And The Winner Is…Hashimoto!

 So, looks like I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by a variety of cell- and antibody-mediated immune processes. It was the first disease to be recognized as an autoimmune disease.[1] It was first described by the Japanese specialist Hakaru Hashimoto in a paper published in Germany in 1912.

Wish I’d have bothered with the full tests years ago when an elevated TSH showed up. Oh, well, water under the bridge and I like a challenge. Here’s the panel:

  • TSH: 9.86 (0.10 – 5.50 uIU/mL)
  • T3, Total: 112 (50 – 170 ng/dL)
  • Free T4: 1.0 (0.8 – 1.7 ng/dL)
  • TPO Antibody: 216 (<=35 IU/mL)
  • Thyroglobulin: 7.6 (0.0 – 55.0 ng/mL)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody: <20.0 (<=20.0 IU/mL)

So, the smoking gun is the TPO (thyroid peroxidase) antibody. It’s an enzyme in the thyroid gland important in the production of thyroid hormones. So, I’ve got an auto-immune condition where that enzyme gets attacked by my own immune system, causing my TSH (thyrotropin) to be elevated to overcome the effect of the antibody.

The one thing that has me intrigued is with everything else so stellar in my blood work (best ever in my blood-test life), I’m interested to see what I might do about this without meds, shits & giggles like. Here’s the other reason, my previous TSH tests.

Screen Shot 2014 12 07 at 3 15 40 PM
 

The 2009 – 20011 tests were when I was taking 90mg Armour most days. Then I just stopped. I had no apparent symptoms (cold hands/feet, primarily), plus I wanted to see where it would be. Problem is, I wish I had a reference point for when I began with adding starches, supplementing resistant starch, and also adding the soil-based probiotics. That it’s 10 now, instead of 16 back in 2008, indicates something has improved. Was it 16 (or worse) before I started feeding my gut bugs in 2013?

I think I want to take a few more steps for 90 days, retest, and see where I am before going back on meds.

All suggestions welcome and appreciated.

UPDATE: Chris Kresser Gives Me Deep Insight and Confirms My Hashimoto’s Amelioration Approach


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36 Comments

  1. Anne on December 10, 2014 at 04:27

    Welcome to the club! Well, not really – wouldn’t wish this thing on my worst enemy. I was diagnosed with it 5 years ago. My TSH was between 8-13 for most of my life (I’m 45). In 2009, something seemed to go wrong. I goitered, had trouble swallowing and felt very ill. Heart issues were pretty bad, dizzy and exhausted. So I finally had the nerve to make an appt with a doctor. She said I had Hashimoto’s and that the nodules in my thyroid were probably cancer. I told her I didn’t want to do anything for a few months to see if I could heal this on my own. I made a lot of mistakes but finally I found my way to good health. Number one warning – do not take iodine. I did it and it was a huge mistake and takes many months to get over. Watch the videos from . Dr. Haskel’s theory on what happens when the thyroid gets attacked and why iodine is not good is very sound. I tried his program but found I’m allergic to synthetic T4. Eventually, I gritted my teeth and took Naturethroid (natural thyroid that you have to get from a doctor). Luckily, I did not react to it and after a year of getting healthier and healthier, I actually became hyperthyroid. I quit the medication and my thyroid is now functioning on its own. It has been about 2-3 months without medication. Though it’s winter, I am warm, my mind is functioning wonderfully and my heart is beating properly. Am I healed? I’m going to give it a year to say that.

    The other thing that is very, very important is to avoid foods that causes the attacks. See, when I eat the wrong food, my thyroid becomes enlarged in a day or so. I also have other symptoms like production mucus from lungs and nose (the nose stuff seems kind of infected). I also get heart palpitations the night I eat the wrong thing. It can take me weeks to get over an accidental wheat ingestion. Chemicals are bad – sodium benzoate and other food preservatives. Other things take sensitization before I get symptoms. I can eat rice 3-4 days in a row before I show problems. Corn 1-2 days. I usually go a month before I eat those kind of foods. I tend to have problems with beans and even chocolate. What makes me feel best? Organic meats, vegetables (including potatoes), and fruits (except strawberries and bananas). No nuts whatsoever because even the faintest amount hurts quickly. So as I see it – seeds of any kind give me problems. One other thing is probiotics and yogurt. I can do a little yogurt once in a while only. I used to think that it was something to do with my gut lining but I’m not sure anymore. Chris Kresser has a podcast on histamine intolerance and his “bad” foods for that seem to follow mine. It would be worth looking into.

