Common Questions about Hypothyroid & Hashimoto’s
Are you frustrated with the care you received in the standard health care model? Are you tired of feeling lousy? Have you been told nothing more can be done for you? We see this type of client every day.
With the ThyroSisters Thyroid MVP Program (Measurable, Verifiable, Progress™) instead of just treating the symptoms we look for the underlying cause of your hypothyroid. We are trained to listen, ask the right questions, order the right tests, read them correctly, and use our knowledge and experience to create natural and powerful solutions for your thyroid health.
If you are just beginning your journey, here are some of the most common questions we receive from new patients. Please click here to a send us a message, or visit our Facebook community for more discussions about reclaiming your health!
Low thyroid symptoms
- Weight gain despite adhering to a low-calorie diet
- Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses
- Hypersensitivity to cold weather
- Poor circulation and numbness in hands and feet
- Muscle cramps while at rest
- Increased susceptibility to colds and other viral or bacterial infections and difficulty recovering from them
- Slow wound healing
- Excessive sleep required to function properly
- Chronic digestive problems
- Itchy, dry skin
- Dry or brittle hair
- Hair falls out easily
- Edema, facial swelling
- Loss of outer eyebrows
- Heart palpitations
- Inward trembling
- Increased pulse rate, even at rest
- Feelings of nervousness and emotional distress
- Night sweats
- Difficulty gaining weight
One of the most frustrating symptoms of hypothyroidism is the inability to lose weight, even when calories are low and hours logged on the treadmill are high. Hypothyroidism slows the body’s metabolism and its ability to burn fat. It also prevents our cells from responding to lipase, an enzyme that metabolizes fat. The inability to burn fat then contributes to fatigue and cravings for sweets and starchy foods—the very foods that make one fat. Also, since hypothyroidism hinders human growth hormone, building muscle through exercise is difficult if not impossible when hypothyroid.
The thyroid gland secretes hormones that set the speed of your metabolism. If you’re cold, the thyroid gland speeds up your metabolism to warm you up. If you’re hot, it slows down your metabolism to cool you off. With hypothyroidism, the gland fails to secrete enough thyroid hormones and the body can’t adapt efficiently to these kinds of fluctuations, whether external (temperature) or internal (stress). Every cell in the body and brain uses thyroid hormones, and when they don’t get enough the cells lose energy and function poorly. As a result, energy production in the body and brain plummet, leaving you tired and mentally foggy.
Although thyroid medications can boost how you feel and function, they do not address why your thyroid became underactive in the first place. For 90 percent of Americans, autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease causes hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is a disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism. While thyroid medications may make you feel better temporarily, they do nothing to halt this autoimmune attack. What’s necessary, instead, is to tame the autoimmune attack and restore balance to the immune system through diet and nutritional compounds. These principles are outlined in Dr. Labbe’s Amazon #1 Best Seller Thyroid and Menopause Madness, Why You Feel So Lousy, and What You Can do About It!
Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, however one of the pioneers in auto immune and hypo-thyroid, Dr. Kharrazian has identified 22 causes so far. Other factors include chronic stress, prediabetes (insulin resistance), PCOS, the use of oral contraceptives or estrogen creams, a chronic virus or infection, or poor digestive health.
Our team uses state-of-the-art, scientifically sound methods to determine the true cause of your hypothyroidism and the most effective methods to address it.
If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s you should adopt a strict gluten-free diet. Numerous studies in several different countries have shown a link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, barley, and rye, and white flour. Fortunately, a gluten-free diet is easier today than ever before.
Click here for a list of other potential “trigger foods”. This list isn’t comprehensive, as food allergies are unique to each person. We can run a very specific panel of tests to find triggers for your specific symptom flares.
It’s very common for people with Hashimoto’s to eventually develop other autoimmune diseases. This is because the underlying cause of their hypothyroidism, an imbalanced immune system, has not been properly addressed. This is why it is so important to go beyond thyroid medications and manage the entire autoimmune disease. Otherwise, you are at risk of developing an autoimmune disease against other organs or tissues. Our team focuses on an accurate diagnosis and in-depth immune system support to lower your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, anemia and other autoimmune diseases.
