The Secret Poison That Drives Hashimoto’s

The secret poison that drives Hashimoto's

Hashimoto’s. It’s the number one cause of hypothyroidism, yet few of my Hypothyroid Mom readers have heard of it. Hashimoto’s. It’s more than a thyroid condition. It’s an autoimmune condition, yet thyroid medication is often the only treatment offered. Hashimoto’s. It’s a sadly common health condition that can come with all sorts of symptoms that doctors may mistakenly attribute to mental health issues. Hashimoto’s. It’s not all in your head. If you aren’t feeling well, it’s because thyroid hormone replacement medication doesn’t address the autoimmune component. Hashimoto’s. It’s possible to determine the root cause. It’s possible to reduce thyroid antibodies. It’s possible to feel well.

Written by Suzy Cohen, RPh

Imagine looking into the mirror, but instead of seeing your sweet self, you see a creepy robber and then start punching yourself, and it hurts. That’s autoimmune disease — your immune system perceives its own tissue as an invader, then seeks to destroy it, little by little. With Hashimoto’s, the thyroid is affected. With rheumatoid arthritis, it’s the joints. With MS, it’s the brain and spinal cord nerves and so on.

We all have some degree of autoimmune disease

It’s a scary thought isn’t it that you could have autoimmune dysfunction even though you may not have been diagnosed with a disorder yet. If you take my article to your physician today, they’ll tell you autoimmune disease is “rare” and here I’m saying I think all of us have some degree. I’m not crazy. We all have some degree of autoimmune disease whether or not we know it and I say that becuase we are constantly inhaling, eating or exposed to something that is NON-SELF. We may have pathogens inside us, we may have been exposed to some type of mold or yeast, or environmental pollutant or pesticide. We ingest probiotics from cow species and our babies drink milk from soybeans sometimes (both non-human, non-self). Do you see my point yet?

We sometimes have compromise to our immune system or allergies to dust, pets or dander, spices, medications or flowers, seeds, fruits and on and on. The list goes on, all these things are NON-SELF. If our immune system does what it’s supposed to do, it sees things that are NON-SELF and it tags it with a special immunoglobulin. My point is not to convince you of this, but instead to show you that we are all encountering things that are non human, things that could easily trigger autoimmunity and we don’t even know it. It’s only “rare” because our old-school tests can’t detect it until 90 percent of the tissue or organ is completely destroyed. 

That’s how stupid our health care system is. Lab testing for many autoimmune disorders are so backwards that until the symptoms are out of control and you’re in terrible pain or finally starting to become disfigured (like knuckles in Rheumatoid for example), the tests don’t come back positive. Most of your tissue has to be destroyed or the autoimmune diagnosis is not given.

Take Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease for example. These are both autoimmune diseases where your T cells (immune system) destroy your own thyroid gland. Symptoms swing in both directions of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism whether or not you have Graves’ or Hashi’s. At times you could have symptoms of both:

High levels of thyroid: You are nervous, hyperactive, anxious, you may have a rapid pulse, heart beat irregularities, diarrhea, feeling waves of warmth, you may sweat and have other symptoms where things feel speeded up. Remember, thyroid is a gas pedal in the body, it makes everything go (excessive amounts will cause diarrhea).

Low levels of thyroid: There are dozens of symptoms, basically everything is slow, you may have slowed thinking, slurred speech, brain fog, trouble word finding, chronic fatigue, weight gain, constipation (slow transit time in the gut), you may feel cold, metabolism slows so you put on weight (or you can’t get it off).

What’s the cure? 
But people don’t get cured when they take the “standard of practice” medications such as thyroid hormone drugs, or even after they undergo painful surgery and radiation treatments. This should cure you right? Wrong. Months to years later you go on to develop another autoimmune disease that targets another organ. When you have one autoimmune disease, you almost always have two or three or four. Most people have “multiple tissue antibodies” but they wouldn’t know it. So why aren’t people cured and why don’t they feel better when their TSH and other thyroid labs look good… and they go through all the gold standard treatments? 

The answer is almost common sense if you think about it. Let’s stick with thyroid illness, even though you can apply this to any other condition like psoriasis, MS, Lupus or Rheumatoid, etc.

Hashimoto’s disease

For my example on thyroid autoimmunity, it’s because NONE of the thyroid replacement meds block the assault caused by your T cells. They just replace absent thyroid hormone. The T cells (your immune system) are still going full force and trying to kill tissues in your body. If you had a thyroidectomy, they go and try to kill other tissues in your body. You’re still hosting a bad party. You gotta get the thugs OUT!

There’s a full-body cytokine storm of pro-inflammatory compounds and free radicals that are contributing to symptoms (even though your hormone levels are okay). Hashimoto’s will cause your immune system to eat away at your thyroid gland until it’s basically dead. That’s the shocking truth that physicians don’t usually tell you, they just hand you a prescription for thyroid hormone replacement medication and take the “wait and see” attitude.

While they’re waiting and seeing, and testing your TPO antibodies periodically, your thyroid hormone levels will swing high, then low, causing you to get misdiagnosed with a variety of emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, insomnia or panic attacks. When thyroid hormone is low, you will be fatigued, sad and cold. When thyroid hormone swings high you will feel anxious, irritable or experience rapid heartbeat and panic attacks. You might even get simultaneously diagnosed with Graves’ disease. Most often the thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s – Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies – are not tested and the person has no idea they have Hashimoto’s and they are suffering. Even when the correct diagnosis of Hashimoto’s is made, there are treatment failures galore with thyroid medication.

Conventional doctors will say there’s no cure for Hashimoto’s or any autoimmune disorder and the best you should hope for is to put it into remission. I disagree.

Put out the autoimmune fire

Many of you still continue to have symptoms despite thyroid hormone replacement medication. It’s because there is more to Hashimoto’s and that’s the autoimmune fire burning inside you.

