Autoimmune Hypothyroidism: Hashimoto’s
written by Dr. Kevin Conners
There are six main reasons why a person suffers with low thyroid; one that is most common. Depending on what research one reads 70-95% of hypothyroid in the United States is Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Hypothyroid. Most are undiagnosed and improperly treated. The most common test is an antibody test. Hashimoto’s is a disease where one’s immune system is inadvertently attacking the thyroid gland, destroying the tissue and decreasing hormone output.
Typically, a person has symptoms that may instigate an investigation and blood work. The TSH is found to be high and the T3 and T4 (hormones produced by the thyroid) are low and the patient is given a diagnosis of hypothyroid and placed on a synthetic substitute. If you have a doctor who questions a bit deeper, an antibody test is ordered and if positive, Hashimoto’s is the cause.
But remember from lesson one – there exists two main parts of the immune response – a Th1 and Th2 (don’t confuse these letters with thyroid hormones). The Th1 response is the immediate, killer cell, police force portion of the immune system and has the mission to kill all living foreign invaders like virus and bacteria. The Th2 response kicks in if the Th1 ‘killers’ couldn’t do the job for whatever reason, and makes antibodies to ‘tag’ the bacteria so the Th1 ‘killers’ can find them and destroy them. Remember, the immune system does only one thing – it KILLS things!
When a person’s immune system ‘turns on’ to something that is lodged in the tissues (like the thyroid gland) that cannot be killed (like heavy metal toxicity), we have a problem! This is what is called an autoimmune response – the immune system is firing against an antigen that cannot or will not die. When this happens, an enormous amount of collateral damage takes place – i.e. tissue destruction.
In summary for lesson two: The most common cause of hypothyroid is Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune attack against the thyroid. Substituting a hormone like Synthroid does nothing for the cause, which is a hyper-immune attack on the gland. In later lessons we will discover the ONLY way to find any relief in treating the disease and in the next lesson we’ll learn why most people who have gone as far as getting an antibody test have/will show a false negative!
Read all about this and similar information on Dr. Conners website and even download a FREE COPY of his book at www.upperroomwellness.com.
Read Part 1 of Dr. Conners’ series here.
Bio: Doctor of Chiropractic, Northwestern Health Sciences University; Fellowship in Health Research Outcomes, National Institutes of Health; currently studying for Diplomate Status in Neurology, Carrick Institute; Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine; Fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapy; and Master Degree through South Florida School of Medicine; over 100 hours postgraduate study in Autism Spectrum Disorders; practicing Applied Kinesiologist; Full bio here
Tags: antibody test, Autoimmune hypothyroidism, autoimmune response, cause of hypothyroidism, Dr. Kevin Conners, functional medicine, Hashimotos, hypothyroid, immune system, inflammatory response, Th1, Th2, Upper Room Wellness