Understanding Hashimoto’s as an Autoimmune Disease

Today’s article, titled “Understanding Hashimoto’s as an Autoimmune Disease,” aims to shed light on the misconception that Hashimoto’s is primarily a thyroid problem. While the thyroid is involved, addressing the root cause of autoimmunity is crucial for better health. In this video by Martin Rutherford, he explains the connection between autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s, emphasizing the importance of treating the immune system first. It’s surprising that despite being discussed for over 20 years, the medical profession has yet to fully acknowledge Hashimoto’s as an autoimmune disease. Understanding this distinction is vital as it changes the approach to treatment and offers hope for those suffering from Hashimoto’s.

Understanding Hashimoto’s as an Autoimmune Disease

Understanding Hashimotos as an Autoimmune Disease


Hashimoto’s disease is commonly misunderstood as a thyroid problem, when in fact, it is primarily an autoimmune disease. While the thyroid does play a role in Hashimoto’s, addressing the autoimmune component is crucial for effectively managing the condition. In this article, we will explore the role of autoimmunity in Hashimoto’s, the key components of the disease, its relationship with other autoimmune conditions, and the lack of awareness in the medical community. We will also discuss the importance of treating autoimmune diseases and the specific considerations for treating Hashimoto’s as an autoimmune disease.

The Misconception of Hashimoto’s as a Thyroid Problem

Often, Hashimoto’s is mistakenly regarded as a thyroid issue. While the thyroid is affected by the disease, it is important to recognize that the primary problem lies in your immune system rather than the thyroid itself. This misconception can lead to ineffective treatment approaches and prolonged suffering for individuals with Hashimoto’s. It is crucial to understand that the thyroid is secondary to the autoimmune dysfunction underlying the disease.

The Role of Autoimmunity in Hashimoto’s

Autoimmunity is the driving force behind Hashimoto’s disease. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakenly identifies the body’s own tissues, in this case, the thyroid, as foreign invaders and attacks them. In Hashimoto’s, the immune system targets the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and damage. Understanding this underlying immune response is key to managing Hashimoto’s effectively.

The Key Components of Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s is characterized by several key components. Firstly, it involves an autoimmune response, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. Secondly, there is inflammation in the thyroid, leading to its dysfunction. Additionally, Hashimoto’s often presents with symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weight gain, and cold intolerance. Lastly, elevated levels of thyroid antibodies, such as TPO and Tg antibodies, can be detected in Hashimoto’s patients.

Understanding Hashimotos as an Autoimmune Disease

Hashimoto’s and Other Autoimmune Diseases

Hashimoto’s is just one of many autoimmune diseases that can affect various parts of the body. Conditions like lupus, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis fall under the umbrella of autoimmune diseases. Despite the connections between these conditions, the medical community has been slow to recognize and address the common underlying factor of autoimmunity. This lack of awareness can result in delayed or ineffective treatment approaches.

The Lack of Awareness in the Medical Community

Despite Hashimoto’s being identified and discussed for over two decades now, there is still a concerning lack of awareness about the disease in the medical community. Many healthcare providers continue to focus solely on the thyroid aspect of the disease, neglecting to address the autoimmune component. This hinders patients from receiving the comprehensive treatment they require to manage their condition effectively.

Understanding Hashimotos as an Autoimmune Disease

The Importance of Treating Autoimmune Diseases

Treating autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s goes beyond managing symptoms. It involves addressing the underlying immune dysfunction to achieve long-term relief and prevent further damage to the affected tissues. By targeting the immune system and reducing autoimmune activity, the progression of the disease can be slowed or even halted, improving the overall health and well-being of individuals with Hashimoto’s.

Treating Hashimoto’s as an Autoimmune Disease

To effectively manage Hashimoto’s, it is crucial to treat it as an autoimmune disease rather than solely focusing on the thyroid. This can involve various approaches, including lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, stress management techniques, and the use of targeted autoimmune protocols. By addressing the immune system dysfunction, it is possible to reduce inflammation, manage symptoms, and potentially restore thyroid function.

Differentiating Between Hypothyroidism and Autoimmune Hypothyroidism

It is essential to differentiate between general hypothyroidism and autoimmune hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimoto’s. While hypothyroidism can result from various causes, including thyroid dysfunction, Hashimoto’s involves an autoimmune attack on the thyroid. Understanding this crucial distinction can help guide treatment decisions, ensuring that the underlying autoimmune component receives appropriate attention.

The Challenges of Finding the Right Treatment for Autoimmune Thyroid Patients

Finding the right treatment approach for autoimmune thyroid patients can be challenging. Each individual’s response to treatment may differ, and it often requires a personalized approach to achieve optimal results. Factors such as the severity of autoimmunity, thyroid hormone levels, and overall health and lifestyle considerations need to be taken into account to determine the most effective treatment options.


In conclusion, understanding Hashimoto’s disease as an autoimmune condition rather than merely a thyroid problem is crucial for effective management. By recognizing the role of autoimmunity, addressing the key components of the disease, and differentiating it from general hypothyroidism, individuals with Hashimoto’s can receive appropriate treatment and improve their quality of life. It is essential for the medical community to raise awareness about the autoimmune nature of Hashimoto’s and adopt comprehensive approaches to better support patients with this condition.

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