I want you to realize that the number one way to help Hashi sufferers is to avoid food antigens as best you can. Something upsets your thyroid gland, and causes the antibodies to rise. You have to determine what that “something” is. For most, it is dairy or gluten but can also be soy and lots of other grains. Here’s why you have multiple diseases going on: gluten is a hole puncher. You get gluten when you eat traditional bread, pasta and pastries, most notably from foods cooked with wheat, barley and rye. It’s everywhere. It’s an additive. Gluten pokes holes in your gut, whether or not you have Celiac disease, no one is special or immune. 

Gluten (as well as dairy) makes your “tight junctions” in your gut come loose, so other undigested proteins leak out of the gut, and into your blood stream. The proteins aren’t supposed to be in your bloodstream, they’re supposed to stay in your tube (your gut). But now, because gluten is a hole puncher, these proteins are all over your body and they’ve lodged in many different organs. 

This is just one mechanism, and I’ve simplified it tremendously.

Your immune system has the job of tagging these foreign proteins which are kind of innocent, they only leaked out because your gut is leaky. By the way, if your gut is leaky, so is your brain. 

These proteins are in organs and your immune system is poised to destroy the tissue wherever they lodge. You can see from this image from my Thyroid Healthy book that there are many additional useful treatments to help with Hashimoto’s, such as selenium, Low Dose Naltrexone (requires prescription), vitamin D, glutamine, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Just a warning about glutamine, too much of that will cause excitotoxicity as it may begin to convert to glutamate so even though it’s great for the gut lining, be careful with it, especially if you are prone to anxiety.

The best treatments for Hashimoto's disease

Vitamin D is important for immunity, everyone knows that. But you may not realize that a deficiency from taking a statin or from poor sun exposure can increase your odds of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or depression), as well as flare ups in Hashimoto’s. There are “Drug Muggers” of nutrients and the deficiencies of these nutrients will cause more symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Drug mugging effect on your thyroid

Hydrogen peroxide is like gasoline on the fire

Hydrogen peroxide is all over your body. Your cells produce hydrogen peroxide naturally every single second as part of cellular metabolism. Your body is supposed to turn that hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, but with Hashimoto’s, that process could be hindered, and then the peroxide builds up.

This build up of hydrogen peroxide may increase the level of TPO antibodies (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies) in your bloodstream. Without enough rust removers like Catalase and Glutathione, the hydrogen peroxide builds up like poison, and it causes your hair and skin to lose vibrancy and youthfulness. It causes peroxidation of your lipids, meaning you get dangerous cholesterol levels and broken cell membranes.

Hashi sufferers often have an enormous amount of “lipid peroxidation” which is a scientific term describing the destruction (or peroxidation) of fatty cell membranes. The hydrogen peroxide that your cells make are like acid to your cell membranes.

Catalase directly breaks down hydrogen peroxide, rendering it harmless, turning it into water and oxygen so it can no longer destroy your cell membranes and mitochondria. We all make the enzyme Catalase in our liver, but our bodies may fail to produce sufficient amounts of the enzyme Catalase to break down the build up of hydrogen peroxide. Bringing down excessive hydrogen peroxide is a key to getting well with Hashimoto’s, yet it receives very little attention.

The enzyme catalase is not the only way to clear the hydrogen peroxide buildup associated with Hashi’s. There was an interesting article published May 2017 in THYROID, The Official Journal of the American Thyroid Association.[1] Researchers evaluated participants with Hashimoto’s. They looked at various biomarkers especially iron (in menstruating women), selenium, and vitamin D status. They found that selenium is essential to thyroid action. And the reason was that the selenium helped form glutathione which … and I’ll quote them, “protect the thyroid by removing excessive hydrogen peroxide.” Their study suggested that some selenium would be helpful, especially in iodine-deficient areas. The researchers recommended about 50-100 mcg per day. They also recommended that clinicians check patients’ iron (particularly in menstruating women) and Vitamin D status to correct any deficiencies.

So now what?

Identify and remove food sensitivities. Gluten and dairy are the big ones for Hashimoto’s but triggering foods may also include sugar, alcohol, soy, caffeine, eggs, corn, gluten-free grains (including buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and amaranth), nightshades (including peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant), beans, and nuts. You can try to eliminate certain major foods known to cause sensitivities for a set number of days (say 30 days) then reintroduce one at a time to see your body’s reaction or test for food sensitivities.

Love your Liver. You naturally make catalase in your liver (and that’s the #1 enzyme that clears hydrogen peroxide) so liver health is important. Minimize liver-damaging substances where possible. As an example, alcohol can harm the liver, so reduce alcohol consumption. Milk Thistle is a natural herb that can revitalize the liver. A note of caution, if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds or daises, you may be sensitive to milk thistle too. Our bodies are all different and we may have sensitivities to supplements too so speak to your doctor always about new supplements and start new supplements one at a time to watch yourself for adverse reactions.

Protect yourself from Acetaminophen liver damage. Acetaminophen (including Tylenol) is one of the leading pain relievers in the world. It’s probably in every medicine cabinet (including mine). Chronic use of acetaminophen, even in regular dosages, taken over a few days, or a few weeks can cause liver damage for some very sensitive individuals, and it’s hard to know in advance who you are. The mere ritual of drinking wine with dinner and then taking acetaminophen-containing pain relievers will silently strain your liver to the point of injury. Many years ago, probably in 2001, I warned my readers to take a certain supplement called N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) if you needed to take acetaminophen routinely, in order to protect your liver and restore glutathione levels. Glutathione is an antioxidant that has anti-cancer activity. I was right about NAC, and today, years later, conventional physicians are starting to recommend NAC too.

