Is there a cure for Hashimoto's?

Hi everyone, I have just joined the community and am looking forward to participating in the discussions.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's 10 years ago, and have been stable on thyroxine for 8 years. My thyroid doctor retired recently and I was seen by another doctor in the practice. He refers to himself as a "holistic medical doctor". The first thing he said was "Hashimoto's can be cured and you will no longer need thyroxine, it's just a matter of identifying the cause and eliminating it". I was surprised, as have never been told this before!! He said gut problems are a common cause. (I have had gut issues for over 30 yrs, and dozens of investigations)

He referred me to a book which he called the "new bible" for treating Hashimoto's. The book is "Hashimoto's - the root cause" by Izabella Wentz, pub 2013. He recommended I buy it. Has anyone read this book?

I have about 10 self-help books about Thyroid Disease, acquired over the years. I also read articles on the latest research etc. So I am not keen to buy any more self-help books unless there really is a book containing new and break-through ideas. Having read some reviews of Izabella Wentz's book (some critical) I am quite sceptical of it being regarded as the "new bible" within the thyroid community.

What do you think?

20 Replies

  • I'd say that "just a matter of identifying the cause and eliminating it" makes it sound incredibly simple and easy to do! Your instincts probably tell you that it's not going to be that easy at all. I don't know much detail about her method and haven't read her book but I know it does involve 'healing the gut' and I see that is a common theme in many of these websites that promise a way to fix your thyroid problems. My understanding is that there is no 'cure', only the possibility of slowing down the thyroid destruction and hopefully going into 'remission'.

    I am currently contemplating the Paleo diet but am going to do a LOT more research before diving in. :D It's probably worth giving the idea a try, you've got nothing to lose, really, and it might turn out you feel much better! I do think most of our troubles start from the food we eat (or don't eat) and so addressing that has got to be a good thing.

  • If autoimmune thyroid disease has destroyed or killed off a large chunk of your thyroid the chances of it recovering sufficiently to allow you to come off meds are approximately zero, in my opinion.

    If your autoimmune thyroid disease has not advanced very much and you still feel well when the problem is discovered then you might be able to put it into remission. How long would you stay well after that? I have absolutely no idea!

  • I felt well for 5 years after stopping my medication. My tsh never recovered it was double what it was before I got hashimotos. During that time my antibodies were negative. Now they are back and I'm back on levothyroxine.

    ETA, both times my hashimotos flared is after a big change in estrogen, first time after pregnancy and 2nd time as I'm entering menopause.

  • Your the first person who's mentioned hormones. I am 57, after the birth of my daughter I had an overactive thyroid for many years. I had a Mirena coil fitted, and my thyroid returned to normal, at the time I never put the two together. I now have an under active thyroid, and was feeling fine until my coil was up for renewal. I can hardly walk, my muscles are so sore, my joints ache continually, my arms and fingers have no strength, and I also suffer with daily Headaches. My doctor will not replace my coil because of my age, but has put me on hrt, which can kill you. I have come to the conclusion, that female hormones may play a large part in their thyroid decease. I wonder if anyone else feels this way.

  • tina2026

    I absolutely agree that estrogen and testosterone play a big part in thyroid disease. I have read many books/watched many videos that address these issues. I would be very hesitant to take hrt. Medical doctors/Endos know very little about the connection between the two. They don't focus on the whole body and don't know how to treat thyroid problems properly. You have to do your own research, don't rely on their knowledge. You need the help of a functional medicine doctor who treats the root causes of your problems instead of the symptoms.

  • How do you find the right doctor ? My problems have started since my progesterone ran out in my coil, or that's what I thought. I take 100mg levothyroxine, and my gp only checks blood once a year

  • I wouldn't be too worried about HRT, I don't think it's as bad as they say it is. I read alot about postpartum thyroiditis and that anyone who had it would probably have a recurrence at menopause. It's not fun, because I'm diabetic too, and so it makes it so much harder to control glucose with no estrogen and unstable thyroid disease. I keep altering my dose because I'm getting panic attacks on 50 mcg.

