Thyroid Antibodies and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
There is a lot of confusion about thyroid antibodies and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and the goal here is to give you a better understanding of this by answering the following four questions 1) what are thyroid antibodies?, 2) what causes someone to have thyroid antibodies?, 3) how do thyroid antibodies relate to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?, and 4) is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis really incurable? So let’s take a look at each of these questions:
1. What Are thyroid antibodies? To answer this question, let’s briefly discuss what antibodies in general are, as they are part of the defense mechanism of the body against foreign intruders and invaders. For example, if someone has a bacterial infection, their antibodies will essentially attack the bacteria in order to protect the body. It of course is much more complex than this, but the point is that antibodies are designed to protect the body by attacking foreign intruders.
On the other hand, thyroid antibodies are an example of “auto-antibodies”, which instead of protecting the body, attack the tissues of the body. With an autoimmune thyroid disorder such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the thyroid antibodies will attack the thyroid gland. In the case of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, this will cause destruction of the thyroid gland, thus leading to decreased production of thyroid hormone. As a result of this the person will become hypothyroid, which is usually confirmed by a positive TSH test, and will then be given synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life. As you’ll learn shortly, some people can avoid this from happening by eliminating the thyroid antibodies.
The actual tests to detect thyroid antibodies are the TPO and TGB. Usually the TPO is the blood test recommended by endocrinologists, although sometimes they will also recommend the TGB just as confirmation.
2. What causes someone to have thyroid antibodies? There are numerous factors which can lead to someone to develop thyroid antibodies. Lifestyle factors are a big cause of the autoimmune process, as years of not eating well, not obtaining sufficient sleep, doing a poor job of managing stress, etc., can all weaken the immune system and lead to the development of an autoimmune condition and thyroid antibodies.
Environmental toxins can also play a role as well. Thousands of new chemicals are produced each year, and nobody knows the effects of exposing our bodies to such toxins. But according to the book “The Autoimmune Epidemic”, research is showing that they can potentially lead to autoimmune conditions.
3. Does someone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis always have a positive test for thyroid antibodies? No, someone with this condition does not always test positive for thyroid antibodies. The reason for this is because the state of the immune system is always fluctuating, and so someone might have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis yet not always test positive.
On the other hand, the presence of thyroid antibodies pretty much confirms that someone has an autoimmune thyroid condition. This is true even when someone has negative thyroid blood tests. The reason for this is because the autoimmune condition is what actually causes the thyroid to malfunction, and so a person might test positive for thyroid antibodies and have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but the damage to the thyroid might not be severe enough to be causing a deficiency in thyroid hormone, which is why the thyroid blood tests will show up as being normal.
4. Is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis really incurable? Most endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors label Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as being an incurable condition. From a conventional medical standpoint this is true, as the patient is almost always given synthetic or natural thyroid hormone to manage the symptoms of the malfunctioning thyroid gland, but nothing is done for the actual cause of the disorder.
Even though the immune system is being compromised, most doctors won’t do anything to address this. Plus, one needs to consider that something causes the immune system to malfunction as well. So there definitely is a lot of detective work involved in finding the cause, but most endocrinologists and other doctors aren’t trained to find the cause of such a condition, but instead are taught to use prescription drugs to manage the symptoms.
This is unfortunate, as many people are put on thyroid hormone when they might be able to have their health restored back to normal through a natural treatment protocol. And while not everyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can be cured, it’s sad that no attempt is made in most practices to even find out if someone is a candidate for a natural treatment protocol. While some people do in fact need to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, many others can avoid this.
How To Find Out If Your Thyroid Antibodies Can Be Eliminated
If you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and have tested positive for thyroid antibodies, you might wonder how you can find out if your condition can be cured. The best advice I can give you is to consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor who has experience dealing with thyroid conditions. Such a doctor will not only look at your thyroid blood tests, but most likely will recommend additional tests to determine what has caused your autoimmune thyroid condition to develop.
For example, having weak adrenal glands can lead to the immune system becoming compromised, and this in turn can eventually lead to the development of thyroid antibodies and a full blown autoimmune thyroid disorder. In this example, addressing either the thyroid gland or immune system won’t cure the condition, as the adrenal glands must be addressed. But first, the adrenal problem must of course be detected, which is done through an Adrenal Stress Index (ASI), which measures the output of cortisol according to the circadian pattern. This is done through four saliva samples taken at different times during the day.
This of course is just one example, as there are other factors that can lead to the development of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. A competent natural endocrine doctor will do what it is necessary to determine the cause, and will then recommend the appropriate natural treatment protocol to help restore your health back to normal, assuming this is possible.
In summary, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can have their condition cured, despite the fact that most endocrinologists say otherwise. However, this by no means is an easy process, as for those who are looking for some “magic” supplements or pills and are essentially searching for a quick cure will be greatly disappointed. On the other hand, those people with thyroid antibodies who are willing to take responsibility for their health and who realize it will take time to correct the problem will most likely reap the benefits of natural treatment methods for their autoimmune thyroid condition.
For more information on how to treat hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis through natural treatment methods, please visit my facebook fan page, Natural Solutions for Graves Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis at www.facebook.com/NaturalThyroidTreatment