Reduce your toxic exposure. Consider buying organic fruits and vegetables to voice herbicides and pesticides. Be careful to select fish with the lowest possible mercury content. Avoid processed and canned foods. Use safe cookware and bakeware free of aluminum. Filter your drinking water from chlorine, fluoride and other harmful chemicals. Use fluoride-free toothpaste. Remove toxins from the air with a high quality air filter. Use toxin-free beauty products, cleaning supplies and personal care products.

Find daily ways to gently detox including infrared sauna sessions, skin brushing, hot yoga, regular exercise, and massage.

Include Selenium. Selenium protects the thyroid by removing excessive hydrogen peroxide. Selenium is found mainly in high-protein foods such as meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, and Brazil nuts. The content of selenium in foods is dependent on the soil concentration of selenium which is very low in some areas. Studies have shown that oral administration of selenium decreases serum TPOAb (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies) and TgAb (Thyroglobulin Antibodies) and postpones the development of hypothyroidism.[2,3,4] Selenium is essential for proper synthesis, activation and metabolism of thyroid hormones. Selenium taken preventively should be taken at 100 mcg once daily. If your levels are low, however, I recommend shooting for 200 mcg total daily from a high quality supplement like this one. Read the labels of your supplements including multivitamin for selenium to ensure you don’t exceed the daily dose of 800mcg/daily as this level can be toxic.

Ensure your doctor checks your iron (particularly in menstruating women) and Vitamin D status. Studies show that low vitamin D status is associated with Hashimoto’s and that Vitamin D supplementation reduces thyroid peroxidase antibody levels.[5,6] Iron and Vitamin D should be tested regularly to determine the ideal dose of supplementation because excessive supplementation of iron and Vitamin D can be toxic.

Get a second or third opinion because each physician has a different toolbox for treating Hashimoto’s.

Get your thyroid tested properly. I recommend thyroid lab testing include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb), and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb).

Get a copy of your own test results. Check that your results are optimal using this chart from my Thyroid Healthy book. If your doctor says, “Your thyroid is normal.” Don’t settle for that. Get a copy and make sure all the right tests have been run and that your levels are “optimal” not just “normal”. There is a big difference.

Thyroid Lab Tests & Optimal Ranges

Ask for a trial course of thyroid medication even if your thyroid lab test results appear normal or high. Remember, as your antibodies are killing off the thyroid gland over time, your body dumps some of the thyroid hormone into your serum, so this means your labs will cause you to show higher T4 or T3 on the test. Your thyroid hormone levels will swing high, then low, and back again which may result in misdiagnosis based on thyroid lab test results. If your doctor immediately attributes your symptoms to emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, insomnia or panic attacks, seek a second or their medical opinion to find a physician well versed in the treatment of Hashimoto’s.

Uncover chronic infections. Infections are often an overlooked trigger for Hashimoto’s. Common infections associated with Hashimoto’s to check include H. pylori, Yersinia enterocolitica, Epstein-Barr Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, and Borrelia Burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease).

About Suzy Cohen, RPh

Registered pharmacist Suzy Cohen has been a health writer for over 15 years. Her syndicated column, Dear Pharmacist, reaches millions of readers each week and you may have also seen her blogs on The Huffington Post. She has spoken on programs such as Good Morning America Health, The Dr. Oz Show, The 700 Club, The View and The Doctors. Suzy created HashiScript, a thyroid support vitamin formula unique for Hashimoto’s disease.

References:

  1. Hu, S. and Rayman, M.P. Multiple Nutritional Factors and the Risk of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Thyroid. 2017 May;27(5):597-610.
  2. Turker, O. et al. Selenium treatment in autoimmune thyroiditis: 9-month follow-up with variable doses. J Endocrinol. 2006 July 1;190:151-156.
  3. Pekar, J. et al. Effect of selenium supplementation in thyroid gland diseases. J Elem. 2017. 22(1):91-103.
  4. Mazokopakis, E.E., et al. Effects of 12 months treatment with L-selenomethionine on serum anti-TPO Levels in Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroid 2007 Jul;17(7):609-12.
  5. Kim, D. Low vitamin D status is associated with hypothyroid Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hormones (Athens). 2016 Jul;15(3):385-393.
  6. Chaudhary, S. et al. Vitamin D supplementation reduces thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease: An open-labeled randomized controlled trial. Indian J Endronine Metab. 2016 May-Jun;20(3):391-8.

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Comments

  1. Holly McClain says

    I would love to start taking your supplement. Ive been Hashi since age 22 and have yet to find the right physican. I must argue with my current md until he gives in but i have the burden of providing my own reseach.
    Your supplement looks wonderful but at a WHOPPING 60.00 per month i just simply can not afford that. Any suggestions or recommendations on another supplement that is just as wonderful as yours in a 30.00 per month price range would be greatly appreciated.

  2. neldys Shekleton says

    So what I’ve always wondered. Can your thyroid grow back ? If it’s been attacked for years and years.

  3. Lee Alderman says

    I test positive for Epstein Barr, but I can’t seem to find anyone who specializes in treating it. Would like to do that to see if it will improve my Hasimotos and other autoimmune illnesses. Any suggestions for finding a specialist would be helpful! Love all your articles and have learned a lot from them.

    • Victoria says

      Hello Lee, I am no expert, but I would suggest reading the Medical Medium by Anthony Williams. He is on instagram as well and his methods have cured many people with Epstein Barr.

  4. if so.. all about complication.. no cure for hypothyriodism

  5. Just wanted to say thank you for your very informative and easy to read blog. I have been hypothyroid since birth , I have learned more from blogs and sites like thyroid UK than from any doctor ( no surprise it seems).
    My son has recently been diagnosed with auto immune hypothyroidism ( he also has Down’s syndrome) and was previously tested for coeliac disease with a negative result after biopsy. His blood test showed very high coeliac risk though. Puzzling!! I have since learned how gluten intolerance/ sensetivity can be linked with other auto immune conditions. I will be trying to reduce gluten in his diet. The mould issue is very interesting/worrying too. Something else to look into. The list continues to grow. But thank you again for sharing the knowledge.

