Can Hashimoto’s Be Reversed? It Depends on These Factors

Can Hashimoto’s Be Reversed? It Depends on These Factors

Fact: Hashimoto's is the number 1 cause of hypothyroidism in the United States (and in many developed nations).

You would think that because it's so common that there must be a large range of treatments for this condition, right?

You would think so but that isn't the case.  

In fact, there is really only 1 treatment that doctors can provide:

Levothyroxine (or other thyroid medication). 

the conventional treatment for hashimotos is medication

And doctors only give out this medication when your thyroid function falls to a certain level. 

Patients with Hashimoto's are told to "sit and wait" until this occurs. 

But what if there were other options available? What if there were things that you could do to help prevent the progression of your disease?

Would you use those treatments or therapies?

If you are like most patients with Hashimoto's then you would at least consider them. 

After all, considering natural treatments is far better than doing nothing at all while your own immune system permanently destroys your thyroid gland

If you were to ask a doctor if these other therapies worked you would get mixed signals. 

Some might say that they are somewhat effective while others would say that they have no impact on your disease at all. 

The truth is that many patients with Hashimoto's have been through the same set of symptoms that you have and they are doing something about it. 

Some of these patients are even able to put their Hashimoto's into remission

Let's talk more about the idea of curing Hashimoto's.

Today you will learn:

  • Whether or not it's possible to cure Hashimoto's
  • The difference between putting Hashimoto's into remission and curing Hashimoto's
  • Why your conventional doctor will not recommend natural treatments that can actually help you feel better
  • A list of natural treatments that have worked for other patients with Hashimoto's
  • Why there aren't any good medical treatments for Hashimoto's aside from levothyroxine
  • And much more

Let's jump in...

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Hashimoto's and Thyroid Dysfunction

If you're newly diagnosed with Hashimoto's then we need to talk about some basics of thyroid disease and thyroid dysfunction. 

Even though this information may seem elementary, it's actually really important. 

If you understand the basic underlying physiology of what is happening in your body if you have Hashimoto's, then you will understand why there really are things that you can do to help fix the issue. 

For starters, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is considered an autoimmune disease of your thyroid gland

What does that mean?

It means that your own body is creating antibodies that are attacking your own thyroid gland. 

This process is what leads to all of the problems associated with Hashimoto's. 

As your own immune system slowly attacks and destroys your thyroid gland you will develop low thyroid or hypothyroidism. 

This exact process can occur in other areas of your body and when it does it results in the following diseases: 

And so on. 

In the case of Hashimoto's, if this process is not slowed down or halted then it will ultimately lead to permanent destruction (6) of your thyroid gland. 

The picture below shows exactly what happens to the thyroid gland in end-stage Hashimoto's:

end stage hashimoto's causes destruction of the thyroid gland

This is in stark contrast to the healthy thyroid gland which looks nothing like that picture. 

What's important to understand here is that these problems are all mediated by your own immune system!

As a result, if you can balance or stop your immune system from attacking your own body then you can stop or halt your disease from progressing. 

This applies 100% to those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

Unfortunately, even though this is the case, and it is well known among doctors, treatment for Hashimoto's does NOT focus on the immune system. 

Instead, it focuses 100% on thyroid function. 

Don't get me wrong, thyroid function is still very important. 

After all, as thyroid function declines you will start to experience symptoms like hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and other symptoms of hypothyroidism

When your doctor gives you thyroid medication, he or she is trying to resolve those symptoms. 

But what good does resolving those symptoms do if you continue to slowly destroy your own thyroid gland in the process?

You are ignoring the root cause of the problem and slapping a Band-Aid on the symptoms without actually treating the underlying issue. 

There's no disputing that this happens, by the way, it's just simple physiology. 

If you were to ask your doctor what will happen, they will tell you the exact same thing I did here. 

Once you understand this, you might think that your doctor is being negligent but that isn't exactly the case. 

The problem is not your doctor per se but how doctors approach treating autoimmune disease in general, especially Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

For some of the autoimmune diseases that I listed above, doctors frequently use immunosuppressant medications to slowdown the immune system from destroying portions of your own body. 

Immunosuppressant prescription medications such as corticosteroids (7), biologics (8), calcineurin inhibitors (9), IMDH inhibitors, Janus kinase inhibitors, mTOR inhibitors, and monoclonal antibodies (10) are prescription medications used to treat various autoimmune diseases. 

standard treatment for autoimmune diseases

But these medications are rarely if ever used to treat Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

So what gives?

