary but the further i read it sees to me it is?

    Thanks Francie

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Francie,
      I assume by TPA you mean thyroid peroxidase antibodies, which in your case are high which means you have Hashimoto’s. First off, when TSH is “normal” it really depends on where in the range your TSH falls because most doctors use a range of 0.5 to 5.0 but there is a push by thyroid advocates to narrow that range. So you could have a TSH that is “normal” but not optimal. Also in addition to TSH speak with your doctor about testing your Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3 levels to see if you would benefit from adding T3 medication, assuming you are currently on a Levothyroxine type drug? I hope your doctor suggested vitamins for your low vitamin D3 and B12 levels. Ask your doctor for recommended doses of these vitamins. There is also great research on the benefits of selenium for Hashimoto’s so please ask your doctor to test your levels for that. Holtorf Medical Group wrote a guest post on my blog on Hashimoto’s with testing and treatment to discuss with your doctor. You should also read the book by Dr. Datis Kharrazian “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms: When My Lab Tests Are Normal” which centers around Hashimoto’s. Best of luck to you and welcome to Hypothyroid Mom.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-its-a-genetics-thing/

      http://www.thyroidbook.com/about-dr-kharrazian.html

  8. Jessica J. says:

    Dana-
    Thank you for this wonderful and informative blog. I have been living with Hypothyroid and Hashimotos now for over 13 years. I was diagnosed 3 months after the birth of my first son. I was blessed to have a wonderful doctor who tested me knowing there was a family history of hypothyroid. She then referred me to a great endocrinologist who tested me further for Hashimotos when my symptoms weren’t getting better with basic treatment. I was blessed to e able to deliver two more beautiful, healthy sons in the few years that followed. Now, however as I am remarried and trying for another child I have had two diagnosed miscarriages in the past two years and believe I have had more that we’re chemical pregnancies. My Hashimotos has been raging. I have been hyper for almost a year but my levels are just starting to “level out” (aka hypo again). My new endocrinologist is attentive with getting bloodwork every 8 weeks and residing my levothyroxine accordingly, however he will only test Free T4 and TSH. He will not test for any T3 levels. Is this a normal thing or should he be testing for those as well? Are T3 levels not routinely tested with Hashimotos? Also, how often should
    My antibodies be tested? He only tests those once every 2-3 years. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I can’t seem to find consistent information on this on the web. People say test it all as a mandatory test very time, but my endocrinologist says its a “fad” that isn’t necessary with Hashimotos/Hypothyroid.
    Thank you again. :)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jessica, I am sorry for the loss of your babies. It never ceases to amaze me the number of hypothyroid women who miscarry their little ones. Absolutely Free T3 is an essential piece of the puzzle and should be tested regularly along with your TSH, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies. Absolutely they should all be tested regularly. Your Free T3 levels are essential because perhaps your Levothyroxine (which is a T4 only drug) is not working for you. For example, if your Free T3 levels tests low then you may benefit from adding T3 treatment to your treatment. Especially given your efforts to conceive it is essential that you get your thyroid as healthy as possible. The American Thyroid Association published updated guidelines for pregnancy with thyroid dysfunction with specific recommendations. Print out a copy that’s attached below and circle these recommendations that I’ve included here and bring this to your doctor. You will find these recommendations in the “results” section of the document if you scroll down to the bottom of the first page of the document. In this document, TAb+ means thyroid antibody positive which means people like you with Hashimoto’s.

      RECOMMENDATION 2 – Trimester-specific reference ranges for TSH are recommended: first trimester, 0.1–2.5 mIU/L; second trimester, 0.2–3.0 mIU/L; third trimester, 0.3–3.0 mIU/L.

      RECOMMENDATION 16 – In pregnant patients with treated hypothyroidism, maternal serum TSH should be monitored approximately every 4 weeks during the first half of pregnancy because further dose adjustments are often required.

      RECOMMENDATION 17 – In pregnant patients with treated hypothyroidism, maternal TSH should be checked at least once between 26 and 32 weeks gestation.

      Question 16: What proportion of treated hypothyroid women (receiving LT4) require changes in their LT4 dose during pregnancy?
      Between 50% and 85% (38,53,54) of hypothyroid women being treated with exogenous LT4 need to increase dosing during pregnancy. The incremental increase depends, in part, on the etiology of the hypothyroidism. There is a greater likelihood that dose increase will be required in those patients without functional thyroid tissue (e.g., due to radioablation, surgery) in comparison with patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (55,56).

      RECOMMENDATION 14

      There exists great interindividual variability regarding the increased amount of T4 (or LT4) necessary to maintain a normal TSH throughout pregnancy, with some women requiring only 10%–20% increased dosing, while others may require as much as an 80% increase. The etiology of maternal hypothyroidism, as well as the preconception level of TSH, may provide insight into the magnitude of necessary LT4 increase. Clinicians should seek this information upon assessment of the patient after pregnancy is confirmed. Level A-USPSTF

      Question 23: In euthyroid women who are TAb+ prior to conception, what is the risk of hypothyroidism once they become pregnant?

      In 1994, Glinoer et al. (60) performed a prospective study on 87 thyroid autoantibody positive (TAb+) euthyroid women evaluated before and during early pregnancy. Twenty percent of women in the study developed a TSH level of > 4 mIU/L during gestation despite normal TSH and no requirement for LT4 prenatally. This occurred despite the expected decrease in TAb titers during pregnancy. Twelve years later, in a prospective and randomized study, Negro et al. demonstrated similar results (28). The authors found that in TAb+ euthyroid women, TSH levels increased progressively as gestation progressed, from a mean of 1.7 mIU/L (12th week ) to 3.5 mIU/L (term), with 19% of women having a supranormal TSH value at delivery. These findings confirm that an increased requirement for thyroid hormone occurs during gestation. In women who are TAb+, both OH and SCH may occur during the stress of pregnancy as the ability of the thyroid to augment production is compromised and increasing demand outstrips supply. When this happens, an elevated TSH occurs. In summary, patients who are TAb+ have an increased propensity for hypothyroidism to occur later in gestation because some residual thyroid function may still remain and provide a buffer during the first trimester.
      Question 24: How should TAb+ euthyroid women be monitored and treated during pregnancy?
      TSH elevation should be avoided during gestation because of the theoretical and demonstrated harm both SCH and OH may cause to the pregnancy and developing fetus. Because these risks are increased in this population, increased surveillance of euthyroid TAb+ women should occur. Based on findings extrapolated from investigations of treated hypothyroid women who are newly pregnant (54), it is reasonable to evaluate euthyroid TAb+ women for TSH elevation approximately every 4–6 weeks during pregnancy. TSH values that are elevated beyond trimester-specific reference ranges should be treated as described above. Serial testing should occur through midpregnancy because the increased T4 demand continues throughout the first half of gestation.

      RECOMMENDATION 20

      Euthyroid women (not receiving LT4) who are TAb+ require monitoring for hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Serum TSH should be evaluated every 4 weeks during the first half of pregnancy and at least once between 26 and 32 weeks gestation. Level B-USPSTF
      Question 25: Should TAb+ euthyroid women be monitored or treated for complications other than the risk of hypothyroidism during pregnancy?
      In addition to the risk of hypothyroidism, it has been described that being TAb+ constitutes a risk factor for miscarriage, premature delivery (28,60), perinatal death (44), postpartum dysfunction, and low motor and intellectual development (IQ) in the offspring (51). Some studies have found, in nonpregnant women, that selenium is capable of diminishing the TPOAb titers (61–63). Other authors have described conflicting data (64). It has also been described that the selenium level can be low in full-term pregnant women compared with nonpregnant women. Recently, Negro et al. (65) observed that TPOAb+ euthyroid pregnant women treated with 200 ?g/d of selenium not only had a significant decrease in the frequency of postpartum thyroid dysfunction (p< 0.01), but also had lower TPOAb levels during pregnancy compared with women in the untreated group. However, patients under treatment with selenium could be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (66). At present, the risk to benefit comparison does not support routine selenium supplementation during pregnancy.

      RECOMMENDATION 21

      A single RCT has demonstrated a reduction in postpartum thyroiditis from selenium therapy. No subsequent trials have confirmed or refuted these findings. At present, selenium supplementation is not recommended for TPOAb+ women during pregnancy. Level C-USPSTF

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypothyroid-moms-story-of-hope-her-miracle-babies/

      Here is a link to the American Thyroid Association Guidelines themselves (remember to highlight these parts in the Results section that you’ll find by scrolling to the bottom of the introduction page) and bring this to your doctor:

      http://thyroidguidelines.net/pregnancy/results

  9. “Are you on thyroid replacement medication and your doctor insists your thyroid lab results are in the normal range, but you still don’t feel well? Your doctor increases your dosage, you feel better for a short while then the symptoms come back again.”

    Yes, this is me. Has always been me. I could take the whole bottle of thyroid medication, and still be symptomatic! I feel “better” at times, but I never consistently feel “good” or “well”. I plan to try an autoimmune diet in the near future. If that doesn’t help, well, I don’t know what’s next. I’m just hoping that next year it will be possible to pursue such things as adrenal issues, to determine whether this is a contributing factor. I feel I am trying to unravel it all, myself, though; I just have never gotten a lot of help and information from the medical community.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Kyra, It is sad that mainstream medicine doesn’t have a better way to manage autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s. It is well worth it for you to get a second opinion because there are many potential underlying issues that have triggered or are worsening your condition that have not been addressed. It takes a doctor who treats the person not the lab results and to investigate all the possible reasons for the patient’s symptoms. Best of luck to you and let me know how it goes.

    • Kyra: All the descendants of my maternal grandmother are hypothyroid or diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. My brother suffers the most, and tells me he doesn’t know what “normal” feels like. He can’t do an autoimmune paleo diet because of his many food allergies, and is going to try low dose naltrexone. Almost 20 years ago I had allergy testing and stuck to the prescribed diet for 2-3 years, lost tons of weight, migraines improved, etc. Then followed two career changes, illnesses, surgeries (both me and my husband), chronic stress and the diet fell by the wayside. I am ashamed to say how much weight I gained even though I now know it wasn’t really overeating that did it. Through the past 7-10 years my internist had me on Synthroid and Cytomel but never titrated the dose up, and I might have been eating M&Ms for all the good it did me. I never noticed the least bit of difference. Finally I was fat, sick and desperate enough to commit to a strict de-inflammation diet (pretty much the paleo autoimmune diet) and supplements that aren’t cheap–I’m actually considering a health savings account so I can be reimbursed at the end of the year. I am sleeping through the night, have lost nearly 50 lbs in 16 weeks, am decaffeinated, have fewer migraines. I asked my MD to switch me to Armour Thyroid because my brother was having more success with that than the synthetics. He switched me and allowed me to titrate my dose from 30 up to 120, and may go higher as this is the first time I’ve ever noticed ANY effect from the pills at all. I strongly urge you to go to someone who specializes in treating Hashimoto’s or at least in treating autoimmune diseases, and who feels that nutrition is vital to process. You aren’t crazy, the symptoms are not “just in your head” and there is real treatment and relief. Read the book about the root of your Hashimoto’s disease, written by a pharmacist who was fed up with the answers you’re getting. (Available at Amazon) Best wishes and God bless.

  10. Karen Ivain says:

    As a mom with Hashimotos, I appreciate this website, and you sharing your story. Like many others, I wasn’t diagnosed until an antibody test was done. Everyone with symptoms should have their antibodies tested. In my case, my TSH was on the high end of normal (4.8, with 5.0 being the cutoff), but my antibodies were extremely high. It took me about a year to get the diagnosis, because I was postpartum and doctors kept attributing symptoms to that, even though I was getting sicker and sicker and was very symptomatic at diagnosis.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Thank you Karen. I appreciate you sharing your story. I worry about all the new mothers who don’t know they have thyroid antibodies. Their TSH may be normal but they have sky high thyroid antibodies. Doctors will mistakenly think your symptoms are due to postpartum when really they are Hashimoto’s related. So sad. By sharing your story, a new mother reading it will know she is not alone. Thank you.

      • Karen Ivain says:

        Yes, I went to the doctor at least five separate times with symptoms like severe fatigue, loss of concentration, breathlessness, hair falling out and so on, all within six months of having baby #2 at age 32. The doctor tested my TSH more than once, and it came back around 4.7-4.8 each time. I saw another doctor, who was alarmed at my overall condition, and scheduled an emergency consultation with an endocrinologist, who ordered the antibody test. Even then, the new doctor thought there was only a 5% chance it was Hashimotos. All my doctors were stunned when the test came back with the antibodies very high. I forget the numbers, but recall the doctor saying they were “through the roof”. Further investigation also found a multinodular goiter, being successfully suppressed with Synthroid now, and watched carefully by an endocrinologist who is an expert in thyroid disease. I don’t normally discuss this stuff, but maybe it will help some other new mother realize it isn’t all in her head. I really think that any woman who has cause to need a TSH test also needs to request the antibody test at the same time.

        I really do appreciate this website as even now, I don’t know anyone else with this condition and it can be challenging to live with, as you know. I’d never given my thyroid a second thought until I was diagnosed, but now I know how important it is to overall well being.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Karen, I am so happy your thyroid antibody levels were tested. I agree completely that they should be a standard test given. Hashimoto’s is considered one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism in the world yet thyroid antibodies are often NOT tested. This needs to change!

        • I haven’t had my antibodies tested but all of this sounds like me. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos for almost 15 years, since I was 20. I am 34 now and only a few years out since my first pregnancy. only since that pregnancy have I just starting to have almost debilitating symptoms. all my levels are “within normal limits” and I have a good doctor that allows me to keep it at the higher level I prefer (.05-1.0) but it is not working for me any longer and I have had every other test under the sun (RA, Lyme, Myalgias, etc…) I have not have the Thyroid Antibodies test tho. IS there a treatment for the antibodies? I see everyone talking about the lab test but not the treatment. *I could be missing it tho, I have terrible brain fog*

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi April,

            There are many possible treatments depending on each individual’s case. For example there are many potential underlying issues causing the Hashimoto’s that needs to be tested and treated and in each case is different depending on the causes for each person. For example, there are many potential underlying factors including low vitamin D3, B12, selenium, imbalance in sex hormones, adrenals, iron/ferritin levels, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities especially gluten intolerance, Candida, chronic bacteria or viral infections. There is a great book that goes over many possible treatments for Hashimoto’s by Dr. Datis Kharrazian “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”.

            There is a great deal written about the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s. In fact several readers have contacted me with stories of going gluten-free resulting in their thyroid antibodies reversing back to normal.

            Also as with hypothyroidism patients whether they have have Hashimoto’s or not, often times Synthroid or another Levothyroxine drug is prescribed but often times does not work. There are other drug options to consider too if your current medication is not helping your symptoms.

            http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

          • Ed Arnold says:

            American corporate food is a mess. The primacy of gluten from dwarf transgenic wheat as a food, along with lots of herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, etc., is ruining Americas health. My Hashimotos antibodies (TPO test) went down to zero after i got off gluten.

  11. Hi Dana,
    Really pleased to have found this site. I have struggled with this for 8 years with doctors putting it down to anxiety depression. only recently in the last 4 months been diagnosed with Hashimotos. I was first put on 25mg of thyroxine, then 6 weeks later 50mg. I’m currently taking 75mg of levothyroxine, blood test in 1 week. I feel so ill at the moment. struggling with hot flushes, fast heart beats, big problems trying to sleep, then I get cold tired aching legs etc. keep going back to the doctor as I want to be reffered to an Endocrinologist, but he keeps saying lets see how you are on yournext visit. My tsh test is 5.8 my antibodies are 390. I know I have adrenal issues but the doctor refuses to except that, I have printed out good information for him but he still thinks he knows best. desperate for help in feeling better as I feel my life is a struggle everyday. I have just started taking vitamins (vitamin B complex) Vitamin D, Vitamin C 500mg, Selenium 200mg) any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Amanda, I am so sorry to hear your story. With all your common hypothyroidism symptoms, it is unbelievable that your doctor doesn’t do more for you. First off, a TSH of 5.8 is too high. There is debate over the “normal” TSH range with the average being around 0.5 to 5.0 and even by those standards your TSH is high. But more importantly, internationally known thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote this powerful article attached below. She wrote, “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” Clearly your TSH is way above 2. Not to mention the fact that you don’t mention your doctor even testing your Free T4 and Free T3 levels which are critical to test. Next, even without all those factors, there is research showing that people with high antibodies for Hashimoto’s should be treated even if their TSH is “normal” to slow down the progression of the condition. I’ve attached an article on that too. If that isn’t enough proof that you are not being properly treated for your condition, there is a wealth of research showing that undiagnosed and improperly treated Hashimoto’s can result in mental health issues including anxiety, depression and bipolar. I wrote an article this week about this topic. You need to change doctors Amanda. Please take a look at the post attached at the bottom with resources to find yourself a NEW DOCTOR!

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/when-thyroid-disease-masquerades-as-psychiatric-disorder/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  12. gutten tag
    Thanks for your very informative article. About two months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and now I am on medication. Unfortunately, I have had from three years before menstrual disorders reduction in bleeding time and also later increasedF. S. H. ., But TSH was normal. In recent year I.ve hair loss and sever reduction in LIBIDO. MY question is that, I wonder how long after taking medication the problems are resolved, or they,re become at least less than befor

    thaks alot, Maryam

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Maryam, It can take several weeks to start feeling a difference with treatment, however if you are not feeling any change in the very common hypothyroid symptoms you mentioned by 2 months then you may not be treated optimally. With Hashimoto’s it is common to have “normal” TSH in the early stages of the disease and only after sufficient amount of thyroid has been destroyed by the attack that TSH becomes abnormal, but treatment even with normal TSH is thought to reduce the attack. At the same time, you need to look at the actual number for your TSH level. There is debate over what is “normal” TSH. Internationally-known thyroid patient advocate Mary Shomon writes this great post attached below that you should print and bring to your doctor to insist you need a closer look at your treatment. Mary writes: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” My guess is that your TSH is above the recommended 1-2, and my guess too is that you Free T4 and Free T3 levels have not been tested and they must be tested. Please also take a look at my post about the different thyroid drug options. My guess is that as mentioned in the article above the other possible issues that can worsen the hashimoto’s have not been tested including food intolerances, sex hormone levels, adrenals, selenium, vitamin D, etc. My guess is that you are taking Levothyroxine which is the most common drug prescribed however many of us do not get relief of symptoms from these types of drugs. Best of luck to you. Speak to your doctor about these issues and if necessary change doctors and find one that helps you. Take a look at these articles.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      • Dear Dana,
        I´m so happy of your reply . next week after 8 weeks taking Levothyroxin, I should go to Doctor for recheck of the Hormons. I feel only a little better in hair loss and intolerance to cold. THANKS A MILLION again
        Maryam, Germany

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Best of luck to you Maryam. If you continue to not feel well be sure to insist on further testing as outlined above and a closer look at your medication and dosage. I wish the best for you. So happy to have you from Germany on my page!!

  13. Thanks for all the useful info. I have a couple follow-up questions I cannot find the answer to. If thyroid tests come back normal but you have been diagnosed with Hashimotos (and things are truly all normalized), do you still experience many of the symptoms of Hashimotos or is that then controlled? The root of what I am getting at is that I don’t understand if there is any difference in what you experience if you have hypothyroidism AND Hashimotos, versus just hypothyroidism when everything is normalized by the thyroid meds. The other thing I am not clear on is with regard to the point you make with if you have Hashimoto’s and your TSH comes back normal but you don’t feel normal, doctors aren’t treating it and should be. Does this just mean they should test the T3 and T4 specifically, then give you adjust your meds accordingly if they are off OR does it mean something different?

    Thanks!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Hannah,
      All great questions so let me see if I can provide answers that make it clearer. The standard thyroid test given to diagnose and treat thyroid dysfunction is TSH. However this one test does not provide a full picture of the thyroid condition and often times turns out to be “normal” but really you are symptomatic. Also the TSH range depending on the lab used and the country where you live is around 0.5 to 5.0 which has been found to be very broad. At a TSH of 5.0 for example many people already suffer debilitating symptoms so thyroid experts have been pushing for years to narrow that range. Next, it is common in the first years of Hashimoto’s for the person to have thyroid antibody levels high enough to diagnose Hashimoto’s but the TSH in those early years remains “normal”. It’s not until the disease has progressed enough to destroy a major portion of the thyroid gland that the TSH raises above normal, however during all those years while the TSH is normal, the person suffers symptoms. Mary Shomon wrote an article about the research behind treating a person with thyroid antibodies even if they have normal TSH as prevention to help treat the symptoms and to help slow down the attack. Doctors should be always be testing Free T4 and Free T3 levels to make sure they are optimal. The key here though is that these normal ranges are also too broad and you appear “normal’ but not optimal. Here is an article from Mary Shomon where she writes: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” So you see you can have “normal” Free T3 for example but if it scores in the lower half of the normal range you are still said to be normal but still you may suffer symptoms. Personally I feel terrible when my Free T3 is low normal or even middle of the normal range. I am symptomatic unless my Free T3 is in the top 25th percentil.

      It is common in Hashimoto’s for the person to swing between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms with TSH fluctuating up and down so yes Hashimoto’s sufferers suffer the typical hypothyroid symptoms but add to that at times they can also experience hyperthyroid symptoms (ex. racing heart, insomnia, sweating, shaking hands) when the swings to hyper happen.

      For Hashimoto’s, there are many potential underlying issues that should be tested too because often times these things need to be addressed as well as being given thyroid treatment, otherwise you can still suffer symptoms despite your medication. For example, you need to should be tested for gluten intolerance, food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalance, sex hormone levels, infections, vitamin D levels, B12, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. As well, the Holtorf Medical Group wrote a guest blog post on my site with treatment ideas to discuss with your doctor attached below. Best of luck to you.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-its-a-genetics-thing/

  14. Hello, Dana–

    Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t yet have a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, but I am finding your blog very interesting. I had read in Dr. Julia Ross’ “The Diet Cure” how puberty, pregnancy and perimenopause/menopause were all likely times to trigger thyroid problems; and looking back at a couple of times in my life I’ve had “unexplained” periods of illness, they all followed one of those life events (or another hormonal “event” like birth control pills, supplemental hormones). I also have both a personal history of and a genetic tendency to adrenal insufficiency, so I’m probably a prime candidate for Hashimoto’s.

    I’m going through some sort of more-acute hypothyroid-type problem now, and a under the care of both a holistic and a traditional medical practitioner at this point, both trying to figure out what is going on. I also have an on-going low-grade fever and a mild unprecedented rash; so it’s hard to say if that’s from a chronic infection lurking with/because of my adrenal/thyroid issues. I’m having quite a bit of labwork, and the information here and over at STTM, which I also found today, are giving me some helpful perspective and information to add to the discussion with my care providers.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and the information you’ve learned on your journey. It does help folks like me who are looking for a little more in-depth perspective.

    Also, I’m so sorry to hear about all the miscarriages ladies have suffered. I lost my first pregnancy early (don’t know why), but was blessed with two health sons after (who are almost done with university now, and along with my husband are the greatest joys of my life.) After reading the stories here, it sure makes one wonder how many people I know who have had multiple miscarriages and troubles conceiving might have a thyroid connection to their problems. I wish the average doctor was a little more open and informed about these sorts of things.

    Best to you and your family. Sara

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Sara,
      I am sorry for all that you are going through. Have you had your thyroid antibodies tested (TPO-Ab, TgAb, and TSIG)? I ask because Hashimoto’s is considered the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the US and a leading cause in the world. Every hypothyroid person should have thyroid antibody testing to know whether or not they have Hashimoto’s. Do you have a family history of autoimmune diseases? When you have one autoimmune disease you are more likely to develop others, so many of my readers have Hashimoto’s along with other autoimmune diseases. Your low-grade fever made me think of internationally-know thyroid advocate Mary Shomon’s article on About.com where she lists common symptoms associated with different autoimmune diseases and low grade fever was included. Go through this checklist and check off what applies to you and bring it to your doctors to see if further testing is needed. Best of luck to you.