  6. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos this spring. My thyroid is enlarged and my antibodies tested in the 1300s level! I’m very confused still on what I can and can’t eat. I also have PCOS so am not supposed to eat sugar, starches, or carbs, but with Hashimotos am not supposed to eat dairy, etc. It’s near impossible to find food that works for me unless I decide to eat kale or fish the rest of my life! Any suggestions with restaurants, etc. where I can find a meal appropriate for hashimotos and PCOS?

    Thank you!

    • There are some great recipes on the autoimmunewellness.com site. Their AIP elimination diet works well. Persevere

  7. So what CAN someone diagnosed w/Hashimotos eat?

  8. I really appreciate your info. I moved 3 years ago and we have big mold problems in our house in winter. My thyroid has worsen since then and I started suspecting the mold as I am constantly coughing in winter. Unfortunately to get rid of it will be extremely diffcult. The house is on a north slope, with little sun, almost no insulation and poor ventilation.

  9. What can you do when your thyroid was removed. You still have many and more health issues.??? What is the best solution to my thyroid problems.

    • Michael Swanson says

      Though it’s been awhile (1 year) since your post….perhaps..,yah never know. Anyhow, I had my glands removed at childhood. Empathy. Check out Dr Troy Spurill Center for Synapse in Eagan, MN. Amazing clinic. OR…look into Dr Jill Carnahan Flatiron Functional Medicine. God bless all 😉

