Thyroid UK
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Hashimoto's - does an official diagnosis make any difference to treatment for underactive thyroid?

So I've just written in another post how I had a Blue Horizon test done recently that showed very high Thyroglobulin antibodies but normal Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies. Everywhere I look online this suggests Hashimoto's but my GP said high thyroid antibodies could be caused by having a cold! And has disregarded the results. And they don't do antibodies testing.

Now this seems to be a dr fob off (again)... Should I fight for a Hashimoto's official autoimmune diagnosis? I've Finally just got my underactive thyroid recognised after years of symptoms my TSH has just gone out of range a bit. So just started levothyroxine a few weeks ago. But only 25mcg... as my gp said she doesn't believe that my thyroid is the real cause of my symptoms and I'll probably never know what is!! "But stay positive...."

But is Hashimoto's treated any differently to underactive thyroid? Will pushing for a diagnosis help or just alienate me from the drs practice for being an annoying patient... when it wouldn't change my treatment plan anyway.

Obviously I want a diagnosis of what is actually wrong but will it do any good to push?

5 Replies

Hi Tinkerbell, your doctor does not know what s/he is talking about. You have high Thyroglobulin antibodies, so you have the auto-immune version of underactive thyroid, which is called Hashimoto's, although many doctors don't like calling it that - don't ask me why. It does not matter if the TP antibodies are not high as well. Unfortunately, Hashimoto's is generally treated as badly as any other form of underactive thyroid, so you'll have to do some homework on it. Remove gluten and soy from your diet for a start. There are some good books about but 'Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy' by Dr. Barry Peatfield is my favourite. Get your thyroid bloods re-tested after being on 25 mg for six weeks and this should include TSH, T4 and T3, although, again, most GPs only do TSH. 25mg is a very small dose unless you are elderly, so you are likely to need an increase. If your TSH is out of range, you have an underactive thyroid, so that should be the diagnosis. Ask your GP what they are putting on your records. It's horrible feeling like you are being a nuisance, when all you are doing is trying to get proper treatment for your illness, but your health is very important so try not to worry about that too much. I'm sure my GP finds me a right pain, but I am not bothered by that any more.

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You have a confirmed diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's has caused the hypothyroidism. It will make no difference to your treatment for hypothyroidism if your GP does his homework and agrees high thyroglobulin antibodies means you have autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's). There is no cure or treatment for autoimmune disease. Levothyroxine is replacement hormone for the hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's.

Many people have found that 100% gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and eventually antibodies.


Thank you Scazzoh and Clutter. This is what I thought. I've only just changed gp practice in December to this one so for now I'd rather not change to another practice. But yes it's infuriating. I think I'll not push further for now. At least I got my underactive thyroid diagnosis... :) that was some mission in itself


Hi tinkerbell22. Autoimmune thryroiditis (Hasihimoto's) is not treated any differently from other underactive thyroid conditions. A gp probably see them all as the same and is unaware of the autoimmune attacks and how that may impact on how we feel. I'd leave it as you don't gain anything yet you may antagonise the gp, which may be unhelpful for the future. There is likely going to be a challenge ahead in getting your dose of Levo to the optimal level so you want your gp engaged, as much as possible.

However, knowing you have Hashimoto's is very useful for you as there are steps you can take to reduce the attacks, such as gluten free diet or supplementation. There are a lot of lifestyle recommendations on this forum, if you browse past posts. I'd recommend looking at or for more information.

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UPDATE.... It IS important to get the autoimmune diagnosis and I did it :D Yippeee!

I had a moment of clarity after my brain fog lifted a little after experimenting with 50mcg levothyroxine... I realised that because drs have all told me my thyroid symptoms are "all in my head", I've been ignoring them and other symptoms.... Lifting the brain fog I got a glimpse of understanding I've been ignoring arthritis symptoms for years.... And my nan was crippled by Rheumatoid Arthritis.... (my mum's mum, and it's my mum who has severe thyroid problems). Anyone seeing the link here ;)

So I realised the threat of having one autoimmune disease and it spreading to triggering other autoimmune diseases is already on my doorstep. It's already happened.

This clarity made me realise I MUST find a GP that recognises my thyroid as autoimmune so they will accept and explore the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis. Gulp....

I discussed this with my other half and thank goodness she was sooooo supportive. So much so she got on the phone immediately to get me registered with a new GP surgery!!!

I saw the new GP last week and he was Amazing! Finally I've got recognition for Autoimmune thyroid disease (he even wrote in on my medical record lol). and he's raised my levo up to 50mcg without question. And he's doing tests for rheumatoid arthritis. Success!

I'm rather overwhelmed by all this but also happy to be making progress.

I just felt I had to update and point out it Is important to get the autoimmune bit recognised as you never know when other autoimmune diseases will strike. And you need a dr who will understand this and help.


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