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Autoimmune Hypothyroidism: Stopping the Attack

Post Published: 15 March 2011
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Category: Autoimmune Doctors, Autoimmune Hypothyroidism, Guest Bloggers
This post currently has 9 responses. Leave a comment

Written by Dr. Kevin Conners

In lesson two we discovered that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease where your immune system has ‘turned-on’ against something that either isn’t ‘killable’ (like a toxin that isn’t living) or will not die (like a stubborn infection similar to Lyme disease).  When this happens, your immune system gets ‘stuck’ in a hyper-Th1 or hyper-Th2 response – the two main parts of the immune system.

This hyper-immune response is what destroys self-tissue.  The immune killer cells are like Tasmanian Devils, gobbling up everything in an attempt to kill the antigen (an antigen is the new name given to the toxin the immune system is attempting to kill).  Most Hashimoto’s cases involve a hyper-Th1 response called Th1 dominant.  This constant, ramped-up killer cell attack simply destroys the thyroid over time, making synthetic hormone substitution necessary.  However, as we discussed, if we simply give Synthroid without stopping the attack, we’ve done nothing to correct the immune response (the real cause of the problem).

So if you don’t care about correcting causes, stop reading now.  If you desire to fix the problem, we have more work to do.  There are several parts to my protocol of care with an autoimmune patient.  I might add that it makes NO difference WHAT autoimmune disorder one has, the protocol is the same.  Whether one has Hashimoto’s or Graves (hyper-thyroid), Rheumatoid, MS, ALS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and even many cases of Anxiety and Depression, ALL autoimmune diseases are addressed with the same protocol:

  1. Identify IF the patient is autoimmune.
  2. Identify the specific antigen(s) in this immune dysregulation.
  3. Identify if the patient is Th1 or Th2 dominant
  4. Identify if the Th17 system is also ramped-up
  5. Identify other areas of inflammation (most commonly in the brain)
  6. Identify other down-regulated organ systems
  7. Start immune regulatory procedures to calm the immune attack
  8. Start detoxifying the antigen(s)
  9. Start correcting the imbalances elsewhere

In the next few weeks we’ll break these steps up and explore them in detail…oh my, hopefully they’ll give me a few more ‘guest appearances’ on this blog for me to get through these.  Your positive response tells me and them whether this is well accepted or not.

Read all about this and similar information on Dr. Conners website and even download a FREE COPY of his book at www.upperroomwellness.com.

Good Wishes,

Dr. C

Read Part 1 and Part 2

Dr. Conners’ 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: http://drkevinconners.com/?page_id=1

Contact Info:

Upper Room wellness center
1654 E County Rd E
Vadnais Heights, MN 55110
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9 Responses to “Autoimmune Hypothyroidism: Stopping the Attack”

  1. Kay says:

    Looking forward to more of this article! Especially the identifying stuff.

  2. Ana says:

    Thank you dr. Conners, your blog is greatly appreciated.

  3. Linny says:

    desiccated thyroid? Here’s Wendy’s story with Armour.

    Posted: 08 Mar 2011 09:03 AM PST

    Wendy is one of those gals that tries to adhere to “natural” in regards to her medication choices. She switched over to Armour from Synthroid about three months ago.

    The transition was slightly trying, says Wendy. Her doc didn’t believe her that she shouldn’t be on a low dose for more than a couple weeks without upping it. So she went hypo all over again. (See why here.)

    But after successfully upping the dose, she will now shout that it’s been the BEST thing in every way! She tells folks that being on Synthroid was like having your hand amputated and replaced with a hook, while being on Armour was like have it replaced with a fully functional prosthetic. Her skin is softer, hair is not shedding nearly as much, her mood has changed in a good way, memory has returned, fogginess has faded. She feels closer to her old self than she has in almost give years.

    Now the bad news…

    All this time, she only paid $15 for her Armour at the local Walgreen’s. But as of April 1st, it will be considered a Tier 3 drug under her insurance plan–United Healthcare. Exclaims Wendy in outrage and sadness: “This means that the natural drug I love, that has restored my in so many ways that the synthetic t4 only drugs never could, will now cost 85 bucks! Who can afford that?! ”

    And here’s the awful irony: Synthroid, the worst medication ever thrust upon us in the treatment of hypothyroid, is Tier 2 (i.e. costs less), and generic T4-only is Tier 1 (costs even less). i.e. if you are under this insurance, you have to pay big bucks to feel a thousand times better. She has no clue why this is happening, but warns that it might start to happen across the board for others as well!

    Here’s what happened: most insurance companies classify drugs under Tiers. Tier 1 is generally generics. And since the Acella “generic” brand of desiccated thyroid entered the market last November, her insurance company decided Armour is now a brand name, thus under Tier 3 and now $85 for Wendy. Seems a bit greedy when it could have risen to Tier 2….

    But here is potentially good news for some of you. There is a bill to stop the Tier expense. You can read about it here. Unfortunately, tho, it “will not impact self-funded health plans which cover about half of all employees with health insurance. Federal legislation is needed to change that.”