As I mentioned, it's all about how doctors think about Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 

Put simply, the side effects of those medications are not worth the risk to the patient because replacing lost thyroid hormone is much easier. 

As a result, doctors will only ever prescribe thyroid medications and not immunosuppressants. 

But where does that leave you as a patient?

Are you forced to let your own thyroid gland destroy itself over the next 10 to 20 years?

Are you forced to have to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life?

Not at all!

It turns out that there are many other treatments and things that you can do to at least slow down, if not prevent, these complications from occurring. 

Curing Hashimoto's vs Putting Hashimoto's Into Remission

Before we talk about treatments for Hashimoto's we need to discuss the end goal. 

If you were to ask your doctor if Hashimoto's is curable then the answer would probably be no. 

But you don't necessarily have to focus on "curing" Hashimoto's to be successful. 

Instead, focus on putting your Hashimoto's into remission (11). 

Remission is a word used to describe a disease state that is under control or well managed. 

What does remission look like for someone with Hashimoto's? 

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It's simple actually.

Putting Hashimoto's into remission means that your thyroid antibody levels are at a healthy or normal level and that you are not experiencing the symptoms associated with Hashimoto's or thyroid dysfunction. 

In other words, you feel fine and your labs look great!

This should always be the goal when treating Hashimoto's. 

You might consider this a "cured" state but that's not entirely true. 

The truth is that once you have a diagnosis of Hashimoto's, your body will forever be in a state that makes it more likely to come back or recur. 

So the word remission actually makes more sense here. 

Even those patients who have their Hashimoto's in remission may still experience flare-ups. 

Hashimoto's flare-ups are periods of time when your immune system gets dysregulated and causes a brief uptick in your thyroid antibodies and a return of your symptoms

Flare-ups can be triggered by many things including infections, nutrient deficiencies, exposure to heavy metals, food allergies, gut dysfunction, and so on. 

You can see a full list of triggers here

For the reasons listed above, it's best to think about Hashimoto's as a disease that can be managed as opposed to being cured. 

This sort of language will also go over better with your doctor when you are discussing your health. 

When you talk about "curing" an autoimmune disease your doctor may think that your goal is outlandish or unattainable. 

But if you talk about trying to lower your antibodies and reduce your symptoms to a non-detectable level, they will be more likely to want to help. 

Do Natural Treatments for Hashimoto's Actually Work? 

This all sounds great, but do these natural treatments actually work? 

Will they actually help you to reduce your thyroid antibodies and put your Hashimoto's into remission?

The answer is maybe, possibly, and sometimes. 

That may not be what you want to hear but it is the truth!

I've had the advantage of working with hundreds of people who have Hashimoto's and I've seen responses to treatments that vary dramatically. 

I've seen some people put their Hashimoto's into remission just by taking a few supplements and cutting out dairy or gluten. 

On the other hand, I've seen some patients who require intensive medications, hormones, dietary restrictions, and additional therapies just to keep their symptoms in check.

Regardless of how you react to treatments, I can tell you one thing:

It will be worth it. 

Why do I say that?

Because there's almost never a situation in which eating cleaner foods, exercising more regularly, ensuring that you get enough sleep, or managing your stress is ever harmful to your body!

In other words, the risk vs rewards of these treatments is so lopsided (to the positive side) that they should be attempted by almost every person. 

There's more to it than that, but this gives you a basic idea as to why these treatments can be helpful. 

Is there another explanation as to why these treatments don't always work the same in each person? 

It turns out there is and the reason is simple: 

Because no two patients with Hashimoto's are exactly alike. 

In other words, what triggered your Hashimoto's may be different from the next person (12). 

And this trigger will absolutely impact how effective certain treatments will be for you! 

causes and triggers of hashimoto's thyroiditis

In addition to this, the severity of the disease also varies from person to person. 

In other words, two people may have Hashimoto's but the disease can be significantly more severe in one person compared to the other. 

All of these factors influence how likely it will be for you to put your Hashimoto's into remission. 

Combining Natural Treatments and Medications to Treat Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

With all of this in mind, let's talk about treatments!

If you really want to be successful in treating your Hashimoto's then you are going to need to take what I call a multi-faceted approach. 

This means you will need to use more than one treatment or therapy at the same time. 

This is in stark contrast to the idea of a silver bullet. 

A silver bullet representing a single action or treatment which solves all of your problems. 

Unfortunately, no such thing exists for Hashimoto's. 

Instead, you will need to take advantage of many natural therapies all at once.  

