Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. It means that your body’s immune system is attacking your thyroid and causing it to become inflamed. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
Typical symptoms include:
• Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
• Coarse, dry hair
• Dry, rough pale skin
• Hair loss
• Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
• Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
• Memory loss
• Abnormal menstrual cycles
• Decreased libido
There are simple blood tests available to determine if a patient has Hashimoto’s. We run tests for two thyroid antibodies: Antithyroglobulin and Thyroid Peroxidase. If either of these tests is positive a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s must be considered.
The medical approach to treat HT is to prescribe natural or synthetic thyroid hormone. Our approach which is often times complimentary to medication, is to first run other specialized blood tests to determine which parts of the immune system is attacking the thyroid. When we know more about how the abnormal immune function we prescribe nutritional supplementation to tone down the attack on the thyroid and balance the immune system in general.
Unfortunately, hypothyroidism and especially Hashimoto’s is under-diagnosed.