Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hidden Cause #8 Why You STILL Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Dr. David Clark, DC -Durham, NC-explains why anti-thyroglobulin antibodies are a hidden cause why you STILL have low thyroid symptoms.

Hidden Cause #8 why you still have low thyroid systems is kind of a cheat.  You’ve probably heard me talk about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis before.  And this hidden cause is related to that. 

Hidden Cause #8 is antithyroglobulin antibodies—you’ve got Hashimoto’s and it’s attacking your thyroglobulin inside your thyroid gland. 

Why are anti-thyroglobulin antibodies a hidden cause of low thyroid symptoms? 

Well, it really shouldn’t be “hidden” because Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, bar none.  It’s not iodine deficiency.  It’s not tyrosine deficiency.  It’s an autoimmune condition.  Genes have been turned on that are causing your immune system to target and attack the inside of your thyroid gland. 

What is Thyroglobulin? 

Thyroglobulin is inside your thyroid gland. You use to make thyroid hormones–T4 and T3.  If your immune system is attacking and destroying thyroglobulin, then your ability to make thyroid hormones over time decreases. 

Evenutally you suffer low thyroid symptoms such as:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • inability to lose weight
  • gaining weight on low calorie diet, or even though  you exercise like crazy
  • dry hair, dry skin
  • infertility
  • high cholesterol.

Because you just can’t make thyroid hormones very well without enough thyroglobulin, you’ll start to develop those low thyroid symptoms at some point. 

On lab testing, your  TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels may go up…. and your doctor may identify the elevated TSH ….and may diagnose you as hypothyroid.  He/she will probably start you on Synthroid® or Armour® or something similar. 

Here’s a problem, though….

If you’ve got Hashimoto’s—and you’ve got the thyroglobulin antibodies—but the doctor doesn’t test for them….then you’re probably not going to feel very different, even if you’re taking the medication.

The replacement hormones don’t do much for the autoimmune attack on thyroglobulin.

This is a hidden cause because most doctors just don’t look for it. 

Why don’t doctors test for anti-thyroglobulin antibodies? 

Because, frankly, they wouldn’t treat you any differently if they found out you had it.  This is the difference between the traditional medical approach and a more functional approach. 

The standard, in-the-box medical approach says it doesn’t matter that you have an autoimmune condition…. It’s good enough to give you thyroid hormones and hope you feel better.

That doesn’t mean your doctor’s trying to make you feel bad. It’s just the limitation of their training. They don’t know that there ARE other things you can do for it.

What should you be doing about Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies? 

If you’ve been diagnosed hypothyroid – I don’t care how long you’ve been diagnosed – and you’ve never had a thyroglobulin antibody test or a TPO antibody test, you need to get those done.

If you’ve got Hashimoto’s you’ve got to jump into action right now. Here’s why….

You must understand that once you’ve got one autoimmune condition (like Hashimoto’s) it’s really easy to get
another autoimmune condition. It’s easy to start attacking more tissues, causing more problems, causing more symptoms.

The other important thing you have to understand about thyroglobulin antibodies is the connection to Mercury toxicity.

A great study recently showed that having only high Anti- Thyroglobulin antibodies–not TPO
antibodies– is associated with high mercury levels.

Hidden Cause #8 is hidden because most doctors don’t look for it.

It’s not hidden to you anymore because now you know it’s something that could be causing all these low thyroid symptoms that you still have…

…Even though you may be taking medication.

…Even though your other lab tests look normal.

Most doctors typically don’t run a full thyroid panel, which includes Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, because in
their mind they don’t need to because they really only have one tool to offer you: replacement hormones like
Synthroid® or Armour®.

But if you have Hashimoto’s, the replacement hormones aren’t very helpful in the long run.

Sure, you can enjoy a “hormone honeymoon” where you feel good for a few weeks or few months. Over
time, your dosage keeps changing but you still feel bad.

I just wish that doctors would check for these things. I wish more doctors knew that there was something you can do for Hashimoto’s on top of giving thyroid hormones:

  • Changing diet  
  • Make sure the GI tract is healthy–not leaky
  • Decreasing inflammation and cytokine levels
  • Improving Brain function

You have to be an advocate for yourself.

You have some powerful information now, so go find someone to get you tested.

And find someone who’ll know what to do if you show up abnormal. Okay?

That’s the second half of the battle; finding someone that knows what to do with Hashimoto’s.

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© 2012 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The contents of this site are for educational purposes only. Nothing here should be construed as medical advice. Nothing here is a substitute for actual medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional.

Hidden Cause #7 Why You STILL Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Dr. David Clark, DC – Durham, NC – explains why Hashimoto’s is an overlooked and ignored cause of chronic low thyroid symptoms in women whose labs may look “normal.”