      Absolutely I believe there are many more babies lost to hypothyroid women than anyone realizes. I hope to see that change with Hypothyroid Mom!

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/endocrinology/l/blchecklist.htm

      • Hello, again, Dana–

        I haven’t had the antibody tests, yet; but that seems to be a logical next direction to go. I have had family with IBS, type 2 diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and one with a large goiter which doctors supposedly said was not thyroid related — but I know that she had very typical hypothyroid symptoms. No other AI diseases that have been diagnosed, at least.

        I had looked at the symptom lists for the major AIs, and noticed low grade fever is one for several. The rash I have doesn’t fit any of the “traditional” rash descriptions, and although I have joint pain and inflammation, my RF numbers didn’t show as problematic at this point. My other AI markers all looked “normal” for now, too.

        My holistic practitioner has been supporting my thyroid function with supplements that have helped with a lot of the low thyroid symptoms (I even have longish fingernails again! Whoo-hoo!) … but when normally I am so sensitive that I can be treated with a half- or quarter-dose of any supplement or medicine, I’m on a full dose of that supplement and still have some pronounced hypothyroid symptoms. So, I’m definitely having some sort of flare or “crisis” worse than I’ve had in the past.

        I’ll be taking a number of new questions and symptom suggestions to my next appointments since reading some of your posts and some at STTM. From following experiences of friends who have AI diseases, I realize that it’s a journey, but the sooner you put your finger on the problems the better. So that’s what I’m working toward. :)

        Thanks for your comments, and best wishes– Sara

        • Dana Trentini says:

          I’m happy you will speak with your doctor about further testing Sara. Best of luck to you. The thyroid is so complex that multiple testing is needed to figure out all the underlying issues. I wish you good health :)

  15. Kathryn Skinner says:

    I’ve been diagnosed for a couple years now and doctors say they are “waiting” for my thyroid to commit to either hypo or hyper. So, in this transition state where antibodies are insanely high, but thyroid levels are normal; there is nothing that can be done?!
    Appreciate any feedback or comments.
    Thank you,
    Kathryn

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Kathyrn, It’s a controversial topic the issue of whether or not to treat Hashimoto’s sufferers with high antibodies but normal TSH with thyroid hormone replacement drugs. There is research suggesting that thyroid hormone replacement may slow down the attack on the thyroid as a prevention method. Mary Shomon includes this article on this topic at About.com. It’s important to seek a second medical opinion to be sure everything is being considered. For example, there are many potential underlying issues at play that should be tested including as I mention in this article, sex hormone levels, gluten intolerance, food sensitivities, and testing for adrenals with saliva cortisol levels, and testing for levels of vitamins such as D3 and B12 and selenium. I’m not sure if your doctor is doing that for you now but it’s worth discussing. Please also seek a second opinion. Best of luck.

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  16. Hi. So great to find your blog. I too have Hashimotos. I suffered almost five years without getting anyone to help me. My TSH levels were always normal so no treatment was ever given. I kept doing research on my own and just knew that my thyroid was the problem. I finally begged my doctor to run the thyroid antibodies test…mine came back 2500! The normal range was less than 30! In the time before my diagnosis I also suffered 2 miscarriages. The thyroid regulates most of all of the body functions…it still amazes me how overlooked it is! Thank you again!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Cindy, thank you for showing your story and showing how important it is to be an advocate for yourself. You knew something was wrong and you insisted with your doctor for further testing. I truly believe our body whispers warnings to us and we need to listen to them. I am sorry for your miscarriages. I am happy to hear you are on the road to better health. Welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

  17. Thanks for this post. I have also experienced very irritating docs. One Endo told me that if they made the normal values lower, as recommended by the American Society for Endocrinology, they would have to treat too many people, and they’re far too busy for that. If you doctor shop, they think you’re a hypochondriac.
    I have a theory. Some viruses are known to trigger Hashimoto’s. Antibodies are specific to specific antigens presented on the surface of cells – sometimes they get confused and sometimes the antigens are actually expressed on the cell surface of what they are attacking. The antibody tests are specific for antigens of viruses that they know cause Hashimoto’s or that they have called anti thyroid antibodies, but are actually anti-specific virus antibodies. My theory is that those people who have negative antibody tests are presenting a different antigen on the thyroid cell surface, because they got a different virus than what the antibody test recognizes, but still one that causes one’s own antibodies to attack the thyroid, just not the ones they are testing for. So, they need to develop new tests. I never did test positive and neither did my Grandmother, but we both most definitely have had Hashimoto’s.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Dana (by the way great name I haven’t met too many people with the name Dana), this is a very interesting theory and one that I’ll look into a bit more. I find this interesting because many people show up negative antibodies yet they have all the Hashimoto’s common symptoms. I turned up with negative antibodies yet so many of the hallmarks of Hashimoto’s are so obviously part of my story. I plan to get an ultrasound of my thyroid done to confirm. Here is an interesting article about negative antibodies attached below. Welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/page/14/

  18. Within the last 7 years I have gained so much weight and I eat relatively healthy but I’m also menopausal. My Dr kept chalking it up to the menopause but my symptoms were of my thyroid. I’m one of 15 brothers and sisters and several have thyroid problems and surgery including my mom. One day while they were doing a ultrasound on my carodic artery they saw nodules on my thyroid. Well finally they started to take notice….They kept checking my levels saying I was fine till I started to read the book stop the thyroid madness. I asked them to check my antibodies and it was in the 100s they started me on levoxil the lowest dosage and I saw no changes. I wasnt happy with her as she kept saying my increased weight gain had nothing to do with my thyroid when I new it did so I saw another dr. He stopped the meds again I wasnt happy with his care so I stopped all the drs…I recently begged my med dr to test the antibodies again and its now closing in on 300. What should I do at this point. They did say I had hashimoto hypothyroidism I don’t know who to turn to anymore its like I trust nobody….thank you barbara

  19. What a great article. I was diagnosed two years ago with hypothyroidism, my TSH was way out. On meds, my levels are now perfect, yet my symptoms never went away. DR has run all sorts of tests to see if anything else is going on. But I am healthy. I noticed on my last blood teat that my anti thyroid peroxidase Ab is way out. Its almost 600, when it should be <60… I questioned this, and was told thats normal for me, given that I am hypothyroid. And it did not mean I have hashimoto. Frustrated at feeling like crap, looking for answers… thinking I may cut out gluten to see if that helps.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Sonja, I am so happy you found me at Hypothyroid Mom. Your thyroid peroxidase antibodies so high means you have Hashimoto’s. Unfortunately even when someone is found to have high thyroid antibodies, mainstream medicine often doesn’t have much more help to offer than the thyroid medications. You can see from this post that there is comprehensive testing that needs to be done to understand what may be triggering or worsening your condition. It is time for you to get a second medical opinion.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-its-a-genetics-thing/

      • Thank you so much for answering, if nothing else for now, it is just soooooo good to hear that this is a really strong possibility for how I have been feeling for the last 18 months. My Dr is about to go back down the road of depression and anxiety, telling me thats whats causing my two pages of symptoms. Not sure what sort of Dr to see next, but hopefully with lots of information from your site and your facebook page I will figure out which way to go next. thank you thank you thank you

  20. Jane Rotella says:

    I am one of those people whose blood tests did not test positive for Hashi’s. I’ve had symptoms since I was 10, perhaps even before when I had my tonsills & adenoids removed in 1963. Never treated for thyroid disease. However, I have had my spleen & gallbladder removed due to autoimmune disease. Four months ago, I had a TT. The pathology determined Hashis. BTW, I also had papillary cancer in my thyroid.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      WOW Jane! So much to say about your comment. First so many Hashi’s sufferers don’t test positive for antibodies in blood tests. Ultrasound can help determine a diagnosis for Hashimoto’s in case the blood work turns out fine but you still have symptoms. Also I’ve read about how surgery for tonsils and adenoids can actually trigger a thyroid condition and the suggestion is that they are located in the body so close to the small thyroid gland at the base of our neck that it can be knicked in the surgery. Interesting since I noticed my brother’s hypo symptoms began when he was a young teenager after his tonsils were removed but only now as an adult was diagnosed. My heart is heavy every time a thyroid cancer survivor joins me here. You are all warriors!

  21. Thanks for this blog, unfortunately people with Hashimoto’s really have to take control because Dr. do tend to poo poo high antibodies. It kept me from being diagnosed for years and I still find myself educating my physicians.
    I just wanted to mention that for people like me who do not do well on levothyroxine, one of the reasons is because their bodies aren’t able to convert T3 to T4 and I have found relief by using Armour thyroid which has T4. Also the difference between too much and too little medication is very small so I take 60mg every other day and 75mg (1 tab + 1/4 tab) every other day. Taking 60 everyday isn’t enough and 75 everyday is too much. And lastly nutrition is a big player in Hashimoto’s, taking med an hour before eating, and watching trigger foods: caffeine, cruciferus veg (cabbage, broccoli, etc), soy is a big one and grapefruit are the most common. I still miss coffee and chai.
    I don’t have insurance and the antibody test is expensive here so I have learned to pay attention to my body and if I’m having symptoms (mainly anxiety and/or lethargy) I go up and have a quick TSH done and that will give me a clue (on the low side or high side of normal).

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Robin, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with Hashimoto’s. It is helpful for readers to hear other people’s experiences to know there is hope to be well despite Hashimoto’s. Thank you.

  22. Hi, I’m desperately in need of some help. I always had normal blood tests. Over many years the t3 was low or normal and same with t4 … I finally found a Gp who listened to me and said the same thing about the thyroid hormones not making it to the tissues… I went to armour and felt great even after the birth of my son 3 years ago I never got post natal depression… I stopped the meds over a year and a half ago but the symptoms returned over time especially weight gain . I went back on tablets about a year ago and felt fine again. What happened next is the worst part of my life. January this year I caught a bug on a cruise and got gastritis … I was so sick and also got heart racing symptoms which I put down to thyroid meds for some reason. Stopped it mid January . About 8 weeks later until now I have the worst symptoms but this time weightloss, heart palpitations, internal anxiety, one hand tremor, insomnia , extreme fatigue but tired but wired , leg weakness, and the worst depression and constantly crying. Ideal so down and flat even towards the light of my life by beautiful son and husband . My blood test TSH was normal, antibody normal, t3 normal, Ft4 was over the range … Ultrasound said nodules and thyroiditis. I feel like ill never be the happy person I was a few months ago and hate this black cloud. I don’t know if its my thyroid. If it is I’d be so happy to accept it and relieved that its not depression. .. Can you give me your thoughts :(

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Carmen, I am sorry to hear all that’s happened to you. Your illness in January may have worsened your existing thyroid condition. Any form of stress whether physical or emotional can worsen out condition, and who knows how that virus you caught may have affected you too. Your symptoms of heart palpitations, weight loss, anxiety, hand tremor, insomnia all sound like hyperthyroid symptoms, and given your Free T4 is over the range what has your doctor suggested?

      Have you experienced hyperthyroid symptoms before or just now. I ask because the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s and with Hashimoto’s it is common for people to cycle up and down between hypo and hyper. It’s not enough to hear your doctor say your levels are ‘normal’ get a copy of your lab results and save them every time. Check where your levels fall relative to the reference ranges listed to the right on the sheet.

      Insist on additional testing: Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI), adrenal function with cortisol testing, iron including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, vitamin B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium, thyroid ultrasound, and any other tests your doctor recommends. It’s important to get full testing so that you know all the potential factors. Feel free to contact me with your test results if you have additional testing.

      • Hi Dana, the depression got really bad so I’m taking anti deps. The endo I went to was hopeless… However I went back to my old GP who did the Thyroflex test and said I’m underactive . My saliva test shows I’m low on cortisol so that may explain the hyper symptoms plus not being optimized on armour as yet. The hyper feelings are the worst. And the depression too. I am in HC as well and will be getting the blood tests you recommended … I just have to believe ill get better ;)

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Carmen, Poor adrenal function with low cortisol or high cortisol is a very common reason why people have a hard time on thyroid drugs including Armour. What can happen is T3 pooling where the T3 stays in the blood and does not enter the cells where it is needed so blood tests will show a high Free t3 level in the blood but you suffer symptoms because it is not getting into the cells. First you must address your adrenal function.

          http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/

          You must have your Free T3 and Reverse T3 tested to see if pooling is an issue.

          http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/pooling/

  23. Jill Wittekind says:

    This is wonderful information. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s finally after years of being hypothyroid. I am now taking Cytomel (T3) and Levothyroxine (T4) I am feeling a lot better for sure. I am taking other supplements as well, such as Selenium and Vitamin D. I have never had a child and I am 34 years old and would like to have a child and was curious to know if you continue on thyroid replacement while pregnant? Also I heard taking Selenium will help with the level of the antibodies in your system. I also want to know if it is reversible at all?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jill, Absolutely there is hope to have healthy babies despite our hypothyroidism. It’s about getting your thyroid condition treated optimally before you conceive and then knowing to right away get your thyroid levels tested in early pregnancy because our TSH can jump up quickly in the first weeks to meet the need of the baby for our thyroid hormone for growth and development. Yes selenium is thought to help antibody levels. You should ask your doctor to test Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc and selenium. There is also a great deal of research linking gluten to Hashimoto’s so worth it to try a 30 day gluten free diet to see if it improves your symptoms. Best of luck to you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypothyroid-moms-story-of-hope-her-miracle-babies/

  24. Barbara Brown says:

    I commented earlier today but do not see my post. :(

  25. I have a thyroid nodule (cyst with nodule) for over a year now and I have had ultrasounds, and a FNAB where they drained the cyst but couldn’t get enough cells from the nodule to get a diagnosis. That was done about a yr ago and this last month went for another ultrasound and it has since grown from 2cm to 3.6cm…so they have ordered another FNAB…Now my concern is my sypmtoms are like those of hypothyroidism.. (huge weight gain, never ever in my life had to worry about my weight til now, was always skinny…tired all the time, body aches where the doctor thinks it’s either arthritis or carpal tunnel. .major chronic hives, had allergy tests done but it seems It was inconclusive because the resukts were positive for everything…where as I had allergy tests done a few yrs ago and all was negative. ..there is no history of allergies either..never ever in my life have had hives until now. now all this had been going on for over a year…yet my blood levels are normal..had tsh and t4 blood work done a few times over the past year and always come back normal….to let you know I am 51 and haven’t reach menapause yet…don’t no if it’s because of my age or what…but would love some input….thanks 

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Barbara, It is common for people with cysts and nodules to have abnormal thyroid symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all, others have hyperthyroidism symptoms, while others have hypothyroidism, and others cycle back and forth between hypo and hyper. It is unfortunate that in mainstream medicine only TSH and T4 are done, and these tests do not give a full picture of your problem. It is not enough for a doctor to tell you your labs are “normal”, you must get a copy of your lab results and check what tests have been done. Full testing should also include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab and TgAb). It is very common for people to be told their TSH and T4 are normal yet they suffer symptoms. Please speak with your doctor about this additional testing, or find a doctor who will do them. Best of luck to you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Also Barbara, hives can be associated with hypothyroidism too!

        http://allergies.about.com/b/2007/10/02/got-hives-get-your-thyroid-checked.htm

        • Thanks so much for getting back to me…
          I have since gone to my doctor with my concerns and he said once he gets results from the FNAB he will take the next step. He is talking about sending me to an endocrinologist if the tests come back not cancer.

          I notice you mentioned the thryoid antibodies tests, i have never had that done, the only blood work i have had done in the past year since i was diagnosed with a thryoid cystic nodule is TSH and T4′s and T3′s, I do have the copy of the result of one test i had done 6 months ago for TSH it was 2.83 (0.34-4.82) mU/L which is a normal reading. I have had tests again done a month ago for TSH, T3′s and T4′s but never got a copy of those results, but were told all was normal.

          There is a family history of thryoid problems in my family as my grandmother had a Goiter, and about 20 yrs. ago or so I was diagnosed with hyperthyoidism and was put on low dose meds for a short period and felt so much better with treatment. I do feel all my symptoms is all thyroid related and hope this all gets sorted out soon, it is so frustrating having to play the waiting game. :(

          thanks again for everything and all the valuable info. you have given me on this :)

  26. Good evening! I’m a 40 year old female and it was confirmed over a year ago that the right side of my thyroid was slightly enlarged. No presence of nodules via ultrasound. My neck around the lower part would get red and inflamed recently, it was only in that specific area and in the same pattern three different times. I took a picture the third time it happened to show my doctor.

    I had a CBC done non-fasting on 4-9-13 in which “normal” results were recorded by my doctor.

    Here are the results:

    TSH 1.39 normal= 0.34-4.82 uIU/mL
    Calcium 8.4 LO normal=0.34-4.82 uIU/mL

    Thyroid Peroxidase
    Antibodies 17 in range <35 IU/mL
    Thyroglobulin Panel
    Thyroglobulin AB <20 45.1 H Out of range 2.0-35.0 ng/ML

    This test was performed using the Siemens (DPC) chemiluminescent method. Values obtained from different assay methods cannot be used interchangeably.
    Thyroglobulin levels, regardless of value, should not be interpreted as absolute evidence of the presence or absence of disease.

    It was also noted that the serum slightly lipemic.

    Hypothyroidism is extremely present in my family history. I'm concerned that it could be Hoshomoto's (sp?) especially due to the red inflamed areas that pops up on my neck around my thyroid same red pattern and on the lower portion of my neck. Can you explain why it would say not to be concerned about the an elevated Thyroglobulin level? Do you think it's that high?

    Since it the test results even with the high Thyroglobulin levels were excused as normal..do you think I should investigate this further and schedule a visit? I don't really understand why it would say my levels are elevated but then underneath say it shouldn't be used as evidence as a dx of disease.
    I would appreciate your advice!! It's the strangest thing!! I feel horrible all the time!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Aimee, High levels of either Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies or Thyroglobulin antibodies is confirmation of Hashimoto’s. You have higher than normal Thyroglobulin antibodies which is confirmation of Hashimoto’s. It is very common for people with Hashimoto’s to have normal TSH in the early stages but still suffer symptoms. It’s controversial but some suggest that treating a person with Hashimoto’s even when they have normal TSH will help slow down the attack. You need additional testing: Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, antibodies for Graves TSI because some people have both Hashimoto’s and Graves antibodies, full iron panel including ferritin, adrenals, sex hormones including testosterone, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Also try a 30 day gluten free diet to see if it helps because a great deal of research showing a link between gluten and Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

  27. I came across your blog and found it informative. I am male and just graduated Registered Nursing school. I read your blog, cause it was just recently suggested that I have Hashimoto’s disease, by my new endocrinologist. An incidental ultrasound was done on my thyroid and they found eight nodules in my thyroid. I am only 33 years old and I was concerned that they could be cancerous considering all the knowledge I have regarding the medical field. An official ultrasound was done by my referred endocrinologist and she reviewed the ultrasound, she wrote a note to my primary physician suggesting there was nothing of concern and to do a follow-up ultrasound in six months. Meanwhile my primary is already treating me for hypothyroidism since 2007. I was not satisfied by her analysis and told my primary to send in a request for me to see her, he did. I waited a week and she never replied to set up an appointment to discuss the ultrasound results. I took it upon my self to get a second opinion within my medical group. I browsed medical professional profiles until I found an endocrinologist that seemed very experienced and knowledgeable. I told my primary to send him a referral request. Within the same day of the referral he contacted me by email, he said he already reviewed all notes, images, and ultrasounds in my file and said that it looks typical of Hashimoto’s disease, which makes sense cause my aunt has Hashimoto’s disease. What I found most interesting about your blogs was the conversion of T4 to T3 which is the active form of the hormone. My primary always checked my TSH and my Free T4 but never free T3…even with my experience as an newly graduated RN it never dawned on me that there would be a problem for my body to convert T4 to T3, which I might be experiencing. I have that feeling of the roller coaster…medication is increased I feel good for a couple of months then start to feel symptomatic again. I will be seeing my new endocrinologist on Monday and I am definitely going to suggest a lab test for Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3 as well as the antibody tests. I am going to also try to convince him to do a biopsy on my thyroid nodules. Thanks for your informative article.

    Daniel

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Daniel,

      Thank you for commenting. It is very frustrating the lack of awareness about thyroid conditions really. Absolutely you need further testing. At the minimum you need your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) as well as thyroid antibodies for Graves TSI (because many of my readers actually have antibodies for both).

      Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” It’s not enough to have scores in the “normal” ranges. You need them to be optimum where you feel your best. I personally feel terrible when my Free T3 is in the low half of the reference range or even middle of the range. I feel my best in the top 25th percentil as Mary writes.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s, then you should also have additional tests because these factors often underlie this condition: iron (ferritin, serum iron, TIBC, % saturation), testosterone, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium, as well testing for adrenals (ideally 24-hour saliva test for cortisol levels).

      The Holtorf Medical Group well known for their thyroid work wrote a guest blog post for Hypothyroid Mom on Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-its-a-genetics-thing/

      Best of luck to you. Continue to be persistent to be sure you get all the necessary testing.

  28. lorraine says:

    Hi Dana, i came across your blog as i was looking for range meaning for TSH. I had a test done today and it was normal 2. I wake up in the mornings perfect then bang temp goes up 20mims later its normal during the day it goes up again, i’m not sick etc.
    I cant stamd the cold, hands and feet are cold, i get so cold even on warm days and my neck locks i break out in spots (Uticaria). My list can go on forever, from my hqir drying out, to my skin being brittle at this stage, tired, fog brain.
    I had it checked with my doctor a year ago and it was 3.8 again normal, in the past 4weeks i have gained 5kg, and i workout daily 5days per wk,. My sister (older 43) has diabetes and injects and now she has hypothyroid, my dads mom had her thyroid removed.

    If i go to my doctor, he will think i am a hypocondriac! I have asked for a referal to check for Lupus, i know there is an issue with me but trying to put a name on it is hard.

    Any advice would be very much appreciated.
    (PS) Family doctors in Ireland are so so far behind!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Lorraine,

      It is great to have you on my page from Ireland! When I read your message Hashimoto’s popped right out in my mind. Have you had your thyroid antibodies tested for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI)? I ask because it is common with Hashimoto’s for people’s TSH to swing up and down between hyper and hypo and up and down. In the early stages their TSH is in the normal ranges but they still suffer symptoms. You must have your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab, TgAb and TSI) tested.

      Your symptoms including the uticaria are very common with hypothyroidism. In fact when someone has one autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s, they are more likely to develop others like type 1 diabetes and Lupus. People with Hashimoto’s can present too with an elevated body temperature due to the autoimmune attack on their thyroid.

      Of course at the same your symptoms may be related to something entirely different than a thyroid condition so be sure to investigate all possibilities.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      http://thyroid.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=thyroid&cdn=health&tm=5&f=22&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.thyroid-info.com/articles/autoimmune-checklist.htm

      Best of luck to you.

  29. Thanks for this article.
    I am. 28 year old male that has suffered hypo symptoms for 15 years. I finally found a doctor to treat my symptoms despite my TSH being a “normal 4.8″.
    My issue is that I started taking desiccated thyroid and 10 days later I broke out into full body hives/rashes. I went to the hospital and they put me on prednisone. This has happened to me before but I never linked it to my thyroid. I think perhaps I have Hashi’s and my thyroid became active by taking my new meds and my body began re-attacking it.

    I’ve done a lot of reading and essentially there is no relief. I either go back to full blown hypo with no medication or I stick to the dose and stay on steroids (not an option) the rest of my life.

    This has been an incredibly upsetting and tiring week. Any thoughts?