What I've done below is create a list of various treatments that I have either personally used to treat patients with Hashimoto's or have seen success from other patients who have Hashimoto's. 

These natural therapies are not guaranteed to work for you just because they have worked for others but there's a good chance that they will at least provide some improvement to your condition. 

List of natural therapies that MAY work to put your Hashimoto's into remission:

  • Changing your diet - There are many different types of diets that can help those with Hashimoto's including diets like AIP, the ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet, the elimination diet, and the gluten-free diet. There are many other diets that you can consider as well. 
  • Targeting and treating your gut - Treating your gut will impact the rest of your body including both your thyroid and immune system. Common gut disorders found in Hashimoto's patients include SIBO, SIFO, GERD, low stomach acid (13), intestinal dysbiosis, H. pylori, autoimmune gastritis (14), and gastroparesis. Treating gut issues will go a long way to improving your overall health. 
  • Using certain supplements - Supplements have the potential to help patients with Hashimoto's and some of my favorites include pycnogenol, CBD, Vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium, glutathione, Rhodiola, and thyroid/adrenal glandulars. There are obviously many others and if you want to see a bigger list check out this article
  • Using different thyroid medications - Most patients with Hashimoto's do better on cleaner thyroid medications that also contain T3. Some medications in this group include Cytomel, liothyronine, compounded T4 and T3, NDT, and Tirosint. While not technically a "natural" treatment your thyroid medication is still important and will impact how you feel! 
  • Improving detoxification pathways inside of the body - Many patients with Hashimoto's see significant improvement in their condition when they focus on optimizing detoxification pathways inside of the body. You can easily do this by ensuring you are sweating enough, having proper bowel movements, and urinating regularly. 
  • Using off-label prescription medications - Some off-label prescriptions such as low-dose naltrexone have been shown to help reduce inflammation (15) and improve thyroid antibody levels. 
  • Taking bio-identical hormones - One of my favorites here is the use of bio-identical testosterone in women and men with Hashimoto's who have low testosterone. You can take extra testosterone which may improve the immune system and provide additional benefits to boot. 
  • Treating chronic viral infections - Some patients see a lot of improvement in Hashimoto's symptoms when treating chronic infections such as EBV. 
  • Make sure you get enough sleep - Sleeping ensures that your immune system and hormones are working properly! You should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Practicing stress reduction techniques - There are many ways to do this but one of my favorites is regular meditation. If you've never meditated before then start with something like the release method or with the kirtan kriya. 
  • Exercising regularly - Regular exercise can improve free thyroid hormone levels and may reduce inflammation! It's also been shown to balance TSH levels
  • Eliminating foods that you may be intolerant to - Removing foods that may cause inflammation in your body can be an important part of treating Hashimoto's. Spending some time to find these foods can be difficult but will be well worth it. 
  • Using essential oils - Lastly, there are some people who swear by essential oils. I've seen some success in using essential oils when managing stress, reducing cortisol, and improving gut health. 

Believe it or not, these are just some of the natural treatments that can be used to help put Hashimoto's into remission. 

The only problem?

You may never even hear about them unless your doctor is aware of them!

This leads us to the next topic...

What Type of Doctor Should You See? Conventional Doctors vs Integrative Doctors

This is why so many patients tend to look for Doctors who think outside of the box. 

They know what they are getting with conventional medicine and they would rather do something (anything) instead of waiting for the inevitable destruction of their thyroid gland. 

While alternative and natural medicine can certainly be helpful, the push towards this type of medicine has opened the door to less than savory practices. 

Some doctors have noticed this trend and have attempted to capitalize on the fact that patients are searching for a cure by claiming they have special inside information or secret therapies that don't exist elsewhere. 

Obviously, they do not and this is just a marketing tactic to get your money. 

This is exactly why conventional doctors tend to be distrusting of any type of medicine that isn't considered conventional. 

If anyone can write a blog post and exclaim that they know the 'secret' to treat Hashimoto's, what is there to stop them from doing just that? 

The answer is nothing. 

As a result, there are many providers and practitioners that claim to have therapies that may seem too good to be true. 

But just because this does exist (and it absolutely does), doesn't mean you should be distrusting of all non-conventional doctors. 

In fact, in my opinion, the best doctors are the ones that have one foot planted in conventional medicine and the other planted in the world of integrative or functional medicine. 

By placing their feet on both sides they can take advantage of lots of different therapies and treatments including medications, hormones, supplements, diets, natural treatments, and so on. 

Practitioners that tend to swing to one side or the other tend to miss the bigger picture. 