  10. Stephanie Joiner Peaster says

    I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism and received a letter in the mail after my last lab work . They called a year ago and said oh yea and your diabetic and we called meds in ( metformin which makes me deathly ill) but I asked my Dr. not 6 months ago was my thyroid ok because I’m in a group of former Army soldiers who was exposed to Agent Orange, Agent Blue, Agent White, dioxins, thallium, depleted uranium ,ionized radiation, mustard gas, nerve gas, blister agents, sarin gas, vx agents, and on top of all of that asbestos, lead paint and Monsanto had a plant right off base and was pumping pcbs into the water supply for the whole city of Anniston Al. & Ft. McClellan. We bathed in it , drank the water , ate food cooked with it. It’s in the dirt we wallowed in mud in. It’s in the bark of the trees. 60 minutes did a show called the most toxic place on the planet about it. He knew in 1960 fish lived 4 minutes. His workers were developing chloracne, he blackballed his own researchers and discredited their report and quadrupled the amount he pumped into the water. He paid the city $700 million not so many years back. To exclude vets. The VA & DoD refuse to even acknowledge any of us we’ve found out word of mouth mostly on social media. The chemical Corp was there that made a lot of these things and tested them. The Military Police , Fema trained there and reg basic training and trust me when I say 8 weeks of exposure is enough to kill you. They closed the base in 1999 as a superfund clean up site. It’s still toxic. I almost died a month after leaving there , started as bronchitis and turned to pneumonia . I was 18 and healthy , they called my parents and told them I probably wouldn’t survive. I did but continued to get pneumonia all the time. I had basic in 1980 there. My oldest daughter born in 83 weighed 5lb11oz they just took a large cyst from her breast they said had been there since birth it was so huge. Benign , thank God. She also just had to have a hysterectomy at 36. She had polycystic ovary system too and lost a child in utero at 4 1/2 months pregnant. One day it was alive the next it had died . Failure to thrive , tilted uterus thank goodness she had twins of each sex before that pregnancy because there would be no more. I had my second child at 38 when my youngest was a month old due to 9 large cyst on the outside of my uterus one the size of a grapefruit and had to have an emergency c-section due to my amniotic fluid drying up. After my hysterectomy I almost died due to a pus pocket forming on top of my bladder had three emergency surgeries and a stint put into my kidneys for 4 months as they shut down due to scar tissue in my ureter ?? , there’s 18 yrs between my daughters . Both have constant respiratory issues and my youngest weighed 4lbs and 10oz. Both have adhd ,the oldest the worst ,they have mild dyslexia but are 4.0 students. The youngest just graduated high school.. I’m 58. I have been called a hypochondriac since my early 20s because I honestly have not felt good since then. But at 46 I overnight and I was 125 lbs and healthy I thought except for the fact my teeth had suddenly started getting loose and no cavities , no fillings or gum disease just fell out of my mouth , then some cracked eating baby carrots . My dentist the Miss Louisiana dentist said he’d never seen anything like it my roots had simply started dissolving away. After this again overnight I started really hurting in my upper arms, shoulders, legs and I had fibromyalgia , then cane panic attacks after my husband accepted a police chief position in Murfreesboro , Tn we moved from Ga. Tay was 5 then. Within 4-5 months of moving I had gained up to a size 22 in clothes from a 3-5 and was 287 lbs . I’ve never been big in my life . 187 for both babies , way too much but lost both times all of it within weeks. My feet were killing me I cd barely walk I assumed because of my weight , planters fasciitis , spurs on my heels my shoulder . I bent to pick my poodle up over the dog gate and he was heavy and I fell over the edge of it , not to the floor not even hard . I broke 5 ribs in multiple places ,osteoporosis , had been a dog groomer and had carpal tunnel in both hands and had surgery . The first checkup my neurosurgeon asked me about a little fatty cyst above my right collarbone how long had I had it ? I said a few years I guess I just thought it was a cyst . Nope classic sign of a spinal cord injury . Did a mri c 3&5 are pushing 4 into my spinal column . C4 breathe no more so don’t do anything til you have no other choice as you have no vertebrae between to fuse so you’ll have to turn your whole body to look left or right or be paralyzed from the neck down or cd die . I began having panic attacks . My then husband insisted they put me on anti depressants which I cd not tolerate well they wd put me on one while weaning me off one and it had me crazy . I cd no longer sleep. Seroquel to put me to sleep because I was up sleepwalking or awake two hours after going to sleep . He no longer had his trophy wife and when I brought our daughter to see my parents that next summer he called the day after I got here and said I don’t think I want you to come back , next day I think I want a divorce , he hung up and didn’t speak to either of us for almost 2 years nor help financially and I had a 500$ car note a just turned 6 yr old our insurance would not work here so we were basically homeless . They put her on Lachip and me on Medicaid . I quit all my meds previous to that cold turkey because they were over 900$ a month . I went back to work but panic attacks and hands wd no longer allow me to be efficient at the shop where you had 10 dogs a day quota. In 2009 my left leg was going numb in places on my thigh . I felt like someone was blowing through my shirt making hot spots on my skin with their breath except these really burned enough to make me jump. On my right side . Then I was told I had left bundle branch blockage in my heart the normal blood route closes due to a spike in blood pressure and then forces a new route open so the top and bottom of the left side of my heart beat at a different rate /a-fib. I had developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol and then found lumps in my breast had my first biopsy . Benign . I finally ended up with burning shooting pains in my left leg and my foot wd drag or flop like drop foot walking. I had developed peripheral neuropathy in my left leg. Found a new Dr he started getting my problems tackled as we cd we thought then I started coughing I told him it felt like pleuracy or I had a broken rib I have had so many now. Xrays neither , I said then somethings very wrong . I came home was on the phone pain hit my chest I made it inside fell on the bed in the fetal position arms crossed over my chest rolling back and forth from side to side . I thought forever in reality a few minutes . It stopped just like that . He sent me at noon the next day for a cat scan , I drove myself and at 2 I was in icu with 60 blood clots around 30 in each upper lobe and had a heart attack the night before on my bed. I was 52. Then I started losing my balance , tinnitus , I fell crushed both arms perm loss of use of both . Then my appendix after 3 days of pain I drove to hospital they took it out it was peeling back and then two days later I drove myself home. I also drove home with two crushed arms almost 20 miles then sat 8 hours in the Er before I was seen I’m not a pansy . Btw I lost all the weight I had gained as soon as I got off all the meds my husband had them put me on. My back was however now hurting so two mris later I have degenerative disc, spurs on every vertebrae , two bulging disc in Lumbar region,spinal stenosis , sciatica , and arthritis in my spine & one other thing I can’t remember w an s. I’ve had injections , blocks, and an ablation to no avail . The ablation and block caused big scabs to form in my lower spine and it feels jumped up and deformed now the scabs will fall off then come back I developed blisters in my palms which then moved up my arms legs stomach face. Diabetes type 2 now a cataract a cataract behind the lens of my eye commonly seen in victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , posterior subcapsular cataract I lost sight in my left eye in 5 mo till they cd take it out. Now hypothyroidism / hashimotos disease am autonimmune disease and I’ve begged him to check me for Cushings disease I have a Buffalo hump , moon face , etc but he thinks I’m nuts and said so now I wonder what he will say that I have this after asking him 6 months ago . Meanwhile 650,000 vets some don’t even know yet I just found out 3 yrs ago are fighting to get a bill passed through Congress to just create a registry and let us sign it then notify the soldiers from there test us but they refuse. If you mention Ft Mac to anyone you messed up and they will help you no further. The va did post a tiny paragraph on its site stating we had been exposed to all these things except agent orange they will not admit it I guarded dumps full of leaking 55 gallon drums. Anyway says we were exposed but not in levels to cause any harm and theyvwere taking no responsibility . People we are dying , we all have the exact same things but add all kinds of rare cancers some 3-4 at the same time , gall bladders look healthy but are dead, all of the above mentioned things I have everyone has men , women , children if they are even able to have them after leaving there we need help #Toxicvets I signed up to defend my country not to be a guinea pig for every known toxin to man. Roundup is made by Monsanto so is agent orange roundup on steroids = agent orange with some mutated dioxins added for good measure this man knew he was killing us and did not care neither did the DoD please read up on it my Dr is ready to be rid of me and I cannot even get the VA to give me the healthcare I earned . They killed me at 18. This is your government and what they do to their veterans and active duty servicemen . Be aware of it and trust me I’m very sane , too sane for my own good. I’m also surviving on $771 a month ssi because they refuse to give me disability and they have killed us all.

    • Please, read Medical Medium Mystery Illness or his Liver Rescue book. It will explain how to reverse heavy metals in the body. Once your liver is clean, your health can be restored. You can heal!

    • Francisca says

      I have read your story as if it was a book. Very sad book. The government is a pure evil. They treat us as livestock. They say they take care of us, but this is the kind of care a farmer gives to his cows or hens. As long as they are productive he will try to maintain their life (but not quality of life – this is beyond his worries). When they fall too ill then a farmer sacrifice them. We need to make all “hens” conscious of what they really are so they can rebel against. Unless it is too late and humans divide into two species: healthy governors and factory broilers completely dependent on tons of drugs to survive.

  11. Beth L Sweeney says

    I am struggling trying to find a doctor that looks at all the things listed above. Does anyone have any advice where to begin finding doctors that live in the same state. I am willing to go out of state if necessary…..feeling discouraged.

  12. Good blog Dana ! I’m sorry you have the thyroid problem. I had a friend who had it years ago. I gave her massages and she started a raw plant based diet . Cut out the sugar , wheat , breads , pasta and junk. Oh and ALOT of prayer too !Less than a year later she was heaied! It hasn’t come back! 😁

  13. Anonymous says

    I’m not sure how many people this comment will reach/help, but I want to share my experience with something that is not discussed as often in regards to Hashimoto’s: mold.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2016. I have never been “healthy”, but things got really bad after living in several apartments with mold problems. At 26 years old, I had to quit my job. I was having headaches and light sensitivity that made it difficult for me to even be in a room with lights, not to mention a slew of other symptoms that I won’t get into in this comment. I spent most of 2016 in bed. In 2017, large patches on the left side of my body suddenly went either partially or completely numb. I had been forgetting how to spell very basic words. I had a lot of doctors, and none of them had a clue what was causing all my debilitating symptoms.

