Annie Cromwell...Could you tell me more about Hashimoto's???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Hope4Sofia, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    Hi Annie,

    I just read your reply to my thyroid post. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

    I was hoping you could tell me more about Hashi's. How is it diagnosed? Are you only treating it with thyroid med or are you doing more?

    What other conditions do you have? Are they related to Hashi's? Do you think Hashi is the BIG prob or do you think it's just another expression of the FM?

    Thank you for your time.

    Sofi
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Sorry this is late. I only come on a few mins a day at moment.

    With me, the Hashimotos was discovered due to my having a nodule on the thyroid about 25 years ago. I had a needle biopsy and they found Hashimotos antibodies in the tissue. Fortunately, I can control it with an anti inflamatory like Ibuprofen when it feels painful. Actually the IBProf upsets my stomach, so I do one day on that themn switch to asprin, baby chewabales, about 4 a day at 81 ,mg.

    I usually gain weight when it is acting up and get very dry skin.

    About ten years ago a second nodule developed and I did not have this tested only USound. With nodules you are supposed to have them checked yearly no matter what your GP says, see if they are growing fast or whatever.

    Two years ago I developed a third nodule and finally decided to have US and then needle biopsy on all three last summer. STrangely, the nodule that HAD the Hashimotos is now not showing any BUT the new nodule is. The doc thinks that what happens is that my Hashimotos burns itself out and then comes back as a new nodule.

    I am lucky as my T levels stay JUST inside normal, but some docs think normal range is too wide. Right now I have gained a bunch of weight and feel sure it is acting up and will get a thyroid panel done.

    However, not everyone is this lucky. Both my niece and a friend had their thyroids removed due to the sever effects Hashimotos had on them, racing heart, sweating, massive weight loss then gain, insomnia etc.

    Find a good endocrinologist and only work with someone who is going to follow you yearly.

    Good Luck, Annie Cromwell
  3. dr32164

    dr32164 New Member

    FM does not cause Hashimoto's disease, but it is another autoimmune disease that is caused by the immune system sending out antibodies to attack the thyroid. It is diagnosed by bloodwork. If you suspect that you have this, you should see an endocrinologist. I have Hashimoto's and FM. The Hashimotos caused my FM symptoms to be much worse. Once found and put on thyroid replacement, my symptoms improved a hundred fold.

    Here is some info that I found on the web:
    What is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
    Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a type of autoimmune thyroid disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. The thyroid helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy. Hashimoto’s stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should. It is the most common thyroid disease in the U.S.

    What is an autoimmune disease?
    An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system becomes misdirected and attacks the organs, cells or tissues that it was designed to protect. About 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women, most often during their childbearing years.

    What are the symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
    Some patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may have no symptoms. However, the common symptoms are fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, forgetfulness, muscle weakness, puffy face, dry skin and hair, constipation, muscle cramps, and increased menstrual flow. Some patients have major swelling of the thyroid gland in the front of the neck, called goiter.

    Does this disease run in families?
    There is some evidence that Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can have a hereditary link. If autoimmune diseases in general run in your family, you are at a higher risk of developing one yourself.

    How can I know for sure if I have this disease?
    Your doctor will perform a simple blood test that will be able to tell if your body has the right amount of thyroid hormones. This test measures the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to find out if the levels are in the normal range. The range is set by your doctor and should be discussed with you. Work with your doctor to figure out what level is right for you. There are other available tests that your doctor may choose to do if need be, such as a blood test to measure the level of “active thyroid hormone” or Free T4 and a scan (picture) to look at the thyroid.

    What is the treatment for this disease?
    Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is treated with thyroid hormone replacement. A small pill taken once a day should be able to keep the thyroid hormone levels normal. This medicine will, in most cases, need to be taken for the rest of the patient's life. When trying to figure out the amount of hormone you need, you may have to return to your doctor several times for blood tests to guide adjustments in the medicine dose. It is important that the dose be right for you. A yearly visit to your doctor will help keep your levels normal and help you stay healthy overall. Be aware of the symptoms. If you note any changes or the return of symptoms, return to your doctor to see if you need to have your medicine dosage adjusted.

    What would happen without medication to regulate my thyroid function?
    If left untreated, hyporthyroidism can cause further problems, including changes in menstrual cycles, prevention of ovulation, and an increased risk of miscarriage. Symptoms such as fatigue, depression and constipation, may progress and there can be other serious consequences, including heart failure. It is also important to know that too much thyroid replacement hormone can mimic the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. This is a condition that happens when there is too much thyroid hormone. These symptoms include insomnia, irritability, weight loss without dieting, heat sensitivity, increased perspiration, thinning of your skin, fine or brittle hair, muscular weakness, eye changes, lighter menstrual flow, rapid heart beat and shaky hands.

    What happens if I have this disease and I get pregnant?
    It is important to get checked out by your doctor more often if you are pregnant. Inadequately treated thyroid problems can affect a growing baby, and the thyroid replacement needs of pregnant women often change. A doctor can help you figure out your changing medicine needs.

  4. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I just wanted to stress that my Hashimotos never shows up in blood tests but always shows up in needle biopsy.

    What happens with me is that the thyroid sort of burns out on the other side (gets smaller) to compensate itself. It is unusual not to need meds, but this is how it has been for me. HOWEVER as I am always on the far side of the tests my own view (and that of my vet) is the normal ranges are not correctly set and I probably would do a lot better on synthroid as I recently gained 20lb despite eating only modestly and exercising, my hair is dry and my skin gets so dry it immediately ages me.

    The endo I see says that ana bloods actually never show hashimotos although my rheumy thought it did. The endo says that this is a misconception from years ago still quoted by docs.

    Love Annie Cromwell

  5. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I am really appreciating all the good information everyone is shareing.

    I am going to the endo on Wednesday. I'm nervous about it. I think it will be my last effort for a while.

    I know I have dysautonomia - maybe that's the cause of everything, I don't know.

    Anyway, I'm taking all this good info to heart and will be discussing it with my Dr.

    Thank you all.

    Sofi