Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Understanding Hashimoto's

When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto's I didn't understand what it was other then it was an auto-immune disorder. To be honest with you, I didn't really even understand what exactly auto-immune meant when it came my Thyroid. I understood it as I had a Thyroid problem. After learning about Dr. Pickel, I was introduced to a book written by Dr. Datis Kharrazian called Why Do I Have Still Have These Symptoms If My Lab Results Are Normal? Dr. Kharrazian teaches other health practitioners about Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism arming them with the knowledge to control it with no medication. He is also the one that my Dr. studies under.

I read his book and gained so much knowledge that I had never heard before. For starters, Hashimoto's is not a Thryoid condition, it is an immune condition which means that it can be corrected and controlled with the right treatment. It isn't your Thyroid that is the problem, it is your inflammed immune system that is constantly fighting itself. Once an auto-immune disorder has been switched on, it can never be switched off. It can, however, be halted and in some cases reversed. One of the testimonies in this book talks about a gentleman with Hashimoto's getting better with the same kind of treatment plan I am on and after doing so the hypopigmentation (Vitiligo) on the back of his hands that he had for 20+ years reversed and started to pigment again. I have NEVER had a doctor tell me that Vitiligo can be reversed. That is amazing to me and gives me hope that not just my thyroid condition but all my conditions can get better.

Another important thing to know about Hashimoto's is that the thyroid tissue looks almost identical to the gluten protein. Therefore, if you have Hashimoto's you should NOT eat gluten because when you do your body will attack itself more because it cannot differentiate between the thyroid tissue and the gluten protein. You don't have to have a gluten sensitivity although most people who suffer from Hashimoto's do have a sensitivity to it and should stop eating it all together forever or in some cases until they control their immune system. My opinion is that if you have Hashimoto's why eat something that will encourage your body to attack itself and go straight for your thyroid which is your bodies engine. More often than not, Hashimoto's and Gluten Intolerance go hand in hand and usually if you have one, you have the other. I personally have full blown Celiac Disease which is where my body has antibodies for Celiac. Having antibodies is not a good thing when you already have auto-immune disorders because it increases the inflammation and your body begins fighting to correct those antibodies creating a viscious cycle that pushes the progression of your conditions making them worse. People with Gluten Sensitivity or Intolerance can possible eat Gluten down the road after correcting their immune system but not always. If you do start eating it again you have to be careful not to digress and create inflammation again which could result in Celiac Disease.

There is so much to learn about Hashimoto's if you have it or think you could possibly be suffering from Hypothyroid. Wrapping your brain around it and understanding what is happening internally is imperative so that you can begin to listen to your body and respond accordingly.

If you know that you suffer from Hashimoto's I strongly encourage you to read the book Dr. Kharrazian wrote. It is eye opening and will answer many of the questions you have and give you hope that the future can be different and free of Synthroid or other Thyroid Replacement Hormones. There is so much to share so I will have information sprinkled throughout each post I write but this is the basic info I want you to know and understand now. As I said before, if you have Hashimoto's and still eat Gluten, I strongly encourage you to stop as it is just increasing the rate at which your Thyroid is being destroyed. If you have symptoms that coincide with Hypothyroid, you can ask your Dr. for a simple blood test that can determine if you have Hashimoto's or not. Please be aware that it is common to have a false negative and if you feel as though your negative results may in fact be inaccurate, you can request to be tested again. Never take no for an answer.

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