Faces of Hashimoto’s
People who have just been informed that they have Hashimoto's often don't know what their symptoms mean! 90-97 percent of hypothyroidism cases are caused by Hashimoto's, an autoimmune attack on the thyroid, and Hashimoto's has a unique set of symptoms compared to hypothyroidism which is not caused by an autoimmune disorder.
Hashimoto's symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient. Nobody has the same set of symptoms, and some people have milder versions, while others can be completely incapacitated. People with uncontrolled Hashimoto's can work an 80-hour week, run a household, become elite bodybuilders, and/or run marathons, while others can barely get out of bed in the morning.
The thyroid gland is an important endocrine organ that regulates our metabolism by producing hormones. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, there may be an excess or lack of thyroid hormone production, resulting in hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is caused by a thyroid gland that works too hard to make and sends out too many thyroid hormones. Hyper-functioning is the leading cause. (Overactive) Immune system attack includes thyroid nodules (Graves disease is an example of an autoimmune condition that exhibits these symptoms), an infection caused by a virus, or the ingestion of foods or medications that contain high concentrations of iodine may cause goiter.
Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is caused by inadequate production of thyroid hormone and has numerous potential causes. (Iodine deficiency, thyroid removal/damage, and other thyroid-related conditions).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- Weight loss
- Eye bulging
- Infrequent menstrual periods
- Heat intolerance
- Increased appetite
- Hair loss
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Frequent bowel movements
- Soft nails
- Warm, moist palms
- Finger tremors
- Muscle weakness
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Slower metabolism leading to weight gain
- Feeling cold or cold intolerance
- Dry skin
- Loss of ambition
- Dry, coarse hair
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- A loss of the outer third eyebrow
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Muscle aches
- Puffy face
- Slow heartbeat
- Brittle nails
People with thyroid disorders may have any combination of these symptoms, but their severity varies. One person with hypothyroidism may gain weight despite eating healthy and exercising regularly, while another may maintain a normal weight with minimal effort. Furthermore, a person's symptoms can change, disappear, and reappear over time.
While Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system damages the thyroid, resulting in a lack of thyroid hormone production. Hashimoto causes most cases of hypothyroidism. Even though Hashimoto's is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, it is not the same thing as hypothyroidism. One or the other can exist in a person.
Taking thyroid hormones can usually treat pure hypothyroidism. However, given that 97 percent of cases of hypothyroidism are caused by advanced Hashimoto's, people will still have Hashimoto's, and the autoimmune attack will remain, even when proper levels of thyroid hormone are restored with medications unless we find and treat the root cause of the autoimmune attack. This is the case even when proper levels of thyroid hormone are restored with medications.
As thyroid cells die, stored hormones are released into circulation, causing a toxic level of thyroid hormone in the body. This is referred to as thyrotoxicosis or Hashitoxicosis. With continued damage to the thyroid gland, the body may be unable to produce enough hormones to replenish those that have been stored. This is when hypothyroidism manifests itself.
This explains why we see both symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in people who have Hashimoto's disease, in addition to a few symptoms that are typical of Hashimoto's — especially those related to gastrointestinal distress, such as irritable bowel syndrome. ( IBS ) reflux, acid ( GERD ), constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. It also explains why the symptoms, which are varied and frequently changing, can differ so much from person to person.
The symptoms of Hashimoto's are similar to those of hyper- and hypothyroidism, but they also frequently include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Brain fog
- Cold hands and feet
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Food sensitivities
Insufficient thyroid hormone may have caused some of these symptoms. Others may have been a result of associated problems (intestinal infections). Many people with Hashimoto's have these symptoms. That's why it's important to figure out the root causes of YOUR Hashimoto's so you can take the first steps toward healing!
The vast majority of medical professionals believe that autoimmune conditions, once manifested, cannot be cured because they are thought to be caused by specific genes.
According to one piece of research, the presence of an autoimmune condition is contingent upon the confluence of the following three factors:
- A genetic predisposition
- An external trigger
- Leaky gut, another name for intestinal permeability is a condition in which the lining of the intestinal tract develops "holes," which makes it possible for toxins and food particles to pass through and further deteriorate our gut health.
The list of potential triggers is long, the ones we see the most often are:
- Food sensitivities
- Nutrient depletions
- Impaired stress response
- Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections
- Leaky gut
This condition has many different faces; each person will require an individualized approach to discover the root cause. Observing your body and identifying food sensitivities, addressing nutrient depletions, removing toxins, supporting adrenal health, testing for infections, and healing a leaky gut are the most common areas that people with Hashimoto's must address on their path to healing.
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