Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Hashimoto's Prognosis?

I was recently (last week) diagnosed with Hypothyrodism. I have been feeling "off" for about 15 years but my TSH levels always came back within normal range. 3 years ago my TSH was 5.5 (still within normal range in Canada) a year late my TSH was retested and settled at 3.6. I was feeling terrible last week and had my TSH tested again, it was at 6.45. My T3 Free is 4.3 ( Range is 3.5-6.5). My T4 Free is 12.6 ( Range is 10.0-19.0) MY Dr gave me the option of retesting in 6 months or go on Synthroid. I chose the Synthroid. My rational is that I would rather stop the progression now rather than take a chance that this condition could get worse. I asked my Dr to check my Antibody levels (Peroxidase) it came back at 723, the normal range should be less than 40.

I feel horrible on the Levothyroxine (25mcg) so I will ask my Dr to switch me to the Synthroid brand. I feeling slightly better on some levels but with an overall sense of "feeling terrible". My question is this, I read a few posts on this board where people have said that Hashimoto's can "kill you" and my personal favorite, another poster said that Hashimoto's is an Autoimmune condition and it invariably ALWAYS leads to other Autoimmune diseases. That is a scary prospect for me. I originally started reading this board to perhaps alleviate all these stressful emotions I have going on right now and after reading these posts, I feel worse and terrified that I will wake up one morning with MS or some other Autoimmune condition. Or not wake up at all.

Will I end up with MS or Lupus because of the Hashimoto's? Will this condition kill me??

Is there any hope that I will lead a normal life again?

Thank you for listening.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I'd like to have a look at posts that say that Hashi's can kill you.  I expect that it was intended as a warning to a poster that had Hashi's but was not taking their replacement thyroid meds.  The correct statement about autoimmune diseases is that having one increases the likelihood of having another, not that it always occurs.  So relax, there are lots of people, including members here, that have Hashi's and are leading normal, happy lives, myself included.  

Antibodies from Hashimoto's keep attacking the thyroid gland until, over an extended period, the gland is eventually destroyed.  Along the way. thyroid meds need to be gradually increased to offset the loss of natural thyroid hormone.    I am somewhat surprised that , in Canada, you have been already tested for Free T3 and Free T4.  Those are very important tests, but typically hard to get done there.   Free T3 is the most important because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have also shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate.  

I am glad to see that you doctor was willing to go ahead and start you on a small dose of T4 med.  Now it is important to get the doctor to continue to increase your meds gradually, as required to relieve your hypo symptoms.  It is also important to be sure they continue to test you for Free T3 and Free T4 each time you go in for testing.  A good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting Free T3 and Free T4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.

You can get some good insight from this letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he sometimes consults with from a distance.  The letter is then sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment.


Another thing to keep in mind is that not all hypo patients taking T4 meds convert the T4 to T3 adequately, and have to add a source of T3 to their meds.   I had that problem for a very long time, and as a result had lingering hypo symptoms.  Many of our members report that symptom relief for them required that Free T3 had to be adjusted into the upper third of its range and Free T4 adjusted to around the middle of its range.

Please keep us tuned in to your progress and post any lab test results and their reference ranges and members will be happy to help interpret and advise further..  
1756321 tn?1547095325
With treatment, you should live a normal life expectancy with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  The following info is from the book "The Everything Guide To Thyroid Disease" by Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD and Winnie Yu Scherer:

"Although the majority of people with Hashimoto's will not develop any other disorders, it's important to know what some of these autoimmune conditions are in case you do start to experience symptoms. Keep in mind, too, that you may be more likely to develop Hashimoto's if you have one of these other conditions.

Type 1 diabetes
Pernicious Anaemia
Addison's Disease
Celiac Disease
Alopecia Areta
Systematic Lupus Erthematosus (SLE)
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sjogren's Syndrome
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)"
Avatar universal
Good Morning

Thank you for the reply, it has given me a measure of hope that I will not be doomed to end up with MS or Lupus. That prospect terrifies me and I refuse to accept that because I have 1 Autoimmune condition, it invariably increases my likelihood of developing another. That could be applicable in almost all diseases, having Diabetes increases the likelihood of developing a host of other diseases as well. You're right, I will chose to remain hopeful. I workout 6x a week, but stopped 2 weeks ago because I was feeling terrible. I also have Fibromyalgia but it never impeded my ability to function, I refused to let it overwhelm me.

I asked for my Free T3 and T4 to be tested and the Peroxidase. My Dr was not amused but I refused to leave his office until he gave me the requisition.

I'm not very clear on the T3-T4 variable but I will keep your reply for the future.

I assumed if I took the Synthroid now it would prevent the Hashimoto's from progressing, I assumed incorrectly :)

I'm too scared to workout, my heart always feels it was punched during my workout, but I refuse to stop and I wasn't sure if I was doing anything to exasperate the situation so I stopped working out. My energy levels are fine. I asked my Dr if the issues I'm having with my heart is related to the Thyroid, he said no. My swollen face? He said no. My shoulder and neck pain, he said no. I think I need a new Dr.

Gimel, can I continue to workout? I felt so much better when I was.

There is a history of Thyroid condition in my Family, my Mother, sister and Aunt but no history of MS, Lupus, Diabetes so I will continue to hold onto the hope that I will not develop these diseases and lead a normal productive life.

Without Hope, you have nothing.

My agitation with the replies I was reading yesterday is that there are trigger word we respond to, "kill" is one of them. I think when dealing with a group of people who are scared and unsure what the future holds, perhaps saying " continue taking your meds so your health doesn't deteriorate" is a good alternative. I didn't sleep all night after reading that and the post that I will invariably and without doubt develop a secondary Autoimmune disease.

