Why Are My Thyroid Antibodies Still High?- How To Naturally Support Your Immune System When You Have Hashimoto’s.
Hey folks Dr Hagmeyer here!
If you saw my last video- I talked about why its so important to have your thyroid antibodies levels tested and even more importantly why you need to have not only TPO but also Anti thyroglobulin levels tested.
One of the questions I was recently asked “Why Are My antibodies still elevated” This is great question that I will unpack in today’s video.
Many of you watching this video, either have been already diagnosed with Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and you are taking the medication that your prescribing physician has you on, you stopped eating certain foods yet despite all of these efforts……..antibodies still remain high.
Well……….there is no doubt that this can be extremely frustrating- Not only for the Patient But also for whatever doctor you are working with. So whats going on here? Why is this happening?
The key word for today is “TRIGGERS”- That’s what this is ALL about- So while this video is primarily directed about the antibodies that are elevated in people with autoimmune thyroid disease-
The principles that we are going to talk about today apply to any and ALL autoimmune disease. So if you have Lupus, or Celiac, or Diabetes, or MS, or Crohns- the things I am going to talk about today also apply. The process of getting control of your health may seem Daunting and overwhelming and you may have been battling this for the better part of your life, But……I want you to know there is light at what seems to be a very long and dark tunnel.
If you are ever to reclaim your life- Three Things I think that are absolutes-
Identifying these triggers- these are going to be the underlying root cause behind why your immune system is attacking your tissues.
Stabilizing the systems that are compromised- what this means is that you need Support the body from a “whole body approach” so if we are taking about autoimmune thyroid disease- its not just a thyroid problem- Its Gut problems, its a adrenal problems, inflammatory problem, its a blood sugar problem, its a neurlogical problem, etc – Its a whole body problem! and finally once you have identified these Triggers, Correcting these in the proper sequence- This is where a lot of people don’t get the direction and guidance they really need.
So let’s do a really quick recap on antibodies and how they are influenced by these TRIGGERS
#1- If you haven’t seen my video titled “Thyroid antibodies- why TPO is not enough” or if it’s been a little while since watching that video and you need a refresher let me spend a quick moment and bring you up to speed.
In people who have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is you will often see elevated levels of Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and/or Thyroglobulin antibodies. This indicates that the immune system is destroying the enzyme or the proteins in your body needed to make thyroid hormones and ultimately, if you do what traditional medicine offers- which is just thyroid replacement hormones, your thyroid will slowly but surely burn out and shut down at some point in your life.
In Graves’ Disease the immune system destroys the thyroid receptors (TSH receptor or attacks) , and what happens is that thyroid hormones cannot bind to the receptor and thyroid levels go way up causing hyperthyroidism. In most people with Graves Autoimmune Thyroid disease- The typical management is to Kill the thyroid with Radioactive Iodine or to remove the thyroid gland-
Again neither of these options Replacement of hormones or Burning out the thyroid addresses the immune system. alright… So What Causes Elevated Thyroid Antibodies? First and foremost autoimmunity involves a genetic mutation. You have the genes that have been passed down to you from your mother and father.
You can’t change the genes or mutations you have inherited from your parents. But you can affect the way the genes are expressed. Autoimmune disorders are turned on by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. And this is where YOU CAN alter and have success and influence the progression of disease- in the lifestyle and in the environmental areas. So instead of getting hung up on and trying to figure out what’s the best kind of thyroid medication to take, you need to redirect your efforts to the root causes behind WHY YOUR TSH and WHY YOU ANTIBODIES ARE elevated in the first place. THIS IS WHERE MEDICINE (with all its pills and surgeries)MISSES THE BOAT 100% OF THE TIME.
Once you step away from the microscopic view (of TSH and T4 levels) and start focusing on the BIG picture (Triggers) your going to see how silly the debate about the medication your taking really becomes.
Thyroid levels go up and they go down in response to the daily triggers and stressors in your life.
Your blood work is just a tiny snapshot- a moment in time if you will of what’s happening in your body. Try to keep this in perspective.
So again put your energy into identifying the Triggers, and correcting them in the right sequence. alright… SO I got a little long-winded there… coming back to the title of this video- “Why are my Thyroid antibodies still high” It really comes down to couple scenarios.
#1) Is the obvious- The autoimmune triggers hasn’t been removed or addressed. This probably is the most common reason why thyroid antibodies remain high in the first place. That should makes sense right?- the cause is still out there or has yet to be determined.
Lets say you have a leaky gut—- (I’m only using this an one example of a potential trigger)…
Simply do a Google search “leaky gut and autoimmune disease” in Pubmed, national institute of health or New England Journal of Medicine. That search will come back with plenty of articles to keep you busy with.
You could do the same thing with environmental toxins and the thyroid or inflammatory cytokines and the thyroid.
but since most people are familiar with leak gut lets use this… A leaky gut can be a major trigger into the development of not only Autoimmune thyroid disease but also Neuroautoimmunity-This is where the immune system begins to attack the neurological tissue ( the spinal cord, the brain, neurotransmitters, nerve synapses, etc)
This is where you start seeing the connection between
1. Thyroid disease and things like MS or
2. Thyroid disease and parkinsons or
3. Thyroid disease and depression, or
4. Thyroid disease and chronic migraines.
The Brain LEAKY Gut connection is only one of the powerful triggers for autoimmune diseases.