    Cheers!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Brad,
      I’m sorry to hear what’ happened to you. There are so many possible reasons for what’s happened to you. First you may be reacting to the ingredients in your particular natural desiccated thyroid. We are all unique in how we react to the different medications and unfortunately there is not one that works for everyone. There are several brands of NDTs to explore including Armour, Nature-throid. If one brand isn’t working for you, speak with your doctor about whether trying a different brand would help.

      Now the other issue may be the dosage. Do you experience any hyper type symptoms like heart palpitations, insomnia, nervousness, weight loss. I ask because there are people who react badly to thyroid medications for 3 common reasons: low iron levels (have your iron and ferritin tested), poor adrenals either too high or too low cortisol (best test for adrenals is a 24-hour saliva test for cortisol levels) and high reverse T3.

      Ask your doctor to test your Reverse T3, Free T4, Free T3, and thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI). It is common for people with Hashimoto’s to have ‘normal’ TSH in the early stages with cycling up and down between hypo and hyper symptoms so be sure to get tested.

      The other thing is that hives and skin conditions are also common hypothyroid symptoms. It may be that you are not being optimally treated for your thyroid condition.

      http://allergies.about.com/b/2007/10/02/got-hives-get-your-thyroid-checked.htm

      • Hey Dana,
        Thanks for the prompt reply! I haven’t experienced ANY hyper symptoms. In fact if anything I am gaining weight lately. Palpitations are sort of a normal part of my life and always have been (unrelated to thyroid.)

        Your input is invaluable – I am printing off this information and taking it to the specialist tomorrow. Hopefully they can run all of this and maybe give me some more information on what is going on.

        Much love for this!

  30. Christine B. says:

    Thanks for your blog. I came across it while searching for information to prepare myself for my first endocrinologist appointment on Friday. I have had confirmed hypothyroidism since I was 19 (currently 31), but was only ever on the lowest dose of medication, even through pregnancy. Post-partum I’ve had a resurgence of my hypothyroid symptoms, but my TSH is lower than ever (it was only ever high once in my life that I can remember). I suspect multiple hormonal issues, including adrenal fatigue, but the doctor only did the blood test for cortisol which came back normal. All of my labs come back in normal diagnostic ranges, though none of them are within the functional ranges per Dr. Kharrazian’s book, except maybe reverse T3.
    Free T3 4.7 pg/mL (2.8 – 5.3)
    Free T4 0.97 ng/dL (0.78 – 2.19)
    TSH 1.21 uIU/mL (0.47 – 4.68)
    Thyroglob Ab 19 I.U./mL (<4.1)
    Anti TPO <1 I.U./mL (<5.6)
    T3 Reverse 14 (no units or range were given, so I don't really know what to do with this number)

    I'm getting Dr. Kharrazian's book from the library again today (I got it previously to make a list of tests) so I'm hoping there's info there that will help. I'm fully expecting to be told I'm fine with my current thyroid meds since all my ranges are normal, I just have a mild form of Hashimoto's. Which I guess is a start since the presence of the antibodies explains why I'm still feeling hypothyroid, and being about a year post-partum (with symptoms since my daughter's birth) it would make sense that pregnancy is the trigger. My big concern is that with still having symptoms that it means the autoimmune part of this disease is still wreaking havoc on my body. I've been gluten free for several years now, as well as corn free (confirmed allergy). An experienced holistic doctor who's expertise was in food allergies/intolerances said I tested ok for dairy, and since I'm also hypogylcemic I rely heavily on dairy (quality, from the farm) for my protein sources, as I also have a negative reaction to eggs and nuts/beans do not seem to help my energy level. I know dairy can be problematic for hashimoto's but I'm not sure what else I would eat, being on a limited food budget, and still get the protein I need to keep my blood sugar stable without dairy. I do feel like all of my health issues are connected, but am having a hard time finding a doctor who will address them all holistically. My PCP is cooperative to an extent, but only insofar as testing and allowing me to direct treatment, not so much at telling me what I need to do to fix everything. My mom has Rheumatory arthritis, and I was tested for that as well due to joint issues that flared when I took Levaquin recently to get rid of a case of severe bronchitis (no results yet). She was never tested for hashimoto's, though was hypothyroid for most of her life and her thyroid is no longer functional. I also suspect Celiac Disease to run in my family, though my parents are not willing to be tested and I refuse to go back on gluten long enough to be tested, as I had severe GI problems which led me to give up gluten on my own after a mild positive blood test for the antibody. I know all these autoimmune diseases are linked, and that most can be stopped and put into remission, but that modern medicine doesn't generally get you there, at least not completely. I'm just not sure who to turn to, and with limited finances, I can't afford to hit and miss with doctors until I find the right one.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Christine,

      Post-partum is a very common time when a thyroid condition is triggered or worsened. I too experienced terrible post-partum hypothyroid symptoms after both my sons were born so I know too well the stress of caring for a baby and not feeling well yourself. Are you currently being treated? Which medication are you on?

      We are all different in terms of what’s the “optimal” range for us with each score. For example, thyroid advocate Mary Shomon writes: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” With this in mind, your Free T4 is in the bottom half of the range.

      I’m happy you had your adrenals tested. The best adrenal testing is a 24-hour saliva test for cortisol levels. You should also have your iron tested (ferritin, serum iron, TIBC, % saturation), sex hormones including testosterone, vitamin D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium tested because they are all common issues for Hashimoto’s sufferers.

      Here is Mary Shomon’s directory to help you find a thyroid doctor in your area. Best of luck.

      http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/

  31. I was just dianogsed with hashimotos. I have my left thyroid taken out due to reasons of thinking it was cancer although it trned out benign. I’ve had no problems until I have my child 7 1/2 months ago and cannot seem to go back to “my normal”. Any suggestions?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through. Post-partum is a time when women’s thyroid conditions are triggered or worsened. I suffered terrible symptoms after both my boys were born so I understand completely. It’s important to start by making sure you’ve had all the right tests: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI), adrenal testing, iron and ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, magnesium, B12, D3, zinc, selenium. All these factors are common issues for us that need to be resolved. Feel free to contact me with your lab results and the normal reference ranges for each. Best of luck.

  32. “…and insist on the following two thyroid antibody tests:
    Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
    Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)”

    I recently had these tests performed and the Dr said my bloodwork came back normal, yet I still feel tired and fuzzy all the time.
    What is considered normal? What should the ranges for these two tests come out as?

    The bloodwork report says the range for the TPOAb should be: < 35 mine came back at 15. Does this mean these antibodies still exist but just in lower numbers?
    The bloodwork report states that the range for TgAb should be < 20. Mine came back at 20 which is right at the range. What does this mean?
    I'm so confused.
    Karen

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Karen, positive antibody results for either TPO-Ab or TgAb is confirmation for Hashimoto’s. Your TgAb antibody is right at the range and this cause for concern. Technically by this you are not technically a Hashimoto’s sufferer however this result right at 20 gives cause for concern that your condition may worsen over time. While it is controversial, there are articles written on the use of preventative thyroid treatment for people with normal TSH but with positive antibodies to slow down the attack. What were your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and TSH levels and the normal reference ranges for each?

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

      I would still take precautions that you may have Hashimoto’s and go on a gluten free diet for 30 days to see if it helps. Also get testing for common issues in Hashimoto’s including iron including low ferritin, adrenals, sex hormone levels including testosterone, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Here is a great article on Hashimoto’s which includes a discussion of what if your lab results are borderline.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/hashimotos/

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Hi Karen,

        We all have some level of antibodies in our bodies, what I meant is that if a person is positive for antibodies, meaning above the normal reference range (I should have considered my wording more carefully and will from this time on). I will be much more clear in future. Your message read that your TPO-Ab was 15 (the normal reference range is <35) so that is normal. However you list your TgAb at 20 (normal reference range <20) that’s where I have concern. Your TgAb is right on the top of the normal reference range. I did not say you have Hashimoto’s, rather my message was to be cautious because your TgAb is right on the top of normal range. Be sure to have your doctor retest your thyroid antibodies over time. Also there are many potential underlying issues including things as simple as vitamin deficiencies that your doctor could test that may be helpful if in case there is the chance that an autoimmune condition is going on for you.

  33. I have been trying to figure out what is going on with me fo years now. I am very tired all the time,my feet and hands are aways cold,dry skin,weight gain,constipated,joint pain,headaches,chronic UTI’s….the list goes on. . My neck bothers me as well,it sometimes feels like something is stuck in my throat,I have to clear my throat a lot,and just a full feeling. I was told I have multiple nodules on my thyroid varying in sizes. Went to my Endo,she did blood work and a fine needle biopsy. The biopsy was of the biggest nodule and it came back ok. Blood test came back negative for antibodies and
    TSH was 0.42.Free T4 was 1.1. So,they said everything looked ok and if my thyoid bothered me,they would consider doing surgery to remove some some of it. I am more bothered by the constant fatigue and weight problems than anything.I was for sure I was hypothyroid and I was pretty bummed when they told me I was fine. I just want to feel good! I am only 28 and I feel like I’m 80. Where do you think I should go from here?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Mary,

      I am sorry to hear all the symptoms you are experiencing. Your symptoms sound very similar to my own especially the chronic UTI’s! TSH and Free T4 does not give a complete picture of a person’s thyroid condition. So many thyroid sufferers turn up with “normal” lab tests but suffer symptoms just the same. Now there are many possible issues going on.

      Thyroid nodules can be asymptomatic for many people, others experience hyperthyroid symptoms, others experience hypothyroid symptoms, and others cycle back and forth between hypo and hyper. You need a closer look at your thyroid with additional testing.

      First, you mention that your thyroid antibodies are negative, however there are several antibody tests that should be done: thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI). All three must be done not just one. It is common with Hashimoto’s for people in the early stages to have normal TSH while the body attacks the person’s thyroid gland.

      Speak with your doctor about additional testing: Free T4, Free T3, thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI), adrenal testing for cortisol levels, iron testing including ferritin, sex hormone levels including testosterone, vitamin D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

      Also, there is a great deal written about the link between gluten and hypothyroidism especially Hashimoto’s. It would be worth it to try a gluten free diet for 30 days to see if it helps your symptoms.

  34. Hi, I am Megan Chadd. I was told I have Hashimoto’s disease when I was ten. Today I am 13. I have lived with this for 3 years or longer now. I am one of the youngest people that have gotten this disease in the world. I am the only person in my family that has it too. But the very first thing I said to my doctor when I found out was ” My body is not suppose to kill its self is it?” ( When I was first diagnosed I had all of the late symptoms of Hashimotos)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Megan, I am happy to hear from you. It is amazing to hear from you at 13 years old with Hashimoto’s. I hope you are doing well. Curious Megan for other readers who may read your message. What symptoms and signs did you have at age 10 that made your doctors think to test you for Hashimoto’s. How are you doing now?

  35. ShayLynn says:

    So glad I found your website. So much information is found on this topic but it is very overwhelming and at times hard to completely understand. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 6 years ago after the birth of my 2nd child. I knew little about it and trusted that my meds were perfect for my diagnosis. I have been on Levoxyl the entire 6 years but since researching more this last year because I just haven’t felt myself I have realized my hair loss, lack of motivation/energy, dry hair/skin, mind being cloudy/forgetful and feeling edgy may be related to my thyroid. I recently went to a doctor who performed tests and my thinking was I would just get a refill and be on my way for another year like had been done previously. However he is wanting to adjust my meds and possibly add Cytomel which I am very nervous about since I have read many people experiencing hair loss while on this medication. I can not lose anymore hair I am already really thin. Here are my test results:

    TSH .843
    T4 1.55
    Reverse T3 29.2 (not sure why he did not do a free T3 test)
    TPO 374
    TgAb 3

    I just feel overwhelmed and confused as to what to do. I have cut all dairy out of my diet due to eczema but have not cut gluten out…should I consider this and just stay on Levoxly? What would help lower my antibodies level? I have read about NDT but I feel really nervous about switching meds not knowing what side effects I may experience. Any thoughts would be helpful!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with so many!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hello ShayLynn,

      It is good to hear from you. There are many things to say about your situation. First off, I am happy your doctor tested your thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s after the birth of your second child because this is not routinely tested yet the number of one cause of hypothyroidism in the US is Hashimoto’s. Now, the first step is you must have your Free T3 and Reverse T3 tested. Your Free T3 is a critical value because while some people do great on Levothyroxine drugs not all of us do. For many of us our bodies don’t convert the T4 hormone in these drugs to the active T3 our bodies need so we suffer typical hypo symptoms because of the low Free T3. It’s important to test that before trying a T3 medication like Cytomel of NDT to be sure that your issue is a low Free T3 problem.

      Also I notice your Reverse T3 is on the high side. Here is a link to a calculator that you type in your Free T3 and Reverse T3 scores and determine your ratio which is very important to determine if you have a reverse T3 issue. If you have this issue there are many possible causes to discuss with your doctor including: leptin resistance, inflammation, extreme dieting, nutrient difficiencies such as low iron, selenium, zinc, chromium, Vit B6 and B12, Vit D and iodine (including Ferritin), Insulin dependent Diabetes, Low Vit B12, all forms of stress, Chemical exposure, Cold exposure, Chronic alcohol intake, Liver disease, Kidney disease, Severe or systemic illness, severe injury, Surgery, Toxic metal exposure.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/

      There is a great deal written on the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s so it’s worth it to try a 30-day gluten free trial to see how your thyroid levels change and if your symptoms improve.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

  36. Hi I am Mila Coleman,
    I started have symptoms of anxiety and the doctors try to treat me as well with out a good result. They tried last year one medicine called Metropolol and my life went down in hell. I don’t have a history of heart problem or high blood pressure. I never was the same again. Looks like my metabolism changed, if I eat I have palpitations. Now I am having tremors,palpitations, muscle moviments and big pressure in the head that when gets bad I cry abnormal and changes my mental health. My TSH became normal, but I feel my body is fight against it. I found out for myself that I am depletion in vitamin D 19.4 and my globulin( antibodies) is high. I tried to take vitamin D but I felt really sick and got worse my symptoms. I feel sick every day and the doctors said they cannot do anything for me. Yesterday I saw your site and I insist to my family doctor to do TPo and Tgab test. She laughs at me and try to refuses because my TSH is normal. I only got the test because my husband was there. I feel sick and She insist this is panic attack. I tried a endo doctor and again because my TSH is normal they did not do anything for me. Please I need to find a good doctor in NJ Or Philly area that could listen to me and make a trial blood test to find out why my body changed after this betablocker. If any one has any doctors name suggestion. It will be really appreciate. I am in hell. I also have a question. I did cortisol test before (blood) and became normal. Is the saliva test more effective? Also my MCH became high and again the doctors refuse to see what is in her face. Thanks in Advance

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Mila,
      I am very sorry all that’s happening to you. I remember feeling so unwell with a doctor who clearly didn’t have a full understanding of thyroid conditions and I worried that I would never feel better again. There is hope to be well again. First off, of course there may be many health issues causing your symptoms besides a thyroid condition. However a thyroid condition may be the reason for your many symptoms because thyroid conditions are linked to heart disease, heart palpitations, high blood pressure.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/is-your-thyroid-killing-you-heart-disease/

      Thyroid conditions are also linked to mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/when-thyroid-disease-masquerades-as-psychiatric-disorder/

      The issue is that TSH is often used as the only test for thyroid function yet time and again patients with very real thyroid symptoms have normal TSH. More testing is needed and you must be an advocate for yourself and insist on testing Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Hasimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves, adrenal cortisol levels (best test is 24-hour saliva test), full iron panel (ferritin, serum iron, TIBC, % saturation), vitamin D3 (which you had done), B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and sex hormones including testosterone.

      You mention your thyroglobulin antibodies are high, so if they are above the normal reference range speak with your doctor. Here are resources to help you find a new doctor. Best of luck to you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      http://www.thyroidchange.org/patient-recommended-doctor-list-us.html

  37. Hi, my name is Miriam. Thyroid disease runs in my family. My mother and younger brother were diagnosed with Graves disease. My younger sister also developed Thyroid disease and gained close to 100 pounds before she finally found out that she has Thyroid issues. I just turned 44, but when I was 38 I was diagnosed with Alopecia. I’ve lost half the thickness of my hair compared to what it used to be and it continues to fall out. In my family there is no family history of Alopecia. When I was 39 I was diagnosed of being Vitamin D deficient and having Osteopenia. For many, many years I’ve been struggling with lack of sleep and constantly on a daily basis feeling fatigue. The past two years I’ve gained weight and my appetite has increased. I’ve always been a petite person even after having three children. I run and do other cardio, but can’t seem to budge this extra weight that I’ve gained. I don’t know if any of these issues have anything to do with my Thyroid, but I thought I would mention it. Since 2007 I have had my Thyroid checked and it hasn’t alarmed any of the doctors with my results. I decided to have all my records pulled and do some research on my own. Can you please look them over and let me know if I should be concerned. These are my test results:
    06/18/07 TSH .51
    11/07/07 TSH .86
    11/08/08 TSH .21
    T3 Free 2.2
    T4 Free 1.2
    TPO Antibody 0.3
    Thyroglobulin AB 1.6
    11/10/09 TSH .44
    T3 Free 285 (reference range)
    230-420
    T4 Free 1.0
    10/07/10 TSH .436
    T4 Free 1.0
    12/15/10 T3 Free 2.96
    1/25/12 TSH .78
    T3 Free 3.38
    T4 Free 1.0
    3/16/12 TSH .550
    T4 Free .8
    4/25/13 TSH .390
    T3 Free 3.8
    T4 Free 1.1

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Miriam,

      Hair loss is so challenging for women. I can only imagine how hard it is for you. Given your family history of thyroid disease, I understand your concern. It’s great that you’ve had your TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 tested. Has your doctor made any recommendations for your Alopecia? It would be helpful to have additional testing including Reverse T3 at the same time as Free T3. Stop The Thyroid Madness provides a calculator to determine the reverse T3 ratio. Additional testing to speak with your doctor about: adrenals, iron including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, vitamin D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/

    • Hi all,
      I have hashimotos. I was on thyroxine for three years and took myself off them after my side effects made being on them worse than hashimotos. I went from size 8 to size 18. I had fluid retention, cold hands and feet, heart palpitations and involuntary myoclonic jerk, nausea, vomiting, bone aces in hands, feet spine, knees, ankles and extreme shortness of breath. My tsh has always sat on 10 despite how much thyroxine I took. Started on 50 mags, then 75mcgs, then 100, then 150. My thyroid per oxidase antibodies were 584 and my t4 was 9. I went on a gluten free diet when I was diagnosed. Before hashimotos I was going to the gym 5 days a week, 6klm walks three times a week and was around 60kgs. On thyroxine I kayaked in one year around our dam which was 280klm and put on a ton of weight.up to 98kgs. When I was on 150mcgs of thyroxine, plus melodic am, plus stomach ulcer and anti nausea drugs my tsh got to 0.1. My t4 was on 17. But I developed the myoclonic jerks. I read up on thyroxine and found it contains lactose, corn starch and talc. I am also lactose intolerant. My doctor refused to send me to an endocrinologist or test my adrenals or my cortisol levels. I asked if he could give me something to eliminate fluid. His answer was I needed an antidepressant. My answer was to tell him to get xxxxxed. I was unwell not depressed and he refused to retest my antibodies. I went to see a naturopath and he suggested my adrenals were shot to pieces. I went on a caffeine free, gluten free, bread and carb free (ie gluten free bread and gluten free pasta) potato free, carrot, peas, alcohol, sugar free, lactose and complete dairy ban, rice free, corn free.I was given energy x (selenium, vit d, magnesium, tyrosine,boron, vit d) and thyroid adrenal gland tablets and my diet includes very few processed foods. I have fish five nights a week and have salads and some fruits, banana free, orange free.. I have lost 18kgs. I also take iodine 17 drops per day and include almonds and almond milk and green tea in my daily diet. I recently went to a gp after I discovered a lump in my breast after a routine 10klm kayak. He tested my tsh and t4 and t3 and thyroid per oxidase antibodies as he is pro thyroxine and my results were tsh 94, t4 2.1, t 3 5 and my thyroid per oxidase antibodies back up to 856. He could not believe I had lost weight and said I shouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. Going back to my naturopath as endocrinologist I was referred to finally after now 4 years is pro thyroxine, anti iodine and uses the tsh test and I don’t feel like being a guinea pig all over again with adjusting the dose to suit the test. In one year of being off thyroxine I have lost weight, having my adrenals addressed naturally and healing my gut from the damaging effects of long term thyroxine use. Oh the side effects when coming off thyroxine are freaky. I had burning sensations in my feet, my shortness of breath disappeared thankfully bone aches subsided to only around menstrual time instead of every day, my hair stopped falling out in clumps and my hair started growing longer, the jerks went away. The doctor actually treated me with amitriptaline for the jerks instead of reading the mims and seeing this is a side effect of too much thyroxine! He left town thankfully! Is anyone else lactose intolerant, hashimotos and brave enough to not take thyroxine?

      • Hi all,
        I have been to see my endocrinologist yesterday after she realised I was not taking thyroid hormone replacement with lactose. All thyroid meds In Australia contain lactose. I am now on two grains of natural dessicated porcine extract. There is a compounding pharmacy in cairns that supplies it on maul grave road.Given my tsh is 94 and my thyroid peroxidase antibodies are 854 I figured ok. Hashimotos survivors have natural deficiencies in vit d due to damage to receptors. I have olive skin from my Mediterranean background and my vit d levels are 65. The endocrinologist would like 75 or higher. With the naturopath I take thyroid adrenal support still and with my tsh so high without these I would not have fared so well. I look forward to the next kayak session around the lake and urge all hashimotos warriors to believe there is hope. With hashimotos healing the insides first no gluten or gluten free products, no potatoes, bread of any kind or carbs, no rice cakes either, no carrots, peas, pistachios, peanuts or cashews, no milk, caffeine,, sugar.no rice. All of these foods help feed the auto immune attack on your body and give fuel to your immune system to create more antibodies. Cheese is bad too due to the casein. Keep a food diary for a week and see what food you eat and see what your individual diet has been. It will give you some insight. Oh and with my tsh so high I have lost another 4 kgs in two weeks without trying. Dr reckons I should not be able to lose weight. All I say is we are the master of our bodies. Do not accept anything but quality treatment for hashimotos. No band aids. Thyroxine is just a band aid. The solution lies within us all to take charge of our treatment of hashimotos and educate ourselves to help the average gp find better ways.. Keep smiling everyone and stay positive informed and love life. I’m going kayaking the next chance I can get to show hashimotos that I am stronger!

  38. Cathey says:

    Hi, my doctor diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s last week. I showed up at my doctor’s office just complaining about a stomach ache that just wouldn’t go away. I also wanted to have a physical done since it was awhile since my last one and my DH and I wanted to TTC at the end of the year. I had pain above my belly button and since my mother had her gallbladder taken out he had me go for an ultrasound… I went to my appointment last week and he said that my TSH was 3.29… which was within the ‘normal range’ although I’ve been reading that doctors have been going back and forth about what the normal range actually is. My TPO was 274… which is why he diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s. He put me on Synthyroid and I have to go for blood work and a follow up at the end of the month. I feel really overwhelmed googling and reading all of this stuff. My mom had thyroid problems in her early thirties… and I’m pretty sure she has a goiter… as did my grandmother but I don’t know if they were diagnosed with this autoimmune. I found your site comforting… I don’t know who to talk to… Be well…

    ~Cathey

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Cathey,
      It is good to hear from you. It can be overwhelming when we are diagnosed with a health condition. The good news is that there is hope to be well despite Hashimoto’s. Take it one step at a time and learn all you can about this condition so that you know which tests to ask your doctor about and which treatments to discuss. Best of luck.

  39. Ashley says:

    Can you have hasimoto’s and be hyperthyroid? TSH of .255?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Hashimoto’s often comes with a cycling up and down of TSH so the person suffers hypothyroid symptoms then hyperthyroid symptoms and back and forth. Do your TSH levels fluctuate each time you test them?