    One other very interesting thing I’ve noticed and even a friend with hypothyroidism concurs – very rare beef is like a tonic to the thyroid. My friend just told me she feels like Superwoman on it. Have no idea why. I generally take a frozen ribeye (grass fed), throw it into the frying pan to sear both sides and then eat chunks of it while it is thawing and warming it the center. I ate a raw roast one time – not really as palatable as seared.

    I kid you not, I went from deathly ill for a couple years to vibrant and healthy. From barely being able to walk to walking over 10k steps per day and strength exercises. From a heart that skipped every other beat and chest pains to pain free and beating with a regular rhythm. And I had an appt with that same doctor this spring and she said my thyroid was normal and healthy – all hard nodules gone.

    Good luck on your journey. You are so inquisitive and determined to find the truth about health that I’m confident you will make great strides and further the knowledge to the benefit of all Hashi patients.

    • tw on December 10, 2014 at 07:59

      I wanted to ask you if you eat eggs (didn’t see it mentioned) and whether you notice if the feed may have included grain.

      …..and have you tried eating bison the same way as beef? I always feel a surge of energy from eating the stuff.

    • Aaron Ashmann on December 10, 2014 at 10:36

      Anne, how much iodine do you believe a human needs then if you can feel good on so little?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 10:51

      tw:

      Eggs are a veritable staple all my life. If I could choose only one food, it would be eggs.

      That said, I’m probably average 1 per day since I’ll go weeks without any. But when I want a 6 egg omelet, it’s going down.

      I’m really not interested in drilling down to finer points of what my food eats (chickens, or buffalo wings). To me, this is ridiculous obsession and I’d rather be on meds.

      What I’m trying to do is see if in a bit more careful regime, targeting things I believe important, I can get there without meds and close is fine.

      BTW, there’s significant evidence that TSH under 10, with normal t3/4 isn’t worth treating (subclinical). I have to consider that all, too.

    • Anne on December 10, 2014 at 14:08

      These days, I can eat eggs (organic). Bison is very much like beef.

      When I was really ill, I couldn’t eat anything but grass-fed beef and a few fruits. Grain-fed made me react and I’m still careful not to eat grain-fed meats very often. Beef and a few fruits were all I ate the first year of being severely ill (I could count on those things to feel good and not go downhill). I got better very slowly during the next 3 years but only to the point of functional. On my 5th year of recovery, I think taking the Naturethroid gave me the final boost I needed to get my body healthy especially being able to exercise. Exercise promotes the release of human growth hormones which helps to convert T4 to T3 – a problem a lot of people have.

      After a year of being on Naturethroid, towards the end of that year I walked a lot, my 45 year old body sort of kicked in, turned hyperthyroid, I stopped meds, and now don’t show signs of my thyroid slowing down again. I’ve heard of Hashi going hypo to hyper and back again so I’m waiting and watching. But I just don’t feel like it’s swinging – things feel stable.

      Sorry, if I wrote too much. Just thought it might be helpful info.

    • Anne on December 10, 2014 at 14:19

      I can’t really say on amounts. I can only speak from how my thyroid reacts – it actually gets enlarged. For me, that is a very bad sign.

      I had done the Brownstein recommendations for iodine and supporting supplements early in my illness. After a few weeks, I was in real trouble and it took months for my thyroid and body to settle down from it. I gained a lot of weight and lost my cycle for a month (not to mention becoming really irritable from messed-up hormones).

