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How did my hashimotos go away?

Thyroid Eye Disease Center

The eye changes associated with thyroid disease are referred to as Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Your doctor may also use the term Thyroid Associated Orbitopathy (TAO). Although TED is seen in all types of thyroid disorders, it is most common in patients that are or were hyperthyroid. It also rarely occurs in those who are hypothyroid and even when there is an absence of thyroid abnormalities in the body.

Thyroid disease can cause multiple eye problems. These include redness and swelling, double vision, decreased vision, eyelid retraction (inability to close the eyes), and a bulging of the eye itself. It is important to realize that if one of these occurs, it does not mean you will necessarily get all the other symptoms too.

Eye problems will usually occur and frequently change in type or severity for between six months and two years. Once stabilized, it is unusual for the eyes to start changing again. Some patients are left with permanent changes, and in others the eyes return to normal. A great deal can be done to improve these conditions with medical treatment, although some patients will need surgery to help ease their issues.

What causes thyroid eye disease

TED is usually associated with systemic (generalized) hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease. This disease is caused by what is described as an autoimmune process. Autoimmune disease may be understood as a process by which the body sees some part of itself as being foreign and reacts to it much the same way that it would to any bacteria or virus.

In the case of Graves’ disease, the body sees the thyroid gland as the foreign object and produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. This often causes the thyroid gland to become over active.

The eye version of this disease is called Thyroid Eye Disease. However, in the case of TED, different antibodies attack the muscles associated with eye and eyelid movement. Although the thyroid gland and the eye may be under attack by the same immune system, it is felt that both conditions remain mostly independent of one another. The antibodies that attack the eye can cause inflammation and swelling of the fat and muscles around the eye, which is what can eventually cause bulging of the eyes, double vision and retraction of the eyelids.

Will my eyes go back to normal after treatment?

Most patients think once their medical doctor treats the body’s thyroid problem the eyes will go back to normal. This is often not the case. In some patients the eyes worsen in the months and years after medical treatment despite the body being stabilized. Even though good medical treatment may not prevent or cure TED, it is extremely important to treat the thyroid abnormality and keep your body in proper thyroid balance.

The eye specialist role

Your specialist can provide simple solutions to the irritation, tearing and swelling often associated with TED. Often, this involves something as simple as using artificial tears during the day and lubrication ointment at night. Your specialist can determine when your eyes have stopped changing and whether corrective surgery is needed. Your specialist may also watch for the rare serious problems associated with TED that need prompt treatment.

Problems associated with thyroid eye disease

Dry irritated eyes

TED may cause you to experience dry, irritated and often teary eyes. This is usually due to the eyelids retracting and or protruding. When the eyelids do not close completely at night, the cornea (clear front portion of the eye) dries out and becomes quite uncomfortable. The use of lubricating ointment for the eye at night and artificial tears during the day can provide a great deal of relief. Do not be afraid to use the tears frequently, as much as every 1/2 to 1 hour if necessary.

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Double vision

TED can cause swelling, irritation and scarring of the muscles that move the eyes. This can lead to double vision. Double vision may not be present all the time, sometimes it is noticeable only when looking in certain directions, while in other patients it is always present. Often the amount of double vision will change week to week. At times it can disappear completely without treatment. Once the double vision has been stable for at least several months, surgery can be performed to correct it if necessary. Your specialist will refer you to a specialist for the surgery.

Eyelid retraction

TED can cause scarring in the eyelid muscles. This scar tissue contracts or shortens, causing the eyelid to retract and increasing the white showing above and below the colored part of the eye. The amount of retraction tends to be variable, often changing week to week. In some patients the retraction will disappear with time. In addition to contributing to an unusual appearance of the eyes, the eyelid retraction can cause significant dryness, irritation and tearing. Light sensitivity is another common complaint. Severe drying of the front of the eye can occasionally lead to vision loss.

It is usually preferred to wait for the eyelid position to stop changing before proceeding with surgery. Surgery involves moving the eyelids into a more normal position. In the upper eyelids this is usually performed by removing or stretching the scarred muscles. In the lower eyelids, a graft is often needed to help push the eyelid upward. Eyelid repositioning can make a tremendous difference in both the feel and appearance of the eyes.

Eye protrusion

TED can cause an accumulation of fluid in the fat and muscles around and behind the eye. This can push the eye itself outward making it much more prominent. Coupled with eyelid retraction this can alter the appearance and comfort of the eye. Although less variable than eyelid retraction, the protrusion of the eye can return to normal on its own. After being stable for several months or more, it is sometimes desirable to surgically move the eye into a more normal position. This can be accomplished by removing a portion of the bones surrounding the eye. The swollen fat and muscles around the eye can then fall into the extra space, allowing the eye to move backward. This can go a long way toward returning the eyes to their pre-thyroid appearance and relieve the relentless pressure and irritation most patients feel around their eyes.