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      What has your doctor said about your lab tests? The optimal TSH level for each of us varies with some of us feeling great at suppressed TSH levels. The main question is how do you feel? Do you have hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms? You should discuss your dosage of thyroid medication with your doctor if you are experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms.

      Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote this great article about how people can have both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid symptoms.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/hypoandhyper.htm

  40. Tabitha says:

    I have had hypothyroidism for over 18 years. For the past 4 years I have been completely blindsided with severe migrains, joint pain, muscle pain, face rashes, vit D defieciency, and anemia. I have been sent to every doctor- from Neurologist to Rheumatoligist. I have had spinal taps, Cat scans, MRI’s, put on anti seizure meds, and many other barbaric therapies. I’ve been searching for answers, because I feel like I could die from this. While researching symptoms, I came across this site. When I read this- I started to cry. I really think I must have Hashimotos. I have every single symptom. I’m in so much agony. I’m calling my Dr. tomorrow to see if I can get tested for it as soon as possible. i just hope it’s not too late to treat these symptoms. I’ve had this migraine since Jan. 15, 2010, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. I’m just praying for relief. Thank you for all this info! Tabitha

  41. Monica Parkinson says:

    Hi
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in December 1993 a year after thyroid definiency was diagnosed with T4 as low as 7 pmol/L and TSH raised to 28mU/l. In December ’93 my thyroglobulin antibodies were at a positive titre o 1 in 409,600 and the peroxidase microsomal antobiodies at a dilution of 1 in a million, the consultant a top guy in the UK had never seen them so high.
    Whilst the Hashimoto’s has been elatively well managed (took some 8 years from diagnosis) I have since developed Rheumatoid Arthritis and would welcome any input others might have on the combined issue.

    Regards

    Monica

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Monica,

      I can’t imagine how you felt with a TSH of 28 and high antibody levels like yours. I am happy to hear you are doing well. I am sorry to hear about your Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have many readers with a combination of Hashimoto’s and another autoimmune condition such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Celiac disease, etc. When you have one autoimmune condition you are more likely to develop others.

      One thought is to consider testing for all the potential issues that underlie Hashimoto’s to make sure every possible factor has been considered including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals (best test is 24-hour saliva test for cortisol levels), full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, vitamin B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium.

      There is also a great deal written about the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      Holtorf Medical Group wrote a guest blog post for Hypothyroid Mom on Hashimoto’s with possible treatment options to discuss with your doctor.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-its-a-genetics-thing/

  42. Samantha says:

    Hi Dana,

    So would an antibody level of <1 mean that I have positive antibodies? It's less than 1, but it doesn't say negative.

    I have been gluten free; I understand that this diet can cause antibody levels to drop. And Dr. K recommends eating gluten 2 weeks and then retesting antibodies.

    My naturopath recommended Armour for my slightly elevated TSH, but I'm wondering if I might have Hashis.

    Thanks for all your help on this blog!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Which antibody test resulted in <1 for you? The normal reference range for each score will be listed to the right of your scores on your lab sheet. A negative score means your score falls in the normal range. Whereas a positive score means your score falls outside the normal reference range and is abnormal. There are two antibodies for Hashimoto's (TPO-Ab and TgAb) so both should be tested. I am happy you read Dr. Kharrazian's book about gluten. That's a great book. There is a great deal written by thyroid experts on the link between gluten and Hashimoto's.

      Armour is a natural desiccated thyroid derived from pig thyroid that contains both T4 and T3 hormone. Happy to know your doctor is open to this treatment because many doctors are not. We are all unique in terms of how we react to the different ingredients in the different thyroid drugs so it's about working with your doctor to explore the different drug options and dosages to find what's right for you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

      • Samantha says:

        Hi Dana,

        I tested <1 for both TPO-Ab and TgAb. The lab ranges are <9.

        My question is, since I did not get negative antibodies, does that mean I have Hashimotos? Less than 1 is indeed very low, but it is still positive. And maybe it's low because I'm gluten free. I think it would be helpful to know if I have an autoimmune disease.

        Thanks

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Samantha, your test results are within the normal range so you are negative for Hashimoto’s according to these results. A positive testing for hashimoto’s would be antibody levels above the normal range. So according to these lab results you do not have sufficient thyroid antibody levels to diagnose Hashimoto’s. Everyone has some level of antibodies.

          It’s interesting you mention that you are gluten-free. Because it’s suggested that being on a gluten-free diet will lower your antibody scores on lab testing and skew the results so I know some doctors recommend eating gluten prior to testing to get an accurate measure. Speak with your doctor about this.

  43. Thank you for writing this.

  44. Needasolutionnow says:

    Hi Dana,Wonderful job. Wonderful advices.I have hot toxic nodules (autonomous) for the last 2 years. On December 2012 they checked TPO and TSI and came nagetive.TSH is always low 0.3 but sometimes like now reaches 0.01. FT3 2.8 and FT4 0.8After taking some lemon balm and bugleweed TSH used to come back to 0.3 but now not , not this time.Apart from the nodules the rest of the thyroid is not functioning at all. I have very bad symptoms of tiredness dizziness, headaches, lethargic, and very strange thinking I guess is anxiety and panic ideas. My hair is bad.I am gaining weight very fast recently after losing weight one year ago. I am wondering what is happening? I am going to do the saliva test for adrenal and sexual hormones. I did the one of intolerance and came i am intolerant to wheat (a lot) and cows milk. Got rid of those items. Wish to have a guidance on my situation. After so many doctors, the only solution seems radioactive iodine or remove it. May I be having hashimotos?Never checked the level of minerals and RT3 or RT4?May it be this the answer?How can I discover?Thanks.RegardsNeed a solution now.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Dear “Need A Solution Now”,

      The first step is making sure comprehensive testing has been done. Your TPO-Ab and TSI have been tested from your message, however you did not mention TgAb antibodies. With Hashimoto’s, often times TPO-Ab is the only one tested however TgAb is also needed. Be sure to have that tested too. Stop The Thyroid Madness includes a great article on recommended lab work:

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/

      Nodules can come with no symptoms, some with hyperthyroid symptoms, others suffer hypothyroid symptoms, and other swing back and forth between hypo and hyper. Internationally known thyroid advocate Mary Shomon writes about this concept in her article here.

      http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/nodulesgoiter.htm

      With Hashimoto’s it is common for people to swing between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid with fluctuating TSH. I’m not sure if this is the case for you, but it’s important for you to speak with your doctor about this possibility and be sure to have your TgAb tested. Here is a resource to help you seek a second medical opinion.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • Needasolutionnow says:

        Dear DAna,

        your response makes me full of hope that finally I will find what I have not only subclinical hyperthyrodism. You are amazing and a truly inspiration. Thanks for the hope, happiness and your hard work.

        With Hashimoto’s it is common for people to swing between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid with fluctuating TSH. I’m not sure if this is the case for you, (Yes this is my case).

        I will make sure I am tested about TgAb. I am in the process of doing the saliva test as well. I will keep you posted.

        Thanks and very best wishes
        Need a solution for my thyroid :)

        • Dana Trentini says:

          “Need a solution now” – There is hope to live well with hypothyroidism. There really is hope. It’s about learning all you can so that you make sure every test is done to understand what’s going on with your health and then not stopping until you find a doctor who helps you get better. Best wishes.

          • Needasolutionnow says:

            Dear Dana,

            I did saliva test for adrenal and sexual hormones. Results are:
            Cortisol AM 14.8 [3.7-9.5]
            Cortisol Noon 1.6 [1.2-3]
            Cortisol evening 1.2 [0.6-1.9]
            Cortisol night 0.3 [0.4-1]

            Estradiol 1.3 [1.3-3.3]
            Progesterone 42 [75-270]
            pg/e2 32 [ 100-500]
            tetosterone 46 [16-55]
            DHEAS 4.1 [2-23]

            Seems everything is really low. Cortisol in the mornings drops badly at the noon time.

            Would you please let me know what is your opinion?

          • Dana Trentini says:

            So happy you had your adrenals tested. I wish I was an expert in reading adrenal lab results to say with confidence what to do. Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe writes in great length about adrenals including testing and treatment in her book Stop The Thyroid Madness. She covers some of this topic on her blog too.

            http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/faq/

            Also Janie has many online private communities that you can join where they would be able to help you interpret your results.

            http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others/

          • I have had brain fog for over seven yrs and i went from 130 to over 200lbs. Hypothyroidism runs in mt family. I got tested w t4 t3 and tsh and they said it was normal but i was still having symptoms so i found these thyroid herbs from botanic choice all natural to trest myself. And im loosing the weight but brain fog and distorted dreams are still there. Howblong does it ake to flip back over? So tired of feeling this way. Ive been diagonosed w bi polar panic and anxiety agoraphobia and my ears are also bad creating depersonalization and derealization symptoms. Please help me. Am i doing right by taking thyroid complex atural herbs or no?

  45. Michelle says:

    Hi Dana,

    I have had Hashimoto’s for 4 years accompanied by nodules and a large goiter with T4, T3 and TSH relatively “normal” on labs. It took me a while to find a doctor who would prescribe me thyroid meds. Right at the time my doctor prescribed the meds (in the hopes of calming the goiter), I started seeing a functional medicine practicioner (Chris Kresser, who has also had training under Dr. Kharazzian) and he thought it was best that I continue to treat my Hashi’s naturally and not supplement with thyroid. So I have never tried thyroid hormone replacement. I still suffer from symptoms but not nearly as bad since I have cleaned up my diet, drastically lowered my stress level and eliminated gluten.

    My question to you is – how do you reconcile abiding by Dr. K’s theories but also believe in supplementing with thyroid hormone? Dr. K specifically mentions many times that the thyroid hormone replacement itself will destroy the thyroid gland. I’m very confused about what I should do, as I do not want to be on meds and deal with the roller coaster, but at the same time I don’t want to suffer unnecessarily or make the problem worse over time.

    Thank you.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I love Chris Kresser’s work. I follow his blog regularly. This is a question you should ask him. The question really comes down to trying all the natural methods to treat your condition and if no matter trying all those efforts you still suffer symptoms then it’s time to explore with your doctor whether adding thyroid drug treatment is right for you. I’m not sure if you’ve tried all the methods in Dr. Kharrazian’s book already, which by the way is a fantastic book. I assume you’ve done all the testing including vitamin and nutrient testing, trying the recommended vitamins and supplements, searching for food sensitivities, eliminating gluten, etc?

      • Michelle says:

        To clarify, I am not asking for personal medical advice as I can and would only ask an endocrinologist and Chris Kresser for that kind of advice. What I was asking is how do you theoretically reconcile your pro-hormone advice with the work of Dr. K and other natural remedies, as they are in direct conflict with one another? Based on your experience and understanding of the literature, do you feel that being on hormone does not, in fact, render the thyroid gland defunct over time?

        Thank you.

  46. Deborah Markland says:

    My son just had an abnormal antibodies lab result and was referred to a Endocrinologist. There is a 3 month wait to get an appointment. Meanwhile the doctor has him on anxiety medication. What should he expect when he gets to his appointment?

  47. Dana,

    Thank you for your post! It is always refreshing to know we’re not alone. This may not seem like the short version of my life with this problem, but it is as short as I can make it.

    I am 26 years old. I have been hypothyroid my whole life, however, I wasn’t diagnosed until 2011 (because TSH was always normal). Then one day my TSH was over 12 and over a couple years I was up to 120mcg of Levo with a still fluctuating TSH level when I finally decided to see an endocrinology specialist. The specialist diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s because of TPO AB >1000. I was not tested for TgAb. Should I have been?

    The endocrinologist gave me wonderful hope in the first visit — explaining how he would not only treat my TSH levels (because I felt the same no matter the level), but would above all else help treat my symptoms! I was on the moon I was so happy.

    We increased my Levo to 137mcg and now I feel worse. I feel as terrible as I did before medication. I emailed him and explained the way I felt. He told me to go in for a blood test. TSH is at 2.5. Since my TSH is in the “normal range” he wants me to stay on this level of medication for 6 more months and then get re-tested. This happened last night and I am DEVESTATED – I think there is a reason why I stumbled upon your words today.

    My father has Type 2 Diabetes and my mother has Hypothyroidism.

    I took it upon myself to become gluten-free when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in February 2013. I have terrible gut issues and I am unable to digest just about every food on this planet (especially vegetables). I bought a blood glucose meter and found that at certain times of the day my blood glucose is at 50 or lower.

    I don’t even know where to begin. Should I leave the endocrinologist behind and start a search for a new specialist?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Amanda,

      Your TPO-Ab >1000 was enough for your doctor to diagnose your Hashimoto’s. Have you had full testing beyond TSH including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium. I ask because there are many potential underlying issues to Hashimoto’s that should be checked and addressed if needed. The first step is ask your current doctor for this testing.

      Levothyroxine drugs work great for some people but not for all of us. For many of us our bodies don’t convert the T4 to the T3 hormone our bodies need so when tested our Free T3 level is low in the range. So it’s important to have that tested to see if adding T3 treatment would be helpful. Discuss with your doctor that you still don’t feel well. The way your doctor said he was going to help you makes me hopeful that he would be open to discussing these things.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

  48. Samantha says:

    Hi There,

    A year ago March I had a partial hysterectomy with bad dizzy spells after surgery that lasted for 5mnths.(not vertigo) August I started exercising and really watching what I was eating. Weeks went by and my friend would tell me how much she was loosing and I was gaining. I started feeling really bad. Depression, anxiety, bloated stomach, no energy, troubles sleeping, aches and pains. By October I went to my family doctor – thinking I had gone into menopause from my hysterectomy. In November I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Blood test showed Hashimotos , I was started on 100mg Levo (Sp?) At my 3 and 6 mnth check up, my levels were showing good results from the medication (3.5 and 2.5 ) By January I was still feeling bad. Emotionally I was good by physically I felt horrible. I was still not loosing any weight, bloated with extended stomach, my legs and arms are swelling with a redness to them. (not hot or infection) I have a feeling that my lungs are not getting enough air and at times I have to force myself to take big breaths. As soon as I try to exhert any form of exercise (walking up stairs) my leg muscles exhaust so badly and I’m out of breath. Mild walking is good but not adding any muscle strength. My arms are the same way, I can’t add any exercise to them either. I also have a small lump in my thyroid found on ultrasound.

    I have been referred to an Endocrinologist but my appointment isn’t until July 28th.
    My family doctor seems to think I have something else going on and my gynocologist said the thyroid is not doing its job. The Endocrinologist will be able to help.

    I have had other autoimmune disorders before. Alopecia ( circle patches) Poly cystic Ovarian Disease.

    I have gone from 180lbs to 245lbs I can’t stand it !! I have been eating VERY healthy since January and still no movement in my weight.

    All this is driving me crazy!! I have begged to be put on a cancellation list for the Endo but nothing so far.

    any advise would be very helpfull.
    Thank you so much !!!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Samantha,

      With your Hashimoto’s diagnosis, it’s important to have comprehensive testing because there are many potential underlying issues that should be tested and treated if needed including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Also there is a great deal written about the link between gluten and hashimoto’s.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      Levothyroxine drugs work great for some people but not for all of us. For many of us our bodies don’t convert the T4 to the T3 hormone our bodies need so when tested our Free T3 level is low in the range. So it’s important to have that tested to see if adding T3 treatment would be helpful. Discuss with your doctor that you still don’t feel well.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

  49. I know I have Hasimoto. I’ve had symptoms for over 9 years. My antibody tests were abnormal. My primary thinks I have hashimoto but the endocrinologist he sent me to said nope your TSH is normal. I also have endometriosis which I’ve read is common with hashimoto/hypothyroidism and the endometriosis can I air blood results as well. I’m suffering. I’m exhausted I’ve gained over a hundred pounds. I use to work out 6 hours a day run 75 miles per week just to maintain my weight and eat clean. I’m unable to work out like that now and I can’t find a doctor to think outside his stupid box. I’ve been given adderall, phentermine and every drug under the sun but nothing for thyroid. I don’t need a diet pill. I need them to help my actual issue. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated and defeated. My primary said he’d try me on a trial of thyroid now I can’t get him to, he just wants to keep sending me to endrocrinologists. FML.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Lynn,
      I’m sorry all that you are going through. So you are writing that your antibody levels were abnormal for Hashimoto’s but your TSH is normal. In the early stages of Hashimoto’s TSH can be normal with elevated thyroid antibody levels. There is controversy over whether to treat a person with high antibodies despite a normal TSH. I recommend seeking multiple medical opinions for complete thyroid testing. TSH is a very broad range and thyroid advocates have been pushing to narrow that range. I don’t know what your TSH score is from your message. Full testing should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium. There is a great deal written also about the link between gluten and hashimoto’s so it’s worth it to try a gluten free diet for a few weeks to see if it helps.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      Here are resources to help you get a second medical opinion.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      http://www.thyroidchange.org/list-of-doctors.html

  50. LuWayne Sieler says:

    I would like to know if a TPO test will only show positive if I am experiencing a thyroid “attack?” I have been feeling fairly well for the last two months, with some hypothyroid symptoms. My Hashimoto’s seems to be somewhat cyclical, so I know that I will be experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms at some point. Do I need to wait on the TPO until I am out of my current Hypo “phase,” or is there another test that could confirm Hashimotos. I had a TSH of 4.77, but was told it was normal. I just want to regain some quality of life!

  51. hi,
    i have hashis, my anti bodies came back a moth ago of 1600 . i went in becasues my hair was falling out i couldnt sleep yet i was so tired all the time .. my head hurt all the time and i felt like my mind was going. i have my first dr appt on june 3rd with the endo. i had a thyroid scan done and my thyroid is fine for now … since this is the frist time going to a endo what questions should i ask becasue my symtoms are awful i have a 1 1/2 year old son and dont feel like taking him out to play nothing .. from reading all these others alot say they dont treat symtoms but i need them to treat mine so i can function again please help me with questions to ask thank you!!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Dana,

      I don’t meet many people named Dana. Great to hear from you. The first step is you must be an advocate for yourself and insist that you are not well and need thorough testing. Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe from Stop The Thyroid Madness wrote a list of recommended lab work to ask your doctor. Best of luck to you.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/

  52. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 15 years ago at the age of 15. I had gotten sick and almost died. I was diagnosed after the sickness. I have been having a lot of problems lately and not sure if it is the fibromyalgia or something more. For 2 years the doctors have been testing my for hypothyroidism and the test are always normal. They look at me like I am making it all up because they can not find anything. I suffer from extreme fatigue, weight gain, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, anxiety, depression, pain in my joints, memory loss, brain fog, headaches, chronic dermatitis, and cold hands and feet. I have gained 100 lbs. in 2 years and since having a hysterectomy last year the symptoms are worse. My mom also has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but is being tested for Hashimoto. My doctor has recently put me on Savella and it has helped a little. I was wondering if this could be Hashimoto. If my mom’s test are positive for Hashimoto then the doctor said that she will test me also.

  53. Janell Parque says:

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 10 years ago. At the time, the doctor didn’t go into much detail about exactly what that meant. I don’t know what tests were performed to make the diagnosis. He told me that I needed to take anti-thyroid medication to “kill” my thyroid and then take thyroid replacement for the rest of my life. That was the end of it except for testing my TSH levels annually. I have since moved on to Kaiser insurance. My doctors there continue to test my TSH levels, which are normal. In the past year, I have developed symptoms which I now realize may be connected. They symptoms started with weakness in my arms – picking up children and opening lids became difficult. Then I started having muscle soreness which lasted for a few months, then went away, except for in my left shoulder. I have been unable to lose weight, I often ache all over my body, and I have always been hot, no matter what – even when those around me are cold. The soreness is returning now, especially on the left side of my body – shoulder, hip and leg. In March, I had an ESR, WESTERGREN result of 31 when standard is 0-20 and a C REACTIVE PROTEIN, WIDE RANGE, SER/PLAS result of 17.7 when <2.5 is normal. At that point, my doctor e-mailed me and said, "Your blood tests show a slight elevation of both the ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and CRP (c-reactive protein). These blood tests are nonspecific markers of inflammation but can be high with even a cold, so do provide a specific cause for your symptoms. The good news is that the CK, which would be high in muscle inflammation, was normal. Also, the test for rheumatoid arthritis was negative as well."

    I understand that you are not a doctor, but you seem to have a lot of knowledge in this area. I'm wondering if you can help me with knowing what to ask of my doctor and any ideas about treatment. I have discovered, to my great discouragement, that it is better to have an idea what is wrong and what treatment would be helpful BEFORE I go to the doctor.

    Do you see the symptoms I'm experiencing as being part of Hashimoto's? Am I barking up the right tree? I look forward to your response. Thank you!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Janell,

      I’m not sure what thyroid testing you’ve had done but please be sure to ask your doctor for a closer look at your Hashimoto’s. Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe includes a list of recommended lab work here in this article attached.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/

      I do not know much about the ESR test, however the high c-reactive protein may be related to your thyroid condition. I too have elevated CRP, in my case due to my hypothyroidism which has come down with proper thyroid treatment. Of course these abnormal tests may be due to some other health conditions, but given your Hashimoto’s this is one area that should be looked at more closely with your doctor.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/is-your-thyroid-killing-you-heart-disease/

  54. Christy says:

    Hi Dana!!! Was SO happy to find your article. I have had thyroid problems since my youth and apparently it all started when I was a toddler because I developed Type 1 diabetes at age 8. Back then the thyroid (AUTO-IMMUNE) roller coaster was still so new and many studies were ensued but not yet released at that time. Doctors seemed to be unaware at that time that they were all connected. I was put on synthroid when I was pregnant with my first child, which I miscarried, back in late 1991. I was hypo I believe. With my second pregnancy I was diagnosed as being hyper and put back on synthroid. I had four successful pregnancies after my MC.

    My oldest son, 18 now, was diagnosed with IDDM (Type 1 Diabetes) also, at age 16. :( Poor guy. He may have had thyroid problems before that and we did not know. I know he was terribly skinny, which was a customary symptom of IDDM and the docs of course did not delve deeper or look further into anything unfortunately. He appears to be healthy now but I need to find him and myself a GOOD thyroid expert to help us crack the code to my auto-immune ills. I wonder if I could actually change something radically or simply get on the “right” medication to reverse the diabetes? Regardless of that outcome, we definitely need to ENSURE our thyroid glands are not out of whack since that causes so many CRAZY issues. I need to find a doctor in the US since that is where we are! :)

    I wanted to alert you to the fact that my amazing allergy doctor was the brilliant one that discovered that my TPO (thyroid peroxidase) test was high (94 H) and abnormal. She said, “basically your body is attacking itself all the way around!!” She is so right!!! She said I need to talk to my endocrinologist about getting back on synthroid since I used to be on it years ago. I called my endo (who is actually a nurse practitioner) and she asked me what dose I was on years ago so she could start me out on the same dose. I am not sure if this is normal or not. My allergist, Dr. Linda Guydon, told me to read up on Allen Kaplan’s journals here:
    http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(08)01308-0/abstract
    Very interesting and he has done a lot of research on this very thing so I thought you would find it interesting! :) Thanks for all of your great information and I am SOOOO thankful someone is trying to “crack the code!!”

    Thanks for your awesome article above, I

  55. Thinking I might have hashimoto dx….have been having unexplainable hives and angioedema daily the past month….just got told I have multinodular goiter….I have thyroid antibodies and am euthyroid currently according to blood work. I have gained some weight despite exercising and eating healthy, have occasional constipation, and a bit of brain fog…. I can’t get into an endocrine doc until August ….would you recommend I get a needle biopsy of my nodules and have my internal med doc start me on some low dose thyroid replacement meds? This is so frustrating….. The docs can’t seem to fit the puzzle together….I’m praying for God given wisdom! My grandma had a goiter removed and my mom has hypothyroidism….I think there is a genetic link?

