Log in
Thyroid UK
91,693 members105,997 posts

Finding the root cause

I realize there's a chicken-and-egg argument that can be pursued regarding Hashimoto's thyroiditis/hypothyroidism, but I've always believed that it had to start from somewhere, and it may not be just one factor but multiple contributing factors that have led to Hashimoto's.

I have written previously about excruciating joint pain, mostly in my feet and occasionally in my left shoulder (mostly). I'm now starting to feel joint pains in my left ankle and right knee. Bad signs. I'm gluten free, yada-yada-yada.

My naturopath is having me tested for Lyme disease and I have to do the candida stool test (yuck, I've been putting this off). I am curious if there's anyone out there who may have been bitten by a tick, and symptoms didn't show up until years (decades, even) later. I grew up in New Jersey, which is tick heaven. I have been living in the SF Bay Area for 26 years and recall pulling a tick out of me about 18 years ago after a camping trip. Is this even possible?

I'm also getting a genetic testing kit to find out if I have the MTHFR mutation, among other things.


11 Replies

Coreyf, entirely possible to have been infected years ago and be suffering the fall out now. Lyme can be diagnosed and successfully treated with antibiotics when first infected but chronic Lyme is harder to diagnose as it 'hides'.



Thanks for the search results. I'll check them out. It probably also doesn't help that I harbor HSV2, though I've been outbreak-free for decades. Who knows what else my body is hiding?! Epstein-Barr? Could be a long list.


Corey, there are so many things which can trigger autoimmune disease, which in turn may take decades to develop, it's hard to know where to start. Once triggered it isn't going away so knowing the trigger won't change anything anyway :(



I agree knowing the trigger of the original factor probably isn't important but knowing the trigger that can start an attack gives you the oppurtunity to minimise the risk.

ie gluten, mold, etc.



Corey, these days the major hypothesis is that autoimmune diseases begin in the gut. Most of our immune system is in the gut and with all the playing around with antibiotics, low fibre diet and whatnot, something goes wrong. Probably disruption of the gut microbiome.

For example, Dr. Alessio Fasano has been observing the first degree relatives of people with celiac disease and the genetics for celiac. Just because someone has the genes doesn't mean they will develop the disease. But in one of his lectures he mentioned two women in their 70s who went all through life without developing celiac and suddenly it happened. He says he doesn't know if it was triggered by infection or antibiotics or what.

We are constantly changing beings and we can end up with surprises we aren't too happy about.

It's like that tiresome Michael Pollan says 'eat real food, mostly plants'.

She says whilst chowing down on a bowl of chicken broth filled with shitake mushrooms, adzuki beans, rice, clams, burdock root etc. People may say 'yuk' but my gut says 'yum'. Lots of flavour, lots of different fibres and the 'end result' will prove itself, if you get my drift. ;) Filling too if someone is trying to lose weight which currently is the aim of my game. It's working.


A naturopath I saw when first diagnosed over twenty years ago thought my many years of severe bulimia as a teenager had probably triggered it, hormone imbalance. But that would also upset the gut, I know my back teeth rotted due to stomach acid. Plus I had several courses of antibiotics as a child for ear infections. All makes sense doesn't it? which I knew then what I know now perhaps I'd never have got m.e. Which is proving impossible to shift!


What is burdock root similar to? Horseradish? And is that your own combination? Glad it is working for you!


Heloise, burdock root is nothing at all like horseradish. I googled how to cook it because it is regularly sold here at Korean and Chinese supermarkets. It is high in inulin which is a soluble fibre.

I make stuff on the week-ends, containerize and then mix and match during the week. Given all the history of various constipation problems over the years due to hypothyroid, I just want to make sure that the guts are happy. It takes some effort to cook various greens and whatnot, but for me it's worth it. Oftentimes I just buy something at the supermarket I've never eaten before and then find out what to do with it when I get home. Some things are truly duds. Some things are really good. Burdock root is a fussy thing to prepare but it's worth it.

1 like

Hello Coreyf,

There are several tests available for Lyme Disease and some more comprehensive than others.

In the UK, most patients test negative for Lyme as the test used by our national health service is thought to be inferior to others available in the states and Germany. I don't have Lyme but my nutritionist who treats several Lyme patients only uses a laboratory in Germany called Infectico.

Make sure your practioner is using a known recommended test.

I hope it is not Lyme for your sake.



It really starts with an immune dysfunction as others have mentioned. Your body can overcome many afflictions when things are optimal. Not counting malnutrition, your immune system will function very well if you eat only whole foods and avoid refined or processed foods since all sort of additives will harm the digestive lining and allow leaky gut.

This is why people with cancer, etc. use a macrobiotic diet. Everything you need to heal your body will probably be found in a food, not a drug.

Think of your body as being attacked when you are ill, your organs will attempt to work for you until they are destroyed for some reason. That is the way the thyroid gland proceeds. It will try to provide hormone as long as any bit of it is left. If you can stop the attacks, I think it would heal.

I don't know if Dr. John Bergman has a youtube video about Lyme but his knowledge of anatomy and organ function is brilliant. This doctor also shows how interrelated the organs and hormones are.


I thought I should reply to this root cause thread that I began to talk about what I've learned recently.

There may not be one root cause, but several. With the help of my naturopath, I learned that gluten is a cause. After 3.5 years of living with excruciating feet and hand pain, I've finally figured out what may be causing this. Nightshades. This isn't the answer for everyone with these symptoms, butbut I'm now only one week into a three month elimination diet and I have no more pain. If this continues, I'll know what my triggers are. And this is a huge relief. Thanks everyone for your words of knowledge, encouragement, and support.



You may also like...