Hypothyroidism is often referred to as “low thyroid” and generally indicates that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. Standard blood tests can indicate if there is an adequate amount of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) being produced by the pituitary gland and if this results in a normal amount of T3 and T4 hormones from the thyroid gland.
- Weight gain
- Feeling cold
- Mental sluggishness or “brain fog”
- Loss of libido
Hyperthyroidism generally indicates that too much thyroid hormone is being produced by the thyroid gland. This can occur due to a variety of reasons and the autoimmune type of hyperthyroidism, Grave’s disease, should be ruled out with the appropriate blood work.
- Weight loss
- Feeling “hyped up”
- Feeling too warm or hot
- Rapid heartbeat
Hashimoto’s was the first autoimmune condition discovered over 100 years ago. Yet, few doctors have been trained to diagnose it, let alone successfully manage its symptoms.
This type of thyroid condition happens when the immune system targets the gland and destroys its tissues over a period of time. While the thyroid is under attack, it releases more thyroid hormone into the body. This can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism as noted above. When the attack abates, this leaves less thyroid gland for production of its hormones. Less than normal thyroid hormone in the body causes symptoms of hypothyroidism.
When someone has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, they may experience the symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. These symptoms are dependent on the stage of the disease and whether or not the gland is being attacked or not. For some, the symptoms can be very mild and almost nonexistent. Others may suffer a lifetime of symptoms.
- Families will often have multiple members, both male and female, who have Hashimoto’s. There is a genetic link in over 96% of cases.
- Those with Hashimoto’s are twice as likely to develop a cognitive condition such as Alzheimer’s.
- Anxiety and depression are often experienced with Hashimoto’s.
So what can be done to manage the symptoms of Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s, with its basis in the autoimmune system gone awry and not in the thyroid gland itself, often does require thyroid hormone replacement medication if enough of the thyroid has been destroyed.
Three things need to be done:
- The “triggers” which set off the immune system to start attacking the thyroid need to be identified and tamped down.
- The thyroid gland needs supportive care.
- Absorption and conversion of the thyroid hormone, T3, needs to be maximized.
- What are the most common triggers that can cause the immune system to attack the thyroid?
Answer: Food and chemical sensitivities are often found with Hashimoto’s patients. Just going off gluten is usually not sufficient as most people have multiple food allergies.
- Why do my blood tests come back in the normal range yet I have many thyroid symptoms?
Answer: The reason this happens is the “normal” range is not accurate in many cases. More specific testing is often required to confirm a thyroid diagnosis.
- Why do I still experience symptoms when I am taking thyroid hormone replacement medication?
Answer: You may actually have enough thyroid hormone circulating in the blood but the cells are not able to absorb it. Blood tests may also reflect that the level is adequate. It’s like having a car with a full tank of gas with a broken fuel line … the gauge says everything is fine but the car won’t run.
About Dr Frank Lanzisera
Dr. Frank Lanzisera has practiced in Tampa Bay for over 30 years and is the co-author of “Wheat Gluten” and “What’s Wrong With My Thyroid?” which he wrote with his wife, Dr. Lisa Lanzisera.
Ready To Get Started? Tampa: Call (813) 253-2333;
Dr. Frank Lanzisera, DC will consult with you about the details of your case and perform a thorough physical examination with neurological testing and metabolic assessment. Dr. Lanzisera will review your examination findings with you, inform you if he will accept your case and, if he feels he can help you, give you his best treatment recommendations.
In some cases, you may also consult with nurse practitoner, Lauren DeNeve, APRN.
Dr. Lanzisera applies natural methods to help those with chronic thyroid conditions, working in conjunction with your primary care medical doctor and endocrinologist specialist. When applicable he employs present day natural methods as an adjunct to help improve your condition.
Call or email us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lanzisera today.