  56. Ann-Marie says:

    This is all so overwhelming. It’s just so random that I met a doctor a month ago who told me to get my thyroid checked and now I’m here. Well, I did get my thyroid checked from my internist and I got the results today. My doc’s assistant left a casual VM about having Hoshimoto hypothyroidism, but she also said that the doctored would “monitor” me. (Odd message to leave a patient with no explanation!) I’m really not sure what that means, so I hope to get a call back from the doctor so she can explain the lab results properly. Here are the results and some were in bold:

    TSH — 1.47
    T4, Free — 1.1
    T3 Free — 2.4
    Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies — >1000 H
    White blood cell count — 3.7 L
    Hemoglobin — 11.5 L
    MCH — 26.4 L
    MCHC — 31.9 L
    Iron, total — 27 L
    % Saturation — 7 L

    I’m already thinking of making an appointment with an endocrinologist pronto for a second opinion. I have read your article and some of the comments and I have not had the level of illness that has been stated by many. Also, I’m a 44 yr old mom of two kids under 5, so I don’t think about all of these subtle symptoms until I did some research today. I’ve noticed in the years since having my kids that my skin is drier, my hair is breaking/thinning, I have an extremely low libido, nails are no longer strong, eyebrows are thinner and I’m losing color in my face. I figured my irritability and all above had to do with getting older and marriage life, but not a possible medical condition. I also still have 15 – 20 lbs to lose from pregnancy. One more thing, I’ve read this is genetic and realized that my mom must have this, too. She’s 70 and has had major symptoms for years with no help from her docs. I’ve told her to be checked out by an endocrinologist pronto and bring your article. She now has high cholesterol in her older ages, which makes no sense since she’s an extremely healthy eater. She was shocked when I told her about all of the stuff.

    Your thoughts? Do you think I should get a second opinion? Do you think I have Hashimoto? Will I have to be on meds for the rest of my life? Will I gain weight on these meds? The thought on being on medication for the rest of my life is pretty daunting. I really wouldn’t have known about to check this if it weren’t for the Ayuvedic doctor I was working with as a non-patient.

    I’m surely getting the word out about this issue. Thanks for your post! I know your not a doctor but highly informed. Just would like your opinion on matter.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Ann-Marie,

      When you see your doctor ask to go through each test. You have higher than normal thyroid peroxidase antibodies at >1000 which is why the VM mentioned Hashimoto’s. Take a look at your lab results and to the right of each score will be the normal reference ranges for each. Labs use different units of measurement so it’s important to have the reference ranges to interpret these especially for the Free T4 and Free T3. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon writes: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” So take a look where your levels fall relative to the ranges.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      It is important to discuss your iron levels with your doctor and see where they fall relative to the normal ranges listed. Abnormal iron levels are a common issue for hypothyroidism sufferers as written about by thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ferritin/

      First speak with your doctor about your levels and what is recommended. Also here is a list of recommended lab work for you to speak about additional tests. There is hope to be well with hypothyroidism it’s about first getting comprehensive testing.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/

  57. I just been diagnosed with hashimoto’s and my t3 and t4 are in normal range.

    I got this diagnoses after I was diagnosed with migraines. The migraine is constant for about a year now. Can the migraine be related to the hashimoto’s?

    Also, should I try selenium?

  58. Can a constant migraines (A year now) be related to hashimoto’s? When I was diagnosed with migraines, I pushed my doctor to run more test which lead to the Hashi diagnoses.

    Could selenium help? My levels are normal and I am on synthroid.

  59. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue as well as raynauds, unexplained weight gain, brain fog etc and my blood test always says thyroid is normal but my symptoms sound like hashimoto’s as my hair is thinning and within a week I gained over a stone in weight then two days later I was half a stone lighter! I only eat about 1,000 calories a day and at the age of. 30 I went to bed a size 10 and only 9 stone I woke up 12 stone couldn’t fit in clothes and my shoes were too small! My doctor sent me to a dietitian, who then tried to make me eat more than I do! I am now 42 and I was at my doctors on Friday and he said for my height, 5’2”, I am obese!!!! How can this be!? Most of the time I eat less than posh spice! Just had yet another thyroid test done which well be normal, do you think it could be hashimoto’s?! If so can I treat it myself? I’m desperate for help. Thank you

  60. Hi – I think we need to educate people that this is not an “old lady” disease. On the Mayo clinic and other sites, it states it hits between 45 and 65 and this is incorrect. In my own informal poll on a website, most people were diagnosed in their 30′s once things were so bad and the tsh levels increased. However, most acknowledged that the symptons started many years earlier. I found those from the UK received earlier diagnosis than they do in Canada and the US. It goes unnoticed until the serious damage is done.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Paula,

      Absolutely! There is a misconception that only women of a certain age around menopause get hypothyroidism. One look at the Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page followers and you will see there are men, children, and women of all ages. There are 3 times in a woman’s life when she is most vulnerable to develop a thyroid condition: puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

  61. Superhero Goiterman says:

    What do you know about overexertion? There is a lot of info you can google but my doc said he knew nothing about it, so then I looked in Pubmed and found no clear info. I\’ve had hashimoto\’s nearly 20 years and its controlled but I\’ve been cycling more and more, and last weekend did 100 miles and the following week my thyroid was swollen. Tests showed normal T3/T4/TSH/Thyroglobulin but elevated TPO at 62. This is terrible, the only way to manage that I know so far is to train less, which I don\’t want to do!!! …thanks!

  62. i found out i had hypothyroidism and hashimotos last year i was 17 and instantly put on thyroid it was very interesting to read this since i have developed a gluten intolerance , this has been very helpful. thankyou

  63. Can you please email. Im struggling and I need a solution.

    I cant keep on like this. Thanka in advance.

  64. Can you please email. Im struggling and I need a solution.

    I cant keep on like this. Thanks in advance.

  65. Hi, I absolutely love your website, it’s so helpful! I myself was diagnosed with hashimoto’s 3 years ago and it’s been quite a ride. It wasn’t until I completely changed my diet and lifestyle that I was able to eliminate my symptoms. I also have a blog about Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, you can check it out here:
    http://thyroiddiseasesucks.com
    Thanks for the great resource you’ve put together!

  66. Kelli D. says:

    Hi, I have reading all of the posts and am feeling a bit relieved that I am not the only one having these issues. I really felt like I was losing my mind. Diagnosed with Hashimotos approximately 4 years ago due to my debilitating symptoms. Since then, I have been on Levothyroxine, which at first, did alleviate my symptoms. Soon after we realized that the t4 was not comforting to t3 which eventually led me back to my symptoms. TPO was over 300. Then changed to armour, which I had a very good experience with along with adrenal support, added supplements, B12,D, and A. The last year or so, I started developing symptoms again. I decided to see a endocrinologist and was told I was Hyper because my TSH always low, but my T4 was low and T3 was borderline low, and stated that I was on too much medication. I asked how is that if my T4,T3 are low and I am symptomatic?????? Went back to my GP-who actually listened to my frustration, anxiety and of course concern, and left me on Armour-same dose and started me on a baby dose of Levothyroxine to try to boost my T4 since it was plummeting. Now I have bloods done 2 months later and my TSH is .07 and T3-75 , T4-4.7 and I feel horrible with terrible brain fog again. 4 years now and still can’t get a hold on this. This is really upsetting, I just want to be able to function normally. Everytime my medication is adjusted, I feel great and like clockwork 2 months later I fall backwards again. HELP!!!!!!!!

  67. Jaime Fitzwater says:

    I had my thyroid gland removed in 2005 due to it being very enlarged, had lumps on it and the medicine cou,don’t control it. Since then my blood test are all the other the place and my medicine changes every six months or so. Even with the gland removed could I still have Hashimoto’s Disease?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jaime,

      Often times one test TSH is the one test used to treat thyroid sufferers however this one test does not give a complete picture. The first step for every person is to ensure they’ve had full testing that should include at a minimum TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, ferritin and D3.

  68. Ashley E says:

    Hello! I have a few odd questions. Here’s a little summary of my story: When I was younger (between 9-15, I totally forget) I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s. I took synthroid for about a month or two and then decided I didn’t want to anymore. I got my blood tested and everything was normal, I had it tested every 6 months to a year until now. Im 20 and just found out my hashimoto’s is “back.” So my first question is, I did not think hashimoto’s went away, so how is this possible? Second question is i had a huggee goiter but when I got a few ct scans with the dye my goiter completely disappeared, why do you think that is?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Ashley,
      I wish I knew the answer to your questions. I imagine that thyroid antibody levels can change over time and cycle up and down which may explain it. The fact you no longer have a goiter is wonderful. Our bodies are amazing at healing themselves. How does your doctor explain these changes?

  69. Kristen says:

    I have just tested 11 for Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies. I have no idea if this is a high or low number. I have endometriosis, PCOS and have suffered 4 miscarriages. I had my doctor test but she said I came back “negative” for hashimotos. I in the past have had multiple tests done on my thyroid. I nodule was found in 2011 and it has since then disappeared (after diet change and supplements). But I still deal with hormonal issues and PCOS. We are on our 2nd fertility doctor and I feel this could be the issue especially since they say if you THS comes back normal they won’t treat you. I said to my dr. “If I show antibodies in my blood what will you do?” She said “We can’t do anything but give you drugs to regulate your hormones, and if your levels are already normal it’s pointless”…..So I don’t even know what this means. Any thoughts for me?

    • Needasolutionnow says:

      Hi Kristen,

      sorry to hear about your case. My suggestion is second opinion and not take synthetic hormones.

      The same you solved your nodule with diet and supplements.

      Will you please share which changes in the diet and the supplements?

      My thyroid is now full of those :(

      Thanks.
      Regards
      Need a Solution now for my thyroid.

      • Kristen says:

        I started using Muscle Testing response ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6MNUknTVes ) at nutritional office. In the past doctors could tell something was wrong and I had nuclear testings and thyroid panels done on my all the time, but my levels came back normal. After the nutrition office (also done at many chiropractic offices) did the testing response on me, they found a cluster of “micro-parasites” living in my thyroid….So they started me on supplements that would detox me of parasites and other metals they found in other areas of my body. Each person is different to the kinds of supplements they need to do this job so it wouldn’t help listing them. They also told me to completely cut out sugar and breads/pasta from my diet. I did this for 2 months and I had a yearly ultrasound scheduled where they could not find a nodule anymore. This testing response is amazing and has always worked for me. I tried to conceive for 3.5 years before I went there and within 3 months I got pregnant. I continued to miscarry but with each miscarriage I went in and got tested and it was showing the reasons to be related to yeast, wheat and low progesterone. The latest test showed my May miscarriage to be from mercury and aluminum in my uterus.

        I am not sure what area you are from, but you can search people who use this method of testing. I would go somewhere that looks very professional and educated. Just like acupuncture you can find offices that are a little questionable. The place I go to is http://www.nwihealth.com located in Knoxville TN.

        Some of the supplements they used on me was Chlorella, Spanish Black Radish, Wheat Germ Oil, and a one specifically for thyroid.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Kristen,

      My laboratory uses a reference range of <15 for Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies although different labs may use different ranges . Everyone has some level of antibodies and since your scores is in this range you are "negative" meaning you don't have Hashimoto's based on that range. A positive in any lab tests means a person's score falls outside of that normal range. However in your case your score falls in the normal range so most likely you do not have Hashimoto's. I write "most likely" because there is a small percentage of Hashimoto's sufferers who actually turn up with normal antibody lab scores. Dr. Datis Kharrazian writes: "Some people with Hashimoto’s test negative because their overall immune health is weak and they do not produce enough antibodies. Their immune systems have been so stressed for so long that their total white blood cells and B-cells are too low to be able to make antibodies. You have to have some degree of immune fitness to produce antibodies. Many times these people will not test positive for Hashimoto’s or start to feel better until their compromised immune system improves in health."

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/page/15/

      His book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms: When My Lab Tests Are Normal” would be good to read along with Mary Shomon’s “Living Well With Hypothyroidism”. I’ve read about the connection between PCOS and Hashimoto’s so it would be worth it for you to explore this possibility further.

      http://drclark.typepad.com/dr_david_clark/2012/06/women-with-pcos-may-have-un-diagnosed-hashimotos-autoimmune-thyroiditis.html

      I’m not sure what thyroid tests besides antibodies you’ve had done. TSH is the main test used for diagnosis but this test does not give a complete picture.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

      Get a second medical opinion.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      http://www.thyroidchange.org/list-of-doctors.html

  70. I was recently (finally) diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I have symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, constipation/diarrhea, dry skin, and hair thinning. I have high thyroid peroxidase antibodies & thyroglobulin antibodies, but my TSH is within the normal range. I had been to three endocrinologists in the past, and a fourth just recently. I was told, like you said above, that there was nothing she could do since the antibodies haven’t destroyed my thyroid enough yet for medicine to work.

    All my problems started around puberty (12 years ago), and I’ve been going to doctors ever since trying to find answers. I’ve been diagnosed with cystic acne, keratosis pilaris, hydradinitis supperativa, general anxiety, universal hair thinning, most recently Hashimoto’s, and then some things that still have not been diagnosed. I’ve also had Vitamin D deficiency and last summer my stomach started acting up.

    It was very disheartening to hear that there was nothing to be done for me, besides going to a mostly-likely-expensive doctor in the city to try and grow my hair back and just live with the rest of my symptoms. After so many years searching to find this “answer”, I honestly just don’t know what to do anymore. Doctors don’t seem to want to work with me to treat all these problems, and I’m growing very tired.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Dr. Datis Kharrazian wrote a book about this very topic called “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms: When My Lab Tests Are Normal” where he writes in depth about Hashimoto’s sufferers who turn up “normal” lab ranges and provides suggested testing and treatment options.

      Often times TSH is the only test done to measure thyroid function but this one test does not give a complete picture. First the normal range is so broad and thyroid advocates have been pushing to narrow that range so your score may be “normal” but not optimal. Also there are other tests that are needed including at a minimum Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3 which are often not tested.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

      In the early stages of Hashimoto’s it’s possible to have normal lab tests as the antibodies attack more and more of your thyroid. Also some people swing up and down with their TSH and it may just happen that the day your TSH was tested your TSH may have been low but they may have missed when your TSH swings up on another day.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      It may mean getting a second or even more medical opinions to get multiple points of view.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  71. Ok….so back in Sept. my doc told me I have hashimoto’s thyroid and tells me to stay on a gluten free diet. (anti-tpo is 148 and normal is less than 34) So I follow the diet, but start feeling worse. So the beginning of June she reruns the tests and now my anti-tpo is over 1000 and they don’t know how high because that’s where it stops reading. my TSH is 5.30 and I’m feeling really crappy. So I went today to get told the test results and she says they can’t tell if medicine would work or not until my numbers come back down and just to stay on the gluten-free diet. I’ve had these issues for 30+ years now and i’m tired and just want this to be over. After I questioned it, she said we could try the medicine anyway, but I’m really getting frustrated. I’m so tired of feeling crappy. I went back through my medical records and it’s always the same complaints….the fatigue and the pain in muscles and joints….dry eyes, mouth, and other places….all the swelling stuff like tendonitis…and the lumps in my neck and trouble swallowing when it feels swollen. I’m hoping that the medicine will get here quick and work even quicker because i’m at the end of my rope. One way or another this has to end.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Vicki,

      There is a great deal of research linking gluten to Hashimoto’s so perhaps your doctor was hoping that going gluten-free would help lower your TSH and antibodies. However it seems to have not happened for you so a closer look is need including testing at a minimum Free T4, Free T4, Reverse T3, adrenals, ferritin, D3, B12, selenium.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      A TSH of 5.3 is above the normal range which depending on the lab is around 0.5 to 5.0 but there is great debate over this range with thyroid advocates pushing for a narrowing of that range to make the upper limit even lower than 5.0 which would make your score 5.3 too high. Please see your doctor about the additional testing.

  72. So glad to have found this blog. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. I thought I was dying 2 years ago. They hospitalized me thinking I may have been having a heart attack. Turns out my heart is fine (I do have SVT). It took 6 months before my dr. recommended that I see an endocrinologist. Since taking Synthroid I feel better, I can function but I still do not feel “normal”. I get weird symptoms that come and go. Hips sore when I stand up and the bottom of my feet will be sore after only sitting for very short periods of time. I could go on forever……

  73. Janelle says:

    I was just diagnosed with Hashimotos a few weeks ago.. well I was told I had thyroiditis by my rheumatologist and when I looked into what that was I found out there was more than one type. So I made an appt with her to ask what type I had. And she told me “it’s all pretty much Hashimotos”…. I am not super impressed by her and I’m thinking of finding a new rheumatologist. I have felt sick my entire adult life. I am 32 right now and I have 5 children. My mother says that she remembers my being “tired” all the time starting around the age of 10 or 11. Which is also the time I started puberty. I was always getting sore throats and strep throat and when I was 17 I had my tonsils removed. The same year (I can’t remember if it was before or after my tonsils) I got Mono really bad. Was on bed rest for over 2 months and had an enlarged spleen. After that I just really never seemed to feel good at all. Then when I became pregnant with my first daughter at 21 it got worse. I was told it was just because I was pregnant and all pregnant women get tired. I was pregnant again in 2004, 2006, miscarried in early 2009 and had my last daughter in 2010. Each pregnancy was worse with the way I felt. Heart palpations, extreme fatigue and exhaustion and just an overall sense of not feeling good. Then in 2011 I had to be put on medication because I was told I had GED (generalized anxiety disorder) and Panic Disorder. Also depression as well. I ultimately ended up on Valium, a very high dose, 20mg and it has ruined my life. I am still on the Valium 2 and a half years later but I have tapered down to 4mg and I hope to be rid of it in a few months and never touch it again. My symptoms just kept getting worse as I got older though and I became a pin cusion having blood test after blood test and always finding nothing wrong. Then last year I started having stomach issues. I lost a lot of weight and saw a gastro dr. Who gave me to upper endoscopy’s and a colonoscopy, finding nothing except mild gastritis. But I was in SO much pain in my stomach. Then mysteriously just as it had started, it went away. I started eating better again and gained all the weight I had lost back. But in the last 4 or 5 months I have been starting to feel sick again. Stomach pains again, hair loss, skin issues, vision issues, joint and muscle soreness, headaches, and fatigue. So my primary sent me to the rheumatologist. She took a took a ton of blood and did a lot of tests. The tests came back saying that I had Lupus and Thyroiditis. And thats where I stand. Then I read this article and really started thinking… I have had my thyroid checked over a 100 times in the last 20 years probably and its always come back as working normal. And my white cell count bounces from very low to very high just about every time I have a CBC done. But I have never had a thyroid antibody test until now. My THYROPEROXIDASE level was normal at 1.1 But my THYROGLOBULIN SCREEN was abnormal at 628. I’m not really sure what to do now. I just want to feel better for my kids and my husband. I’m sick and tired of BEING sick and tired!

    • Janelle, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your article . I had to recheck your name as I thought it was me.. Lol .. I’m still trying to be diagnosed. I too have thyroiditis and had a nuclear uptake scan which showed Hashimotos but because all of my bloodwork is completely normal and anti bodies are within range so endo turned me away. I too had mild gastritis and endoscopy as I got bad nausea, tummy pain diarrhea , lost alot of weight .. Depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue. Shakiness etc .. I struggle and feel really down, empty flat mood etc .. From a happy bright , positive lovey dovey person I now wonder if ill get there. It’s a miracle that at least it has shown on your blood test. My nausea disappeared like yours as well over time but I now think it wasn’t really gastritis . I recommend you look at your adrenals as well and do a 24 hr saliva test. I did mine and I’m extremely low and it ruins thyroid as well .. Dana explains it better . I just started HC 3 days ago . I also was on anti depressants and was going to admit myself in a psyche ward because I’ve never experienced anything like this. I’m weaning off them now as I know deep down even though I am depressed etc its more liky thyroid and adrenal glands. I’ve spent at least $3000 doing my own testing etc … I’ve done a neurotransmitter test and I had slight low seratonin but everything else is fine which I assume goes to show I don’t have true depression. So I’m on the search in Australia for someone who can tell me what’s wrong with my thyroid . Get your rt3 checked and also iron a d ferritin . You will be in my prayers as I know exactly how you feel .. I take Valium too 5 mg and 6 months ago when all this started I would never have believed I would use Valium as I was a natural health nut .. God bless u and thinking of you xx

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Janelle,

      There are three times in a woman’s life when she is most vulnerable to develop a thyroid condition or worsen an existing one: Puberty, Pregnancy and Peri-menopause. This is because there is an intricate connection between sex hormones and thyroid hormone and so the shifting of sex hormones at those 3 times in our life can make us vulnerable to develop a thyroid condition. You need to find a good doctor who works with Hashimoto’s patients. When you have one autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s you are more vulnerable to develop others such as Lupus. In fact just a few days ago on my Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page I had a reader ask if others had both Hashimoto’s and Lupus and many responded. I hear from many readers who have Hashimoto’s along with other autoimmune conditions so it’s important to be seen by a good doctor who will do a thorough testing at a minimum of TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones, food sensitivities, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, etc.

      There is so much written about the connection between gluten and thyroid antibodies. This article is worth reading.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      I compiled a list of the top 10 resources I could find to help readers find great thyroid doctors in their area.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  74. what about Graves which is also autoimmune and attacks the thyroid ?
    an what about ppl who no longer have a thyroid glan ? the antibodies are still there .. nothing realy stoped them
    thanks in advance
    Nili

  75. prajakta says:

    hello mam,
    i am suffering from hypothyroid and postive of antibodies also. my age is 28..
    it is really problematic with respect to pregnancy. can you advice me regarding this matter.

  76. hi,

    as an exception to your blog

    i am male of 35 years,

    i am taking medicines for anxiety disorder and panic attack from 1 and 1/2 hr..i always had some other problems which i was not sure off.
    1. brain fog
    2. breathlessness
    3. bloating.
    4.vision concentration problem
    5. high anxiety
    6. high pulse rate.
    and many more similar problems…

    my TSH always came perfect until recently when i got my checks again

    results :

    TSH-6.8
    FT3 – 2.29
    FT4 – .72
    B12 – 281
    folate – 4.7
    tga – 259
    tpo- 316

    can you suggest me if i can lead a happy life without medical complications by some way….

    how can TGA and TPO come under control.

    if this can be because of adrenal disorder

    and last how can i prevent my self from future diseases like you mentioned type1 diabetes/blood pressure etc.

    i will be greatfull if yo can suggest

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hello Nitu,

      Welcome to my blog. My brother has hypothyroidism so I am very aware there are men too with this condition. Absolutely there is hope to be well despite Hashimoto’s absolutely.

      Your TSH at 6.8 is high and would explain many hypothyroidism symptoms you are experiencing. There is so much to say for your story. First, It’s important to look at your lab results and to the right of your scores will be the normal reference ranges. Check the ranges for Free T4 and Free T3 because the labs use different units of measurement. Generally speaking though, thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” So check where your scores relative to the ranges. As you can clearly see your TSH 6.8 is too high.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      Are you on thyroid medication. Be sure to also ask for testing of your adrenals, sex hormones, D3, magnesium, zinc and selenium. There is research showing improving selenium levels if they are low can reduce thyroid antibodies.

      The other major thing that I’ve read to reduce antibodies is eliminating gluten. Readers have contacted me with stories of how their thyroid antibody levels came down by going gluten-free.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

  77. katesisco says:

    What everybody wants is to recover health. Medical science has no answers for this except to wait until collapse and then substitute. This is unacceptable. It would seem that our future is to fall to stress produced adrenal collapse, thyroid destruction, pot bellied liver failure. If our society is producing this result, then how can we change it?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Kate,

      I wonder the same thing as you. It’s completely unacceptable. It means perhaps stepping out of the mainstream medicine model that relies on TSH and Levothyroxine, and being an advocate for yourself and find a doctor who goes outside that box and looks at your whole person to heal you. That TSH – Levothyroxine model is failing us.