    At some point, I noticed that I was having worse symptoms after eating certain foods, but couldn’t figure out what they had in common. For a long time, corn was the main suspect. Eventually, I figured out that I was reacting to everything made or processed with citric acid. Commercial citric acid is made from Aspergillus Niger (a type of mold). While the mold itself is filtered out, It’s my understanding that the mycoxins cannot be, as they are too small.

    Citric acid is often not labeled, and it used for EVERYTHING – to refine/cold extract many oils, to make many dairy products, as a labeled (and unlabeled!) preservative in foods, in vitamins (such as calcium citrate), as electrolytes added to bottled water (sodium citrate)… even sea salt can contain anti-caking agents that are made or processed with the stuff. Many foods are processed with it (pectin, for example). It can also hide in other unusual places – I had to stop drinking Puerh tea last year after a nasty reaction. Some research into production verified that Aspergillus Niger is used to ferment the leaves.

    After moving, removing trigger foods from my diet, and buying 2 very nice hepa filters that run almost 24/7, I have been doing much better. Within days of getting the air filter, a lot of the feeling returned to my nerves. Some of the more stubborn areas took much longer – the places that went numb first took almost a year for the feeling to return, and they still go partially numb for a bit during flares.

    I hope someone can benefit from this information. I know this is a very long post. If it helps even one person, it will have been worth it to me. I am a fan of this website, and I hope that by sharing here, I can increase our colllective knowledge of Hashimoto’s (and autoimmunity in general).

    Dana, thanks for your blog 🙂

    And to whoever is still reading this, thanks for your time! I wish you the best.

    • Anonymous says

      I forgot to explain how this story relates to my thyroid sepcifically. Consuming a trigger food causes my thyroid to swell up A LOT. After I was diagnosed, I was amazed that I wasn’t diagnosed sooner. My thyroid was huge! I can’t take medication. I have tried several times. It always causes problems with my heart :/ so it’s definitely not medication that has brought down the swelling.

      I posted this story here because I often wonder if mold exposure is something that causes the hydrogen peroxide to build up. The body uses glutathione to remove mycotoxins, so excessive expsoure supposedly can deplete it. I also found a really interesting article that mentioned mold’s ability to “turn off” expression for the gene(s) that code for glutathione production. My personal experience is that taking milk thistle helps a lot with my symptoms. I personally don’t notice much difference with capsules; tea and extracts make an enormous difference.

      Again, hope this helps someone!

      • I just added NAC to my supplements and found this site doing further research. The past 7 months I have just felt off; stubborn weight gain, trouble sleeping, nearly constant post-nasal drip, and frequent sinus infections. I work in a portable at a school as a teacher’s aide. Yea, mold exposure. I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with mold infection in my sinuses. At the same time I had new blood work for my thyroid and a number of other issues. Everything was weirdly off. Some numbers higher, some lower. I was given an anti-fungal and silver nose spray. I can already tell the difference.

        Yes, I fully believe the mold infection effected so many things. If you google mold exposure in portables in schools it’s a nationwide problem that is often swept under the rug – costs too much to address. It’s pretty scary and dangerous.

        Best of luck to your continuing fight to get well.

      • Amazing story. You are a warrior! Mold is everywhere even in brand new houses, the construction is junk these days and water gets in. We’re a nation affected by mold and poisonous food. The paleo diet is best, organic plant based even better. Stress is another thing harming us all. Get better and better, much respect to you.

    • Dana, thank you! I finally was diagnosed with hashimoto 1 month ago. I’ve been sick for over a decade. On anti depressants, levothyroxine, and still feeling horrible. Guilty, crabby, sleepy, miserable you must know. I’ve been reading everything to try and help myself. Thank you for the mold info.

    • I really appreciate your info. I moved 3 years ago and we have big mold problems in our house in winter. My thyroid has worsen since then and I started suspecting the mold as I am constantly coughing in winter. Unfortunately to get rid of it will be extremely diffcult. The house is on a north slope, with little sun, almost no insulation and poor ventilation.

  14. Hello , I was 14 when I was diagnosed because I was accused of eating to much fast food . You can not drive at 14 I ate everything the rest of the family was served but it slowly climbed up and so did the weight till I was on the highest synthroid . I then decided to ask my doctor about cytomel along with a gluten free diet . I have not lost much weight but I have dropped my prescription to 200mcg to 112 with taking catalase and small dose of cytomel twice a day . I had my d looked at I take 1 a week and b-12 and b-6 to help with iron levels . Thank you this article sparked hope ! I’m now 46 and happy !

  15. D. Thompson says

    I just read your article on Hashimoto’s Disease, where certain Pure Encapsulations products were recommended.
    Do you have a brand you recommend for Chromium and for Catalayse? I would like to add those two to my protocol.
    Great article, and I will be sharing it with my Doctor at my next visit. Thanks for sharing the information with all of us!

  16. Tara,
    I’ve been told for years to get tested for food allergies. I see that our bodies are failing (genetics) causing the food allergies, not the allergies causing our bodies to fail. But, once the cycle is broken, we chase the food allergie symptoms and vitamin deficiencies to get some relief.

    I say this because my disease has continued to advanced that by now (16 years post-diagnoses) my food allergies are numerous (soy, egg, dairy, barley, rye, wheat, beef, pork, and tomatoes), my body is failing more, and my family recently found our about a rare genetic cancer that’s plagued generations of our family. The science finally got there!