      I didn’t start eating seafood until about 3 years after that. I can eat sushi and shellfish every couple of weeks without problem now.

  2. Mycroft Jones on December 9, 2014 at 22:43

    Richard, how is your body temperature? I know Matt Stone makes a big deal about it, but there is something else on the market, and it may help, and quickly.

    Are you familiar with DrEliza.com? The computer genius behind it has a background in fixing electronics, neural networks, and fixing control systems. He applied that knowledge to analyse and fix his own problems. He’s since helped a bunch of others. After a year of my body temperature not budging, I finally am up to a good body temperature and feeling more energetic than I have in ages.

    Why all this talk of body temperature? His take on thyroid, hormones, etc are very much involved. Fascinating, and very actionable. He doesn’t talk about gut bugs, but his material doesn’t contradict or go against any of the gut bug stuff either.

    Here:

    http://fixlowbodytemp.com/

    He’s an old timey computer engineer, twice Matt Stone’s age. He’s thought things through to a really deep level. He applies techniques he used to repair warplanes, to the human body. Has a whole philosophy of how to dig down, find a problem, and then find a solution.

  3. Mycroft Jones on December 9, 2014 at 22:48

    Looks like the blog ate my previous post. Essential point is, this link. I think it could help fast.

    http://fixlowbodytemp.com/

    QUOTE:

    Your central metabolic control system (CMCS), located primarily in your hypothalamus, controls every process in your body. Your CMCS works according to Adaptive Control Systems Theory principles, only is more capable than modern science and engineering now knows how duplicate. The only way we can now simulate such biological systems is by incorporating talented control systems engineers.

    CMCS problems are computational and not chemical in nature, so their correction necessarily requires reprogramming rather than chemicals to correct. Since we have no direct access to the program, we must exert external influences to cause the internal reprogramming mechanism to do its job.

    ENDQUOTE

  4. JasonC on December 9, 2014 at 23:09

    Check out the thyroid books by Wentz and Kharazzian.

    And this article, but which is light on the gut flora connection:

    And lastly this interview of Alessio Fasano, who said the most exciting recent discovery is the gut flora connection:
    http://chriskresser.com/pioneering-researcher-alessio-fasano-m-d-on-gluten-autoimmunity-leaky-gut

  5. Mycroft+Jones on December 10, 2014 at 01:33

    JasonC, it is true gut bugs are involved; they create hormones. The fixlowbodytempearture website explains the exact role that hormones play, and it isn’t what we’ve thought up to now. And the difference is important. Hormones are cumulative; when they build up, they signal the brain. But it is the brain that decides what controls to send through the nerves to everything that can be controlled. Hormones take time to build up so the brain notices them; brain signals are instant.

  6. Austin on December 10, 2014 at 03:06

    Matt Stone’s work on metabolism might be helpful, like the first commenter mentioned.

    One of the most interesting things that I have read in one of his books was that starvation or low-calorie diets can cause the epithelial lining to become permeable and initiate food allergies, sensitivities, and the auto-immune process. So, your work on the gut was a great start, but maybe more calories are necessary?

    • Mycroft+Jones on December 10, 2014 at 13:31

      My comment was NOT endorsing Matt Stone. Richard already worked with Matt Stone before. Matt Stone works through diet. the fixlowbodytemp website goes far beyond that; physics trumps chemistry. If you can’t boost your temperature through diet (and I couldn’t, and people I know couldn’t) you actually physically raise your temperature. Warm clothes, heaters, etc. You force the temperature, and hold it there for a while so your brain learns that it is safe to be at that temperature, and then it starts seeking that perfect 98.6 on its own. The fixlowbodytemp engineer is twice Matt Stone’s age, and a lot more wily about the ways of the world. He had to keep the fighter planes flying, and keep men’s lives safe. He knows the gig.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 13:38

      Matt and I are good buds now, but on a completely different level. You’ll see soon.

      However, did you see his April Fools last year? You should look it up. (someone post the link if you can find it).

      We have a deal that I get him back this next April 1 and trust me, guts will bust.

