Difference between autoimmune thyroid disease a... - Thyroid UK

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Difference between autoimmune thyroid disease and non autoimmune

queridalady profile image
24 Replies

Hi to all the knowledgeable people on here 🙂

I was diagnosed hypo in 2013 and my antibody count was negative. The docs have refused to retest antibodies again so last year I had a private test and they were negative again. The doctor's note that came with the test results said that this indicates I don't have an autoimmune thyroid problem. I had thyroglobulin and TPO tested.

So I was wondering what the difference is? I always have below range TSH and just in range FT3 and FT4 so I always get the comment that my TSH indicates I should reduce thyroxine. HMmmm

Last November I had a health issue (not thyroid related) that caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety. I'm still very anxious now and whenever I feel like this it tends to show in my throat if that makes sense? My throat feels tight etc which in turn makes me wonder if my thyroid is swelling up. (equals more anxiety. I am due my annual check at the end of Jan but I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts that might help me. I have also started reducing my hormone pill over the last 3 months. I've taken it for years without a break but now I'm down to a quarter of a pill a day. Didn't just stop cold turkey due to withdrawal migraines. I've read that oestrogen can have an effect on thyroid? I was hoping that coming off it would be beneficial for my body but all I seen to be at the moment is fat, grumpy and anxious!

Thanks for your thoughts.

24 Replies
greygoose profile image

I suppose that, basically, the difference is that if you have Hashi's, you know what caused your hypothyroidism, but if you don't have Hashi's, you don't always know why you're hypo. But, hypothyroidism is hypothyroisims - i.e. the thyroid, for whatever reason, can no-longer make enough hormone to keep you well.

There is, of course, the complication with Hashi's that you get these attacks on your thyroid, and the dying cells dump their stock of hormone into the blood, causing you to become temporarily hyper, which does make finding the right dose more difficult. But, the symptoms of hypo are still the same, and the treatment is the same.

I always have below range TSH and just in range FT3 and FT4

Just in-range at the top or at the bottom? Actual numbers - results and ranges - help people to reply to you more comprehensively. :)

queridalady profile image
queridalady in reply to greygoose

Sorry for not being clear. I'm always at the bottom of the range so I haven't let them reduce thyroxine as I will go below range. I take b12, iron and D3 to help conversion.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to queridalady

Please add actual results and ranges

When were vitamin D, folate, B12 and ferritin last tested

If you are supplementing iron you need full iron panel test regularly at least every 2-3 month

How much levothyroxine are you currently taking

Do you always get same brand of levothyroxine

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water .

Last dose of Levothyroxine 24 hours prior to blood test. (taking delayed dose immediately after blood draw).

This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip)

Is this how you do your tests?

Private tests are available as NHS currently rarely tests Ft3 or thyroid antibodies or all relevant vitamins

List of private testing options


Medichecks Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins


Thriva Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins By DIY fingerpick test


Thriva also offer just vitamin testing

Blue Horizon Thyroid Premium Gold includes antibodies, cortisol and vitamins by DIY fingerprick test


If you can get GP to test vitamins and antibodies then cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3

£29 (via NHS private service ) and 10% off down to £26.10 if go on thyroid uk for code



Also vitamin D available as separate test via MMH

Or alternative Vitamin D NHS postal kit


Lizzo30 profile image

Hi Queridalady I am not an expert but I know a little bit

so autoimmune disorders are more common in women and especially when women hit the menopause also after giving birth or if they are on HRT or the contraceptive pill

the 2 main hormones are estrogen and progesterone

estrogen is excititory

progesterone is inhibitory

so after giving birth progesterone drops dramatically giving rise to estrogen dominence this is when women can develop hashimotos or even ppp

hashimotos is an autoimmune disorder as are many other conditions such as eczema psoriorsis type 1 diabetes etc

post natal hashimotos often goes into remission after a while because the ovaries make more progesterone to calm down the estrogen but obvs the ovaries won't make as much progesterone in menopause

you'd think that supplimenting with progesterone would cure everything but I am not sure about this after seeing a video that someone posted here on HU

ordinary hypothyroidism could be due to genetric propensity and or lack of iodine

the type of autoimmune disorder you develop due to high estrogen also seems to be down to genetics

hope this fills in a few gaps for you - below is a link to a nutritionist who knows alot about hormones


I am going to watch the programme on BBC 1 about the immune system at 9pm tonight - it's not just high estrogen that can trigger autoimmune disorders so can immune stimulants - I took rhodiola which is in the top ten suppliments in US but it triggered eczema in me that was so bad that I went to the top of the NHS list to see a dermatologist , I will be exempt from the covid vaccine for that reason

queridalady profile image
queridalady in reply to Lizzo30

Thanks so much for the information Lizzo. Really interesting and informative. I will record the TV program tonight. Something I have always wondered about given that I don't have the autoimmune version is that I maybe had a sluggish thyroid that I pushed over the edge. I had always eaten well, exercised a lot and controlled my weight. Then I stated to put on a few pounds so I started having raw broccoli smoothies twice a day. A few months later I was diagnosed. Who knows! Thanks again xx

