Historically people associate hypothyroidism with a lack of iodine and tyrosine, but in modern times this presentation is mainly seen in developing countries.
Developing countries do not have access to iodine like people in developed countries do. Therefore the association between iodine and hypothyroidism in developed countries does not usually apply.
If someone lives in a developed country they mostly likely have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism or are on their way to developing it.
This is because iodine is widely available, and is added to salts and most processed foods.
You can find more symptoms of underactive thyroid here.
Hashimoto's hypothyroidism is on the rise at an alarming rate. Chances are you have known someone with an autoimmune hypothyroid condition but never knew its official name.
When someone rapidly gains weight, loses their hair, and/or has ice cold hands and feet, they should start thinking about Hashimoto's disease as a potential diagnosis.
Other symptoms of underactive thyroid can include:
Child bearing aged women are of the highest risk for developing this. Women also develop this condition after delivering a baby, especially after the second child.
This is a thyroid condition where the body gets confused and attacks itself. Most modern research agrees Hashimoto’s can be a complication from having a chronic leaky gut. A lifetime of eating foods someone is sensitive to can cause the intestines to leak food particles into the blood stream.
The immune system sees these food particles as invaders and creates antibodies to them. Once the antibodies are made the person becomes sensitive to that kind of food. So if a person eats a great deal of wheat or dairy, they will start having autoimmune reactions every time they eat wheat or dairy. Some proteins in the rogue food particles look similar to proteins in thyroid cells; the body gets confused and attacks them. This leads to symptoms of underactive thyroid.
Some people inherit the antibodies, which can be activated by stress to the body. It can even be a child who experiences an illness, stress, medications, vaccines, or anything that overwhelms their immune system.
Also there seems to be a correlation between head injuries in boys and the development of thyroid conditions.
Most people in the USA who have hypothyroid conditions also have Hashimoto's disease but don’t know it. When someone gets their thyroid checked at the doctor, the doctor usually just checks the person's TSH levels. Insurance usually won’t pay for the thyroid antibody tests so doctors rarely order them. Even if the thyroid antibodies are tested and positive, it won’t change the standard of care for treatment and your doctor will prescribe the same drug anyway.
Because of this, Hashimoto's hypothyroidism is a massively undiagnosed autoimmune disease in western society. It is a tricky disease to diagnose because a person can be in the process of becoming Hashimoto's but the antibodies have not shown up yet in their blood work. It's easy to miss because the blood work can look completely normal.
Because thyroid antibodies are not routine in testing, a person’s blood work will look unremarkable but they still feel lousy and have symptoms of underactive thyroid. I see many patients who fall into this category. They know something is wrong but everyone keeps telling them they are just fine or it is all in their head. Many of these undiagnosed patients just end up being prescribed antidepressants and are sent on their way.
Most conventional treatment will be to medicate based solely on TSH levels. Unfortunately the thyroid is usually just a victim of a bad diet; it’s not the real problem.
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