  78. Dana
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 3 yrs ago and put on always varying levels of lethyroxin. I gain weight, my blood pressure goes up, my cholestrol levels elevate and I feel worse on the drug than off. Have you ever come across this? I have stopped taking my medicine, gone on a gluten free/lactose free diet and feel much better. I know I still need to take some kind of thyroid medicine (at least thats what traditional medicine keeps telling me). I did some research and found out that Letyroxin has lactose in it and that could be part of the problem. Any suggestions?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Becky,

      There is a great deal written about the benefits of gluten-free to reduce thyroid antibodies. I’ve had readers write to tell me their thyroid antibody numbers reduced going gluten-free so it’s great you’ve gone gluten free/lactose free. At the same time you should be under the care of a doctor to be sure your thyroid levels are regularly monitored. Thyroid hormone levels too high or too low can be dangerous to your health so you always want a doctor watching you. I compiled a list of the top 10 resources I could find to help readers find great thyroid doctors in their area.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  79. It’s so sad how you have to convince doctors to treat you. I went almost two years before I found a doctor that would do a FULL thyroid panel. I had a normal TSH. It’s so frustrating. Glad to have people that understand thyroid issues and help educate others. I felt like I was going crazy.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jessica, So happy you finally got a full thyroid panel done. It’s outrageous how TSH is the only test done and millions are left undiagnosed.

  80. This is so frustrating. I have hashimoto’s, I was diagnosed over a year ago but my endocrinologist has not been treating it. I am now 14 wks pregnant and my thyroid levels are changing from day to day. I had a thyroid test on the 22nd of this month and my tsh was 2.24 and my ft4 was .9 I had it tested again today and tsh was 1.69 and ft4 was .9 on the 5th of this month tsh was .876 and ft4 was 1.0. I have read that these fluctuations are not normal and considering how sick I’ve been the last 2 months (and not just normal pregnancy sick, this is 4th baby for me) I really wish they would treat it and see if that would provide me some relief but they won’t, everything in your article just confirms what I’d already suspected, but getting your endo to listen is impossible :(

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Steph,

      Pregnancy is such an important time to be healthy for you and your baby. Would you consider getting a second or even third medical opinion to be sure you have multiple points of view. I compiled a list of the top resources to help readers find good thyroid doctors in their area.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • So I talked to my endo and told him I was concerned that even though I was in the low normal range it was too low for me personally. He started me on 25mcg of levothyroxin (I think that’s right). I have been taking it for 3 days and we’ll see if it is doing anything when they check my levels in 4 weeks. But I thought of something else. I am gluten intolerant, presumably because of the hashimoto’s. I wonder if I’m fluctuating so bad right now because I have been eating foods containing gluten in them. Pregnancy cravings are hard to ignore and for a few weeks there I was craving pasta and donuts and bread. I’m cutting gluten again to see if it helps, but I wonder if that could impact my thyroid function?

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Steph,

          Absolutely gluten can affect thyroid hormone levels especially if you are gluten intolerant and a Hashimoto’s sufferer. Absolutely. At the same time, it may be because in early pregnancy your baby relies completely on your for thyroid hormone for growth and development which means your body has to produce more thyroid hormone to provide for your body so often times our TSH will just up fast in the early months with many hypothyroid women requiring increases in their thyroid drug dosages as a result. Please if you haven’t had your thyroid testing yet please go right away for testing and bring your doctor a copy of the American Thyroid Association guidelines for pregnancy. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

          http://thyroidguidelines.net/pregnancy/results

          ■ RECOMMENDATION 2

          If trimester-specific reference ranges for TSH are not available in the laboratory, the following reference ranges are recommended: first trimester, 0.1–2.5 mIU/L; second trimester, 0.2–3.0 mIU/L; third trimester, 0.3–3.0 mIU/L.

          RECOMMENDATION 14

          There exists great interindividual variability regarding the increased amount of T4 (or LT4) necessary to maintain a normal TSH throughout pregnancy, with some women requiring only 10%–20% increased dosing, while others may require as much as an 80% increase.

          ■ RECOMMENDATION 16

          In pregnant patients with treated hypothyroidism, maternal serum TSH should be monitored approximately every 4 weeks during the first half of pregnancy because further LT4 dose adjustments are often required. Level B-USPSTF

          ■ RECOMMENDATION 17

          In pregnant patients with treated hypothyroidism, maternal TSH should be checked at least once between 26 and 32 weeks gestation. Level I-USPSTF

  81. Hello there!

    Do you know of any connections between Hashimoto’s and the Gallbladder? I am 26 years old (been diagnosed with Hashi’s for over a year TPOAB >1000) — and have an “extreme amount” of gallstones and my GI doctor referred me to a surgeon for a consultation. I have a feeling that if I ask about the connection between my disease and the gallbladder he will really not know. We’ll see — appointment is today.

    I am just EXTREMELY NERVOUS about having it removed and having my symptoms worsen. I know this is a very different topic from your article, but I just wanted to see if you had any knowledge about it. I have tried finding people with Hashi’s who have had it removed and have been unsuccessful.

    Thank you so much for everything you’ve done to spread your voice!

  82. http://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/1jadgp/endocrinologist_confirms_keto_rocks/

    high fat, low carb diet, reversed Hashimoto’s.

    just sharing the message.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for sharing. I’ve personally had several readers contact me to say their thyroid antibody levels reduced to normal by going gluten-free. There is so much research on gluten and Hashimoto’s that every Hashimoto’s sufferer should at least try going gluten-free 3-4 weeks to see if it makes a difference for them. Chris Kresser wrote a great article on this topic.

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

  83. I have been suffering for years. Ran across this and eureka this has to be what I have! I had large goiter when 19 they opted to remove part of thyroid. Had some thyroid panels run periodically after came back normal, and I have never been on any thyroid meds ,They said I didn’t need them. Fast forward 6 years had 2 children back to back, then a while after childbirth hair fell out, started feeling really bad, menstual cycles really out of wack( although periods have always been heavy and long 7 to 9 days, never on time.) these were even worse, doctor said lets check thyroid , test came back normal. But he decided to do sonogram, 2 small nodules found on left side of thyroid. Did dye test to rule out suspicion of possible cancer. So still no meds for thyroid only told to have nodules checked periodically for growth. Meanwhile had to have laparoscopy done for female problems. Fought with those issues for a while, numerous ovary cysts fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and d& c done. Felt better for a while, still no labido. At the same time youngest daughter diagnosed with severe autism. So my health took a back burner for years. 5 years ago I developed this hive rash thing that wouldn’t go away and was feeling really bad again gained about 35 pounds in a year, so off to a new doc, told him my history with thyroid goiter and surgery and nodules on left side , he ordered thyroid test again said was within normal range. Arrrg…. Honestly I wanted to hit him. Said my rash was probably stress and neurological dermititis. The meds he gave me for the rash didn’t work, I still have it!!! Honestly I looked up pics of neurological derma and what I have doesn’t look anything like it. But it does resemble gluten rash. Came across this forum when looking up my copious amounts of thyroid symptoms. Here’s a list of my symptoms, always tired and I mean a trip to the grocery store seems like a lot of work!, low body temp in fact I’ve always had that even as a child usually runs around 97.2 f unless I’m sick, arthritis just about everywhere now, weight gain I’m 5’1″ and I weigh around 190 pounds. No labido not since I had the kids and they are 13 and 14, if anyone sick I get it . Swollen neck and left lymph node always swollen as well, hard to swallow, snore so loudly the family constantly buys me nasal strips,hands and feet and bum always freezing. Family history of thyroid disorder and pernicious anemia, in fact my mother has hypothyroidism and has also had partial thyroid removed, and problems with anemia. Oh also hair falls out, skin in last year so dry no cream works. And some how or other I started loosing part of my eyebrows. How does a doctor miss all this!! How is it not thyroid related considering even without the symptoms I’ve already had the goiter and half my thyroid removed, then later developed 2 more nodules on the other side??? After reading this I made a appointment with a new md tomorrow I’m demanding tests for hashimotos, and a referral to an endo doc. Considering I’ve not once been referred to a endocrinologists this whole time!!!! Wish me luck!! And would love to hear any comments you guys might have!!!

  84. I’m so glad to have found this blog!

    After a routine annual medical exam and subsequent routine blood panel, my doctor called to tell me that I am hypo. I have absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever. In fact, at my appointment I complained about some heart palpitations (which I also had a few years ago). She thought that I might be HYPER, not HYPO, but the blood panel came back with a TSH of 7.9.

    I am 54, 5’5″, weigh 119-122 pounds. I exercise 10-15 hours a week, am training to climb the lower part of Everest, do yoga, pilates, run, hike, long distance cycling…you name it. I’m not sluggish or cold. I sleep well, have mild hot flashes (uterus removed 7 years ago, but I have my ovaries), normal skin and stools. I have always had high total cholesterol but excellent LDL/HDL and ratios. I’ve had some mild hair loss, but again, this is not anything new or dramatic and has happened to me in the past.

    None of this makes sense to me.

    My doc suggested re-testing in a month, but in the meantime I am thinking of consulting a nutritionist. I take lots of supplements (my Vit D level is now 60, but hovered at 10-15 for many years) including glucosamine, CoQ10, flax oil, fish oil, black currant oil, biotin, lyseine, calcium, and am wondering if one of my vitamins/minerals is interfering and causing a false positive. I also eat a fair amount of raw kale (not daily, but several X per week) and I’ve heard that raw kale, cabbage, broccoli and others can cause thyroid malfunction. I’ll cut back on (or cook) these before the re-test next month.

    I’d love to hear from anyone with ideas or insight.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Joanne,

      We’re all different in terms of what’s right for our bodies. I personally feel terrible at a TSH as high as yours. However the most important point is that you are feeling well and do not suffer from hypothyroidism symptoms that make you feel unwell. If I were in your place I would first try making diet changes and checking nutrient levels to see if I could improve the TSH level naturally. For example hypothyroidism sufferers are typically low in ferritin, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, as well some have food intolerances especially to gluten and have benefited from going gluten-free and many have poor adrenal function (best test is saliva test for cortisol), others have poor sex hormone levels causing the thyroid issue. Others find out they have Candida or chronic bacterial/viral infections causing their elevated TSH. Coconut oil has been shown to improve thyroid function so adding that to your diet. Reducing stress however possible because that’s a major trigger. There are many potential variables to try. You mention goitrogenic foods and it is advised to eat only in moderation and best if cooked. Also to eliminate soy.

      Here are articles about this:

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/symptomsrisks/a/All-About-Goitrogens-thyroid.htm

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a/soy.htm

      http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/11/08/thyroid-health-part-two.aspx

  85. My daughtet is only 15 yrs old. I believe she has hashimoto’s. She was recently diagnosed with autoimmune disease and I am terrified because she is so young. She seems anxious and from reading some of the comments I now understand her depression. She is not on medication yet. Her lab results show normal thyroid activity; however she has a goiter. What treatment should I ask for. she is soo young and I am concerned with future problems if this is
    not treated properly.

    • Hi Martha, sorry to hear about your daughter. I to had goiter when a teen. Later had partial thyroidectomy. And now at 39 still have nodules on other side. Never given any thyroid meds. Even with constant thyroid symptoms along with chronic female problems. I just went to new doctor today and asked for full thyroid panel and test for thyroid antibodies. Also got referral to endo doc and cardiologist. Demand full tests for her and copies of lab results. If I would of had Internet back then and doctors would have looked at my history better, a lot of this roller coaster ride of life could have probably been addressed a whole lot sooner. Best of luck!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Martha,

      I am very sorry to hear about your daughter. When your instincts tell you something is wrong with your child, follow your instincts and push push push even if it means seeing ten different doctors until someone does comprehensive testing to find out what’s wrong. You mention that she was recently diagnosed with autoimmune disease. Did her doctor specify which one?

      The first step for everyone is to be sure to get the right testing. TSH is often the only test done but this doesn’t give a full picture. Testing should include at a minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies & Thyroglobulin Antibodies), adrenals, full iron panel, D3, selenium, B12, zinc, food intolerances (several readers have gone gluten free and their antibodies reduced), Candida, bacterial/viral infections, etc.

      There is a great book on Hashimoto’s by Izabella Wentz.

      http://www.thyroidlifestyle.com

      Get a second medical opinion.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  86. I have Hashimoto Hypothyroid – diagnosed about 5 years ago. I am currently have big flucuantions in my TSH and T4. My internist told me to go to my Endocrinologists but I don’t feel either really help – who do i go to to get help with this?

  87. Alysia Brewer says:

    So I have been diagnosed with hashimotos by my naturopath almost 2 years ago… however after she had been treating me for 9 months my symptoms worsened and I ended up in being rushed to the urgent care with a myriad of horrific symptoms including exhaustion, fainting, chills, brain fog…. my husband insisted I see a “real” doctor in which I saw an endocrinologist. He took me of the t4 medication and left me just on levothyroxine…. It’s been over a year since I have been with the “real” doctors and my symptoms are manageable but not better. I have severe fibromyalgia flair ups, I lose hair in my eyebrows, gain 20lbs out of nowhere (which I’m very sensitive about since I lost 100lbs right before being diagnosed). What should I do next for my treatment options? I’m frustrated and they just keep throwing meds at me. I’m currently uninsured so I don’t have the freedom to shop around for treatment but am willing to pay whatever it takes to feel like me again.

  88. Ok, I have Hashimotos, its been confirmed by antibodies, US, FNA, BUT my tsh and T4 are normal. Now what? they said I don’t need treatment right now? My hair is falling out, I’m 31 with a bald spot. I’m so frustrated

  89. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos during my first pregnancy and have been on hormone replacement ever since. I do, however have symptoms of other things listed above including adrenal stress and blood sugar imbalance. Any ideas of what type of doctor I would see to get my overall hormone levels or blood sugar levels tested in order to diagnose something else that may be causing my thyroid issues. I am kind of at a loss of where to start. Thanks!

  90. This is really a nice write up Dana., I am male aged 30yrs. I have TSH > 100. I have had high cholestrol (330). I just read your other posts and now understand that we should do complete thyroid panel instead of just TSH and T4, but i want to know, is there any cure for Hashimoto. I mean as of now its targetting thyroid, with any thyroid replacement (natural or levo) we can fix that deficit. But how to stop other auto immune diseases that can happen to me later on?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Sagar,

      You ask an important question. Thyroid medication is one important factor to slow down the autoimmune attack going on in your body, but it is equally important to figure out what are the triggers for you that caused the autoimmune condition in the first place and treat them. For each person the triggers are different. The triggers to consider are food intolerances (by the way I have readers on my Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page who went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal), blood sugar issues, poor adrenals (best test is saliva test for cortisol level), poor iron (request a full iron panel including ferritin), nutrient deficiencies including D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and very important selenium (ask your doctor to test your levels), sex hormone imbalances, stress, heavy metal toxicity, poor digestive health (consider probiotics and digestive enzymes). There is a great book you should read by Dr. Izabella Wentz on lifestyle changes for Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  91. I was just recently diagnosed with hashimoto’s and stumbled upon your site! I just want to say THANK YOU! Your article was inspiring. Looking back my problems started at puberty, but worsened after pregnancy. My holistic doc looked at my initial labs and said that I was at the low end of normal and put me on a 5mcg dose (nature thyroid) and when my symptoms didn’t go away and actually got worse a few months later, he tested everything again but added the thyroid peroxidase abs and the thyroglobulin abs. All of my TSH and T4 and T3 were all completely normal, but my thyroglobulin was 33 when it should have been less than 20, and my TPO abs was 630 when it should be under 35. My doc switched to a T3 called Cytomel. The first day was torture, I had a headache was nauseous all day. But this was day 3 and I am feeling soooooooo much better! No more brain fog or lack of energy! No more tiredness. I fell the best I have felt in years! YAY! Why didn’t other doc’s test the antibodies sooner? I will never know, but I am glad I am on the right track after so long!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jackie,

      I’m so happy you have a doctor who explored the thyroid drug options to find what’s right for you. Your story shows how we’re all so different in terms of which thyroid medication is right for us. The sad part is when doctors refuse to consider the options despite their patients telling them they are still suffering. Best wishes to you. By the way be sure to have testing for your adrenals, full iron panel, sex hormones, food intolerances, nutrient deficiencies including D3, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. All these are potential triggers for Hashimoto’s. I have many several with Hashimoto’s who went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal so well worth trying.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

  92. I just ran across your site doing some research for myself on this very issue. I have been battling chronic fatigue, achiness, exhaustion, inability to lose weight (I maintain at best), my hair falling out, and more. It didn’t really get bad enough until once I got pregnant last year and after I gave birth. My daughter’s 13 mos old and it’s worse than ever. Some days it’s all I can do to just lay on the floor and let her crawl on me. I also had a breast reduction back in June and I can’t help but blame whatever’s going on with me with my poor recovery.

    I went to see the same doctor I demanded the plastic surgery referral from (she told me I didn’t need a reduction, my big breasts were beautiful, I just needed to lose weight) and she swore she’d get to the bottom of my problem, mainly due to my family history. Every single person on my mother’s side has thyroid disease and are being treated. They all have hypo except for my aunt who has hyper, Grave’s disease. First she ran a TSHIRT in April and it was low but not low enough to treat, a .52. She redid the test again in June and it was a 2.7. I had my mom go with me this final time to talk some sense into her and she did 8-10 different tests, including the TSH and thyroid antibodies. TSH came back normal, about a 2.5, but my antibodies were really high and she even noted that. The normal range ends at 35, mine was 160. She refused to treat me saying that it was just showing I had inflammation somewhere in my body but since my thyroid function was fine, there was no problem. She told me to take prenatals for my borderline low iron, melatonin to sleep, Aleve for the “inflammation,” eat more salad, drink at least a gallon of water a day, skip rope, swim, and weight lift. She also tried to put me on Wellbutrin even though I insisted I wasn’t depressed (I don’t know why people keep trying to tell me I’m depressed even though since having my baby, I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life!) and the Pill. I told her no on both.

    I’m really frustrated. I’m in the process of finding a new doctor. It’s just particularly hard because we’re on military insurance and it has to be specific doctors. But I think my friend who has been recently diagnosed with hypo has recommended me a good one. I just have to make sure I can get my insurance to accept her. I really wish I could go back home where my family is and the doctor that treats all of my family. I know he’d work with me and figure something out. I feel awful because I had been seeing an endocrinologist in 2009 while my husband was in Iraq for the same problems. He had caught something and wanted to do a second round of tests and I decided to go to a sleep specialist instead. They diagnosed me with narcolepsy and gave me stimulants which did help but I stopped before I got pregnant. I feel like I should have stuck it out with the endo and listened to him.

    Thank you for this post. I now feel like I have something concrete to present to my new doctor. Things seem so much more clear now and I don’t know why doctors can’t see it.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Krysta,

      Hashimoto’s is considered the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the US yet thyroid antibodies are not often tested and even when they are nothing is done about the autoimmune component of the disease. In addition in the early stages of Hashimoto’s it’s possible to have normal TSH while the antibodies are high and doctors refuse to treat because TSH is “normal” but you can see that “normal” is not good enough. Testing should include at a minimum Free T4, Free T3, and reverse T3. Also there are many potential triggers for a person’s Hashimoto’s that should be tested too including poor adrenals, abnormal sex hormone levels, poor iron, nutrient deficiencies including selenium, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, blood sugar issues, stress, heavy metal toxicity, food intolerances especially to gluten, and poor digestion. Dr. Izabella Wentz wrote a great book about lifestyle changes you can make on your own to treat Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  93. Hello. I have Hashimotos. I recently had my blood work done for testing my antibodies. The doctor said the results were very high and he wants me to do a heavy metal test. Is this a normal procedure? Could my high levels indicate something other than heavy metal?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      There are many potential triggers underlying Hashimoto’s and heavy metal toxicity is one and that’s great your doctor is doing that testing. Each person has different triggers but other triggers to consider include food intolerances especially gluten (several readers have gone gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal), blood sugar issues, adrenal issues, poor iron, nutrient deficiencies including selenium, zinc, B12, D3, digestion issues, bacteria/viral infections, Candida. A great new book by Dr. Izabella Wentz goes over these different triggers and what you can do about them.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  94. I am now under the care of a great naturopath who seems to be asking all the right questions and requesting the right blood tests to get to the bottom of my ever worsening symptoms.I will not see her in a bit and would like to understand some blood test results.My TPO is high, 99. and my TgAp or Thyroidglobulin is low, <0.9. If I had Hash\'s wouldn\'t both be high?Thank you!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi “Blood Test”,

      You only have to be positive in one thyroid antibody test, either Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies or Thyroglobulin Antibodies, not necessarily both, although some are high in both.

  95. My mom has been dealing with thyroid issues for over 35 years and recently we found out her thyroid is so enlarged that it is wrapping around her neck to her spine and it has grown under her collar bone. She has seen multiple endocrine doctors and her primary care they had all told her that she doesn’t have a thyroid problem because her TSH levels have always read normal. No she is to the point of if this is not removed it can eventually strangle her to death.
    My mother has had the Anti-body tests done and came back with high levels of Anti-bodies but no doctor would treat it. In the last month my mother walked into another Endocrine Dr.’s office and she immediately had her referred to a surgeon the surgeon took one look at my mom and said I already know what is wrong and I want you to have a CAT Scan. I was with her when she got the results and now we are being referred to another Doctor that has more experience than the surgeon.
    I am now looking into if I could have Hashimoto’s since it is genetic and the fact that all the kids on my mom’s of the family have some sort of Thyroid issue. I will be seeing if my primary care will run the tests I need or if she will send me along my way to the same Endocrinologist that my mom has seen. I have 7 symptoms of hypo and that is why I want to be checked out. I don’t want to have to get to my mom’s point before a doctor will look at me and say hey you have a thyroid problem.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Cristyn,

      I am so sorry to hear about your mother. That is so upsetting what happened to her. Absolutely there is a genetic factor to Hashimoto’s and insist on thyroid antibody testing for yourself and other family members who have hypothyroidism symptoms. Hashimoto’s is considered the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the US yet thyroid antibodies are not routinely tested. So upsetting.

  96. I just recently had thyroid antibody testing done for the first time by a new doctor. I have been hypo and on meds for a few years, but my previous doctor never checked antibody levels (or anything other than TSH). My recent results showed normal TPO antibodies (6 with a reference range of 0 to 34), but elevated TgAb antibodies (5.9 with a reference range of 0.0 to 0.9). The doctor said these results showed it was more likely a different autoimmune disease and not Hashimotos, which surprised him (and me too, as I had always assumed it was probably Hashis). Do you agree that Hashis is not likely with these results, and do you have any insight as to what conditions might be likely?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jamie,

      According to this article attached by Dr. Izabella Wentz, “In most cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, blood tests will reveal one or two types of anti-thyroid antibodies. Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) is the most common antibody present (in up to 95% of those with Hashimoto’s), and often antibodies against thyroglobulin (TGAb) are found as well (around 80%).” Positive testing for Thyroglobulin Antibodies could still mean Hashimoto’s although there are also other autoimmune conditions that come these antibodies. A thyroid ultrasound can be used to confirm Hashimoto’s.

      http://www.thyroidrootcause.org/1/category/thyroglobulin/1.html

      As you can see from this article attached below Thyroglobulin Antibodies are used to confirm Hashimoto’s. It reads: “Mild to moderately elevated levels of thyroid antibodies may be found in a variety of thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases. Significantly increased concentrations most frequently indicate thyroid autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.”

      http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/thyroid-antibodies/tab/test

  97. Hi Jamie, gena lee Nolan from thyroid sexy has hashimotos and she tested negative for antibodies for hashi but diagnosed by ultrasound. I believe her blood tests were normal as well. I have Graves symptoms I believe and bloods normal but high ANA antibody and its usually not a marker for Graves/ hashi however apparently it can be an indicator and diagnosis for these thyroid conditions plus my uptake scan showed Graves pattern so I think some people their body can be haywire but not everything will show :)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Carmen,

      Thanks for bring this important point up. Thyroid antibody blood tests can be misleading. There are a percentage of people like Gena Lee Nolin that show up negative for thyroid antibodies yet they have Hashimoto’s confirmed by thyroid ultrasound. Dr. Kharrazian writes: “Some people with Hashimoto’s test negative because their overall immune health is weak and they do not produce enough antibodies. Their immune systems have been so stressed for so long that their total white blood cells and B-cells are too low to be able to make antibodies. You have to have some degree of immune fitness to produce antibodies.”

