Hashimoto’s Versus Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is usually diagnosed with an elevated TSH and often with a low free T4. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, hair loss, sluggishness, constipation, brittle nails, slow reflexes, and weight gain. There are different causes of hypothyroidism. The most common is called Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
In Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is attacked by antibodies. The main antibody is called the anti- thyroid peroxidase, or TPO, antibody. This leads to hypothyroidism in some but not all cases. Thus, you can have hypothyroidism without Hashimoto’s and Hashimoto’s without hypothyroidism.
Dr. Friedman uses the TPO antibody to determine who should get thyroid medicine if they have a TSH in the upper normal range. If the antibody is positive, he is more likely to give a patient thyroid medicine. Patients with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism are also at risk for other autoimmune diseases, such as Addison’s disease, celiac disease or pernicious anemia.
If you have more questions about Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, please look on Dr. Friedman’s website, goodhormonehealth.com.