A picture where eastern and western medicine can live together and work together in a complementary way to the benefit of the patient. 

When it comes to considering natural treatments and therapies consider these questions:

Is the treatment or therapy you are looking at incredibly expensive?

Does the therapy or treatment sound too good to be true?

Is it risky from a health perspective?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you may want to reconsider it! 

If you are trying to find a list of doctors that tend to use a combination of both eastern and western medicine then these are best: 

  • Doctors that specialize in functional medicine
  • Doctors that specialize in integrative medicine
  • Doctors that specialize in anti-aging medicine
  • Doctors that specialize in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy

These types of doctors will give you the best shot if you are trying to put your Hashimoto's into remission. 

Remission Should Always Be Your Goal

The main takeaway I want to leave you with is the fact that Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a potentially reversible condition. 

If you have been diagnosed with this condition then you owe it to yourself to look at all of the options available to you and at least consider using natural therapies. 

Why?

Because the risk vs reward ratio is so high on the positive side. 

Changing your diet, exercising more regularly, using supplements, optimizing your gut function, and balancing your hormones will almost always provide at least some benefit to your condition if not to your overall health. 

If you opt to try out natural therapies then you want to be sure that you stay clear of therapies with promises that sound too good to be true, stay away from providers who want thousands of dollars upfront, stay away from therapies that are not proven to be effective, and from therapies which are potentially dangerous. 

If you stick to these recommendations then you should be able to navigate the integrative world without damaging your health and your bank account. 

If you need help finding a doctor then make sure to check out this resource

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

Did you know that Hashimoto's could be put into remission?

What type of doctor are you currently seeing? Are they helping you?  

Are you looking at natural therapies right now? 

Have you been able to reverse your condition? Why or why not?

Leave your comments or questions below! 

References (Click to Expand)

is it possible to reverse hashimoto's thyroiditis?

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 70,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

P.S. Need more help? Check out my free thyroid downloads and resources.

35 thoughts on “Can Hashimoto’s Be Reversed? It Depends on These Factors”

    • Hi Renee,

      There really isn’t a ‘protocol’ for any given condition because it should ideally be individualized to the person.

      Reply
  1. Would you ever consider seeing a child. My 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos and all the pediatric endocrinologist in our area just want him to take T4 and come back every few months. No one even cares to slow it down or look for a trigger.

    Reply
  2. Thanks so much for this info! It’s good to see how you see recovery/improvement happening in your practice. Following the advice of functional gurus such as Amy Meyers, Izabella Wentz and Peter Osborne to help with treating Hashi’s. I have a great functional MD who prescribes, has supplements, is willing to test all things and follow my lead.
    What are the first things you test for after a CBC, and functional thyroid panel? Symptoms and food sensitivities keep increasing. Can’t find root cause.

    Reply
  3. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I’m gonna give you a testimonial and a good review here! Your ideas work, and I thank you for giving us a user-friendly system to work with.
    My Hashimoto’s showed up after a family member passed away. My TPO antibodies were over 1000. I was also recently married and wanting to have children. Despite being “normal” weight and having regular periods, I was also diagnosed with PCOS. I didn’t find you right away, but I did find an open-minded PA who was willing to give me Armour, and I’m an acupuncturist, so I knew to immediately remove gluten. In fact I went paleo. Two kiddos later…
    Tired mommy. Armour dose increased from 1 1/2 grains to 2. Fifteen lbs heavier, and no luck with diet and exercise. That’s when I found you. Yay!!!!
    So I did what you suggested. I ran my own bloodwork – you can do that, folks! I found out my fasting insulin was high even though my A1C and other numbers were great. I started intermittent fasting to get my insulin levels down. I found out my progesterone was low, so I started supplementing that during the latter half of my cycle as well. I did a good number of the supplements you suggested.
    A year after starting the fasting, supplements, and progesterone, I lost 10 lbs and my Armour dose was cut to 1 grain 5 days/week. My TPO antibodies dropped to just under 300. (That’s pretty good, right?) For the sake of giving the most detailed report possible, being an acupuncturist, I also take Chinese herbs specifically for the Hashimoto’s, and I do think they are a solid part of my personal treatment protocol.
    If you’re reading this, hang in there. I hate how long it took to get weight off, and I’m not there yet, but I feel good! Not “cured,” but good! Good enough to keep up with my two littles and running a business! This is a program worth following.
    Thanks again!

