Thyroid UK
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Hypothyroidism or is it Autoimmune Thyroiditis?

When I was diagnosed 3 months ago with Hashimoto's, my GP copied me some pages from the Patient UK website on Hypothyroidism. I have just noticed that it states that the main cause of hypothyroidism in the UK is Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Is this true?

Does this mean that most hypo people in the UK have been sort of "under- diagnosed? This would also mean that they were not getting the best treatment. As I Hashi's sufferer I know the importance of dealing with an dodgy immune system and fighting my antibodies etc.

As the NHS does not routinely check for antibodies, is this something we should be concerned about?

3 Replies

It is often stated that around 80% of hypothyroidism in the UK and the USA is due to autoimmune issues. There is argument/discussion over whether all autoimmune hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto's or not - some insist that you need to have (or have had) a goitre in order for it to be called Hashimoto's - others disagree. I see no reason to demand a goitre as it seems the underlying lymphocytic attack is the same regardless.

It was my experience (and this might not be typical), that when my TSH rose and I was diagnosed on that basis, my GP requested a TPOab test. It seems to be his routine to do so. (Mine was negative.)

Do bear in mind that it is possible to have autoimmune thyroid disease and yet have a negative antibody test, or to have a positive antibody test and yet not have autoimmune thyroid disease. Like most of the rest of the thyroid world, what seems obvious and simple, isn't when you scratch the surface and look more deeply.


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.....I think it is something to be concerned about. Both my hubby and I have anti-bodies yet all my TFT's were well within range ?? Hubby's not. So it seems to me that a great deal of thyroid illness is missed due to this approach. Surely it would be a form of preventative medicine to test for anti-bodies and support the thyroid accordingly and for patients to be aware of the best way of healing. Had we still lived in the UK our thyroids would have remained untreated and I would not have found this site.....or improved health.

The book - ' Hope for Hashimotos ' by Alexander Haskell is an interesting read and explains things well. Could be that there is conflicting evidence against his approach but for me a great deal resonated.

Happy reading.....


Hi Other people might not agree. However, when I was diagnosed and for many years, none of this was known, only Hypo or Hyper. Diagnosis of thyroid was made on the 3 standard tests. However, if this was treated correctly , according to tests and observation of symptoms etc, then it made no difference really. I think the key is having the correct treatment to feel well. When new thyroid connected things appear to test and treat properly too.As for other autoimmune diseases, there are loads of them, I have many but you can only do so much in finding out about them before they occur. In the end the only way is to terat them as they occur.. Of course, it is important to be well aware of what they are and especially the ones that are more likely with thyroid autoimmune disease, eg. diabetes 2.

Best wishes,



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