Some people are able to wean off their thyroid hormone medication once they address what is causing their hypothyroidism. For others, however, the thyroid gland is already too damaged and it’s important to stay on your thyroid medication, although you may need a lower dose. If you don’t need thyroid medication (and your doctor prescribes it without addressing underlying causes of your symptoms), taking the medication for an extended period of time can create a permanent dependency.
A diagnosis of Hashimoto’s does not change how hypothyroid is treated in the standard health care model. So they don’t run it. They often prescribe medication and send you on your way.
In functional medicine, though, confirming if you have Hashimoto’s is integral to the appropriate management of your case and recovery. Our ThyroSisters MVP Program (Measurable, Verifiable, Progress™) includes effective methods to manage Hashimoto’s and prevent it from causing additional autoimmune disorders.
Removing the thyroid gland is like removing a wad of sticky chewing gum from the bottom of your shoe—some will remain stuck to your shoe. It’s the same with the thyroid gland, and these remnants of thyroid tissue continue to be the site of autoimmune attack, producing symptoms.
When the immune system attacks the thyroid, the gland is slowly destroyed causing it to spill excess thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. This excess thyroid hormone overstimulates metabolism, causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism. (Anxiety, insomnia, a pounding heart, or nervousness, and more.)
Over time as the gland is continually destroyed, it loses its ability to secrete sufficient thyroid hormone, causing symptoms of hypothyroidism. (Fatigue, weight gain, headaches, depression, constipation, poor circulation, digestive problems, hair loss, and more.)
Most cases of Hashimoto’s involve a slow but steady destruction of the gland with gradual worsening of hypothyroid symptoms.
A woman’s immune system shifts gears during pregnancy, and then again after birth. Although these shifts are normal, they can trigger a thyroid condition, particularly Hashimoto’s, in a woman who was already predisposed to the condition. We’ll work with you to treat your symptoms naturally and balance your hormones. Some conditions, such as Hashimoto’s, may mean your child is also predisposed to the disease and will benefit from education and early intervention.
People with hypothyroidism typically have food intolerances, such as gluten or corn, and react to cornstarch fillers, artificial colors, or other additives in some thyroid medications. Also some medications are T4 only while others are T4 and T3. Needs vary from person to person. We’ll review your existing prescriptions and work to treat your symptoms naturally!
Although different people need different tests depending on their condition, at ThyroSisters™ a comprehensive blood chemistry panel is run on everyone, and a salivary adrenal panel for most. The blood panel will illustrate your thyroid condition in more detail and provide other important information relating to immune health, gut health, blood sugar balance, inflammation, chronic infections, anemia, and more. The key thing to remember is that the follow-up tests are critical to tracking your progress.
(We will accept blood panels run by your doctor within the last 12 months. Please send these to the ThyroSisters team prior to your consultation.)
Hashimoto’s can’t be “cured,” only driven into remission by balancing the immune system. Progress, not perfection, is the aim and most people see definite, objective improvement within three months.
Do you have three months? If you can give us three months and you truly work and do what is needed, it is highly unusual that you will not see improvement. From there the goal is to continue improving.
Some people experience dramatic turnarounds in days, for others the progress comes in small but steady increments.
After a free 30-minute consultation, (a $125.00 value) we can determine which tests you need and don’t need. Consultations are normally $250 an hour, but Dr. Labbe has formulated all-inclusive, discounted programs that include the right blood panels, your consultations, comprehensive reports, private Facebook community, and Tuesday Thyroid Tap group education seminars. We do not offer one-time consultations or accept insurance.
We do accept FSA cards (employer-funded health cards) and all the major credit cards.
Other expenses for testing may include saliva tests, neurotransmitter tests, fecal tests for digestive elimination issues, hormone panels, hair analysis for heavy metal, auto immune testing (from Cyrex Labs) and genetic testing. Prices vary from lab to lab, and will be explained during your consultation.
PPO insurance may perform your comprehensive blood work. It would be your responsibility to see what your policy covers. ThyroSisters™ does not accept insurance but will provide you with insurance codes, at your request, to see if you can be reimbursed.