    Reply
  4. Almost 68, partial R thyroidectomy at 29 and then diagnoised with Hashimotos. Maintained with clean eating, lo fat, minimal carb and little to no sugar and exercise. and numerous supplements, levothyroxine 50mg and 30 mcg Armor thyroid., green tea and probiotics. Developed vitiligo at 50 and recently(9months ago)granuloma annulare.
    I’m unable to find a Dr. that will treat the entire picture and wants to hand out numerous RX. .What is your recommendation. Thank you Candy

    Reply
  5. I’ve suffered with Hashimoto for 22 years now. I’ve started seeing a doctor who shares most of your practices. My antibodies are still very high at over 1000. I am on 1 grain of naturethoid as well as hormones. I am still having a hard time with fatigue, weight gain, joint pain and inflammation despite eating clean, GF and working out 3-4 times a week. This is a very frustrating disease. This doctor has recently recommended having surgery for removal of my gland which seems to be somewhat controversial between doctors. What is your opinion on surgery? I do have noduals, some have been biopsied. He picked the most significant ones and results were benign.

    Reply
    • Hi Kristin,

      I wouldn’t say that your doctor shares most of my practices if they are recommending surgery and if you are not feeling well! That’s the absolute last possible route to take and almost never necessary as far as I can tell.

      Reply
  6. I have a question about iodine and Hashimoto’s, which I’ve been diagnosed with. I get the impression, from some of your supplement ingredients that it is okay, and that it can actually be beneficial. However I’ve had more than one Dr. that I’ve seen lecture me about not taking iodine. I am curious about your opinion in Tirosint, my Dr. absolutely refuses to prescribe it, he says that it doesn’t work as well as synthyroid.

    Reply
  7. Hi Dr. Childs,
    My Hashimotos came on fast after the birth of my second child. 5 months postpartum, I had no functioning thyroid and a TSH of 130. During my pregnancy, my TSH was normal. I struggle with the information I read on your site because I don’t know how much of it applies to someone with NO thyroid activity. Is it possible to regain functionality of the thyroid? Are supplements effective with no active thyroid? Etc., etc. Do you have any information on some good practices or protocols for someone in my situation?

    Thank you!
    Lauren

    Reply
  8. Dear Dr. Childs

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos over a year ago. I am in chronic pain with my legs. It is more muscular and nerve than joint. I suffer from muscle twitching also. I am on 2 grains of nature thyroid for the past 4 months and although my bloods show that my antibodies are now reduced to 700, I am still in constant pain.

    Could I have a recommendation please?

    Kind Regards

    Reply
  9. Hi Everyone!
    Answering the questions at the end of the post, first a bit about me:
    I am a 27 year old woman from Hungary, and I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos when I was 14. Since then, 13 years I have been taking levothyroxine daily, doses varying from 75µg-125µg. Now I’m taking the highest dose, 125µg. I have checkups every 3-6 months, with TSH, FT3 and FT4. I asked for including the reverse T3 but they didn’t… Otherwise I can feel now after years of experience that my Hashis are flaring up because of the symptoms (and usually it shows in a higher TSH that I can predict), but no one gave me advice on how to deal with that besides raising the dose. It feels like I have to keep my TSH really low not to feel the sypmptoms.

    I am writing under this post because I have tried to pay attention to the “basic” things. I try to sleep well and enough (I am a good sleeper), exercize regularly (love squash and aerobic training), reducing stress is difficult (even though or because I am a Health Psychologist and do that stuff for others:)but I try. In addition I take my vitamins every day, mostly C with a bit of Zinc, D3, Mg with some B, Selenium. I think those help, but I cannot tell, I am afraid of stopping taking them daily. The other “natural” approach I have tried was the AIP. It was a huuuuge struggle for me with a lot of hard changes to make, and hard to fit in my lifestyle but I have kept it I think fairly rigorously for 8 months, and not only my ATPO hasn’t changed but it went up from 360 to 400. Then I stopped slowly, but was eating absolutely everything in the Christmas season and I have felt really badly and sick and tired all the time. I think it was both my unhealthy eating, and my elevated TSH, I don’t know which caused which but after, I started to reintroduce AIP elements like trying to avoid gluten 95% of the time, dairy and eggs 80% of the time. I felt better, almost a year has passed now but I cannot connect the dots really with my diet. Turned out I have igG based food intolerance for gluten, dairly, eggs, paprika, hazelnut, and orange (weird,ha?) i don’t know how seriously I should take that because my experience is really inconsistent – sometimes I feel like I feel worse after these foods, sometimes nothing happens. I think the quantity also plays a huge role.

