Today we are going to talk about Hashimoto’s progression. And I’m Dr. Rutherford, for those of you, who’ve never seen me before. And we’re talking about Hashimoto’s, big series here on Hashimoto’s, and we’re gonna talk about progression today.
Hashimoto’s progresses (laughs) would be like the cliff notes form of what needs to be said here. So basically look autoimmune problems always progress. For different people, they progress differently and that goes for symptoms and that goes for speed of progression.
And so, the bottom line is all of these autoimmune problems progress. Hashimoto specifically, we’ve talked about this, for those of you, who watch us all the time and shocked at how many of you that are out there that watch these things all the time.
But it starts off as silent autoimmunity. So Hashimoto’s, basically, you have the DNA to be able to develop an autoimmune problem and your DNA kind of alerts the immune system that it’s okay to attack your thyroid.
And it may be that you live a pretty healthy lifestyle, maybe you just have a strong constitution, for some reason, you have a stronger autoimmune, not autoimmune, stronger immune system than other people, but you’re actually making antibodies to your thyroid and you don’t even know it.
You don’t have any symptoms, you don’t know anything about it. So for some reason, somebody might accidentally run the antibody and say, “You know, you got Hashimoto’s” and you would go, “I don’t have Hashimoto’s.
I don’t have any symptoms. I’m fine. I’m not losing my hair. My weight’s fine. I’m not fatigue.” That’s silent autoimmunity. And then the progression from there is frankly life.
Okay, lifestyle, sleeping poorly, not getting enough exercise, getting too much exercise, eating improperly, getting a lot of chemical toxins in you, we’ve here in Reno now, we have this big smoke issue from all the fires in California for months.
And there’s a lot of toxins in there. I saw my patients get worse from burning tires and burning houses and burning cars and burning furniture and all the chemicals with that. All of these things attack, stress attacks, viruses attack, you get into money, all these things keep flaring up immune responses, and to the degree that that person’s physiology is weak, medium or strong, you keep getting attacked.
And then the next thing you know you start getting symptoms. The silent autoimmunity person, 999 times out of 1000 does not know that they have it. So what starts happening is you start getting Hashimoto symptoms, usually you’ll start getting hypothyroid symptoms, and then you’ll start getting tired and fatigue and your hair might start falling out and you might start getting constipation, you might not put it all together, and then you go to the doctor and they test you, maybe they run the antibodies and they’re normal.
Maybe they run the antibodies, or maybe they don’t run the antibodies, which is more common. And so you have all these symptoms, but there’s no testing. You don’t have enough damage to your tissues yet for it to show up.
So the tests are normal, you’re feeling like crap, you have what we call reactive hypoglycemia, (laughs) we can talk about that too, reactive Hashimoto’s at that point in time. And then it advances as life goes on, get it life.
So, genetics, lifestyle, over a period of time tissue damage, that’s how it goes. And until you change that lifestyle, or you find out what you need to do to dampen it. And then the next thing you know, now you’re full-blown, your thyroid’s tender and nothing’s working, they found that you got hypothyroidism they’re giving you the drugs, it’s not working.
And so, now you go to a doctor they test you for Hashimoto’s and now you’re full-blown official Hashimoto’s because you have enough damage to the thyroid sites that the cells in your thyroid to show up and your antibodies are flying off the charts maybe and now they go, “Oh, you have Hashimoto’s” and then they give you a medication for it.
So, that’s like the clinical progression of it. But in the end, it just progressions. So, let’s say now you’re full-blown Hashimoto’s they know that your antibodies are like 12,000 and the doctor is trying to figure out your thyroid medication and they take it and it’s up and it’s down or it keeps getting more as the years go on.
If your TSH, if your thyroid stimulating hormone number keeps needing your doctor to increase your thyroid hormone over a period of years, you have an unstable Hashimoto’s, which means that you’re getting consistent damage to that thyroid.
That’s the progression of it. Now that the progression might be that the person’s not changing that thyroid over that period of time. So the progression for them is slow, but they might be getting tissue damage to other areas because you rarely ever get one autoimmune problems.
So if you have Hashimoto’s, it’s not uncommon for you to develop autoimmune gastritis, autoimmune hepatitis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, celiac disease, antibodies against your cerebellum, all of these things, every time you keep getting flared up, now that you’ve had one attack you can start getting other attack that’s the progression.
You’re somewhere in there. And that progression may be severe, it may be moderate as far as symptoms go, but it always progresses until you figure out what are the triggers? How do you pull those triggers? How do you stop them? How do you change the lifestyle? Are you overexercising? Are you sleeping right? Are you in a crappy relationship that you’ve been in for 20 years, it’s killing you.
These are all things that you need to figure out because you need to start living a healthy lifestyle. And for autoimmune patient, it’s a little bit more than even that. And it’s not just living a healthy lifestyle, but you have to.
Then you have to drive the car according to the rules of the road relative to Hashimoto’s, which is many of the things that we’ve talked about in this series. So that’s progression of Hashimoto’s.
It always progresses our goal, when we’re treating a patient first thing where our goal is to stop the progression. And then once we accomplish that then the goal is to start pulling on the string of where you start, what systems are the big problems, these are triggers, which are the biggest triggers, pull them see how much better person gets pull the next one see how much better the person gets.
So the goal is to stop the progression and reverse it to the degree possible based on that patient’s history, tissue damage ability to reverse. That’s Hashimoto’s in a nutshell, that’s autoimmunity in a nutshell, that’s the progression of an autoimmune patient.