It’s my guess your GP or endocrinologist hasn’t checked you for a leaky gut– they probably just gave you a prescription for antidepressants or ant anxiety medications and sleeping pills.
How can Synthroid or any other Thyroid medication, Radioactive iodine or antidepressants address this?
The answer is IT CANT! – So again medication doesn’t address the Immune system. If you have time, You can check out a video that I did tiled “10 steps to naturally supporting your Thyroid” or here
If you are watching this and you have had your thyroid removed. You still have an autoimmune disease. Just because you removed the organ that your immune system has destroyed doesn’t mean that your immune system is no longer a threat to other tissues and glands of your body.
So… The big point I want to stress is that this an Autoimmune disease is a Systemic problem I only used Brain Gut connection as one Example But there are many others that need to be identified as well.
Again this is an example of a TRIGGER that could be priming your immune system and keeping your antibodies elevated. Having multiple triggers is frustrating to both the doctor and patient because if you don’t identify them, you can’t correct them and consequently you continue to feel lousy. It’s like baking, If you miss one of the ingredients in your recipe, your food doesn’t come out tasting right. Admittedly this is the challenge, not only finding the primary triggers but then correcting them in the proper sequence and this can vary from patient to patient.
In one patient you may start out addressing the leaky gut, but the next patient you may need to start with lowering the toxic load, by improving liver clearance.
Another common Trigger for those with autoimmune Hashimotos that can keep the antibodies chronically elevated comes down to Inflammation and Toxins.
No Two Patients with Hashimotos Are the Same!
There are so many toxins we’re exposed to, and it’s impossible to not only test for all of them but to understand how each individual reacts to the specific toxin. Two patients being exposed to the same toxins can have a very different response. This is why in my practice, I rely very heavily on testing. Where some Holistic practitioners only look at hormones or the adrenal glands, these areas may not be the primary triggers. They might be secondary or Tertiary problems. Contributing triggers but just not the MAIN ones.
Another reason why antibodies might remain elevated comes down to time.
Think of an Autoimmune disease like a pendulum… that swings from one side to the next. Once it build up enough momentum, it just doesn’t stop because you decided your going to eat and autoimmune diet protocol and take some supplements for a couple of months. I get thousands of emails every year from patients who are literally at their wits end. They say I don’t understand Dr Hagmeyer I have eliminated gluten and I have been doing everything and I still feel lousy!
If your immune system has been chronically activated by certain chemical mediators and the one that comes to mind is NF kappa B- your not going to shut this down overnight-Its going to take time.
This is why I stress to patients, the longer you wait at putting off the testing you need, the longer you go without answers and the further down the path you’re going to find yourself with chronic activation of those inflammatory cytokines.
So in summary, in order to reverse autoimmunity you Need to take a Multi system and methodical approach to healing. Time is of the essence! the longer you go trying to figure out what wrong on your own the deeper these problems become and the more difficult and complex they become.
#1 Identify The Triggers- this is where you are going to need to work with a functional medicine practitioner and get the right kinds of metabolic testing done. This is going to start the process of putting the pieces together. These tests serve as your compass and your road map. Now is not the time to take a short cut.
#2 Remove the Autoimmune Triggers that you have Identified with testing and finally work with a physician who understands how to
#3 Correct them in the PROPER SEQUENCE.
This is where the challenge lies! BUT This will help calm down and drive down inflammation, eradicate infection, balance the stress hormones, lower the toxic load, improve hormone metabolism, support Neurotransmitter and Brain health or whatever is going on in your body.
Again each of us is different, we have a different biochemistry, so you can’t just follow some general information that you see on the internet-or do what your next door neighbor is doing for their autoimmune disease.
ALSO…..You need to be an active participant in your health. This is not about simply swallowing a bunch of pills and having “cheat” day now and then. You need to be focused when you have an autoimmune disease.
#4- Chose a doctor who will lead you down the right path.
Your going to be working with that doctor for a minimum of 12-18 months- you need to have a good relationship and connection with him or her.
In our office we offer a one time 15 minute free phone consults. This is a great way to get to know who your doctor is and if you want to work with them and if you connect with them.
So there you have it- These are just a couple of the reasons “Why Antibodies remain elevated” and what you should look for in holistic doctor.
In my next video, I am going to talk about something known as silent autoimmunity– This occurs with an overwhelming number of patients who have a lot of mysterious symptoms yet their doctors tell them that everything is alright.
Interest in Learning more? People who read this article also read and found helpful the following links.
- The Connection Between Hypothyroidism Adrenal Burnout and Sleep Insomnia|
- Adrenal Fatigue and The Thyroid Connection| Dr Hagmeyer Explains Some Common Treatment Pitfalls
- Normal Thyroid Lab Tests? 6 Thyroid Patterns that Wont Show up on Standard Lab Testing
- Change Your Diet, Control Hashimoto’s Disease
- Natural Treatment Methods for Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism
- Iodine and Hashimoto’s an Explosive Mix. What You Need To Know.