    I also had a well-respected and holistic-thinking endocrinologist telling me that he would have liked if AIP worked but in his practice with a few hundred people it hasn’t really helped for patients.

    Sorry for the long comment, I have history and lot of thoughts with Hashimoto’s and I’m constantly trying to figure my body and psyche out, with more or less success. 🙂 Tell me if you have any thoughts or tips on what should I try. I am also interested in the AIP-food intolerance-coeliac disease topic. Should I really always at all costs avoid these allergens?

    Reply
    • Hi Anne-Sophie,

      I tend to agree with your endocrinologist. I think most people latch onto some therapies and hold to them because they’ve worked for a few people, but that never means it will work for most people. It’s definitely still worth playing around with your diet and avoiding allergens if they cause you issues, the main issue is finding which ones cause you the most trouble which can be difficult. You can do this with testing, keeping a food journal, or with the help of a functional dietician.

      Reply
  10. Hi Dr Childs
    I live in Australia. 2 years ago I had a total thyroidectomy and now take 75micrograms of Thyroxine daily. I have stage 2 Lipodema/Lympodema progressing to stage 3 which is very painful for my legs and other regions of my body. This condition effects 17% of women across the world. After 2 years,countless blood test , Specialist and GP visits my Blood tests show my T4 is converting to T3 but I am still feeling very tired and have gained 15 kgs during this time which is not acceptable for my 153cm frame. I try to exercise when I can but I fall asleep on the lounge early each night from sheer exhaustion of my working day.
    I would appreciate your suggestions.
    Kind regards
    Deb

    Reply
  11. Hello Dr. Childs.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2009 after ten years of bouncing from doctor to doctor. It was an endocrinologist that finally diagnosed me and started me on 50mcg of Levoxyl. I was also diagnosed with PCOS, Dysmetabolic Syndrome, Hirsutism, Empty Sella and Vitamin D deficiency. He treated the hypothyroidism and vitamin D deficiency for a little over a year and then said I was in remission. I’ll admit I felt better and lost a little weight. What was odd, is that I lost a lot more weight after I was removed from Levoxyl. Did ok off and on for years and each time I began feeling the same symptoms that started my journey prior to diagnosis, I would go in for a blood letting so to speak, only to be told, I was normal and no treatment was needed. They added Lichen Sclerosis to my list of problems but no treatment. I was finally fed up and accepted defeat. Lived my life as best I could until last April. I had gone on a medically supervised form of a keto diet that only had 10 carbs a day and 750 calories. I lost down to 112 pounds under their care. I started losing my voice and noticed I had a ‘golf ball’ sized lump in my neck when I swallowed. I was a retired ENT nurse so I videotaped myself swallowing and sent it to another ENT nursing friend and asked what she thought. She said get to a doctor…which I thought too but didn’t want to ‘over react’ and be humiliated by doctors again. I was under a great deal of stress, on a severely calorie restricted diet and truly wasn’t sure what was because of the diet or my Hashimotos. Went back to endo, not being able to talk for a month and the golf ball had turned into a softball. He said blood work normal, I was .01 away from the low end of every blood test I had but he said go see an ENT. ENT placed me back on Levoxyl to see if changed anything. Had an ultrasound, CT then MRI. The Levoxyl did nothing, continued to have no voice for three months and lump was still there. Ended up having a complete thyroidectomy in September. Struggled with finding a doctor that would listen and work with me on my medications post thyroidectomy but eventually got one to try changing to Tirosint and Cytomel. I was feeling great but still no voice. Started rapidly gaining weight again and put on 20 pounds within three months. He kept Insisting I lower the cytomel and saying that it was dangerous to be on. All my lab values were now in the middle except TSH which was 0.01. Dropped my Tirosint 50mcg lower plus Cytomel kept decreasing and decreasing against my pleading not to. Symptoms were getting worse and worse, weight going up and lab values all over the place. So erratic he thought I had a pituitary tumor. I was beyond frustrated and kept pleading stop messing with my Cytomel and let me level out. He was afraid of malpractice with Cytomel(? Uh ok?) sent me to an endo. Endo repeated labs again, said values did not indicate pit tumor, raised my Tirosint up but wanted to objectively watch my TSH and Cytomel correlation. Asked him about Armour thyroid and he said absolutely not…he would get ‘dinged’ for using it and it was heavily frowned upon. So fast forward to today, 19 months and counting, STILL no voice, still horrible hypothyroid symptoms, still gaining weight and feel awful. I’ve long since accepted my voice is not coming back but where do I go from here??? I would travel anywhere to get the right doctor that will not focus on that stupid TSH level…all labs are back in the middle now except the TSH, which has not budged from 0.01 in seven months. Endo wants to decrease Cytomel again if labs in December do not show improvement. I’m devastated and frustrated once again with medical community but now have no choice…I have no thyroid! I did purchase your new program but I can’t eat seafood for constant nausea and I don’t like it … so I haven’t started it yet. I have developed a plethora of food allergies post thyroidectomy including dairy, nuts and cinnamon. I have horrible reflux, constant nausea, still no voice and haven’t slept more than four hours a night for twenty three years. Yes, 23! Four is an improvement over two to three for 22 of that 23. So…I know it’s a lot! But will your program help me with Hashimotos and Post Complete Thyroidectomy? If not do you have any suggestions or a direction I can try now? I’m running out of ideas and doctors!