    The pain you are experiencing may go away as I find mine doesn't seem to be as bad and not a daily occurrence anymore. Make sure you are not low on any vitamins or minerals. I always take my vit D and magnesium. Also use potassium chloride along with salt as I dehydrate easily and that can cause widespread pain.

    Estrogen is very protective and once it's gone it opens us up to autoimmune disease, inflammation and heart disease to name a few....

  • Three things that may or may not be of interest. First of all, Dr. Wentz (PharmD) has a lot of information on her website that you could take a look at to see if you want to purchase the book. Her book is a very thorough look into all the problems Hashi's patients can encounter.

    She has an upcoming webinar.

    Dr. Tom O'Bryan (DC) has a new series of films on the autoimmunity crisis starting soon. You can register at this link.

  • Add:

    David Brownstein's Books, DVDs, and Supplements coupled with informative ... Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It; Overcoming Thyroid ..

  • Many thanks for your reply. The information is very helpful indeed.

  • It's lovely to think we could find the trigger and cure it, how simple! He clearly doesn't have Hashimotos but lovely he's so positive and open to helping.

    You can however help to cure your leaky gut which makes Hashimotos flare ups a lot less.

    Isabella Wertz is good but I really rate Dr Datis Khazzarian.

    The immune System Recovery plan is a good book by Susan Blum MD

    I'm also reading Eat Dit by Dr Josh Axe, will report on that.

    Just checking you know you have to be gluten free with Hashimotos? I wasn't ever told so have suffered for years so consequently have loads of issues and allergies. When food leaks from your gut and then is attacked by your T cells you can then get a food intolerance. So far I've found Gluten, potato, tomato, dairy, chilli are massive triggers for me.

    If you find a miracle cure please share!! :)

  • Add:

    David Brownstein's Books, DVDs, and Supplements coupled with informative ... Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It; Overcoming Thyroid ..

  • Hi, @Katepots - thanks for your reply. Yes I was gluten free for 30 years, 20 yrs before I was diagnosed with Hashi's.

    3 years ago under the guidance of a Diatetics specialist I started the FODMAPs diet and it has made a huge difference to me. I was able to put on some weight and the constant abdominal pain was much reduced. I also began to feel quite 'well' for the first time in years.

    The idea with FODMAPs is that you come off it gradually after the gut has been rested for a while. But it is apparent I can't come off it because when I do I get all the old symtoms back again immediately.

    My specialist has therefore agreed I am to remain on FODMAPs for the near future. It means I am on a very restricted diet but it works for me. I was required to keep Food Diaries for a month to ensure I have the right nutrition in my diet, and I take a few specific supplements prescribed by the Dietition. My health is closely monitored because I have other health issues aside from Hashi's, so I have regular blood tests anyway.

    In addition to being on FODMAPs I have to be on a low residue diet anyway as I have Diverticular Disease, so can't eat anything high fibre. This rules out many vegetables, grains and fruits, including dry fruits.

    I have tried everything possible to cure my 'apparently' leaky gut. I have no idea whether it is cured or not because I have ongoing gut issues (bowel dysfunction similar to IBS) since I was in my 20's. I am not aware of having Hashi's 'flare-ups'. My thyroid has been stable for 8 years, on the same dose of thyroxine. By flare-ups do you mean increases in Thyroid Antibodies? If so I wouldn't know about it as NHS tests do not test for antibodies if your TSH is consistently within range.

    Tbh, as my Hashi's is stable my feeling is to leave well alone as I have more serious life limiting health issues to deal with. I did politely say this to the new doctor but felt he was not listening and was being rather over zealous and a bit pushy with his ideas. He tried to persuade me to have thyroid blood tests done at £190 a time (compared to £60 or so through Blue Horizon) and stool analysis tests done at £380 (compared £180 or so through other reputable labs).

    However I must add I am always interested to read about new ideas when it comes to all aspects of my health. So will have a read of Izabella Wetz's website, as another poster has kindly recommended.

    Thank you also to you, for recommending Dr Datis Khazzarian and Susan Blum's book. I will be interested to look at their ideas, and also to read your review of Dr Joshe Axe's book .