    I am Hashi, chasing the food allergies and supplements for relief, but now I am developing chron’s. My family had a history of gallbladder issues, but now we know we are carriers of this rare genetic colon cancer too. The science isn’t there yet, but who’s to say that deviants of are genes are not the cause for failing guts and immune systems that in the end lead to food allergies?

  17. Oh my I just read this article and it scares me to death. I was diagnosed in January 2018 with Cushng’s Disease. In March 2018 I had a very large tumor removed from my pituitary gland. A couple of weeks after surgery my doctor told me I had hypothyroidism and started me on Levothyroxine, Vitamin D and Iron supplements. He never even described what hypothyroidism is to me. I have suffered with depression and anxiety/panic attacks for many years. After having this surgery the depression and anxiety continued. I asked the Endo. Doc. and his words to me were. You have psychological issues and need to see a psychiatrist. The last time I saw my Endo. Doc was in September 2018 and he does not have me rescheduled to see him again until March 2019. I have been seeing a therapist and psychiatrist eight months now and have tried many meds. He says it appears that I am medicine resistant (meaning no meds work). He wants me to have a procedure done in his office called TMS to see if it will help. I cry every day and have for years. My joints ache all over and I am supposed to be starting PT in February. I say all this to say that my Endo. Doc was highly recommended to me in B’ham, Alabama. Because I have health anxiety your article has me questioning whether I need to see someone else for another opinion. I am all alone and have no support from extended family. I would have absolutely no idea of who else to go to see for a second or third opinion. I am so frightened that I may not be getting the correct attention or medications.

    • What is your diet like? Are you a wheat eater? I gave up all grains and sugar (processed) and have never felt better in my entire life. The aches and pains, fog all disappeared. Praying for you!

    • The book “Stop the Thyroid Madness” by Janie Bowthorpe is a good place to start. She also has a facebook page and you can sign up for her newsletter on her website. That’s where I started many years ago. The Thyroid Pharmacist, Isabella Wentz, also wrote a book because she has thyroid disease and passes on her great knowledge in her books as well. Knowledge is power. Good luck!

  18. Crisi Hadley says

    I have Hashimotos and was diagnosed years ago…I never feel well. My left lobe is enlarged and hardened somewhat which I knew I had a nodule but it has grown. My last TSH was 25.7 and I felt like I was dying. I have chronic cystitis and read that can be caused from thyroid as well. Anyway I get an ultrasound soon and bloodwork done again soon. I still feel horrible. That was about 3 weeks ago on my labs.
    P

  19. An “endocrinologist” didn’t test for antibodies, nor find my Hashimoto’s. A D.O. integrative physician did. An endocrinologist ignored my ongoing symptoms by testing only my TSH. The only thing that has improved my condition is strict adherence to a gluten/grain free diet, Armour Thyroid or Nature-throid, Low Dose Naltrexone and exercise. Don’t be fooled by modern medicine. They know nothing if they don’t listen to their patients when they continue to have symptoms. I am a person who demanded to be tested for a thyroid condition due to ongoing female issues that my then gynecologist just “masked” by prescribing every type of BCP on the market. After the blood work came back as hypothyroid, that doctor said “We don’t say this all the time, but you were right.” Don’t put your health and well-being into someone else’s hands completely if you know you still do not feel well. Look elsewhere! And I agree that food has everything to do with causing/curing disease.

  20. Cate, what do you think? I need help. Some days I feel fine, some days I don’t. I have Hashimoto, I want to feel normal again. I’m a 51 year old woman. When I get cold, it hurts my entire body. I have the swollen thyroids, they look like goiters on my neck. I don’t drink alcohol or milk & I don’t eat soy or salt, don’t eat grains or rice. I keep losing weight. Help

  21. Tara, I have gotten all of my thyroid #’s into the optimal range by making dietary changes (especially eliminating gluten and dairy and maintaining a low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory diet) and correcting nutritional deficiencies. Thankfully there are people like Dana helping us take control of our health. Even many mainstream doctors now understand and see in the research that there are dietary links to autoimmune diseases.

  22. Julie mckain says

    There is a dietary link to everything .

  23. I have Hashimotos and other than my thyroid meds I control it with diet. When I break my diet I feel horrible. I have also been told this by doctors and nurses and other hashi patients.

  24. Tara,
    There are always dietary links to our health issues. Don’t be misled by people or professionals who would lead you otherwise.

  25. i was diagnosed with cancer and 24 hours later changed to Hashimotos. I opted to have thyroid removed which i now know was probably a mistake. i take 125 mcg synthroid. I was advised by my holistic practitioner to reques trying Armour thyroid. She feels it is less harmful to my body. Do you have an opinion on that!

  26. I have hyper nodules on my thyroid. Had an ablation a year ago. Still there but not as active. Currently taking 75mg Synthroid. I have broken out in AWFUL hives for over a month now that NO antihistamine will touch. I think it could be an issue with my TGP / TPO. Now kicker is I take Xolair for Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. I usually can “control” the hives with a strong antihistamine but nothing aside from steroids is touching it this time. I absolutely cannot continue to take steroids. Does anyone have any advice? I am not sure if testing my TGP/TPO levels will be accurate because of the Xolair injections.

    • I don’t know how you are doing but my sister had chronic hives and she also at that time tested hypothyroid. She found out her B12 and D were both really low and started taking a ton. Maybe she had some B12 injections at first, I forget. But she brought her B12 and D levels up a lot, and she also took a ton of zyrtec and other allergy drugs. And she avoided trigger foods and advil. Gradually over 2 years, the hives quieted down and they never came back. And guess what – when the hives were gone, they rechecked her thyroid and it was normal and still is.

  27. Denise Cormier says

    Go to a corrective chiropractor. Get spine in aline and correct the nervous system so blood can flow and heal. Body meant to heal it self. Juice for a few months. Only organic. Clean out the blood. Life is in the blood. Go all organic.