Lizzo30 profile image
Lizzo30 in reply to queridalady

broccoli was one of the worst things to have for hypothyroidism because it is goitrogenic, maybe you were low on iodine? - not suggesting you take it with levo mind

iodine deficiency is one of the top causes around the world for babies being born with congenital hypothyroidism so awful yet easily prevented

the recent trend in veganism is going to cause problems with thyroids I think in the future , I don't like eating meat , in fact I say sorry to the animal when I eat it but I think we need a bit esp children

queridalady profile image
queridalady in reply to Lizzo30

I'm the same. I hardly eat meat. Only do do as I get low obbirn iron otherwise. Interesting about iodine. When my daughter was born (she is 21now) I stopped using salt in cooking or adding into my food. I still don't use it. I thought about taking iodine after I was diagnosed but then read a lot about it not being good for you to take with thyroid disease. Hard to know what to do for the best.

Lizzo30 profile image
Lizzo30 in reply to queridalady

salt is important you should have a bit , salt isn't iodised anymore in UK , you are right about iodine if you are taking levothyroxine they say you shouldn't have iodine as well as it is in the levo

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Lizzo30

Iodised salt has never been standard in the UK. But there are several makes of iodised salt available, if you feel the need!

Lizzo30 profile image
Lizzo30 in reply to helvella

yes there is one sold in Sainsburys which is an original one from way back


Serendipitious profile image
Serendipitious in reply to queridalady

Iodine is used to clean the pipes farmers use to milk cows. So non-organic milk is one source. Also eating a potion of fish should contain some iodine too.

serenfach profile image
serenfach in reply to Serendipitious

They may dip the teats in a weak iodine solution after milking, but they do not use iodine to clean the pipes. All milk is tested at source and if any impurities at all are found, and iodine would count, the milk is discarded and the farmer is not paid, and could be fined. So it is vital for the livelihood of the farmer that the milk is as pure as can be.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to serenfach

Some years ago, I was consuming goat milk, and found that they usually use a chlorine-based teat disinfectant - not iodine. Apparently more gently on the teats.

And from what I have read elsewhere, the move from iodophores to chlorine-based has been common across the UK.

Serendipitious profile image
Serendipitious in reply to serenfach

Iodine can be found in cow's dairy in quite small amounts.

British Dietetic Association:

"Iodine is found in a range of foods, the richest sources being fish, milk, and dairy products. In general, white fish contains more iodine than oily fish."


"Dietary sources – The richest natural sources are seafood; modest amounts in fruits and vegetables that depend upon soil content of iodine; modern farming and processing methods increase the amounts in milk and some bakery products; iodised salt."

Webb, G. (2020). Nutrition: Maintaining and Improving Health (5th ed.). CRC Press.

Thyb profile image
Thyb in reply to Serendipitious

Serendipitious Cravendale semi skimmed milk contains quite a bit of iodine

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to serenfach

It use to be that non organic milk had more iodine in it than organic milk (one of primary reasons I originally chose organic milk)

Apparently now organic milk has higher levels of iodine


queridalady profile image
queridalady in reply to SlowDragon

good to know. thank you

Serendipitious profile image
Serendipitious in reply to SlowDragon

Yes I’ve heard that too 👍

Buddy195 profile image
Buddy195Administrator in reply to Lizzo30

Thanks for the link Lizzo30. I’ve never heard of taurine. Do you take this with magnesium too?

Lizzo30 profile image
Lizzo30 in reply to Buddy195

hi I didn't actually mean for the link to go to taurine in particular , I don't take taurine no - it helps you sleep but don't have too much of it - I find it a bit depressing - it is serotogenic - a bit of a downer - but useful for some issues

SlowDragon profile image

20% of Hashimoto's patients never have raised antibodies

Recommend you get ultrasound scan of thyroid

Private scan £150


Paul Robson on atrophied thyroid - especially if no TPO antibodies


ThyroQueen profile image
ThyroQueen in reply to SlowDragon

Yeah my Hashi's diagnosis is from the endo doing an ultrasound and saying "Wow it's pretty tiny" not from antibodies.

Guineapiggy profile image

Something I have been reading about that makes a lot of sense. If the body has been in a fight or flight mode for a long time it leads to cell danger response where the mitochondria don't work properly and the body goes into conservation mode [such as with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue] The body downregulates the adrenal and thyroid function to conserve energy.

GrowingVeg profile image

All very interesting, I've nothing to add other than my inital tests showed no Hashi antibodies. I too had a period of an intensely stressful job, precided by a time of trying to be vegan, and that their is a history of hypothyroid in my uncle and grandmother on my dad's side... I will get antibodies tested again privately in the future as their is the possibility of having hashi but testing negative. Not sure it matters a lot, but I do spend time wondering how I ended up this way. I guess it's part of trying to come to terms with it all.

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