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The Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos - and why your thyroid medication may not be wo

Hypothyroidism is defined as when the thyroid struggles to produce thyroid hormones causing symptoms such as fatigue, sensitivity to the cold, constipation, anxiety and depression, menstrual irregularities, dry skin and unexplained weight gain.

Hashimotos has pretty much the same symptoms, but the difference is that in Hashimotos, the immune system is producing antibodies against thyroid tissue. These antibodies cause inflammation and destruction to the thyroid gland creating a much more serious and chronic thyroid condition, than hypothyroidism.

Hashimotos is an immune system problem whilst hypothyroidism is more of a thyroid gland problem.

The problem is, both conditions are treated the same within the medical profession, that is both conditions are treated with thyroxine, or synthyroid, or levothyroxine, depending on which country you live in, but these are all the same. These medications give the body some T4, which is a hormone the thyroid naturally makes, but for some reason, it can't.

The big message here is...if you are still struggling with thyroid symptoms while taking thyroid medication for your hypothyroidism, then you need to have your thyroid antibodies tested to see if you have Hashimotos. The two most common thyroid antibodies are Thyroperoxidase antibodies, (TPO), and thyroglobulin antibodies (TG). In Hashimotos, both of these antibodies will be elevated, though more commonly TPO is high.

What happens very commonly, is that someone may be suffering with the above symptoms of unexplained weight gain, fatigue, feel cold all the time, moods all over the place, hair falling out, and they go to their GP who might be thinking it could possibly be their thyroid. BUT what is common practice is they only test TSH, (thyroid stimulating hormone), and maybe a T4 and If you are really lucky T3, though this is uncommon. If your TSH is high, above 10 and T4 is low, hypothyroidism will be diagnosed, and medication such as thyroxine, given. And for a few months you might feel better, longer if it truly is just hypothyroidism.

For many, after a few months, their symptoms come back and they go back to their GP who will run the same thyroid tests and may even increase their thyroxine, only for this cycle to continue.

What is happening here is that there is commonly an underlying thyroid autoimmune condition that is not diagnosed due to the standard medical thyroid testing procedure. If, and when you do get your thyroid antibodies tested, and your given a diagnosis of Hashimotos – thyroid autoimmune disease, the treatment is thyroxine, the same as hypothyroidism…but, this will not affect or treat the autoimmune aspect.

Remember that hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland issue and giving thyroxine generally helps. But Hashimotos in an immune system issue when the immune system is making antibodies against the thyroid tissue causing destruction of the gland and inflammation.

Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos are treated the same despite being two different conditions.

In both hypothyroid and Hashimotos, for true healing and remission of the condition to occur, you need to find the reason(s) or causes of why your thyroid is out of balance, but in Hashimotos, you need to find out why your immune system is making antibodies against your thyroid cells and tissue.

There are many reasons for the immune system to start attacking its own body tissue including leaky gut, viruses, infections, yeast over growths, toxicity, heavy metal exposure, and chronic stress being a few.

Working on these causes and supporting your immune system function through diet and lifestyle with the guidance of a practitioner who is experienced in treating thyroid conditions is your best bet in thyroid health recovery.

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