Hidden cause #7 why you still have low thyroid symptoms even though your lab tests are normal–and even though you’re taking medication—is…

You have Hashimoto’s and your immune system is attacking thyroid peroxidase. 

Now, I’m sort of cheating on this one because Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of
hypothyroidism.  So, maybe it’s really not “hidden” per se but it could be hidden to your doctor. 

I have found that lot of the women that I see in my office, they’ve never been tested for Hashimoto’s.  They’ve probably had Hashimoto’s undetected for 15, 20 years and its been sabotaging their life,–ruining their life–making them feel crummy.  And they’ve never been tested for it.  And that’s why I’m calling it “hidden.”

What is TPO?

TPO stands for thyroid peroxidase.  It’s an enzyme inside your thyroid gland that you use to make thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. 

So, let me give you the thyroid story, the background science….

Your pituitary gland sends a signal to your thyroid gland called TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone.  And I’m sure you’ve had this tested before.  The TSH then tells the thyroid gland to make T4 and T3.  About 97% of what your thyroid gland makes is T4–T4 is inactive.  It doesn’t do anything.  It’s got to be converted by your body into T3.  Thyroid peroxidase is what you must have in order to make T4.  

In Hashimoto’s your immune system is mistakenly attacking and killing your thyroid peroxidase.  Over time, if you kill enough of the thyroid peroxidase, it slows down your thyroid gland–like a factory with no workers. 

Slowly, your levels of T4 drop lower… and lower…. and lower….

And you start to feel bad and have low thyroid symptoms. 

Just to note—you can feel bad anytime during that slow decrease, not just at the end.

TPO Antibodies are a hidden cause because a lot of doctors don’t check for it.

They just think:

“You’re hypothyroid. Your TSH is high.  Your T4 is low.  I’ll just give you some Synthroid® or Armour®.  And I’ll see you back in six months.  Hope you do okay. “

The problem with the approach is: you might have Hashimoto’s…and it might have been detected if the doctor had actually ran the TPO antibody test.

In Hashimoto’s, taking thyroid hormones doesn’t do much for this autoimmune attack.

There can be a “hormone honeymoon” where you feel pretty good for a couple weeks or a month.  (I’ve seen this a thousand times.

But over time, you have to increase your dosage to feel good (or just NOT bad). 

Or even at the same dosage, after awhile you just don’t feel good.  You still have these low thyroid

  • depression
  • constipation
  • dry hair
  • hair loss
  • fatigue
  • brain fog
  • high cholesterol
  • can’t get enough sleep
  • infertility. 

You STILL have these awful symptoms even though you’re taking medication.

Hidden cause #7 is when you’re attacking TPO. 

Now,  what can be for Hashimoto’s? 

First, let’s ask this question: Why would this happen?

For a couple of reasons. 

Hashimoto’s is a genetic condition that can be turned on at a couple of different times in a woman’s life…primarily:

  • perimenopause
  • pregnancy
  • puberty. 

Other factors can trigger (turn on) Hashimoto’s….

….If you have a bad illness. 

….If you have a car wreck. 

….If you go through a stressful divorce or
some other psychological stressor. 

Those are all things that can turn these genes on and—pow!—now you’ve got Hashimoto’s. 

The reason this is hidden—and I’m going to stress this for the fourth time—is because doctors don’t look for Hashimoto’s. 

Because for them, from the medical approach, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got Hashimoto’s because all they’re going to do is give you the same hormones.  They’re not going to do anything specific for that autoimmune problem. 

Ignoring Hashimoto’s can be dangerous.

Having Hashimoto’s–an autoimmune problem– predisposes you to developing another autoimmune condition.
Another attack on more and different tissues.

Having one autoimmune condition makes it easier for you to developing an attack on, for example, your pancreas or your stomach.  Expanding autoimmune attacks can cause of web of symptoms that really
make your life terrible–as if having low thyroid symptoms wasn’t bad enough. 

So, what should you do? 

    1. If you’ve got any type of low thyroid symptoms or you’ve already been diagnosed hypothyroid and you’re still not feeling good, you need to get tested to see if you’ve got Hashimoto’s.  
    2. And then you need to find someone who knows what to do about Hashimoto’s.  

Find someone who understands the “functional approach” to autoimmunity—who understands what autoimmunity means…what are all the factors make it worse…what makes it better. What foods, herbs etc should you avoid like the plague.  What you should  take.

There are a lot of things that you can do to help you feel better–Even while you’re taking medication.

Hidden cause #7.  It’s anti-TPO antibodies. 

You’ve got Hashimoto’s.  And it’s hidden because most doctors don’t look for it. 

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© 2012 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The contents of this site are for educational purposes only. Nothing here should be construed as medical advice. Nothing here is a substitute for actual medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional.