Is Primary Hypothyroidism the same as Hashimoto's? - Thyroid UK

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Is Primary Hypothyroidism the same as Hashimoto's?


Just trying to confirm if Primary Hypothyroidism is the same as Hashimoto's. I have tried to look it up and from what i've found it seems so but there is no definite confirmation.

Just wondering as it's only quite recently that I have seen this diagnosis on a letter from my endo to GP but nobody has told me before what sort of hypothyroid issue they think I have. Thanks :)

14 Replies


Primary hypothyroidism just means that your hypothyroidism is caused by your thyroid not working properly, as opposed to secondary hypothyroidism which is caused by your thyroid not getting the signals to produce enough thyroid hormone. You can have secondary hypothyroidism without having anything actually wrong with your thyroid itself.

Primary hypothyroidism can either be autoimmune (Hashimoto's) or non-autoimmune. The only way you will know whether it is autoimmune is to have your antibodies tested. To date, I don't know whether I have autoimmune hypothyroidism or not as they won't test my antibodies. I don't even know if it is primary or secondary. I always have a low TSH but I have recently learned that can be due to deficiencies rather than secondary hypothyroidism.

I'm sorry I can't give you an answer as to what type of hypothyroidism you have. You could ask your GP if they are willing to do an antibody test. Some will but some won't. If you want to, there is always private testing if you need to know what type of hypothyroidism you have.

I hope that at least helped a little :)

Carolyn x

DeniseR in reply to PinkNinja

Thank you Carolyn for making that clear.

I think mine must be auto-immune as I seem to have so many issues, such as allergies, eczema, hayfever, asthma etc.

They did test one(TPO) and said it was fine, although they wouldn't give me a print out from the hospital, just wrote it in an email - I'm always suspicious lol

D x

PinkNinja in reply to DeniseR

I also have all of the above so wonder if this is the case with me. However, I was also taking Lithium carbonate for a few years which could have caused my hypothyroidism. Personally, I feel I was borderline hypothyroid for quite a while before the lithium. In fact a prescription of T3 from my psychiatrist did more to help my mental health than the lithium ever did. Perhaps that should have rung alarm bells at the time?

Funnily enough, my mental health has improved dramatically since dealing with vitamins and minerals and since switching to NDT! No more anti-depressants for me!

DeniseR in reply to PinkNinja

Glad to hear that you're improved CarolynB!

I hate the way they throw anti-depressants at you. I've been on them before also but now wonder if it was always my thyroid???

X x x

merissa in reply to DeniseR

Hi my (TPO) was in the normal range, however my thyroglobulin was high, either one is a indicator of AutommuneD. Hasi is Auto immune D, which I am also uncertain whether hypothyroid is another term for Hasimotos and Graves D is the term used for hyperthyroidism.

I dont now lol now im confused, you can flick from being hypo and hyper when the thyroid is being attacked by your immune system ( hashi) eventually you will become hypothyroid.

the anibodies will make issues worse and cause more issues.

hope this makes sence.


DeniseR in reply to merissa

Hi Merissa

I was just told my TPO was fine and my TgAb(which I had asked for was not done), even though I really thought it was. So I don't know if I have TgAb anti-bodies???

I've also had periods where I think I might have been hyper(now I look back, especially not long after I had my son) a long time ago, this also makes me think I have Hashi's.

Haha, sorry if I've added to the confusion lol

X x x


I posted this a little while ago:

Primary is when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone for reasons to do with the thyroid itself (or lack of, after thyroidectomies). Typically Hashimoto's in the UK - but iodine deficiency could also be regarded as primary.

Secondary is when pituitary does not produce enough TSH to tell thyroid to make thyroid hormone.

Tertiary is when hypothalamus does not make enough TRH to tell pituitary to make enough TSH to tell thyroid to make thyroid hormone.

So, if the problem is that the thyroid cannot make enough thyroid hormone, that is primary. This might be because someone was born without a thyroid, had it removed, had it destroyed by lymphocytes (as in Hashimoto's), or it simply seems to be the case (which is where I am).

I say:

Hashimoto's causes primary hypothyroidism.

But primary hypothyroidism is not always caused by Hashimoto's.


DeniseR in reply to helvella

Thanks Rod

It's great to have it put so clearly and with all the info. I agree and also think mine is caused be Hashimoto's.

D x

Denise R, that information is yours by law (freedom of information act), you need it for your records and monitoring of your condtion, the practice has to give it to you. I suggest you ask the practice manager insistently but politely, they may charge you if they are being akward.

DeniseR in reply to auldreekie

Hi Auldreekie

Thanks for the info but I don't have a problem with my GP practice, they always give me prints outs.

It's the hospital and endo that are a nightmare, when I have blood tests (even done at my GP) ordered by the endo, they never send copies to my GP(even when requested). So then I have to keep contacting the hospital and eventually they send an email or typed letter with the results. I have to ask for ranges, as they don't include them and quite often tests I think have been done are missing. They never supply an actual copy, just their typed interpretation, which makes me suspicious :(

Sorry Denise, didn't mean to lecture you! Can you find out the endo's secretary's number or e mail, sometimes they can help as they do seem to realise that you are the customer!!

Also I think thyroid patients are quite a demanding lot., we have to be (-; the hospital probably never get asked for ranges...

DeniseR in reply to auldreekie

Haha, no worries, didn't seem like a lecture lol

Yeah, that's who I email, (the endos secretary) but she always has to check with the endo first and send me what he says. Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I'd like to see the actual results given by the lab, rather than what the endo wants me to see but can't really argue, don't want to push my luck :)

Oh may gawd that's so 'Big Brother',I'm with you the labs print out is what you need! Don;t let them prescibe fenofexodine for the allergies - it lowers bp. At least read about it before you take it. Sorry there I go again.

I'll go now!

Haha, you are making me laugh!!!

Now I'm gonna say Oh my gawd! lol because I have been taking Fenofexodine for years in the summer months for my hayfever or as needed for other allergies!!!!!!!!!!! To be honest, I don't think it makes that much difference as far as my allergies are concerned. I always have had low blood pressure, even lower more recently!!!!!

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