Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: The Immune System Connection

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Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism such as fatigue, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, brain fog and difficulty sleeping? Have you been told by your doctor that your blood work is “normal”? You could still have low thyroid function called Hashimoti’s Thyroiditis. Watch as Dr. Hotze explains the connection to your immune system:

Video Highlights:

0:33: Autoimmune thyroiditis is a disease state of the immune system that leads to hypothyroidism. It’s also known as Hashimoto’s Disease.

0:51: In autoimmune thyroiditis, an individual’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. This causes inflammation and glandular damage, which results in a decreased ability to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. Antibodies bind to the thyroid gland and to the circulating thyroid hormones, making them less available to the cells.

1:31: It is extremely common for patients who have autoimmune thyroiditis to otherwise have normal, routine thyroid blood tests.

2:10: In women, autoimmune thyroiditis often occurs during or after pregnancy, leading to post-partum hypothyroidism.

3:22: …allergies and hypothyroidism seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly: one is often accompanied by the other.

3:31: Once I began to research this among my patients, I found that 32% of my female allergy patients had autoimmune thyroiditis, and 18% of my male allergy patients had it as well.

4:20: The addition of desiccated thyroid USP hormone supplementation has meant the difference between a life of repetitive bouts of recurrent sinus infections, bronchitis, asthma caused by allergies, and a life full of energy and vitality.

4:42: Research indicates those with food allergies — particularly those with celiac disease, which is a gluten allergy — frequently suffer from hypothyroidism

5:35: My contention is that the increase in celiac disease corresponds to the rise in the cases of candidiasis, which is an overgrowth of candida, a form of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract.

6:34: Celiac patients also have 10 times a higher chance of developing thyroid nodules and autoimmune thyroid antibodies. That means they have autoimmune thyroiditis. Patients with celiac disease are at high risk of having autoimmune disorders.

Video Transcript:

Do you often experience symptoms of fatigue, unexplained weight gain, brain fog? Have your blood tests come back in the normal range? Well, keep watching to find out if you’ve got a common, but less known, low thyroid condition known as autoimmune thyroiditis. Hello, I’m Dr. Steve Hotze. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook at Hotze Health.

Hashimoto’s

Autoimmune thyroiditis is a disease state of the immune system that leads to hypothyroidism. It’s also known as Hashimoto’s Disease. It was named after Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, a Japanese physician who described this while he was training in Germany in 1912. In autoimmune thyroiditis, an individual’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. This causes inflammation and glandular damage, which results in a decreased ability to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. Antibodies bind to the thyroid gland and to the circulating thyroid hormones, making them less available to the cells.

When doing thyroid studies, most physicians do not routinely perform blood tests to determine if their patients have autoimmune thyroiditis, a disorder which might explain the reason for their hypothyroid symptoms.

It is extremely common for patients who have autoimmune thyroiditis to otherwise have normal, routine thyroid blood tests. The normal, routine thyroid blood tests don’t reveal the presence of autoimmune thyroiditis, which affect the cells’ ability to utilize thyroid hormones. This is one of the reasons that hypothyroidism often remains undiagnosed, and individuals’ blood can and should be tested to determine if they have autoimmune thyroiditis. This can be done by checking two thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase antibodies and antithyroglobulin antibodies.

In women, autoimmune thyroiditis often occurs during or after pregnancy, leading to post-partum hypothyroidism. This condition often goes undiagnosed because routine thyroid tests, as I mentioned, don’t include detection of antibodies to the thyroid gland. When routine thyroid blood tests return within the normal range, then the mother’s symptoms are often attributed to post-partum depression, and of course she’s prescribed antidepressants. Does this sound familiar?

I didn’t learn of this cause of hypothyroidism until I was exposed to this information in 1991 by one of my colleagues, Dr. Richard Mabray, a gynecologist from Victoria, Texas, so I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never heard of it either. As I now know, antidepressants never resolve the problems caused by hypothyroidism. As a matter of fact, they are attended by a host of adverse side effects of their own. As I mentioned earlier, in 1991 Dr. Richard Mabray encouraged me to consider testing all of my patients for autoimmune thyroiditis to check their thyroid antibodies. He explained that allergies and hypothyroidism seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly: one is often accompanied by the other.

Allergies and Hashimoto’s

Once I began to research this among my patients, I found that 32% of my female allergy patients had autoimmune thyroiditis, and 18% of my male allergy patients had it as well. The incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis in my practice was higher than that found in the general population. This led me to pursue the matter further, and in 1996 the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy awarded me the Sam Sanders Award for Clinical Research for my study of the relationship between autoimmune thyroiditis and allergic disorders.

While it was nice to have this research recognized, my real satisfaction came from watching the progress that my patients made, not only by treating their allergies but also in treating their underlying issue of autoimmune thyroiditis. The addition of desiccated thyroid USP hormone supplementation has meant the difference between a life of repetitive bouts of recurrent sinus infections, bronchitis, asthma caused by allergies, and a life full of energy and vitality.

Food Allergies

In my practice, many individuals have mild to severe food allergies. Research indicates those with food allergies — particularly those with celiac disease, which is a gluten allergy — frequently suffer from hypothyroidism. As you may recognize with celiac disease, the intestines react abnormally to gluten, a protein found in the grain products such as wheat, rye, barley, or oats. Well, celiac patients do not absorb nutrients from foods, vitamins, and supplements efficiently.

Today it seems as if we are seeing more gluten sensitivity patients than ever before. What’s going on, and why are these individuals beginning to react to common foods such as wheat or oats more than ever before? Many doctors currently believe that celiac disease has a genetic component. Others theorize that it could be triggered by a virus that makes the body react to gluten as an allergy, which inflames the colon. These are valid possibilities.

Yeast Overgrowth

My contention is that the increase in celiac disease corresponds to the rise in the cases of candidiasis, which is an overgrowth of candida, a form of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation of the bowels can lead to food allergies. When the bowel walls are inflamed, large protein molecules from various foods pass into the blood stream. When this occurs, the immune system reacts and makes antibodies to the food protein. A gluten sensitivity is simply a food allergy to grain proteins.

Celiac Disease and the Thyroid

We will discuss the treatment and elimination of yeast in a later session, but it’s important to mention the impact that celiac disease can have on the rest of your body, specifically your thyroid gland. The candida antibodies not only cause inflammation when gluten is ingested, but they can also attack and damage your thyroid gland. A study of 90 patients with celiac disease found that about 14% of this group of individuals were hypothyroid.  Celiac patients also have 10 times a higher chance of developing thyroid nodules and autoimmune thyroid antibodies. That means they have autoimmune thyroiditis.

Patients with celiac disease are at high risk of having autoimmune disorders. Specific digestive diseases also correlate with autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease. The Celiac and thyroid connection is supported in research reviews and lends support to the fact that persons with hypothyroidism are also susceptible to an array of immune system disorders.

We Can Help

I’m Dr. Steve Hotze. To get answers to your health questions, take our symptom checker quiz, and then call one of our new guest consultants at 281-698-8698 for a complimentary discovery call to learn how we can coach you onto a path of health and wellness, naturally.

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