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Topic today is Hashimoto’s versus hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s has a lot of different names to it. One of them is Hashimoto’s hypothyroid disease, and so pure hypothyroidism, I’m not even sure if it actually exists because I never see it. The people who come in here have Hashimoto’s. They’ve already been to their doctor. The doctor has told them that they have hypothyroid, but they have all these symptoms. They’re taking the medication. It’s not working because the doctor hasn’t checked to see if they have Hashimoto’s, which is technically primarily an autoimmune problem first and a thyroid problem second. If you actually have a pure hypothyroid, if it exists, then your thyroid is slowed down. Question is why. Usually the answer is because person’s got Hashimoto’s, but if you actually had a pure hypothyroid problem, you would take the medication, your TSH would be too high, you take the medication.
TSH would come into range, thyroid-stimulating hormone come in range. You’d feel like a million bucks. You start losing weight, your hair will get better and all that type of stuff. It’s arguable that that may never even be the case. Here’s the deal on Hashimoto’s, okay, there are silent Hashimoto’s. Silent Hashimoto’s means that you’re getting an immune attack on your thyroid, but you don’t even know it. Here’s the thyroid, here’s the immune system. The immune system is hitting the thyroid and the thyroid is like maybe not doing anything at all. Maybe you don’t even have any symptoms whatsoever. This is how a lot of Hashimoto’s starts out, and you can have that for years and you’re not going to know it because you’re not getting any symptoms. You’re not going to go to the doctor, you’re not going to look for it. Nobody’s going to look to find it.
Then there’s something called reactive hypo, hypoglycemia, reactive Hashimoto’s, and this is something that I would say this is 50% or more of what comes in here. Okay, so the person has the attack. The attacks been going on for years. It’s been silent, but all of the sudden, my hair starts falling out. I start putting on weight. I start getting tired. I start getting ankles that are swollen, maybe a little constipation, maybe my skin starts drying out. Some combination of that. Go to the doctor and they test you and everything’s normal. Everything’s normal, but you have all these symptoms so that you get maybe going for another six months. You get tested normal maybe go on for another six months, maybe a year and a half later, there’s enough damage to this thyroid that you actually get a test and they say, “Oh, your TSH is off and we’ll give you this thyroid hormone.”
Basically, they’ll give you the thyroid hormone. Maybe you feel better, maybe for a little while. We call it the hormone honeymoon where you fill up this guy so that you’re making enough thyroid hormone, but then you crash or maybe you don’t feel better, or maybe they give you the thyroid and it blows off your head and you get anxiety and heart palpitations because this is still the problem. Now, you are being diagnosed with a hypothyroid because either they ran antibodies, which are the things that are attacking to see if you have Hashimoto’s and maybe the antibodies were low that day. Maybe they were using a much wider range. We have a lot of people who are at the range we use, the range Mayo Clinic uses. We have a big hospital here in town called Renown, all use zero to nine. There are people are still using zero to 32. People between nine and 32 are being told that they’re normal.
They’re not. They usually have Hashimoto’s, but at this point, because nobody’s ran it or because the numbers say they’re normal, they’re still being told they have hypothyroid. This is the main difference between Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid. I think the Mayo Clinic says that 85 to 95% of hypothyroidism is actually Hashimoto’s. I can’t imagine that there’s 5% that’s not or something I can’t, maybe there is, I don’t know. If there is, I don’t see it. Then finally maybe they run the antibodies and they go, “Oh, you actually have Hashimoto’s.” This is why they call it hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s hypothyroid disease. Eventually, you have all the symptoms and they test you and you have it.
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