    • LeonRover on December 13, 2014 at 13:50

      “guts will bust.”

      And if not “butts will gust”.

  7. mikb on December 10, 2014 at 04:40

    Iodine! Read Dr. Browstien’s book.

  8. Madeleine on December 10, 2014 at 05:47

    If you decide to use pharmaceutical interventions, take a look at Low Dose Naltrexone. A friend of mine takes 4.5mg a day for Hashimoto’s; I take 0.45 (ultra low dose) for CFS.

    • Ann on December 10, 2014 at 06:08

      I second the LDN for ANY autoimmune disorder. It’s cheap, there are few side-effects, and it works for nearly everyone. My ND and Functional Medicine Doc both have said they’d have all their patients on it if they could. It just works well, and people feel good on it. I would encourage anyone with an autoimmune disorder to get themselves to a functional medicine practitioner ASAP – they will have a more well-rounded approach than most MDs or Internists, and you really need a holistic approach to AI.

      Across the board functional medicine docs are finding that the one issue all patients with autoimmune symptoms share is intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome. The only way to really fix that is to cut the biggest offenders from the diet – grains (especially the glutinous ones – wheat, obviously), dairy, soy, and corn. I don’t think people have to go GAPS necessarily, although many in the progressive field of AI disorders would disagree.

      Have you ever checked out Dr. Terry Wahls Ted Talk “Minding Your Mitochondria?” She has put her progressive, aggressive MS into remission using diet and exercise. Kind of a miracle, really.

      And lastly, and you may not want to go here, but The Autoimmune Paleo diet is getting some fantastic results. I know your goal will be to fix the gut bacteria to make it better, but if you’re symptomatic, a somewhat strict diet for a while could probably bring some rapid improvement until you figure out exactly what to do.

      I’m in the process of being tested for this myself right now.

    • Dr. Curmugeon Gee on December 10, 2014 at 22:27

      LDN also help cancer i heard.
      but it requires a prescription from an MD, yes?
      i am surprised it is not used more.

      my TSH was once 3.25 & i was tired all the time time & TC was high. & that was the only symptom i had.

  9. Tuck on December 10, 2014 at 08:34

    Hope you sort this out, Richard.

    You’re a lucky fellow in that you’re in a better place concerning good information about this condition than 99% of the other sufferers who just go see a doctor.

  10. Aaron Ashmann on December 10, 2014 at 10:18

    Do you take any iodine as a supplement? Have you ever experienced issues from taking iodine?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 12:00

      Aaron:

      Yea, back when, I got Iordoral, or whatever it is. There was a big thing about iodine on my blog, 2009ish. Women losing periods, all sorts of stuff.

      I began taking it, can’t recall, but it’s pretty high dose (13mg???). Anyway, I soon broke them in two and took half, then only sometimes; now never. I never even finished a bottle.

      I think iodine is too complex for ME to figure out supplementation. Thankfully, I love all Japanese food (lived there 5 years in the ’80s), eat sushi often enough (with nori), but am looking forward to exploring a little deeper. I do love various fresh seaweed salads.

    • Ann on December 10, 2014 at 12:26

      Well, obviously you must know there is a whole protocol, and many find success with it, but that shit scares me. I tried supplementing with it several years ago, and wound up in the hospital with serious heart palps and panick attacks. NOT FUN. Also, not for amateurs!

      There is a part of me that thinks a lot of us are developing all this Hashi’s because of Fukishima — Am I alone here?

      Richard, were you having any symptoms that led you to suspect you may have had a thyroid issue this time?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 13:53

      “There is a part of me that thinks a lot of us are developing all this Hashi’s because of Fukishima — Am I alone here?’

      Ann, please, please don’t got Fucktard on me. Resist the Force, girl.

      You’ll thank yourself later.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 13:55

      I’m saving the whole thing.

      I’m taking the post down from public view, but I’m saving the whole thing, including comments.

      This should be considered normal.

  11. Richard Nikoley on December 10, 2014 at 13:50

    “Richard, were you having any symptoms that led you to suspect you may have had a thyroid issue this time?”