  28. Genita Gray says

    Hi, This article is amazing! Hashimoto Disease is so frustrating. Some doctors seem to understand the disease, but they never adjust or change your medication. Lab is drawn and you’re told everything is fine, but I never feel good. Or you feel good, but they decrease your medication, & you crash. Reading this felt like winning the lottery… you understand us!!!!!!!

  29. Izabella Wentz and Suzy both mention testing for viruses or chronic infections that can trigger Hashimoto’s, like Epstein-Barr Virus. An article on what to do if you have an active virus and suggested treatments would be helpful. My doctor (functional medicine MD) says there isn’t treatment for EBV. It’s hard to find information on what to do once you find you do have an active virus.

  30. My last bloodwork panel for THYROID PEROXIDASE ANTIBODIES was 226 is that the same thing as hydrogen peroxide? I was also tested for Epstein Barr Viral and it came back >750 and EBV Nuclear @ 112. Just wondering if the Catalase may help?

  31. I am actually in the middle of h202 therapy for autoimmune disorders which hashis is one of them…. do you know anything about this?

  32. Thank you for speaking up about your conditions and what options are available outside your standard doctor visits and blood work. I have battled with hashimotos and always tired and all the other symptoms associated.
    Frequent heavy menstruating doesn’t help w low levels of iron, vit d depression etc will look into what you have mentioned

  33. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I too, have had health problems I could never put my finger on even though I’m a Registered Nurse. Every time I would get my thyroid checked, the results would be slightly off and I was symptomatic. I’m 52 and in full blown menopause. The experience of sweating profusely while shivering from the cold is surreal. If you’ve had this experience, you know what I’m talking about! I started taking illumodine and a product called NCD2 made by Waiora labs. Both of these items are available from the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia, AZ, from a doctor named Gabriel Cousens, MD. I URGE YOU TO CHECK THEM OUT AND WATCH HIS VIDEOS ON FLUORIDE, Bromide, and chloride AND HEAVY METALS. Unfortunately, I could never get the underlying problem resolved…until now. I also take magnesium which has helped greatly with muscle aches and constipation. I’m not trying to sell anything or promote anyone in particular by mentioning names here. I am just an RN who suffered and could get no help from allopathic medicine. Thank you for your article and your persistence in addressing so many problems associated with the thyroid and how we are being poisoned with chemicals, sold bandages as healthcare, and told its all in our heads!

  34. I have Hypothyroid, MCS, IC, POTS, 6.3 cm tumors on my liver, tumors all over my body, SIBO, Gastroparesis, and need a rectum implant, my immune system has crashed, fibromyalgia, CFS, my allergy level is double because of the sensitivity especially to foods, bone spurs down my back and neck, etc. stupid doctors want me to believe I’m crazy! This is because the government has let stepping on food and water and environment that has caused a epidemic of auto immune diseases. I am going to die! We do not need their pharmaceutical drugs for them to make money. We need to clean up our food and environment! We need to speak out to government officials and media. Next time you get anxious get on the phone and blow it up! # METOSICK This is my new signature make it yours! I am 56 and my grandma’s generation did not have these kind of illnesses. Keep in mind they did not eat and drink out of plastic black redo. Save the next generation! 🤗

    • Mrs Linda J Reynolds says

      How true is all you’ve said. Behind you 100%. The food and pharmaceutical industry are out to kill us all.

    • C Guarino says

      I can relate to your health conditions.I have Hashimotos SIBO etc…I have gone to a Naturopath and found quite a bit of relief.Diet not easy but it would help.

  35. Corinne Larimore says

    I have EXTREME cold sweats most of the day and while I sleep. I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism but feel I’m way under medicated. I’m either freezing cold along with cold sweat or extremely hot and can switch from one to the other for no reason. The cold sweats lately last hours and I have to have a fan on me even though I’m cold as I’m sweating so bad. This goes on for hours and hours until again, for no reason, it will stop. I will have a brief reprieve of feeling sort of normal, temperature wise, but will then start feeling hot. I have to turn on the fan and soon I’m cold again and usually break into yet another hours long cold sweats. I’m on only 5 mg of Synthroid and about ready to lose my mind. Are my sweats related to my thyroid as I’ve always had a problem with breaking into a sweat but I’m 71 now so I would hope I’m still not going through the menopause. I feel I need either more medication or more testing as the cold sweats lately have become unbearable.

    • Hi Corinne,
      I can relate to everything you are saying. I have a lot of things going on with me as well. I have a feeling you probably cannot take either heat extremes or cold extremes? I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s, Hashimoto and Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. I would suggest taking your temperature at various times of the day and keep track for several days. See if your average core body temperature is under a normal 98.6 degrees. I average about 97.2 I came across this researching Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. Low base body temperature affects all kinds of things going on in our body. It is quite amazing! I recently started seeing a wonderful fundamental medicine doctor and drive 2.5 hours each way to see him every other Monday, so you know I must like him or I wouldn’t drive so far! But he has opened my eyes, plus I am a very inquisitive person and read up on a lot of medical information. But I would start by simple temperature checking. If you find you have low body temperature go to Wilsons temperature syndrome website. Dr. Denis Wilson out of Florida and read up on this and see if you can relate. If you have the Hashimoto, it really affects our thyroid to show high and sometimes low which probably is throwing your medication off? I know that is what I found. Lots of trial and error that we know our bodies more than regular doctors do. I also just did a genetic testing through my doctor and discovered I had a gene mutation, actually two mutations that just add to my autoimmune issues. It is called MTHFR mutation and my genes are 677 c/t and 1298 a/c. I am 50 years old and have felt like I was going through menopause since I was in my 20’s didn’t get diagnosed with lupus till 2012 and that was after I just kept going to doctor to doctor pushing to be heard. Mainly because of fatigue and migraines. I sincerely wish you answers and relief, its a miserable way to live isn’t it?

      Kindly,
      Ann

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