    Reply
    • Hi BigMomma,

      It’s always more difficult to lose weight after a thyroidectomy but my weight loss program does contain all of the information necessary to lose weight if that is your primary goal. Whether or not it works largely depends on you (how much you put into the program), and some other factors not in your control such as genetics and so on. I can tell you that many other people have used the program with success who were also in a similar situation as you, though.

      Reply
  12. Hello Dr. Childs.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2009 after ten years of bouncing from doctor to doctor. It was an endocrinologist that finally diagnosed me and started me on 50mcg of Levoxyl. I was also diagnosed with PCOS, Dysmetabolic Syndrome, Hirutism

    Reply
  13. I agree with you. My primary doctor, a DO who practices functional medicine, actually sent me to integrative endo, a MD. She put me on tirosint, supplements and herbs. She also recommended certain dietary things that I do. I also go for acupuncture with doctor who studied in China. I am not perfect but this has all helped me. The worst and last issue for me was some environmental sensitivities and that is way better after I started taking some herbs. My endo spends the time with me- 1.5 hours the first visit and regularly now 45 minutes. She has a small practice and doesn’t sell anything, but she reviews all the supplements I am on. Everything is natural with no fillers. I think that makes a difference too.

    Reply
  14. Sorry for the double post…malfunction on my end! Thank you Dr. Childs for the response but could you tell me what is the best type of specialist post complete thyroidectomy w/Hashimotos? What about using your line of supplements? Which could be beneficial and which would not be?

    Reply
  15. I am a 67 year old female. I had a partial thyroidectomy due to a large (egg size) nodule in 1984 that was diagnosed Hashimoto’s Disease. I have been on thyroid medication from then on. In 2017, I switched from Synthroid to Levothyroxine. The doctors say the other half of my thyroid is most likely affected with Hashimoto’s. I had a gastric bypass surgery in October 2017, because I could not stop gaining weight. I have lost 110 lbs. to date. Since 2016 I have taken .175 mcg of Levothyroxine. My recent labs are TSH is.018 and T4 is 2.37, PTH is 68. My doctor, most likely will just lower my medication to raise my TSH. I have very low energy, even with all my weight loss. Do you have any ideas I could share with my doctor? Should I ask for additional tests?

    Reply
  16. Diagnosed 2 years ago. Went to my regular doctor after experiencing panic attacks for a couple of weeks. All started one night with extreme vomiting and vertigo, followed by anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, severe back pain and panic attacks in the following weeks. The panic attacks triggered me to visit my fantastic doctor who straight away tested for hypothyroidism and tests showed antibodies >1000 with TSH at 3.6, T4 and T3 within normal range – diagnosis of subclinical hashimotos and anemia. I believe the trigger was post-partum combined with stress of 2 years of working full time and studying university degree part time while caring for a newborn with the final straw I believe to be a dose of ciguatara poisoning (live in tropics and ate locally caught fish) which has many similar symptoms to Hashimotos but quite a distinct chronology {plus going on a ciguatara avoidance diet of no fish, alcohol, etc saw an immediate reduction or cessation of the ciguatara specific symptoms (eating seafood again now but it will what I call “nerve spikes” in my toes for about a day afterwards). The endocrinologist I was referred to said she would watch and see and offer me hormone drugs if my TSH levels reached 10. I wasn’t prepared to wait. My doctor then referred me to a naturopath and together they have got me on a regime of vitamins and supplements (selenium, myo-inosital,iron, vitamins D, methylation B complexes, B1, zinc, magnesium citrate, etc, etc. We are working through the triggers and so far have reduced stress levels and homocystene (also have MTHFR mutation), controlled a few gut parasites, improving gut impermeability (awaiting test results), will next do a heavy metal detox (have high levels of mercury, lead and arsenic). I have quit gluten and made other dietary changes. I feel like I am in good hands with my GP and naturopath. My latest bloods showed TSH at 2.5, T3 and T4 still within range, antibodies at 400. I still have bad weeks but have turned a corner and the good weeks outnumber the bad and I’m still learning what can trigger a bad episode (e.g. flouride treatment at the dentist) Your article helps puts things into perspective. I know I’ll never be “cured”, and the best I can hope for is to continually aim for improvements (e.g. realising that what I thought was normal for about 30 years was actually clinical anxiety – now not lying awake at night thinking apocalyptic thoughts which is a bonus!) Some days are still bad but from experience I know I’ll get through them so I now don’t worry too much and take each day as it comes and never stop learning about what I can do to make things better, especially online from yourself, and Dr Axe and Dr Isabella Wentz – you’re my go to guys when I have a bad day. So basically, I’m not doing pharms and going completely natural which is slowly but surely working for me. Thanks for asking me to contribute my story and thoughts on the topic.

