If you’ve just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism by your doctor, here’s what you have to do next.
You have to go back to your doctor and demand that he/she run two tests –
- TPO antibodies (thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
- TGB antibodies (thyroglobulin antibodies)
Why should you yell and scream until your doctor orders these two tests?
Because the most common cause of low thyroid in America is a disease called Hashimoto’s. It’s an autoimmune condition that can devastate your entire body –not just your thyroid gland.
Elevated TPO antibodies or elevated TGB antibodies indicate that your immune system is targeting and attacking your thyroid gland. Only ONE of the two antibodies needs to be positive to indicate Hashimoto’s.
Low thyroid symptoms are bad enough:
- hair loss, hair thinning
- sleep problems – feeling you could sleep 8 hours all over again
- dry, flaky skin
- brain fog – feeling like your mental responses are slow
- weight gain -even if you exercise and eat “right”
But, Hashimoto’s can lead to breakdown in the cerebellum, cartilage, nerves, pancreas or stomach.
Most GPs, family practitioners–even endocrinologists–don’t test for Hashimoto’s. The only reason they ever seem to test for it is to shut up an insistent patient.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system targets your thyroid gland and literally eats it up – chews it up. You lose pieces of your thyroid gland and you never get them back.
End results is, you can’t make thyroid hormones and you get low thyroid symptoms like depression, thinning hair, dry skin, constipation, brain fog, infertility, high cholesterol, okay?
If you have just got diagnosed with low thyroid, the next thing your must find out – whether your doctor thinks you should or not – is whether or not you have Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is a whole other ball game.
Sadly, your medical doctor is probably not going be able to help you with the autoimmune process. They really only have one way to work with any thyroid problem: thyroid hormone replacement.
POINT: Almost all Hashimoto’s patients are going to require some replacement at some point because they are losing pieces of their thyroid gland.
Problem is —There’s at least 24 different ways that your thyroid hormones can go wrong. Only one of the 24 responds well to thyroid hormone replacement. That’s why there’s millions of women who still feel lousy even though their lab tests are normal…Even though they’re taking the thyroid medication like they’re supposed to.
They still feel bad because most of them have Hashimoto’s. And the autoimmune part of the problem has been ignored.
I want you to have hope that you can feel better. If you’ve been newly diagnosed hypothyroid, you need take action.
You’ve got to stand up for yourself and demand those tests: TPO Antibodies and TGB Antibodies.
What to do when the TPO antibodies and TGB antibodies test results come back….
If TPO & TGB antibodies are negative, two things:
- 15% of Hashimoto’s patiens are seronegative–meaning they never test positive for the antibodies but have Hashimoto’s anyway. Keep reading below.
- There are 23 other reasons why you could have low thyroid symptoms. Find a doctor to investigate these 23 other causes.
If TPO & TGB antibodies are positive…
You must find a doctor that understands how to approach Hashimoto’s from a functional perspective…someone who understands that there’s even more testing that has to be done.
See, there are triggers for Hashimoto’s…factors that perpetuate Hashimoto’s–keep the fire burning—and we have to investigate and uncover them.
You have to put together the whole jigsaw puzzle and figure out…
- Why your immune system is out of balance.
- What’s fueling the fire in your body?
Hashimoto’s low thyroid reality check…
Once you have an autoimmune condition (like Hashimoto’s), chances are good that you will end up with another autoimmune condition.
Here’s what I mean by that…
Normally you’re not supposed to attack and kill yourself, right? That’s called self-tolerance – when you don’t attack yourself.
I mean, we all make a few antibodies to different tissues. An antibody is like a little strobe light that your immune system makes to tag what it thinks is an invader…or a dead cell that needs to be cleared out…or a cancer cell.
Then your T cells come by – and they see the strobe light and they attack it and kill it.
Well all of us make a little bit of antibodies to various organs and tissues…but we’re not supposed to make a lot of them.
Because when you make a lot of antibodies, then your T cells – your SWAT team – targets your tissue and kills it.
Depending on what tissue is being attacked, you suffer different symptoms .
In Hashimoto’s self-tolerance is broken. It’s like a taboo’s been broken. So now your SWAT team – your immune system – can attack anything it wants.
And it will. Your immune system can now attack your…
- cartilage — causing joint pain that looks like arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis
- ovaries — causing female hormone imbalance, infertility
- pancreas — causing the blood sugar regulation problems, you might even get diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- lining of your stomach — causing inability to absorb B12 that makes you pernicious anemic.
- cerebellum in your brain –causing vertigo, dizziness, nausea, car sickness
If you have Hashimoto’s, you need to realize that you have a problem bigger than your thyroid.
You have an autoimmune condition that needs to be slowed down. This has to be managed correctly or you’ll end up with problems beyond (and worse) than just low thyroid symptoms. And I know those are awful enough by themselves.
…having depression AND no energy because you’re B12 deficient/ Pernicious Anemic
…having fatigue AND peripheral neuropathy because you have autoimmune diabetes.
…having hair loss AND car sickness-vertigo-nausea so severe you can’t take a trip to the grocery store
Horrible to think about–even for a second.
This is why the first thing you must do if you’re newly diagnosed hypothyroid is demand your doctor do those tests –or find somebody else to do them.
If those tests come back negative, there’s about 23 other reasons why you could still have low thyroid symptoms. And you need to find a doctor that understands this fact.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, don’t give up hope.
Don’t get scared into blindly taking thyroid hormones without investigating whether you have Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s can and does lead to other autoimmune conditions that can devastate your quality of life.
© 2011 Dr. David Clark, DC. All Rights Reserved.