    Does your health insurance cover your desiccated thyroid?

    ***************************************

    Canadian Pharmacy price updates for Erfa: See the latest prices here.

    How medical journals affect the prescription practice of your doctor: An interesting article on this found here. And here’s an article about how the author of a medical article fails to state his association with the pharmaceutical of the product he is writing about–one more conflict of interest and influence on your doctor!

    Ridiculous! Basing “normal” for Hashimotos patients by the TSH, a pituitary hormone, NOT a thyroid hormone: Read it here and weep.

    Vit. D can help you stay sharp: So many benefits from optimizing your Vit D, and here’s one with your brain.

    Need to talk to others? See all your alternatives here.

    • swannak says:

      Interesting about the armour. When I was first diagnosed in 08 thats what my Dr put me on. I kinda noticed a difference at first but I can’t tell anything. I stopped being able to get the armour. They told me the company was gonna stop making it or something and that I would have to start going to a compound pharmacy. That was waaaay too expensive so I called my dr back and asked what she could do and she referred me to Women’s International Pharmacy online. I didn’t want to do synthetic and they were able to give me desicated pork thyroid but my symptoms are getting worse. Every time I’ve had my levels checked they’ve been normal but something is definitely going on. My hair is falling out even worse, the fatigue and weakness is killing me, dry eyes, I’m hoarse all the time. All the symptoms continue to persist in spite of the medication. I’m glad Wendy is doing well on it. So they ARE still making armour? I was getting it for 15 as well. The compound was like 85 and insurance didn’t even cover it. The pork thyroid I get online is 20.50 but insurance doesn’t cover it either. This thyroid nonsense is ruining my life. LOL

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Dr. C: You have NO IDEA how much I love and appreciate that you’re approach is autoimmune related. I have always felt that treating my thyroid was simply treating the symptom of my autoimmune disease (Graves).

    Finally, thanks to Joanna, I’m seeing an actual Graves’ specialist.

    I knew I wasn’t crazy, well, crazy in the treating the autoimmune disease aspect.

    A million thank yous. Loving this series so much. You are welcome here any time!

    Katie

  5. Merrit says:

    Dr. C. This is a much needed series. I’ve read about the importance of Th1 and Th2 dominance in Dr. Karhazian’s book. I am Hashimoto’s euthyroid. I’m not on any synthetic hormones, but I trend toward almost every hypo symptom and a few hyper symptoms. I’m being treated by a Naturopathic Doctor. I feel we’re headed in a good direction though sometimes I feel there is more to the story that would be helpful in treatment. She is aware that I feel I am Th2 dominant, but I have no way of knowing for certain, but I try to avoid substances that would encourage more Th2 or Th1 dominance without knowing for certain, which one I am. I have 4 autoimmune diseases/disorders and ppossibly others undiagnosed. I believe I fall into the NALP 1 genetic/hereditary trend of multiple autoimmune disorders related to Vitiligo. I hope that you’ll be adding to this series.

  6. swannak says:

    Very interesting stuff. Reading and educating myself is crucial. Please keep the info coming. After being diagnosed by a plastic surgeon to take out my breast implants of 8 yrs did I discover my hypothyroidism. She linked it directly to the biotoxins my body absorbed from the silicone and other chemicals in the shell of the implants. So I wonder if these very chemicals are MY antigens. I also tested positive for mold exposure that I found out is in my parents house where unfortunately I have to live at the moment. Could this also be my problem? Last yr a neurologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and torticollis aka cervical dystonia or wry neck. Everything is getting worse. Seems like everyday I wake with something new in pain. I recently read bad thyroid can be a cause of tennitis which I also have and is getting worse. Does thyroid problems cause EVERYTHING? It seems like it. No Dr has done any extensive testing to figure out what’s going on. The neuro asked a few questions and shoved me out the door with antidepressants and muscle relaxers that after a month made me crazy. I weaned off of those and the medication I’m taking is desicated pork thyroid that is not working. I’ve been taking it for two yrs and symptoms still persist. Thanks to these articles I have new info to take to my family Dr who can hopefully refer me an endocrinologist who I should have seen already.

  7. Linny says:

    For my personal issues, all the junk “GRaves” brought to my body, I tried Holistic. With all my hopes of a better life I did as they recommended.
    I can’t say enough how much this fine tuned all the issues that our “standard” medical approach didn’t cover.
    After “The Dr’s” figure out how to keep us alive, often their job is done.
    So my suggestion is to take all the “issues” and have all these tested. Blood will tell so many things besides the “levels” of TSH! Allergies were BIG for me.
    I did a Cleanse, which was difficult but worth it. I drank, ate, only what was permitted for 45 days. Getting rid of all kinds of toxins. These toxins caused so many of my issues. Starting again with a clean colon was dramatic. And I can so wholeheartly say “we are what we eat”!
    Do study all, I mean ALL that you can.
    Be brave and try to think outside the box.
    I love being on Armour. I realize the time will pass slowly but you will get better if you really work on knowing yourself inside out! Best of Luck to you, Linny

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