Hashimoto's in the United States is by far the biggest cause of hypothyroidism. So what is it? From Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology regarding hypothyroid patients, "The thyroid glands of most of these patients first have autoimmune "thyroiditis," which means thyroid inflammation. This causes progressive deterioration and finally fibrosis of the gland, with resultant diminished or absent secretion of thyroid hormone."
As an auto-immune disease, basically the body will make antibodies or immune cells that will attack the thyroid. If this process continues too long, eventually the damage can become irreversible. It is key to find a physician that can help you find the cause of the autoimmune process, or as we typically call it, the trigger. Thyroid medications will not fix the autoimmune process that is attacking the organ. This is something not common in the medical care system, they rarely help find the cause of the autoimmune disease rather just try and medicate or treat the symptoms.
Here are some lab markers used to diagnose Hashi's:
- TPO or Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies: diagnoses the Hashimoto's - most often found, these antibodies are basically against an enzyme in your thyroid.
- TG or Thyroglobulin antibodies: diagnoses the Hashimoto's - attacks a protein in the thyroid gland.
If your TPO is over 35, that is considered 'not normal'.
Disclaimer: The FDA says only a drug can treat a disease.