HASHIMOTOS or NOT?: I have had and been treated... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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I have had and been treated for an underactive thyroid for over 30 years now, starting originally on 50 gm of thyroxine which has recently increased to150 mg. In all of those past years I have asked my GP just once, 'do I suffer from Hashimoto's disease'. His answer was a quizzical look as if questioning my sanity, and replied condescendingly 'you have an underactive thyroid medically known as Hypothyroidism for which you take thyroxine'. Needless to say I never asked again. Can someone explain to me the difference between Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos please, and also the dietary differences between the two ie. should I stop eating gluten and dairy if I am Hypo or is that the rule for Hashimoto sufferers. I feel that I want to reduce the amount of thyroxine I take, or at least stay on 125 mg and not go up by another 25 mg if possible.

11 Replies

Hashi's is the cause of hypothyroidism in some people - not everybody. The difference is that there's nothing actually wrong with your thyroid, except that it's being attacked by your own immuns system and slowly destroyed.

It's possible that your doctor doesn't even know it by that name. It's often called Autoimmune Thyroiditis by UK doctors. You need your TPO antibodies tested to see if you have it. But, as you've been hypo for such a long time, your antibodies might no-longer be high. And ultrasound would probably be better for a Hashi's diagnosis at this stage. But, even if you found out you do have Hashi's, there's not much you can do about it. There is no cure, and the treatment is the same as for hypo caused in any other way.

The reason some Hashi's people are gluten-free is that they often have gluten-sensitivity - if not out-right Coeliac disease. But, there's no reason why you shouldn't try it. It's not an obligation, but could help you feel better. :)

Paulaj15 in reply to greygoose

There is a cure if you can get the antibodies down before you become hypothyroid. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's after insisting on a full thyroid panel although my doctor argued only TSH was necessary. My results showed antibodies over 600 and I immediately went into full research mode. Radically changing my diet using the Autoimmune Paleo diet and taking Low Dose Naltrexone has been enough to significantly lower my antibodies. They continue to go down and I have not become hypothyroid. Eliminating gluten and dairy has been critical for me.

greygoose in reply to Paulaj15

Even if you got rid of the antibodies completely, you would still have Hashi's, because the antibodies are not the disease, they are the result of the disease. It is not the TPO/Tg antibodies that do the attacking. They are just the result of the attack.

Bunnyjean in reply to Paulaj15

Not after thirty years though, surely.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Bunnyjean

I have had Hashimoto's diagnosed 25 years ago, probably had it at least 5-10 years before diagnosis

My antibodies were still very high in 2016. TPO antibodies been steadily falling since gluten free after endoscopy in summer 2016. Had absolutely no gut symptoms.

Low vitamin levels are extremely common when hypothyroid, but especially with Hashimoto's and gluten intolerance

Most medics seem to have little idea how much hypothyroidism, especially Hashimoto's, badly affects gut function and can severely compromise vitamin absorption

Interesting Slow Dragon, as earlier this year my GP told me that I had to have a endoscopy as I was not absorbing vitamin D and was very, very low in Iron. The result was a small ulcer in my stomach and oesophagus due to too much acid in my gut. I had no idea I had anything wrong with my gut.

I was also diagnosed as having polymyalgia by my GP but when sent to see a Rhumie he said I didn't have it. My GP still went with her diagnosis and put me on steroids which I have been on since February (slowly weaning off thankfully). Frankly I have had enough of meds - Lansoprazole, Prednosole, Telmisartan, Adcal,

Gaviscon, Vit C, Iron tablets, oh, and of course Levothyroxine.

I have started eating gluten free now and do feel better after eating it as I am not so bloated. I do like cheese though and eat it to get protein for my bones etc. (steroids weaken bones). Thanks for the information SD and I will continue with the GF.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Ricketts40

Stomach ulcers are often due to H pylori, a gut bacteria. More common with Hashimoto's, because when hypothyroid we tend to have LOW stomach acid




H Pylori and relation to stomach acid



If on Lansoprazole ( a PPI) then low vitamin levels are more likely, especially B12 and magnesium.

Many on here take magnesium supplements



Many posts on here about low stomach acid





Are you still on maintenance dose of vitamin D ? If not you probably should be

Strongly suggest you get full testing of thyroid and vitamins

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies and also very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies or vitamins


Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have special offers, Medichecks usually have offers on Thursdays, Blue Horizon its more random

All thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. Do not take Levothyroxine dose in the 24hours prior to test, delay and take immediately after blood draw. This gives highest TSH and lowest FT4. (Patient to patient tip, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

Hypothyroidism is the failure of the thyroid gland to function effectively or at all, for which the treatment is replacement thyroid hormones eg synthetic T4 and/or T3, or natural desiccated bovine or porcine gland. Hashimoto's - or autoimimmune thyroiditis - is an autoimmune condition which attacks the thyroid gland, thereby ultimatelyresulting in the condition of hypothyroidism. But not everyone has an autoimmune condition and their hypothyroidism is therefore ideopathic. Hashimoto's is diagnosed by the presence of one or more types of antibodies, or by an ultrasound scan of the thyroid - not everyone will exhibit antibodies. Equally a percentage of the healthy population will have evidence of the antibodies but will nevertheless be euthyroid. Some people with autoimmune conditions do better by excluding gluten, although not everyone benefits to the same degree. It's thought that being gluten-free may lower the inflammatory response and thereby reduce the inflammation of the thyroid gland. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, (people with an autoimmune disease can have a "leaky gut") and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue through "mistaken identity". Dairy products are said to be inflammatory so again, some people may feel better by their exclusion, although not necessarily all forms. Regarding levothyroxine, you need what you need - it's not a failure to need more, and not a success to need less.

Good explanation from Maisie G

I showed no anti bodies but am GF for a year now . It has been very positive for me and I feel so much better . Would advocate it worth a try .

Mine was TT cancer nearly 3 yrs ago . Who knows maybe had I done it sooner it may have saved me from that as the results in my health have been very good

I would test Thyroglobulin Antibody (TgAB) as well as TPO. I had raging Hashimoto’s with sky high TgAB but normal anti-TPO. “Thyroiditis” was confirmed on pathology after thyroidectomy. So, you need to test both.

It would be a good idea to get private blood test from either Medichecks or Blue Horizon.

Many on this site do this. Blue Horizon (thyroid plus 11 ) is a good one for you. Post the results on here with the ranges for answers. Take the test first thing in the morning fasting. Leave off Levo for 24 hours prior to the test.

I did this after my TT and followed the advice on here and now feel well again. Prior to joining this site I knew nothing about the thyroid and most GP's and Endos don't either.

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