How to Diagnose Hashimoto’s Disease
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you must get your thyroid checked.
Testing the level of TSH, a thyroid-stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland, is important for diagnosing any type of thyroid disorder. With a simple blood test, a doctor can easily identify low levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and/or
T4 as well as increased levels of TSH. The latter indicates that the pituitary gland is trying harder to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormones.
A blood test can also show abnormal antibodies that might be attacking the thyroid.
Treatment for Hashimoto’s Disease
If diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, you will need medication to correct any symptoms due to a thyroid hormone deficiency. Most often, a single daily tablet of levothyroxine is all that is needed for the rest of your life.
Levothyroxine is a synthetic hormone that replaces the missing thyroid hormone thyroxine.
Make sure to get your TSH level checked from time to time (around every 12 months) as your doctor may need to change the dosage.
Important Things to Consider
When taking thyroid medication, there are certain things that you need to bear in mind.
- Certain medications like iron or calcium supplements, cholesterol-lowering medication and protein pump inhibitors can affect your body’s ability to absorb levothyroxine. Hence, always consult your doctor before taking any new medications.
- If taking other medications, adjust the time of day you take your thyroid medication to help the medications work properly.
- Women who are planning to become pregnant should always get their thyroid level checked. Uncontrolled thyroid problems can lead to infertility and even increase the risk for complications like preeclampsia and possible birth defects.
- A diet too high in fiber can affect absorption of the drug used to treat Hashimoto’s disease. It is also recommended that you eliminate immune-reacting foods like gluten, food sensitivities, etc.
- Consume gut-healing foods like probiotics to keep your gut healthy.
- Boost the body’s natural detoxification ability to get rid of harmful toxins.
- Reduce and manage stress to keep this autoimmune disease under control.