Thank you again for your time.
649848 tn?1534633700
gimel gave you some good information and I agree with everything he said.

I'm sure the disturbing posts you were reading, were in response to people asking what would happen if they stop their medicine........ some people have to have it put to them very strongly to get the point; however, so long as you take the medication, there's nothing to be afraid of and neither hypothyroidism, nor Hashimoto's will kill you.

Having one autoimmune disease "does" increase the *likelihood* of getting another; it does not, however, guarantee that you will.  Some of us have  more than one autoimmune (I have 2); others only have one.  Everyone is different.

There's no reason you can't work out.  Tightness in the chest can be common with hypothyroidism, though you might want to get a heart work up just to be sure you don't have issues there.  I had some shortness of breath, tightness in my chest, as well; my doctor did send me for a heart work up, which came back fine and the issues finally resolved when my thyroid levels got to where *I* needed them to be, not just "in range".

Both your FT3 and FT4 are low in their ranges, but since you've only been on med since last week, it won't have had time to do a lot yet, as it takes at least 4-6 weeks for the med to reach full potential in your body.  The fact that you feel horrible on the levo, might not be the medication.  Some people report that they feel worse for a while after starting medication, because it takes a while for the body to become accustomed to having the hormones, again.  There's, also, the 4-6 week time frame it takes for the med to reach full potential AND the fact that, as with any illness, it takes time for your body to actually "heal"....... You've been ill and it takes time to recuperate.  I was on med for nearly a year before very many of my symptoms were alleviated.

Avatar universal
I know that I in the past have used the term "kill" in the description of hashi's.  When I used this I tried (maybe failed) to be clear that its use was in terms that the disease will "kill" the thyroid gland rendering it unable to produce thyroid  hormone.  I never meant to imply that Hashi's itself would kill the person. But if one of my responses was the cause for your concern I am sorry and I will try to better word my response or description related to how Hashi's attacks and destroys the thyroid gland so a misunderstanding like you may have had won't occur again.  Again I apologize if it was one of my posts that created a fear response.

on another note;

Often many people find that once their thyroid levels are optimized for THEM, they find that the Fibromyalgia symptoms are alleviated as well.   One site I've read correlates the onset of the "invention" of the TSH test and the reliance upon that immaculate test to determine overall thyroid health with the onset of unknown symptoms people have which they then coined the term Fibromyalgia.  Also interestingly chronic fatigue syndrome came onto the seen about the same time.  Thyroid was always ruled out because the patient had TSH within the "normal range" so it could not possibly be hypo Thyroid.  And even if they tested for FT3 and FT4 again if the results were somewhere within the "normal range" they again were ASSURED that thyroid is not the cause.

As gimel stated MANY, MANY people need to disregard TSH as virtually useless and they have found that the reference range for the Free T4 and Free T3 are also inadequate.  Many on this site have found that they need to have their FT4 in the MIDDLE of the range or slightly higher AND (that means in addition too) they need their FT3 to be in the UPPER 1/3 of the range.  This too is a general target to shoot for and each person is different.  But is is a MUCH more precise target to aim for than the far too broad reference ranges that are currently used.

I say all of this to mention that when people are treated to more optimized levels well within the "normal range" "they" (the medical community) are now finding out that Fibromyalgia patients who begin treatment with thyroid medications are "miraculously" being relived of their Fibromyalgia symptoms.  So it is entirely possible that the medical industry has for decades been relying upon TSH and too broad of reference ranges and not treating them and keeping people feeling sick and symptomatic.  Nice eh!

I hope you can get the treatment that you need and maybe you will also find your fibromylagia symptoms to be helped as well.  no guarantees, but maybe this can give you even more hope to feel well again!

Avatar universal
Hi, I've had Hashimoto autoimmune for over 35 years. I think I even had it as a child as I was always cold.

I just wanted to comment that T4 doesn't convert to T3 in certain circumstances due to inflammation in the body. The inflammation causes the T3 to be converted to Reverse T3 an inactive metabolite. This is why T3 hormone needs to be added to the treatment.

A person with problems with conversion of T3 would need to look at their consumption of foods and other substances into their body including their lungs to find the culprit creating the inflammation. I have been able to identify mine through trial & error along with testing.

My foods with inflammatory reactions are gluten, yeast, & dairy products.
I am gluten sensitive while other people with intestinal disorders can be classed as gluten intolerant, with the most severe called Celiac where it becomes obvious.

The problem with the sensitive person is that sometimes you get a reaction and sometimes you don't according to the amount and length of time you have been consuming gluten. As well, if you haven't been eating gluten foods and you take a gluten antibody test it will come up negative.

According to statistics 20% of the population has problems with gluten. I think this estimate is very undervalued and inaccurate.

In my research with my clients who have been taken off gluten consumptions for 3 months or more there is significant improvement with digestion problems. Joints no longer ache and long term rashes disappear without gluten.

But the astonishing thing about the results of my research is that when these clients were put back on gluten I also began to hear behavioral symptoms reported.

Over 25% of participants reported noticing lack of patience and anger issues occurring which had not been present with a gluten free diet. I had one woman state that within 30 minutes of eating gluten she noticed that she became angry inside with no outward or apparent reason for the anger.

If we take behavioral symptoms into account I would estimate that up to 45% of the population would feel better without gluten in their diet.

Gluten can be found in large quantities in wheat, oats, barley and rye.

I wonder what a world without gluten would be like?
J. Lyon
BS Nutritional Biochemistry

6506604 tn?1382104872
Wow those are astounding figures that I bet you can support.  I have been gluten free one year this october.  I can remember being angry at times!  Unfortunately in my case I test positive for the MTHFR gene, where alot of my inflammation is caused.  

Avatar universal
Can hashimoto cover up ms tests like spinle tests
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