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/page/17/

      I’ve personally tested negative for thyroid antibodies multiple times. Given the prevalence of thyroid autoimmune conditions, I am not stopping there. I am scheduled to get a thyroid ultrasound. It goes to show you that blood tests aren’t always so reliable and clear cut.

  98. Gloria Spicer says:

    My latest TSH is 29.770′ and I am at witts-end. Anti thyroglobulin Ab is 90.0 t4 is 0.74. I am in a trick bag!!!!!! I am on compounded T3′ T-4 which is made from synthroid powers …….which I couldnt take 15 years ago…..heart palpitations and skipping……now the same again……15 years ago I went on Armor thyroid, when they had issues I was switched to Nature Thyroid….both of which are derived from porcine, which I just found on my own is PORK and am allergic to pork so have had hives for all that time…….terrible hives and 15 to 20 doctors later, I am so stressed about wher to turn……I have tried @ least 20 compounding pharmacies and no one has anything else for me and all the while my TSH GOES HIGHER AND HIGHER……I have a hard time believing there isn’t another option for me…..I can’t be the only person in the world that has allergic reaction to the only options I can find……and when I ask the doctors the tell me the same. At least while on the porcine my test were range……antibodies were high and hives from head to toe along with about 1/2 the loss of my hair…….so this is my dilemma! Any help would be so appreciated

  99. I have a question…..maybe you can help. I have 2 kids under 2 and got gestational diabetes in both pregnancies that I managed with diet and exercise (even tho im 5 foot 6 and only about 130 lbs and eat extremely healthy and work out) about 2 months after each pregnancy I had these painfull stomach attacks that sent me to the hospital delusional in pain and they were calling it pancreatitis (even tho I dont drink…. eat healthy and my amylase and lypase are rarely elevated when I have had these *attacks* only onesand only slighlty) Finally after teh second pregnancy they tested my thyroid and the t4free and tsh (sp?) came back normal but my thyroid peroxades have been around the 600 mark for the last year and I have been feeling awfull… headaches, crazy digestion problems,so much bloating and pain, insomnia, HOT feet at night, anxiety and I went 2 weeks ago to the hospital with all this and the thyroid peroxadase came back in the thousands!!!! literally the paper I saw today and my docs didnt even have a number just said extremely high in the thousands…. could this be causing my gut problems? I really dont want it to be pancreatitis and I waswondering if anyone can relate. I am seeing a specialist in two weeks but thought I would put this out there. He has never seen anything close to being this high. Any advice or knowledge is welcome! thank you

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Sasha,

      With thyroid peroxidase antibodies in the thousands you have HASHIMOTO’S! Hashimoto’s is the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the US yet thyroid antibodies are not routinely tested and then even if the person has high antibodies doctors don’t treat the underlying autoimmune condition.

      Of course your pancreatitis could be caused by other reasons but your Hashimoto’s should be investigated more closely as a possible cause. Testing should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron panel, nutrient deficiencies including D3, selenium, B12, zinc, blood sugar issues, food intolerances especially gluten (I have readers who went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced), Candida, bacteria/viral infections, digestion issues, heavy metal toxicity. There is a great book by Dr. Izabella Wentz.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  100. let’s start with I don’t type .:-} I’m 37 male and went undiagnosed for 10 plus years… I cried reading this I cried so hard.
    My heart goes out to every single person who has to deal with this. I truly believe that no illness should go over looked.
    Hashimoto’s is a gateway illness it truly needs more publicity. To all you doctors reading this that work under an AKA practice, listen to your patience spare no expense stop reading WebMD and start thinking outside the box ’cause every patient is different. My illness, was undiagnosed for over ten years, I was told I had anxiety LOL you bet I did. What I go through would give anybody anxiety, and when I walked out your door with no answers, I have about four million’s other feelings. Finally after 19 trips to the ER by Medic One, heart rate 190, at this point I was 140 pounds. On the 19th trip, I freaked out, screaming, demanding I was dying. They put me in the mental ward but guess what finally happened? They took my thyroid labs! A few hours later, I was emitted to the MEDICAL ward. I C U. since then I have a label for what I have but I feel as I suffer so much, I will hang on for my girls. Much love Chris

  101. Tracy Kendall says:

    About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosis, which is an auto immune disease. I have all the symptoms of hashimoto’s. Dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, inability to loose weight, sleep distubances, brain fog and the worst is the lack of energy. I have been to 4 different doctors and they all tell me the same thing. My TSH is 2.30, T3 is 83, free T4 is 1.3, my TgAb is42, TPOab is 249. I have been told my antibodies are high but because mt TSH is normal they refuse to treat me. My mother had hasimotos and my sister is hyperthroid. I am feeling more crummy daily. I live in louisville, ky and can not find an endocrinologist that will see me w/o a positive TSH. Got any suggestions?????? Please email me at acddax731@hotmail.com.

  102. I FEEL EXTREMELY FORTUNATE THIS SITE EXIST, AND ABSOLUTELY DUMBFOUNDED DOCTORS WILL NOT TREAT ME HAVING A NORMAL TSH

    I AM GETTING HELP FROM HYPOTHYROIDREVOLUTION.COM ALREADY FROM THE FOUNDER TOM BRIMEYER.

    MY MAIN QUESTION AT THIS POINT IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THESE DOCTORS TO BE SEWED IN COURT, I HAVE HAD THESE SYMPTOMS FOR 6 MONTHS NOW !! 6 MONTHS !!!!!! IT HAS CAUSED ME TO LOSE MY BUSINESS AND LED ME TO BE FULLY FRUSTRATED WITH EVERYTHING IN THE MEDICAL WORLD, “YOU COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT THESE DOCTORS WERE TELLING ME !!” “YOUR FINE, “ITS JUST FAT AROUND UR NECK”, “THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU”, “YOU ARE JUST IMAGINING THINGS”, TELLING ME ITS THE WAY IM SLEEPING, TO GETTING ME ON A 3 WEEK COURSE OF PRILOSEC, SAYING MY STOMACH ACID, IS KILLING MY ESOPHAGUS, AND THESE ARE SYMPTOMS OF HEART BURN” LOLS ??? !! ?? HOW CAN THEY EVEN CALL THEMSELVES DOCTORS !!
    I BELIEVE I SHOULD FILE A LITIGATION AGAINST THEM, AND COMPENSATE MYSELF FOR THE TROUBLE I HAVE HAD FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS !!, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE, WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK !

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Alex,

      I am very sorry to hear you lost your business. You have every reason to be frustrated. I know too well the anger I personally felt from my doctor’s mistreatment of my thyroid condition. I don’t know whether or not to sue. I imagine that must be a personal decision on your part. I’m happy you are on the road to being well. Best wishes to you.

  103. karen smith says:

    hi
    im 31 years old this week was told by a doctor I have hypothyroidism.. I had been feeling so unwell this last year, had numerous blood tests done for thyroid and my my doctor kept saying my results were borderline but didn’t require medication.. Luckily, I made another appointment and was given a lady doctor as my own was off sick..
    I told her all my symptoms, extreme tiredness, heavy/achy eyes, no energy, weight gain, sweating, dry scalp, hair loss, insomnia, sore throats, hoarseness, depression, muscle twitches, nails breaking, feel like I cant get a breath, need to yawn all the time, and generally just feel very unwell, plus recently my neck feels very sore and feels as if there is a lump.
    she looked through my records for the tsh, t4 and t3 results.. the last four blood test tsh results are as follows, 4, 4.6, 6.6 and my last one was 10.. she couldn’t believe with these symptoms my doctor had not put me on medication as it clearly states hypothyroidism plus I also have low vitamin d and a few months ago very low iron levels..
    She organised me to get a blood test done for thyroid antibodies, the result came back this week that my antibodies are raised…So she started me on 25mcg of levothyroxine… She organised me to be sent for a ultrasound, it is for the 23rd October… I wish it was sooner but honestly this lady doctor has been amazing and very efficient so I cant really complain.. She said once my results of ultrascan comes back, she will decide what the next step is and sort out if meds need increased etc..
    the past few days my neck is very sore indeed, have sore throat and swallowing feels weird on the left side plus I can feel a lump.. I generally just feel so tired, unwell and fed up of feeling so sick all the time.. I swear even a 10 minute walk has me wore out….
    I have been doing a lot of research and have read a lot about gluten free and was thinking I will start this Im willing to try anything..
    also just to state I had my gallbladder removed six years ago so Im not sure if this has any reason for my thyroid problem.. my sister also has hypothyroidism and is diabetic…
    Any helpful advice on what I could be doing in the meantime to improve my health or get my thyroid in good shape again would be much appreciated.
    many thanks
    karen

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Karen,

      Every cell of the body requires proper thyroid hormone levels for proper functioning so every part of the body can be affected which is why many health conditions can result from hypothyroidism including gall bladder issues and diabetes as you mentioned. The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck so I’m happy you are having a thyroid ultrasound to check your thyroid gland.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/300-hypothyroidism-symptoms-yes-really/

      There are many potential underlying issues with Hashimoto’s that include low iron and low D3 so be sure your doctor recommends supplements for this and ask the recommended dosage for you. Other potential triggers to consider: gluten intolerance (I have several readers on this site who went gluten free and their antibodies reduced to normal), adrenal issues, low B12, selenium, magnesium and zinc, poor blood sugar levels, digestive issues, food intolerances, sex hormone imbalances. Dr. Izabella Wentz wrote a great book on this topic.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  104. Hi Dana, I’m so glad I found your site!

    I have been struggling to conceive for 2 years now and a medical herbalist recently sent me for a full thyroid screen. My TSH was within normal range (2.6), T4 was normal, T3 also normal and TG normal. But my TPO was elevated at 40 (normal is 0-35). Do you think this is high enough to show Hashimotos and be a factor in my struggle to conceive?

    I also have PCOS and I gather the two are linked. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow and wondered if there is anything I should be pushing for them to do?

    Any advice would be very appreciated. Thank you!

  105. Chelsea bridges says:

    Dana please help!!
    I haven’t been feeling right for the past few years! I have what seems like almost all symptoms of hypothyroidism! Sluggish, tired, times of severe constipation, worse and way more painful menstrual cramps, tight hot swollen toes , numbness and tingling in legs (sometimes arms) I’ve gained almost 30lbs in last 2 years with eating better and working out I can’t lose it, and the last couple months I have been getting migraines almost daily! I had blood work done this week, T3 free 3.1 T3 total 100, t4 free 1.2 t4 total 6.7. T3 uptake 31 t4 index 2.2. Tsh 1.60. Thyroglobulin antibodies 20 Thyroid peroxidase antibodies 10. My doctor wrote in the comment box all labs are normal . But I still feel like I’m not of course :/ all symptoms are there it’s always something … My grandma has thyroid disease also idk if that has anything to do with it. Please help me understand If I could still be suffering from it and if treatment could help if I should see a specialist! Thank you a million!!!

    • Chelsea bridges says:

      Dana please help!!
      I haven’t been feeling right for the past few years! I have what seems like almost all symptoms of hypothyroidism! Sluggish, tired, times of severe constipation, worse and way more painful menstrual cramps, tight hot swollen toes , numbness and tingling in legs (sometimes arms), forgetful, uncomfortable feeling in my neck especially when I turn my head, hard swallowing, I’ve gained almost 30lbs in last 2 years with eating better and working out I can’t lose it, and the last couple months I have been getting migraines almost daily! I had blood work done this week, T3 free 3.1 T3 total 100, t4 free 1.2 t4 total 6.7. T3 uptake 31 t4 index 2.2. Tsh 1.60. Thyroglobulin antibodies 20 Thyroid peroxidase antibodies 10. My doctor wrote in the comment box all labs are normal . But I still feel like I’m not of course :/ all symptoms are there it’s always something … My grandma has thyroid disease also idk if that has anything to do with it. Please help me understand If I could still be suffering from it and if treatment could help if I should see a specialist! Thank you a million!!!

  106. Cal Bailes says:

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism five years ago. I had previously been to my doctor several times because I was feeling worse all the time, sleeping so much and even when awake I felt so out of it. I ended up changing to another doctor, and unbelievably she said my previous blood test results from my old doctor showed that my thyroid was seriously under active, yet he had failed to even notice! She immediately started me on Levothyroxine and within six months I was feeling well and soon went back to work. Recently though, I started feeling I’ll again. I am sleeping too much, have no energy and am yet again putting weight on. ( I lost my excess weight once I started taking Levothyroxine and was back down to size 10(UK) for two years but the weight has crept on despite my healthy diet and fairly active life) I now suspect I have some kind of intolerance to wheat, as I can go days without eating anything with wheat in it, and no longer eat pasta, biscuits, bread etc. However I sometimes just end up eating a sandwich or pizza and my goodness I do suffer for days after! I ache all over, even the tips of my ears, and sleep all day on my days off. I try to eat a lot of vegetables, pulses, fish, seafood etc but that one sandwich can blow it all! Never underestimate how real wheat intolerance symptoms can be, as you will get anything from bloating, cramps, flatulence, sweating and severe fatigue.

  107. Hello Dana,
    Thank you so much for your awesome website. I am newly diagnosed “Subclinical Hypothyroidism” with a TSH just under 5, low T4 and T3 (but still in range, barely), and TgAb out of range by only 1 point (under 20 was optimal and I was 21). Does this mean I have Hashimoto’s? My doctor won’t treat me until my TSH is a 10. Yes, you read that right. I am obviously going to an endocrinologist who has more experience and can hopefully help me but can’t get in for a month. I’m just wondering if you think the antibodies being just a bit over range is cause for concern. Thanks for your help!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Sarah,

      wow your doctor won’t treat you until your TSH is 10…find a new doctor!!!

      Here are resources to help readers locate good doctors in their area.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      Everyone produces some antibodies and Hashimoto’s is diagnosed when the antibodies are above the normal range. Now there is that grey zone when someone’s antibodies fall right near the top of the normal range like yours. So does a doctor confirm Hashimoto’s? I imagine it depends on the doctor and that most mainstream doctors would say no you don’t have Hashimoto’s because your score is so very close to normal. However my guess is that more alternative thyroid experts would say be very cautious when your score is so close to the top of the range like that. Please be sure to have your Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies regularly tested over time to see if they increase more. In the meantime there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce antibodies. There is a great book by Dr. Izabella Wentz.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  108. I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimotos; my antibodies were over 3000. however my throat is fine- and no goiter. I am so confused as to what symptoms that I am having may be related to this- my Dr is not treating it as my hormone levels are within normal range. I am hurting – almost all the time- flue like aches especially in my legs. High pulse- (over 100) anxiety- (onset last 3 years) cant get a deep breath often- fatigue-I just am not myself- I feel like my personality has changed- I am so unsure of myself- I have always been very confident and focused…focus is now a huge problem. I have seen 5 different Drs int he past 6 months; have been tested for everything-I also have a high SED rate (inflammation) I need help.

  109. Hi,
    I am 32 years old and i have consulted a doctor 4 years back , coz of drastic weight gain seen in me and he advised to take a TSH test and after looking at the result it was just above the baselevel of the normal range and so he advised to take Thyronorm 50 mg(thyroxine sodium) .So from that day onwards i am taking the medicine.
    My height is 178cms and now my weight is 105 kgs which is only 65 kgs 5 years back.
    I am having excess swetting,gaining weight (especially abdominal ,face),tiredness,feels like blankness sometime, hair loss , thinning of hair.My last blood test results are Cholestrol level is < 170 , TSH: 0.57 , Free T3:3.29 , Free T4:1.27 and also i have done the tests like Thyroglobulin Antibody(Anti): 16.7 u/ml ,Microsomal Antibody(Anti) : <5.0 IU/ML. After seeing this results doctor said that my test results are normal and i dont have thyroid problem , but still i feels illness and symptoms of hypothyroidsm.I couldnt concentrate on my work properly and my weight gain is still continuing.
    Please advice on this.Thanks in advance

    My SGPT count is little high than the normal

  110. I am interested to know how many people suffering from Hashimotos also have breast implants. I have been advised to have my saline implants removed- However I am not convinced of the correlation. Any input would be appreciated.

    Carla

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Carla,

      Now that’s an interesting question and one I haven’t read about. Now heavy metal toxicity has been connected in the literature to Hashimoto’s however I’ve never specifically read about saline implants. Hmmm…did your doctor give you a reason to have them removed?

  111. I have Hashimotos/ hypo for sure for the last 5 1/2 yrs. Lately my TSH level was not detected and the doctor kept cutting my meds and today my level was .028 , so now he took me off all the synthroid. What is going on and I am worried that all my awful symptoms will return. My ultrasound to day show a very large goiter but no lesions, what ever that means.

  112. Mary Glowatsky says:

    This is a wonderfully written article….very clear and concise. I’ve suffered with Hypothyroidism for 20 years now and have been taking Synthroid just as long. Just recently, a thyroid ultrasound showed a nodule with coarse calcification and high vascularity, indicative of Hashimoto’s. I’m being sent to an Endocrinologist for further testing. While my TSH values are within normal limits, I was not tested (never, in fact) for the antibodies. If it weren’t for the thyroid scan, I might never have been sent to a specialist. Thank you for helping me understand what’s going on in my body!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Mary, Best wishes with your visit to the endocrinologist. It is sad really how many of my readers have had hypothyroidism for decades and finally reading an article on my blog they get thyroid antibodies tested and discover for the first time they have Hashimoto’s. Sad really that antibodies are not routinely tested.

  113. 1. what is Reverse T3 ? never heard of it…usually T3 ,T4 ,TSH are tested here (tsh was bit high adjusted dose now will check next month ).
    2. what is role of ferratin (iron & B12 tests were normal) , reverse T3 ( never heard of it) , selenium ?
    3. i once did antibodies (TPO-Ab and TgAb) were very high – how do i treat it ?
    4. cbc count showed wbc and lymphocytes were high – so possibility of infections, but i don’t feel any symptom other then that of thyroid – what additional test can help whether i have any infection ?

    My D3 level- low ( took some dose and sunlight to improve heath) .. may test it in 2-3 months again. rest test’s which are mentioned in above posts are in normal range.

  114. Hi Dana,

    I came across your website recently as for many months now I have been feeling tired, depressed, have terrible memory loss and constipation and cannot lose weight no matter how hard I try. My mother has Hashimoto’s and I have suspected for awhile that I do too. (Other thyroid problems run in my family as well.) I had several TSH tests but they all came up normal, actually quite low. I think around 1.74 was the last result I had. The doctor told me to go on the meal replacement shakes and exercise more. I would like to add that however bad my fatigue is, I force myself to run anywhere between 5-7km a day. I’m exhausted for hours afterwards but I do it. Anyway, I finally found a doctor who listened to what I had to say about my symptoms, family history etc and she tested my TSH and my thyroid antibodies. Got the test results back today. TSH was still normal. Anti-thyroid peroxidase is 1300 (lab suggests <60) and Anti-thyroglobulin is 148 (lab <60) Because the TSH is still normal, the doctor says there is nothing she can do until the disease progresses. I have to have more blood tests every 3 months and have been put on anti-depressants. Should I seek another opinion? And thank you, for a wonderful and informative website. :-)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Please Emma you need to find a new doctor. With your family history of thyroid disease, your symptoms and your high thyroid antibodies, you need a doctor to look more closely at your thyroid condition. It’s normal in the early stages to have normal TSH and many experts believe treating even when TSH is normal will help slow down or even prevent further attack on your thyroid gland.

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/preventative.htm

      Here are resources to help you locate a good doctor.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • Hi Dana,
        I had some other blood tests done and I just got the results. Would have replied earlier but it’s hard to stay awake lol I think of all people, you understand. Anyway, these are the results:
        Free T4: 12.3 pmol/L (Lab ranges: 10.0-19.0)
        TSH: 1.87 miU/L (Lab ranges: 0.50-4.00)
        Free T3: 4.8 pmol/L (Lab ranges: 3.5-6.5)
        For some reason, though I requested it, my thyroid antibodies were not tested again and the doctor told me my thyroid function was normal. I should have mentioned before that I’m in Australia and so far have been unable to get an appointment with an endocrinologist as they are either too expensive or the waiting lists are very long. Results indicate normal thyroid function? Yeah, tell that to my husband and 2 children who are beginning to forget that once upon a time I was able to stay awake. Should my doctor have tested for anything else? She’s pretty good about ordering whatever blood tests I want so what should I be asking for the next time I see her? Thank you for you help. :-)

  115. Hi,
    I am a 49 year old, that has had thyroid issues since my son was born 23 years ago. In April I found out through being my own advocate and insisting the Doctor check my complete thyroid panel including the antibodies I have Hashimotos Auto Immune Disease. I have gained weight, I can’t get rid of, my feet and ankles are stiff and hurt, I feel depressed, no motivation, tired. I’m on 2 grains of Armour now and all of my thyroid test are normal. My skin on my face fell, making me look tired all the time and old. My Dermatologist said it was bone loss. I have gone to a personal trainer since February, which has helped my posture, and some of my weak muscles.
    I just want to feel better! I want my brain fog, weight, outlook, depression to go away!!
    DO YOU HAVE SUGGESTION?

    Thank you

  116. I have two “growths” on my thyroid that the doc wants rechecked and biopsy. I have EVERY symptom of Hashimotos but have a normal. TsH? What besides cancer cells should I have checked when I am biopsyed. And yes I will demand an antibody test after reading this!!!!

    Ty

  117. I can not tell you how much I am loving your blog. Especially this article. My daughter was diagnosed with Hashi’s about 18 months ago. So, we have been to 3 appointments and blood work with normal tsh levels and only the Hashi’s diagnosis. She even suggested we go to yearly visits. She has migraines, is constantly sleeping and does NOT act like a normal teenager. She dances on drill and between that and her studies has no time for social life. I have trusted the doctors advice that you wait and see for the function to go and treat that.
    My story – my mother noticed swelling in my throat in June 2013. Diagnosed with Hashi’s, 3 nodules, NORMAL function. After soon, 2 different biopsy tests – I had a TT a month ago and was diagnosed with papillary cancer with blood vessel and lymph node involvement. Had 155 dose radiation over Thanksgiving.
    I’ve had my babies. I’m 38, not 16. I do not want this to sneak up on my daughter and cause problems for her. And it’s like I am the only one in the doctors offices trying to explain to them this is NOT normal for my kid.
    Is my thought process right? Do I start the search for the doctor who says what I want them to say? After my experiences – I feel like what they are saying to me is untrue and inaccurate.
    Her endo didn’t even check her antibodies, when I asked why she only checks the T4 and TSH, she says we know she has antibodies, we don’t need to test that again. (????)

  118. Hi. I am 32. I seem to have many of both hypo and hyoer thyroid symptoms. I have been tested and my TSH was over the limit. 4 days later I was tested again and I was under the limit so the doctor didnt really think there was a problem. My white blood cells were raised on the test as well. I do not know what to make of this as I was sent away been told I was back in normal range. I still feel like something is wrong. An ultrasound 2 yrs ago showed nodules on my thyroid. Could I possibly have Hashimotos? What test should I specifcally ask for to find out if I have it. I wanted to go back a little more educated so I dont get brished off. Thank you kindly.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Chiquita, there are two tests for Hashimoto’s: Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies.