    Quite the contrary. I had symptoms back in 2009ish when I got down to 175, 10 lb off college weight. Really cold hands and feet all the time. I recall putting my hands often, crossed, around my neck and under my shit for warmth.

    Gained weight back up to 185-195, no problems.

    So now, I’m going to do an excursion again, this time with better information than just LC Paleo Dogma.

  12. edster on December 13, 2014 at 22:57

    It might be irrelevant, but this seems to be connecting some very important dots:
    “As for delayed transit time, evidence is robust that the more often peristalsis is inhibited, the more likely a person is to suffer from recurring small bowel infections. Diet is surely a factor with both opioid peptides and binge drinking high on the list, but it’s not the only one.
    Opioid drug use and thyroid disorders like _Hashimoto’s thyroiditis_ or euthyroid sick syndrome (ESS) are also contributors. But even here, ESS is related to diet as it’s often caused by either prolonged fasting or chronic ketogenic dieting.”

  13. Dr.+Curmugeon+Gee on December 13, 2014 at 14:30

    you can also find “raw thyroid” in pill form.

  14. Jim on December 13, 2014 at 19:39

    How many vaccinations (flu shots?) have you had in the past 10,15 years or 30 years?

  15. Heidi Cull on December 18, 2014 at 10:46

    i love Matt Stone. can highly recommend.

    i dont think he likes me cos im nuts :P but his diet recovery in the best thing i ever did, bar none.

    ive sorted my adrenals out now. its been about 2 months now i think.

    now sure about thyroid and dont really care :P i feel great.

    say hi to him for me, would you <3

  16. Kyle on December 21, 2014 at 17:04

    Richard,

    What’s your salt intake?
    Try this – 3/8 tsp salt in 8oz water with 1-3 grams of unbuffered vitamin c (tablets ok) and 1 tsp of .coconut oil. Drink some water if you feel a little thirsty afterwards.

    Exposure to fluoride, bromines, chlorines? Lots of pool time playing water volley ball? Fluoride toothpaste and dental treatments?. Were you ever addicted to citrus soda’s (brominated citrus oils)? Bromine is especially difficult to deal with using iodine therapy. Takes quite a bit of sodium to blow it out of your system, iodine won’t do it alone. Chloride is the most abundant mineral in the extracellular matrix. My theory is that this is where the other halogens take up residence also, other than the thyroid. There’s a story on that theory’s development but maybe at a later time. See this – http://iodine4health.com/basic/iodinegroup.htm.

    What’ll really get to you is your TSH jumping in and out of bounds. My doc tested it, it was somewhat high so he was ready to write a script. It was summer so wasn’t a big deal to me and I put it off. Come cooler weather, I was definitely interested. He wanted to retest so we did. TSH was in bounds and I couldn’t get the script. I flipped out on him chewing him up one side then down the other. Fired him when he screwed up my phlegbotomy orders. Spent the whole winter hugging a heating pad. Morning basal temperature would drop to as low as 95.6. Makes you feel like a reptile in need of a sunny rock.

  17. Kyle on December 21, 2014 at 17:09

    Richard,

    Make sure the salt is completely dissolved or it’ll knock the mucus coating off your stomach.

  18. Heidi Cull on December 21, 2014 at 23:52

    he’s still not talking to me <3 haha

    luckily i got other things on my mind, i just sent my best song to Dylan.

    i hope he aint got time for it tbh.

    thing is if Matt Stone didnt sort out my adrenals i would even have done the song. i owe him big time <3

    you might like this one it is a bit sorta 70s

  19. GTR on January 20, 2015 at 03:58

    Since it’s the season for Neu5Gc from the red meat (featured both on perfecthealthdiet, and wholehealthsource blogs) it’s worth noting that high concentrations of Neu5Gc are associated with hypothyroidism.

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/963230/

    • sid on January 20, 2015 at 13:46

      awesome, party at your house is it.

  20. GTR on February 15, 2015 at 13:10

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