Many people with thyroid disease have trouble getting well. The majority of hypothyroid disease is actually an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto thyroiditis. As an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto thyroiditis attacks the cells of the thyroid, slowly destroying its ability to function. Unfortunately, even when the disease is diagnosed correctly, the common treatment is just to replace the diminished thyroid hormone, usually with an oral tablet or pill of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4 or levothyroxine), a synthetic analog.
According to conventional medical practice, most patients with hypothyroidism will need to be on T4 treatment for the rest of their lives.The problem with only giving hormone replacement, is it does nothing to stop the progression of the true disease; it only masks some of the symptoms. So initially your thyroid tests come back normal. Meanwhile your immune system is still attacking your thyroid. Eventually your symptoms may get worse and more thyroid hormone may be prescribed. So while you are increasing your levels of thyroid hormones, making your levels of thyroid look normal on the lab results, you are still getting worse.
This may come as a shock. It did to me. I was taught both the conventional and alternative methods for treating thyroid disease, neither of which was wholly satisfying. It made so much sense to understand its autoimmune aspect, and it helped me to find solutions in situations in which I had previously failed. Autoimmune thyroid problems can present as hyperthyroid or hypothyroid. It may be marked by an inability to regulate our response to thyroid medications.
Next: Symptoms and causes of thyroid problems