    Reply
  17. Hi Dr. Childs! Happy New Year!

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in yr 2000 and suffer with major depression. Every few years the depression med stops working. Can you recommend supplements that may help? I currently take MaryRuths liquid vitamins/minerals because of malabsorption issues. In the past I’ve taken B-multis as they help my mood. Currently my t3 is at 75%, t4 is at 25% and my tsh is always low .04. I take 97.5 of naturethroid but sometimes this kicks me into hyperthyroid symptoms like heart palpitations. Anything you can recommend, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the work you’ve done in this field. It helps just knowing we’re not alone…

    Reply
  18. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2010 after having my first son, throughout all these nine years I have been suffering from anxiety attacks, with body aches, nausea, IBS etc. Recently I found that my neck was swollen and all the while I thought I had some sort of throat infection. After visiting the hospital I was confirmed to have hashimotos with ANTI TG 685 and ANTI TPO 34.15 and ultrasound that showed the thyroid to be shrunken in size and enlarged lymph nodes.
    My dose of thyroxin has been increased from 75mg to 100mg (200mg once a week) however I still feel ill and unable to comfortably breathe or speak most of the time. I would appreciate if you could provide me with your opinion.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  19. Hello Doctor Childs,

    They discovered elevated TPO antibodies (+/- 300 kU/L) one year after the birth of my first daughter (the test was done because of recurrent miscarriages), but they told me not to worry. I wanted to do some more research (I’m also following a training for integrative therapist), but then I was pregnant with my second daughter. She’s now almost one year old, and I’m digging out what I actually have. I have no other complaints or health problems (except for the miscarriages of course), I’m feeling good (healthy skin, hair, etc.) with much energy. My antibodies are now at 360 kU/L (TPO) and 374 kU/L (TgAb), TSH at 2,13 and my free T3 and T4 just on the (low) limit of the optimal ranges (following your 50% rule). I found an incredible amount of information on your website (thank you !) and I started a no gluten, soja, and milk diet 2 weeks ago (my anti TPO went from 1300 to 360 in only 2 weeks), I also found a therapist who’s helping me to do a gut analysis (leaky gut, bacteria, candida, etc.) and a hair analysis (for the oligo-elements).
    I have 3 questions for which I can’t find the answer:
    – as I have no symptoms (and thus a kind of pre-Hashimoto stade) how much time should I try this alternative approach before starting (synthetic) thyroid hormones? I’ve read somewhere that it’s important to take already thyroid hormones during the pre-Hashimoto stage in order to prevent further thyroidal damage and the real Hashimoto (with health problems). And if I succeed in lowering my antibodies (and boosting my T3 and T4), which value is « safe » to live with without destroying your thyroid?
    – As I would very much like to have another child and really don’t want to have a miscarriage again, do you think it’s risky to try this with antibodies at 300 and without supplementing with thyroid hormones?
    – on your website, you talk about postnatal Hashimoto, can I consider myself to still be in the postnatal period after one year? And hoping that my antibodies will lower from themselves, or is this too optimistic?
    Thank you so much for your answer,
    Katrien

    Reply
  20. Hello,

    I had parathyroid tumors removed last year. At that time it was observed that I had hashimotos. I have been on supplements and synthroid and Armour. I feel much better BUT I find I am getting colds ALL the time when I NEVER did before! I was always the only one in the house who would NOT get sick and now I can not be around my grandkids without catching whatever they have! Coincidence, or is something else going on?

    Reply

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