COMMON MISTAKE #2: THYROID HORMONE REPLACEMENT CAN FIX HYPOTHYROIDISM
When doctors diagnose hypothyroidism, they see that thyroid hormones are low and that TSH is high.
In cases of non-autoimmune and autoimmune hypothyroidism, hormones replacement may be necessary. But if you have an immune disorder, like autoimmunity, wouldn’t you also want to treat that as well?
The problem is diagnosis.
Doctors often do not run antibody tests when looking at TSH and thyroid hormone levels. Antibodies are what the immune system produces against invaders, a sort of tagging system.
In autoimmune hypothyroidism, there can be antibodies, or tags, that are made against certain enzymes or proteins involved in thyroid hormone production.
- Running the right antibody tests is a good first step towards the diagnosis autoimmune hypothyroidism.
- Even if an antibody test comes back negative, this does not exclude autoimmunity. Sometimes, the body is too weak to produce antibodies.
- Even if your thyroid has been removed, you can still have autoimmune hypothyroidism.
- Autoimmune hypothyroidism is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and it is grossly misdiagnosed.
Why don’t doctors test for thyroid antibodies?
Doctors do not routinely test for thyroid antibodies because low thyroid hormone in the body essentially means the same thing: you need more thyroid hormone.
Once labs come back and verify that the pituitary gland is pumping out extra hormones (TSH) to stimulate the production of more thyroid hormone, then a prescription for Synthroid or Armour is written. Both Synthroid and Armour are thyroid hormone replacement medications.