What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, more often referred to as just Hashimoto’s, is an autoimmune disease and considered to be the most common cause of Hypothyroidism (around 90%), yet thyroid antibodies are often not tested by doctors, who refuse to acknowledge it’s importance.

You may be reading this right now and have no idea that you even have this autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s. It is estimated that Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis causes 90% of all cases of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is more often than not caused by an autoimmune disease, and it’s suspected that the large majority, 90%, of those with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s as their autoimmune disease culprit.


To know if you have Hashimoto’s, you need two tests done: TPOAB and TGAB. You need both to be done preferably, as often just the one test is not accurate enough to be sure. One could have results ‘in range’, while the other not.

Having Hashimoto’s will usually show as these test results being out of range, although you could see variations in your antibody and TSH results, with them being high one time, low the next, high the next time and so on. This is believed to be a common sign of Hashimoto’s too (swinging results). It is common for doctors to refuse to test your thyroid antibodies, though. You could choose to go private to have these done, if your doctor refuses. Often, finding out if you do indeed have Hashimoto’s is said to be important in your treatment of Hypothyroidism.

You can read about treatment of Hashimoto’s and lowering antibodies here.

Hashimoto’s causes the body to attack and destroy its own thyroid gland, causing hypothyroidism. As time goes by, your  own body attacks and destroys your own thyroid as if it is the enemy! It’s why I love this particular comic by The Awkward Yeti so much.


It sums it up so well! I show this to anyone who struggles to understand what Hashimoto’s is.

If your doctor refuses to treat you, with antibodies out of range but your TSH being ‘in range’, then this is not accurate in diagnosing Hashimoto’s. Going by TSH alone for any treatment, diagnosis and management of an underactive thyroid is not accurate anyway, since it is a PITUITARY hormone, not a THYROID one. You can read more on that here.

Optimal thyroid medication, whether NDT, T3 and T4 or just T4, is of course important to feeling better, but with Hashimoto’s you need to look at some other things too.

Most commonly, cutting back on/cutting out gluten is said to be the main thing to do to relieve Hashimoto’s symptoms and high antibodies, but it’s also important to check your adrenal health. Gluten sensitivity (common with Hashimoto’s) is different to an allergy, in the way that you are generally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease if you have an intolerance to gluten, with symptoms of diarrhoea, bloating, bad wind etc. but a sensitivity can mean an increase in hypothyroid symptoms such as increased fatigue, swinging lab results, goitres/swelling in the throat, brain fog, aches and pains and poor gut health meaning low absorption rate of minerals and vitamins.

Here are possible things to consider and investigate, should you have Hashimoto’s or think you may have it. Fixing them may relieve your symptoms and help control antibodies/lower them, calming the attack:

  • Sensitivity to Gluten – try eliminating it from your diet for at least 3-4 months and keep a log of how you feel. Retest antibodies to see if they come down.
  • Other food Allergies/Sensitivities – citrus food, nuts, it could be anything. ‘Sensitivity’ isn’t the same as ‘allergic’.
  • Adrenal Fatigue/Dysfunction
  • Leaky Gut, GORD, Acid Reflux
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Nutrient/Vitamin Deficiencies, e.g. Vitamin D, B12, Iron, Ferritin, Selenium, Iodine

More here.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

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I also run a group for the spouses, partners and other halves of hypothyroid patients, called Hypothyroid Patients Other Halves – Support & Advice Group. This is for the other halves only and not patients. 



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