Thyroid, Women's Health

What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You

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Hashimotos is an Autoimmune Disease

You could be one of the millions of people who have undiagnosed thyroid disease. An estimated 13 million Americans and 2 million Canadians are walking around unaware they have a thyroid condition. It is 7 – 8 times more common in women! Unfortunately it can take decades to finally get diagnosed.

And if that doesn’t sound dismal enough – once a person gets diagnosed with hypothyroidism they most likely aren’t aware that they could actually have an auto-immune disease called Hashimotos that created the hypothyroidism in the first place!

Up to 90% of hypothyroid patients actually have Hashimotos Disease (also called autoimmune thyroiditis) – that means their body is destroying their thyroid gland.  By the time people get diagnosed often their gland is well destroyed.  Like most people diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I take thyroid hormone – problem solved right? Well not exactly.   By the time you’re hypothyroid your gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone so you have to take thyroid hormone – most likely for the rest of your life.  But taking thyroid hormone is not a cure for Hashimotos and does not change the fact that you have an auto-immune disease.


50 – 60% of Hashimotos patients have antibodies against other tissues – not just thyroid.   The point here is that if you don’t address the autoimmune part of the disease then you may expect other eventual outcomes.

Why am I so interested in Hashimotos?  I suspect I have Hashimotos and am currently awaiting the results of my anti-body test.  I’m discovering that interpreting the test results can prove complicated!

While finding out I have Hashimotos may answer some questions like why I feel better when I don’t eat gluten –  gluten intolerance is common in Hashimotos patients.  Eating gluten can trigger a further autoimmune response in a vicious cycle that can last up to 6 months after eating gluten.  So my low-gluten diet strategy that I’ve been undertaking for quite a while isn’t going to work!  In fact this weekend I indulged in some luscious bread and very quickly looked like I was 6 months pregnant!  2 days later I am still feeling the uncomfortable effects.  It’s looking more and more like a 100% gluten-free diet is in my future.

In the meantime check out this video by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, who is an expert in this field and has written the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms”.