According to the Endocrine Society, eight to ninety percent of all cases of hypothyroidism in the United States have an autoimmune mechanism, which leads to the actual low thyroid production. This is commonly referred to as Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid. The immune system is the source of the problem in these cases, which requires certain questions to be asked and answered if successful management is to occur. In this article I will answer one of the most frequently asked questions patients ask in regards to Hashimoto’s and their replacement hormone dosing.
Why does the thyroid replacement hormone continually go up over time?
On the surface, Hashimoto’s is treated purely as a thyroid issue. Indeed the gland is malfunctioning, but unless you look at the source or the cause of the problem then true progress in the management of this disease does not occur. The thyroid gland is not producing adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, but only because the immune system has become dysregulated and is now recognizing the body’s own thyroid gland as a foreign invader.
As time goes on the thyroid gland continually chews up and destroys more and more of the gland, leading to less and less production of hormones. This is the reason that Hashimoto’s patients will commonly have their medication increased over time, reflecting the immune systems increased destruction.
This can be compared to trying to fix a leaky bucket by pouring more water in the top. The real problem is the leak in the bucket, and unless that problem is addressed the bucket will continue to leak despite the efforts to fill it back up. It’s a losing battle and simply replacing the lost thyroid hormone does not address the immune systems attack on the thyroid, the leak in the bucket.
The replacement hormone does help replace what the body is not producing but the battle between the immune system and the thyroid gland, a fight between members of the same team, continues in the background. Hormones have no impact on the immune system so unless the immune system is addressed it is a downhill battle and many patients struggle to find the proper treatment.
If you suffer with hypothyroidism and have never had your antibody levels checked, be sure to ask your doctor to run them. It is a cheap and inexpensive blood test that will determine whether or not the immune system is the culprit in your condition. If your dosage is continually being increased with each doctors visit, ask yourself whether or not everything is being done to manage your condition and give the quality of life you deserve.
Dr. Robert Boydston is a leader in natural Autoimmune Thyroid Treatment. He treats and consults with Hashimoto’s patients from all over the world. You can request his Hashimoto’s Thyroid Recovery Report here.
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