    Thanks again :)

  • Hi, you're welcome. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    I'm on an elimination diet now, like you I seem to have allergies to so many foods and really not being left with much to eat at all. I too have diverticulitis and what seems to be a gut with a huge hole not just leaky!!

    With Hashi flare up I'm just so tired and hugely achy, feel flu like. My antibodies are still high which show inflammation. I'm guessing I need to stay on an elimination too.

    Having trouble with latest NDT as I'm allergic to the filler.

    It's a never ending battle isn't it?!

    I'm sorry your new Dr is a bit pushy. I'm sure you know your body better than anyone.

    Good luck.

  • I Have a holistic background. Changes to a whole food, clean diet and supplementation protocols that include iodine make it possible. Read the book and also check our Dr Bernstein in the US online:

    David Brownstein's Books, DVDs, and Supplements coupled with informative ... Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It; Overcoming Thyroid ..

  • Hi @juju3 - thanks for your reply. I am already on a healthy diet (FODMAPs) as well as dairy free, with appropriate supplements. Before FODMAPs I was on a whole food gluten free diet for 30 years.

    I would not personally like to rely upon supplementing with iodine to prevent me becoming hypothyroid. The amount of iodine required is tiny (one teaspoonful in a lifetime). The risk is one unwittingly takes too much and ends up with a goitre. I feel safer supplementing with thyroxine which can be titrated in very miniscule doses and the result of taking it easily monitored.

  • i get Dr. Wentz emails..your doctor is very wise to go this route! Yes, most autoimmune disease can be put int remission, even permanently and damage reversed, if not too severe. I am doing this myself, for my son as well. Mainstream medicine has nothing to offer autoimmune disease patients, but immune system suppressants, which cause worse disease, than you are being treated for in the first place...never is the cause investigated. It is usually about diet and food sensitivities. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, if you try it.

  • Since you posted I've bought and read through a large part of Izabella Wentz's book. I have to say I like it a lot, it's clearly written and she describes the diets that one might choose to help with gut issues, but leaves it up to the reader to decide how to proceed as each person is different, with links to various sites for further info. Well worth having on your bookshelf. It's been helping me to decide how to proceed diet-wise!

    She does talk about Candida and other intestinal pathogens that can cause havoc, too, and mentions it might be worth testing for them. I've not read a lot of other self-help thyroid books as yet, I think this one covers most of what I need and I can hopefully do my research from this point on. It really is a long and difficult journey. I wish you well!

  • @Jadzhia, my big problem with Isabella Wentz's book is that so much of what she says is either theory or anecdotal, and not based on results of properly conducted clinical studies.

    Without evidence to show that Wentz's recommendations have been tested in scientific studies and proved to be of benefit, one is in the position of trying out things on a random basis, feeling one's way in the dark.

    Unless one is a human biologist or a doctor one cannot even tell whether what Wentz says is plausible in terms of how the body's complicated systems works.

    Personally, after more than 40 years with this illness I would not want to give up time and effort to pursuing ideas for treatment that are untested and could be complete red herrings.

    Things that have been tested in studies and proved to be of some help, such as taking a daily probiotic, and following a certain diet, I have found to be of great help.

  • During the three weeks that have passed since I posted, I now have read Dr Susan Blum's book The Immune System Recovery Plan (she is a Hashi's sufferer) and am following along with her advice which feels more tailored to the individual. I'm about to embark upon the first (quite gentle) elimination diet (no gluten, no dairy, no corn, no soy) for 3 weeks, and see how I get on. Then will re-intro dairy, corn and soy to see if an reactions. Won't be re-intro-ing gluten as I've already established I do not get on with it! Following that will be a more stringent elimination diet, again to test my reactions to other food groups. Trying not to focus on that for now!

    But yes, agree that there are many 'red herrings' out there and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another, which is part of the frustration with the condition. Also there are many contradictory studies, too, so just when one feels there's a glimmer of light, another study produces the opposite result. Right now I'm going on how I feel.

    At the moment my diet is not ideal (too high in fruit sugars and carbs, even though I never touch refined sugar/flour and now am not eating any wheat/gluten) so I'm still 'on the journey' to better health, like everyone else here, and hoping for the best!

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