  119. I have hashimoto disease and I notice I am getting sick more often and I have eczema on top of everything else. I now have allergic eczema. It’s only getting worst and my doctor wants me to take OTC selenium. He said it may or may not work but he can’t treat my hashimoto with prescriptions at this time. I am fed up. Is there anything I can do?

  120. Jodie thomas says:

    I have been researching my symptoms for months now and am wondering if I have Hashimotos . My appearance began to change 2 years ago, it started with flu like symptoms ( started after I began to take supplements ) and unexplained weight gain especially around the thigh and hip area despite no change to diet or exercise . Within 2 years I have gone from looking 20 to way older than my 31 years . My hair is brittle and constantly falls out and my face sags like a 60 year old . Tests two years ago came back with slightly raised white cells but recent blood work has been clear . I feel so depressed and fin ‘t know what to do.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jodie, It would be worth it for you to go see a good thyroid doctor to get the right tests to determine whether or not Hashimoto’s is an issue for you. Full thyroid testing should include TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies. Also be sure your nutrient levels are tested. You mention your symptoms starting after taking supplements. It is possible you can overdose on certain nutrients in vitamins. This is why it’s important to get testing to be sure your levels are okay. Many of us are deficient in nutrients like D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. My doctor regularly tests my levels to determine the right dosage for me. Also if your supplement contained iodine be sure to have your iodine tested. Over consumption of iodine can worsen hypothyroidism.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  121. I have history of HypoThyrodism and we are trying to conceive. I got my thyroid profile done and the results say the below

    Antithyroglobulin Ab Thyroglobulin, Antibody <1.0 IU/mL (Normal Range 0.0 – 0.9 )
    Please Note:
    Low positive Thyroglobulin antibodies are seen in a portion of the
    asymptomatic populations.
    Antithyroglobulin antibodies measured by Beckman Coulter Methodology

    My Doctor says nothing to worry about, but are positive Thyroglobulin a cause of concern?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi HypoMom, we all have a certain level of antibodies. The issue is when the antibody levels are above the normal range. Now I would ask your doctor what the score means when they write <1.0. Since the top of the normal range is 0.9, it would be helpful to know if you are near the top of the range or less. You should also have your Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody, Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3 tested.

  122. Dana,
    Does everyone that has Hashimoto’s have a gluten allergy? I do not have stomach issues, but everything I have read said to go on a Gluten Free Diet.

    Thank You
    Janie

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Janie, I don’t know the percentage of people with Hashimoto’s who have gluten sensitivity, however there is so much written about the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s that it’s well worth a try. I have a few readers who wrote to say they went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal.

  123. Dana,
    Does everyone that has Hashimoto’s have a gluten allergy? I do not have stomach issues, but everything I have read said to go on a Gluten Free Diet. I also have been off my Adderall for a year, thinking I did not have to take it because it was Hashimoto’s causing my brain fog and not being able to focus. Please let me know what you think!

    Thank You
    Janie

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Janie, I don’t know the percentage of people with Hashimoto’s who have gluten sensitivity, however there is so much written about the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s that it’s well worth a try. I have a few readers who wrote to say they went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal.

  124. Hello Dana
    I have a family history of thyroid problems. In 2002 I had an episode of thyroiditis and was diagnosed with thyroid antibodies. My levels have been fine over the years. In January I was diagnosed with breast cancer- triple negative type. My levels were checked in February and were fine. As I’d read on a breast cancer site that a lot of woman had gone hypothyroid after treatment, I got them checked in November. My Tsh was 14. I’ve just had it rechecked in December and it was 9.66. I’m due to see my doctor on 2nd jan. I have symptoms of dry eyes, tiredness, joint pain and muscle aches. My eyebrows which had only just returned after chemo, have disappeared again! I’m not really cold, as my chemo has put me in the menopause and I have hourly hot flushes. My vitamin D was low last year and I’ve had a bald patch in my eyebrow for a couple of years. I feel my poor body has been though so much this year, with surgery, chemo and radiotherapy.
    Should I be waiting to see how my bloods go over the coming months, start some treatment or ask to be referred to a endocrinologist?
    Thanks
    Stephanie

  125. Diane Franzen says:

    Thank you for such an informative website! I received a Hashimoto’s diagnosis
    yesterday and started searching the web. I orginally ignored your site thinking
    it was for young Mom’s. I am 65. This morning I am devouring your posts.
    I am greatful.

  126. I am being treated with Armour, supplements and a “de-inflammation” diet, and have lost/am continuing to lose weight, although many other symptoms haven’t been banished yet (migraines, excessive perspiration, insomnia, brain fog, aches and pains, etc.). I certainly plan to save enough money to deal with the saggy skin issues when my weight loss levels off. But I doubt any dermatologist can deal with the combination of dark facial spots & vitiligo on chest and arms. For anyone interested in such a diet, it is close to being a “Paleo” diet–no grains thus no gluten, etc. You can Google it, and also find Paleo recipes on Google. I pray I don’t have to go on low dose naltrexone for get this under control.

  127. Lea Armstrong says:

    Dana…I am 44 years old and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at the age of 16 (yes, almost 30 years). The doctor, at the time of diagnosis, wanted to remove my thyroid but I wasn’t about to have it done. I am guessing my mother knew nothing about thyroid problems and never checked on what could be done because I never took medication. It was when I was 20 years old that I saw a specialist and started Synthroid. So, there’s the back story. I was doing really well up until a little more than 2 years ago. I’m like a lot of the other people here. I look like I’ve aged and the pains and constant fatigue is enough to make me want to pull my own hair out. It wasn’t until just a week ago when I wen to a new doctor that I found out about “thyroid antibodies”. You know, I’ve read so much about hypothyroidism and I don’t recall in the information anything about “antibodies” being mentioned. I’ve read about Hashimoto’s Disease and it must have been old information. Anyhow, I had an ultra sound done on my neck and I have a multi-nodular goiter (which I already knew because I’ve had it since I was 16). For awhile now I’ve had problems with feeling like something is always stuck in my throat or someone has a finger pressing on my neck. The ultra sound found that I have an inflamed thyroid. Not really sure what that means so if you have information on that it would be great! I went and had more blood tests done for the thyroid antibodies. The first time in almost 30 years…LOL…funny but not funny. Then I will be seeing a specialist. I guess first of all, I would like to say…thank you for the information. It was very informative and I was actually able to follow you (after reading it 3 times of course…LOL – foggy brain). Also, can you tell me anything about inflamed thyroid?

  128. Megan chadd says:

    I am 14 years old and I have Hashimoto’s disease. Just yesterday I got my first half of my thyroid out and next month I will have the other half taken out. I feel like I can breathe again. I am so happy.

  129. Dear Dana,

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s three years ago due to the discovery of a small nodule that led to testing. Since then I had been to several endocronologists and my MD. The problem is nobody listens to what I am saying. I feel WORSE on the medication! I have done some research and truly believe that I am allergic to Synthroid and no one wants to prescribe anything else so I am going without medication. I do have Iodine and Potassium that I take irregularly but other than that I take nothing. They keep saying I can die from untreated thyroid disease, but I feel so nasty on the medication and I do not have to treat all the side affects of the Synthyroid. I don’t know what to do at this point.

  130. Nice article. i wish you said how to counter act it with diet. dr david clark does alot of work with hashi,. i am not affiliated with him other than i might be a patient in the future. he does some very informative videos on youtube as clarkchiro .

  131. SO glad I fond your site! I have so many symptoms of hypothyroid including lots of hair loss for two years now. I’m currently 39-1/2 yrs old.

    My doctor said my thyroid is normal but I’m not convinced that it is.

    Do my lab tests look normal to you? Also does TSH fluctuate?

    TSH on 2/28/12 was 1.44
    TSH on 4/24/12 was 2.09
    TSH on 1/13/13 was 1.45, Free T4 1.3, Free T3 3.3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies <10, Thyroglubin Antibodies <20

    Look forward to hearing from you!

  132. hello I’m 34 years old and I have been battling hypothyroid Hashimoto disease for the past 6 years I had a hysterectomy 7 months ago and I’ve lost 60 pounds the doctors keep telling me that my thyroid blood test results are accurate it cannot be possible I went from 50 micrograms to 127 to 112and I only weigh 108 pounds,7 months ago I weighed 166I’m taking my medication everyday and I can stop losing weight I don’t know what’s wrong everybody looks at me like I’m crazy and they keep telling me my blood test come back normal it cannot be possible I feel like I’m being over dose and no one wants to hear me no one’s listening I check myself into the psych ward many other times I’m ready to do it again I don’t know what to do. If there’s anybody out there that can help me please email me my email is nini5115@AOL.comI‘m looking for someone to talk to or someone that I can relate to on the situation because no one wants to listen to me. None of these doctors seem to know what they’re doing anymore and I need help desperately I feel like I’m going to die. Somebody please help I’m desperate I have an 8 year old to live for and I feel like I’m not going to live much longer if I don’t figure out what’s going on.

  133. on top of battling this hypothyroid Hashimoto disease and being so sick after my hysterectomy and losing on my way I also have fibromyalgia. I have skeletal dysplasia. And a lot of other things too but they don’t relate to physical there more emotional. Like PTSD and severe depression I suffer from. I just don’t know where to turn to none of the doctors want to listen to me,one of them tells me I’m so skinny you can see every bone in my body and another one tells me oh I everything came back fine you’re healthy how can someone that is 5’8and 108 pounds be normal I’ve tried weight gainers shakes everything I even lost 18 pounds in one week on mass weight gainer they say they ruled out its not hormones because of a hysterectomy but I still do have my fellow be in tubes and ons tied ones untied that happened after my hysterectomy.the Riverbend came through my stitches no how that’s possible my doctor said it was a first time in 30 years he evervhad seen that!! Kinda scary it also took them 5 years to even diagnose me with all this stuff and I had a fight with them and tell them that I had it they didn’t believe me!!!!I just don’t understand they just keep giving me medicine after medicine and nothing is working and now I can’t eat I can’t sleep and I can’t functionif there’s anybody out there that understands that can help please I’m begging you connect with me. My email is nini5115@AOL.com,thank you for listening I didn’t know where I want to go until I saw this website

  134. I first became aware of the importance of diet on health through research for my pet health website, after losing five cats in a row to brain tumors and chronic renal failure due to improper diet, using plastic bowls, and the horrible deadly water in my valley. It was too much evidence to ignore, and I researched it thoroughly because I never wanted that to happen again. I knew I had serious food allergies and had gained weight by eating foods I couldn’t process, and was making myself sick as well. Both of my siblings have Hashimoto’s (our mom had lupus), but I didn’t begin to regard it as the source of my problems until my younger brother ended up in the ER twice in six months due to atrial fibrillation from Hashimoto’s/improper medication & dosing. He referred me to “Stop the Thyroid Madness” website, where I recognized way too many symptoms were just like mine. A friend told me that her sister had worked with the Valley Thyroid Institute (in Los Angeles, CA), and was now slim and symptom free. I am working with the doc there to get this under control. It begins with lab tests, and a “de-inflammation” exclusion diet combined with specific supplements (no one size fits all treatments) & seeing the doc every two weeks to assess progress. It’s a very restrictive diet: no grains, no legumes, no nightshade (potatoes, eggplant), no nuts, no dairy, no soy, no high fructose fruits (such as pineapple), that you must commit to for 90 days at least. But when you realize there’s no magic pill, and there’s no other way to get rid of your symptoms and get healthy, you can do it. When your inflammation begins to subside, you will get allergy tested for specific foods, which you’ll continue to avoid, but those you’re not allergic to may be phased slowly back in. It’s not cheap, either, but the lab tests I’ve already had have given me far more information about my body than any other doctor ever has, and I can see what will happen if I DON’T pursue the course of health–in black and white, on paper. You can check out Valley Thyroid Institute’s website and ask if they can refer you to someone in your area. I know the doc does train other doctors in his methods. Best of luck and God bless.

  135. Caroline V says:

    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to find this blog. I am crying tears of relief and joy because I have felt so alone and crazy for over 18 months now. My antibodies are increasing rising and my TSH and T$ are normal. I am miserable all the time and I have myself believing that I am riddled with cancer because I feel so bad all the time. Thank you for your honesty. I now KNOW for CERTAIN that I have Hashimotos. There is no doubt in my mind and I will stop at nothing to get myself well. Thank you again.

  136. Caroline V says:

    Hi there!
    I haven’t had time to read all of your blog entries, but I was diagnosed with Hashis about a month ago and I have pain with no swelling in my lymphatic system, groin, armpits, chest, inner thighs, etc. Is this something anyone else has ever experienced with Hashis?

    Any insight would be great as I now look like a hypochondriac to my GP and I am tired of hearing that it is anxiety related.

    Thanks!

  137. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos about 12 yrs ago but probably had it for at least 25. Bargained with doctor for endo referral vs shrink. If endo said nothing was wrong then I would see shrink. No longer see that doctor. About a year ago I started having double vision, increased balance and gait issues, concentration and thought process problems, panic attacks, etc. Checked for MS, lymes disease, myesthenia gravis, etc. All normal except brain lesions. Had asthmatic bronchitis in november and was put on prednisone. When I noticed some if my symptoms improved and told doctor he tried me on another round then tapered. Got worse. He did research and thinks I have hashimotos encephelopathy. Back on low dose of prednisone till I see neuro in San Francisco.

  138. I had Hashimoto’ about 13 years ago. My Thyroid swelled up he side of my neck and was chocking me. The Endo tried all kids of meds but nothing worked. Finally I had Thyroid removed. I still haven’t felt well. Tired all he time. Still on Synthroid. Is my Immune system still attacking me or am I going to feel sluggish like this forever? All my tests come back NORMAL but I wonder. Has anyone else gone to extreme and had Thyroid removed. Thanks
    Bonnie

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Bonnie, when you have Hashimoto’s it’s an autoimmune issue where the body’s immune system has made a mistake and attacked its own body part. By removing the thyroid gland, you still haven’t addressed the underlying immune issue. There are many potential triggers that should be tested and treated including adrenals, sex hormones, iron/ferritin, blood sugar, food sensitivities especially gluten (I have readers who rave about how much better they feel gluten-free so worth a try), selenium, iodine, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc. There is a great new book that goes over these triggers in detail by Dr. Wentz:

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-thyroiditis-lifestyle-interventions-for-finding-and-treating-the-root-cause/

  139. Peggy Russell says:

    I was diagnosed in November 2012. My family doctor refuses to test my T3 or T4. She judges my med dosage by TSH only. In her mind as long as my TSH level is at an acceptable level all is good. When an Endo convinced her in July 2012 to also check my T3 and T4 Antibodies and they were greater than 1000, even though my TSH was within Canadian standards of less than 10…she treated me as if I was a hypochondriac, because everything else starting going wrong with my body. I can’t get her to refer me back to the Endo and I am in the middle of trying to get government ass’t and therefore cannot change family docs right now, but I am going to when this part is over.

    I want to thank-you for the work you do here and the information you provide and pass along…it has empowered me to do what I can do on my own and to begin to make plans for my future medical care!

  140. Cori Knapp says:

    I LIVE IN SO CAL I HAVE HOSHIMOTOS
    I AM IN DESPERATE NEED OF A GREAT ENDO!!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!

  141. Thank You! I asked for the hashimotos tests and came back I have it. Because I am already on levoxyl! but have horrible symptoms of hair falling out! fatigue, brain fog, and more..I asked for and additional drug to be added (cytamel) she wrote back on email and said because of a recent study, she said she didn’t think it would do me any good. So I’m left with my life falling apart because of these symptoms! I am seeing my old primary Dr. Next week, and going to read everything I can on your site about it. All this Dr. Did when I said I knew it was my thyroid, and had fatigue was order a sleep study. Just because my labs were in the normal range. So frustrating to not have any energy, and no doctor that knows anything! Wish me luck next week!

  142. I am 25, obese, and chronic fatigue. I have lost significant weight twice in my life because doctors put me on phentremine. The only time I have ever felt human was on that drug, I felt like a real person who could accomplish things. Normally I suffer from chronic fatigue. I am always tired, always. I have so many symptoms of hypothyroidism and my mother has it, my grandmother has it, and my aunt has it. But I always test in the normal range for tsh. My mother was just diagnosed with Hasimoto’s and I am going in for a test for that today. But what if they don’t find anything? I am tired of being tired and unable to lose weight. I diet and exercise but nothing, I am only capable of gaining.

    I have pale dry skin, irritable bowels, prolonged menstruation, thin hair, brittle nails, lethargy, thin dry hair, significant fast weight gain, I am super forgetful like so much that it causes problems, lately my periods have been weird and I have an unexplainable pain in my abdomen that isn’t cramps that doctors don’t know what it is, I don’t know there are just a bunch of stuff.

    What if they don’t find anything, I am so tired of being this tired forgetful person. I have had so many blood work ups done and doctors can find no reason for my symptoms.

  143. This is so true and that\’s how we change lives, by correcting the things that are wrong. You can\’t keep doing the same thing and expect a change – Einstein.

  144. I began having symptoms about a year and a half ago. When I was recovering from pneumonia, my ND tested my Free T4 and Free T3 (if I remember correctly). They were both slightly elevated, but she believed it to be due to my recent illness. I felt decent all summer long, so silly me, didn’t go back for a re-test until this January when the symptoms have been unbearable. A new ND diagnosed me with Hashimotos, my sister was diagnosed when she was only around 10 yrs old so I wasn’t too surprised. My TSH was normal, but my total T3 and total T4 were high. While I valued this NDs advice on supplements and diet change, I didn’t feel like there was much improvement. A week ago, I got another test done with a endocrinologist. All levels came back normal. She even tested for Free T4, TSH again, Peroxidase Autoantibodies and the Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin. She says she doesn’t want to see me for 2 more months, then we ‘might’ test again.Why could my levels change over my 3 tests over 1.5 years, now they seem to be normal, but I’m feeling more horrible than ever!

  145. Tracy Crabtree says:

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and hashimotos when I was in middle school. I ma now 28 years old. I was told in middle school I would have to take this medication for the rest of my life. Recently my husband lost hid jib and I was unable to get the medication. I just had labs redone to get back on the medication and my thyroid hormone levels were normal but my antibodies is in the 400′s….but was told that I was not going to be put on the medication. This was told to me by a regular care doctor becasue I was told to go to her from my previous endocrinologist instead of always going to the specialist. So this reg care doctor had to consult with an “endocrinologist” to go over my lab results.. Should I get a second opinion? In my opinion, my thyroid is being attacked as we speak and basically am just told to wait it out until your thyroid levels are below normal then we can treat you. I have known a lot of people that have developed thyroid cancer and was told if it was only caught sooner… I just dont get why I am being told one thing and told something else next time!

  146. Jackie McDonald says:

    I loved reading this article. After being diagnosed almost 3 years ago with hashimotos from a psychiatrist I went to see because I thought I was crazy. I take my medicine (synthroid) daily like a good girl and some months I’m fine others I’m not so fine. I recently got out on an anti depressant because I have extreme PMDD. Which helps me stay level. But I am tired all the time and now my doctor wants to test me for hypoglycemia. :( my thyroid levels are all fine so she can’t think k of anything that is making me so tired.

    Should I find a new Dr? I really like her and she listens. But I don’t know enough about what tests they are running.

  147. Dana Trentini says:

    Great article Marc. Thank you for including Hypothyroid Mom in your resource section. I look forward to reading more from you on Hashimoto’s disease. So many hypothyroidism sufferers have never been tested for thyroid antibodies and that is tragic. They have no idea they have an autoimmune condition that if left unchecked can lead to other autoimmune conditions. It troubles me how little mainstream medicine understands about autoimmune diseases.

    http://www.hashimotoshealing.com/hashimotos-is-an-autoimmune-disease-so-why-is-everyone-ignoring-the-autoimmune-part/

  148. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you to United We Stand for including a link to Hypothyroid Mom in this great article on Hashimoto’s.

    http://vontauber.wordpress.com/

  149. Thank you for your information. Unfortunately, I experienced everything you wrote about, diagnosed with hypothyroid and given meds in 1996 by the PCP. Finally, years later when syptoms became worse, I went to an endroconologist and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Just last year I requested a celiac panel and was diagnosed with Celiac after a biopsy confirmation. I just feel frustrated. I have lost faith with our medical system. They just want to give you a Rx and not bother to find the real underlined problem. What if my gluten intolerance caused my Hashimoto’s? A simple blood test could have lead me in the right direction. Now I don’t know where to go to manage my health. My PCP is to busy and I am always being seen by a PA and to make matters worse, my Thyroid medicine Levoxly has been recalled. I just wish I could start over and try a natural approach combined with healthy eating. But my med dosage is 150mcg and now the problem is trusting them to find me a new brand that is also gluten free. Any advice?

  150. Dana Trentini says:

    Elle,
    It is very frustrating absolutely. Were you doing well on Levoxyl? I ask because many people do great on Levothyroxine type drugs but others like me do not. For many of us our bodies don’t convert the T4 hormone in these drugs to the active T3 our bodies need so we need the addition of T3 medication to feel well or a complete switch to natural desiccated thyroid. So these are things to discuss with your doctor since you are looking for an alternative to Levoxyl due to the shortage.

    http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

    If you are doing well on Levoxyl and you are looking for another similar T4 drug, Mary Shomon shared this great post on her Facebook page about this very topic. Mary wrote, “If you use Levoxyl and are facing the shortage, your options include:

    * switch to another brand, like Synthroid, Levothroid, Unithroid, Tirosint (Keep in mind that Levoxyl dissolves quickly, while Synthroid is very hard and more slowly absorbed. Also, Tirosint capsules are also better absorbed by many patients than tablets)

    * switch to a generic (i.e., Mylan makes a generic levothyroxine.) BUT, work with your pharmacist to ensure that you will ALWAYS get a refill from the SAME generic manufacturer — so you may have to use a smaller or personal pharmacy, not a mail order or big chain store, unless you have a personal relationship with the pharmacist, and he/she can assure you that refills will be from the same brand.”

    Here is a link to her FB post.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151312081966481&set=a.382208591480.164472.377405846480&type=1

  151. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you to “Action Against Thyroid Disease” for including Hypothyroid Mom in the article “What is Hashimoto’s Disease?”. Thank you for your support. Much appreciated.

    http://aliagainstthyroiddisease.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/what-is-hashimotos-disease/

  152. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you Julie from the blog “julie UNSCRIPTED” for including a link to Hypothyroid Mom in your article. So happy you are on the road to better health. There is hope to live well despite Hashimoto’s.

  153. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you “Knot By Gran’ma” for including Hypothyroid Mom.

    http://knotbygranma.com/2013/08/28/crippling-depression-running-business/

  154. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you very much Red Hairing for including a link to Hypothyroid Mom in your great article.

    http://hotmommaadmin.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/so-what-is-hashimotos/

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Here’s a great post from “Hypothyroid mom” about more details of Hashi’s if you’d like the information: http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-your-body-is-not-supposed-to-destroy-itself-right/ [...]

  2. [...] know the answer but I intend to find out why!!! HypothyroidMom has written a great article n this: http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-your-body-is-not-supposed-to-destroy-itself-right/ I guess based on the information here the difference between me and my mum is that when she felt [...]

  3. [...] I have an auto immune disease that is making my body attack itself, specifically my thyroid, which now has nodules on [...]

  4. […] bipolar too, but my brain’s wrapped around that one a little more. (So… if anyone has Hashimoto’s info that they want to point me in the direction of, please feel free to do so.) But the depression. […]

  5. […] Another helpful site for Hashimoto’s can be found here: Hashimoto’s: Your Body Is Not Supposed To Destroy Itself Right?  […]

  6. […] thyroid antibodies to attack our own thyroid gland as if it is the enemy. Check out my post Hashimoto’s: Your Body Is Not Supposed To Destroy Itself Right? Once our immune system begins destroying our own thyroid gland, this attack can then spread to […]

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