Does Hashimoto’s Go Into Remission? This is a question we here quite often from our patients as well as our online viewers.
Today Dr. Rutherford will try to clear up the confusion on this topic.
Today we are going to talk about, does Hashimoto’s go into remission, or Hashimoto’s and remission. These are questions that have come in a variety of different forms, and I’ll try to cover them all. The answer to does Hashimoto’s go into remission is, yes. Yes. It actually is a normal part of it. Autoimmunity in general, the goal when you treat a patient with autoimmunity, whether you’re treating with medication, immunoglobulins or steroids, or whatever, or whether you’re doing the superior model of functional medicine for Hashimoto’s, the goal is always the same. The goal is to take that person who is an active case, and normally I don’t get cases coming in here in remission, and to get that person into remission.
Let’s go back a step. All autoimmunity has certain touchstone characteristics. When you have a patient that comes in, they don’t know what the heck is going on. You’re digging, and you’re trying to say, “Okay, where do we go with this? Is it inflammation? Is it autoimmunity?” You start hearing a person going, “It was triggered by this. Then I had it for a while, and then it went away. I have no idea why it went away. I just know it went away.” Then a year or two, I just had one yesterday. I just had one yesterday. And five years later, it came back. Then he did some herbs and botanicals, and he worked with a nutritionist and stuff, and then it went away. In five years it’s went from like 2000, it went away. 2005, it came back, and then it went away. 2010, it came back, and then it went away. 2015, it came back, went away. Then yesterday, he’s calling me.
That’s a natural… That was not a Hashimoto’s case. That was a rheumatoid arthritis case, and that’s a natural characteristic of autoimmunity. There’s lots of people who don’t understand about autoimmunity yet, but one thing we do know is it comes and goes. If it doesn’t go, that’s when you end up in your doctor’s office, our office, your rheumatologist office, trying to figure out how to get it to go in remission. Why does it go into remission? Yeah, it’s hard to say. Just from the understanding that I have of treating this for thousands of these cases over a period of a long time, it just seems like, there’s so many different things that affect it. Everybody’s immune system has a different, for lack of a better term, plasticity. Some of your immune systems are stronger than others.
Once you start getting into a good phase of your life, maybe you just got a new relationship that’s great. You got a great job. All of a sudden your finances are good, you’re eating right. Suddenly you just went on a vegetarian diet, or an autoimmune paleo diet. All of these things, they can take the pressure off of the system and allow your immune system to start really doing its job. There is a part of your immune system called the TH2 system. This TH2 system basically is also called the T regulatory system. This system is 24/7 trying to stop your immune system from attacking you. When you start taking all the pressure off of it, by maybe living a better lifestyle, maybe getting rid of a bunch of toxins, maybe just doing a bunch of things, maybe having no stress, maybe being euphoric because you just met the love of your life.
You put all those together, now your TH2 system has a chance to really kick butt and do its job. There’s also poor microbiome function. The microbiome is huge. Without getting into it in any great length, I mean microbiome is like… They did the microbiome project from 2005 to 2010. I mean, when you have bad microbiome, bad, you are not going into remission. That’s not happening. Okay. That’s the three to five pounds of bacteria that are in your large intestines, and some in your small intestines. There’s stress, the microbiome is huge. The plasticity of your immune system, and there’s more. The idea that I want you to get is you have to take care of yourself. You have to be in a good spot. Then what will happen is, maybe you’re in a good spot, and you’re in remission.
Then something happens. Right now, it could be that you got COVID. You’re hearing about all these long COVID patients. These people, I will guarantee you, you’re going to find out most of these people either have developed autoimmunity because they had the genetics to do so, or they had autoimmunity, were in remission, and the virus kicked it out. There are 40 some triggers that can trigger you out of remission if you have Hashimoto’s thyroid disease. I think COVID is going to become another one. Just my opinion, based on observations I’m seeing here in the office. You can have a stress. You you can have an overwhelming infection. You get a viral infection like COVID, you have pneumonia, something like that. You could have a stress, you could just have a big stress.
I mean, something… You have a great marriage, everything’s going, you’ve been married forever. All of a sudden, something happens to your spouse, and all of a sudden you’re stressed out of your mind. Or some big financial thing hits you, that’ll trigger it. So it could be a trigger. It could be a surgery. A surgery will create massive amounts of cortisol going through your system, even though you’re under anesthesia. That can trigger it. Any type of surgery can trigger it. I had to have my teeth done. That’s surgery, and so it set me off for a little bit. For those of you who may not know, I have Hashimoto’s. It’s accidents, like a fall, or you break your arm, or you get in a car accident. Or you do something where you’re like, “Now I’ve got whiplash, and it’s not going away.” That will set, because that creates inflammatory responses also.
I think the two biggest ones are stress, and then having a child. A person’s going along just fine. Maybe they had rheumatoid arthritis. Maybe all of a sudden they were in remission. Now they have a child. Boom. They have Hashimoto’s, maybe they didn’t have Hashimoto’s. Maybe they’ve got a mom and a dad… Maybe they have a dad. Maybe they have a mom and a sister and an aunt that have thyroid disease. They have a baby. Everything goes south. Their hair starts falling out. Their heart starts palpating. They start getting anxiety. They start getting constipation, dry skin and all that type of stuff. They go to 86 different doctors. Everything’s normal. They come in. We look at them and go, “When did this happen?” They go, “Well, you know what? Since I delivered my second child, my health has been going downhill drastically.”
I will tell you right now, that person, there is probably a 90% chance or more that they have developed in immune [inaudible 00:07:09] or thyroid. Those are triggers. Yes, it really just part of the clinical picture of autoimmunity in general. It’s also specifically a part of the clinical picture of Hashimoto’s, that you can go in and out of remission. Obviously, when the patient shows up here, they are now out of remission, and they’re not figuring out how to get back into remission. That’s the short answer and the long answer on can Hashimoto’s go into remission.
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