When a woman goes through menopause or, in your case, has had a partial hysterectomy, the liver (as well as to a lesser extent, the adrenal glands) will produce progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone (the sex hormones normally produced prior to the hysterectomy).
You will always have circulating sex hormones that interface with neurotransmitters like serotonin, cortisol (stress hormone), and thyroid hormones … which ultimately make you feel energetic, optimistic, sleep well, have a normal weight, and feel like YOU.
That’s why it’s so important to test and not guess! See what condition your liver enzymes and adrenals are in through easy functional health testing. These will give you “circadian” results to your sex hormones (what your levels are like at morning vs at night).
Actual tests ordered will depend on your symptoms- so not everyone may need saliva and/or urine tests along with blood testing. We’ll discuss your symptoms (and your goals) and only order the tests needed specifically FOR YOU!
If you were to order the necessary tests yourself, they would average around $900 out of pocket. However, our team has negotiated lower rates with the largest labs in the US. Blood tests are included in our package rates and average about $200 or your package price. (Saliva and/or urine tests are not included in the package rate but are similarly discounted.). Dr. Labbe will discuss the details with you during your consultation.
We do not accept insurance, as health insurance does not reimburse for nutritional counseling. Hopefully things will change, though, as more people recognize the value in treating their symptoms at the root cause instead of medicating to mask issues.
Some PPO insurance companies will cover the blood work, but you would need to investigate what your policy actually covers. Upon request, we can provide you with the forms to file with your insurance company and try to be reimbursed.
ThyroSisters has also negotiated national contracts with the two largest labs in the US (Quest Labs and Lab Corp) to pass on discounted lab pricing to you, no matter where you live in the US. Within our “all inclusive” programs, we are able to provide over $900 worth of lab work for only $200. (A huge savings to help our clients due to the fact that insurance will not cover these services!)
After a complimentary phone consultation, we can determine what lab tests you may or may not need. These tests include saliva kits for adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, hair analysis for heavy metal, fecal tests for SIBO, leaky gut, Celiacs, and other auto immune issues. These lab tests will identify the root cause of your concerns and, long term, hopefully help you cut down on your medical costs as our goal is to treat the cause of the symptoms and either eliminate them or drastically reduce them. However, they are not covered by insurance and seldom, if ever, run in today’s managed care medical model.
Testing will depend on the individual’s symptoms and goals, but here is a list of common areas we investigate depending on the issues you are having. Click here to learn more about testing.
The ThyroSisters™ Customized Blood Lab Panel Included in the Thyroid MVP Measurable, Verifiable, Progress Program™:
- CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) (QuestCode 6399)
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP-14) (QuestCode 10231)
- Ferritin (QuestCode 457)
- Fibrinogen Activity, Clauss (QuestCode 461)
- Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) (QuestCode 482)
- Hemoglobin A1c (QuestCode 496)
- Homocysteine (QuestCode 31789)
- hs-CRP (QuestCode 10124)
- Iron, Total and Total Iron Binding Capacity (QuestCode 7573)
- Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) (QuestCode 593)
- Lipid Panel (QuestCode 7600)
- Magnesium (QuestCode 622)
- Phosphate (as Phosphorus) (QuestCode 718)
- T3 Uptake (QuestCode 861)
- T3, Free (FT3) (QuestCode 34429)
- T3, Total (QuestCode 859)
- T4 (Thyroxine), Total (QuestCode 867)
- T4, Free (FT4) (QuestCode 866)
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies Quest Code 899
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies (QuestCode 7260)
- TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) (QuestCode 899)
- Uric Acid (QuestCode 905)
- Urinalysis, Macroscopic (QuestCode 6448)
- Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay (QuestCode 17306)
Contact our team for a complimentary, 30-minute Thyroid VIP Clarity Session (a $125.00 value). After this call, you will:
- Uncover hidden challenges that could be sabotaging your health success.
- Get a crystal-clear vision for “next steps” so you finally see results.
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to reclaim your health and vitality.