Hypothyroidism vs Hashimoto’s – what’s the difference?

I hear this a lot! So many clients come to me with hypothyroidism, confused as to whether they have hashimoto’s or even what it is!

So what’s the difference between hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s?

Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones to supply the body’s needs. There are various causes of this:

  • congenital thyroid conditions
  • crucial nutrient deficiencies
  • toxin exposure
  • disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

These however only account for a small percentage of cases.

Hashimoto’s is the leading cause of hypothyroidism! In fact upto 90% of hypothyroidism cases are actually caused by an autoimmune condition.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition. The immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against the thyroid gland. Resulting in it being attacked and eventually destroyed if the attack is not stopped.

In Hashimoto’s antibodies produced by the body’s own immune system attacking the thyroid gland.

The end result of this attack is a lack of thyroid hormone.

Yet many with hypothyroidism are never even tested for Hashimoto’s. Or if they are its years after their initial hypothyroid diagnosis.

Which is absolutely crazy considering that the autoimmune response can be stopped in its tracks with simple diet and lifestyle changes. Medication may even be avoided if its caught early enough.

So why aren’t doctors testing for it?

The simple answer is that it doesn’t change how they treat you so many don’t see the point.

Even if you are tested and diagnosed with Hashimoto’s the autoimmune component of the disease will not be treated just the hypothyroidism.

Instead they’ll wait for your thyroid to become so damaged that it can’t function effectively. Then a thyroid hormone replacement such as levothyroxine will be prescribed. This simply replaces the thyroid hormone your body can no longer produce.

My first TSH test was done way back in 2004. It was abnormal. It was repeated 6 weeks later and all looked fine. No further testing was done until 2012! Despite a laundry list full of symptoms and repeated trips to the doctors!!

TSH testing is not enough on its own!

Had I been tested for Hashimoto’s back in 2004 I would likely have caught it early enough to avoid medication all together!

And I certainly wouldn’t have lived for years on end feeling like death warmed up!!

Want to know which tests you need?

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and haven’t managed to get your symptoms under control despite medication. Then maybe its time you were tested for Hashimoto’s.

Thats why I’m putting together a free essential thyroid testing checklist. To help you get the testing you need. So that you don’t have to struggle like I did.

If you’d like to be put on the waiting list for my free Essential Thyroid Testing Checklist, then you can drop me an email at helen@helenmallburn.com

Recovery from Hashimoto’s is possible! You don’t have to live with the brain fog, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, etc.

Find out how I can help you live symptom free HERE!

You can also find me in my Facebook group – Hashimoto’s Nutrition and Health! Its full of like-minded women (and a few men). In the group I share my own experience, my expertise, tips, advice to get you started on your own road to recovery!