Vision loss

Decreased vision can occur in TED for several reasons. Exposure and irritation of the cornea (clear front portion of the eye) occurs secondary to eyelid retraction and eye protrusion. Drops, ointment, eyelid repositioning or eye repositioning may be needed depending on the patients needs to improve vision. The other cause of decreased vision, but more rare, is compression of the main nerve from the eye to the brain. This occurs behind the eye when the muscles that move the eye become extremely swollen and press on the nerve. If your vision decreases significantly, bring this to the doctor’s attention promptly. Often, medications taken by mouth will return vision to normal. Surgery and/or radiation treatments are occasionally necessary to restore vision.

Cosmetic considerations

Many people with TED have eyes that appear to have prematurely aged. Swelling of the eyelids is one of the reasons for this. Additionally, a fluid accumulation in the normal fat around the eyes causes this fat to bulge outward becoming visible as «bags» of the eyelids. If this does not go away on its own, it can be surgically removed.

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Although thyroid disease can cause multiple problems with the eyes, there is quite a bit that can be done to help. Once your eyes have stabilized, we can plan a course of treatment to correct the problems you find to be most troublesome. It will often be necessary to come to the office several times over several months so we can measure and examine your eyes. Bring old photographs that show your face when you were younger and before you developed the eye/orbit disease. These can be useful during your initial office visit. Photographs from before your eyes were affected by the thyroid condition and more recent ones that show how long your eyes have looked abnormal can be very helpful. Together, with patience and perseverance, we can do a lot to return your eyes to a more normal appearance and comfort level.

To schedule a cosmetic consultation call 503 494-3020.

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Remission in Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Remission in Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Those of us with Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism know that while a “cure” is the holy grail, it’s far more realistic to aim for remission. Is remission possible in Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism? And if so, what do you need to do to reach this goal? In this article, we look at the issue of remission in Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism.

What does “remission” mean?

Generally, the term “remission” means that the signs and symptoms of a disease have decreased, reduced in intensity, or disappeared. It doesn’t mean that a disease is officially considered cured or won’t recur again in the future. Rather, remission implies that the situation is temporary and the disease is not actively causing symptoms or diagnosable using laboratory tests.

For hypothyroidism, remission includes relief from symptoms as well as:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels in the reference range (also known as the “normal range”)
  • Free Thyroxine (Free T4) levels in the reference range
  • Free Triiodothyronine (Free T3) levels in the reference range

For Hashimoto’s disease to be considered in remission, in addition to relief from symptoms – and thyroid hormone levels including TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 in the reference range – the Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOAb) levels also need to fall within the reference range.

Is remission possible for Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism?

There’s good news! If you have Hashimoto’s and/or hypothyroidism, remission is possible. The challenge is that remission takes time, requires trial-and-error approaches, and isn’t always entirely achievable.

But even if you don’t achieve full remission by laboratory measurement, there’s no question that it can be worthwhile to try. Following a program designed to achieve remission helps to address the root causes of the thyroid disease, can often help improve your symptoms of Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, and, ultimately, improve your thyroid health, well-being, and quality of life!

Typically, a protocol for Hashimoto’s/hypothyroidism remission includes any or all of the following approaches:

  • Optimal thyroid hormone replacement
  • Dietary changes
  • Supplementation with Vitamin D, selenium, iodine, and/or iron
  • Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) therapy

Let’s look at each of these components.

Finding your optimal thyroid hormone replacement dose

A crucial first step is optimizing your thyroid hormone replacement treatment. Research shows that being on thyroid hormone replacement can help slow or stop thyroid destruction in patients with Hashimoto’s and lower thyroid antibodies.

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THYROID GUIDE

Your Guide To Thyroid Medication

Optimizing your thyroid levels with thyroid hormone replacement medication is usually the first step in minimizing symptoms.

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Thyroid guide

The impact of changing your diet

Various dietary changes have been found to help reduce thyroid antibodies and autoimmunity and help put Hashimoto’s into remission. These include:

Gluten-free diet: Eliminating all gluten and wheat products from the diet can, according to research, reduce thyroid antibody levels significantly. However, the effect is not immediate, and studies show that the results are often evident after six or more months following a gluten-free approach to eating.

Paleo diet: According to research, a Paleo diet appears to significantly reduce symptoms, lower antibodies, and improve TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 levels. In an informative Speaker Series video, Paloma discussed the benefits of the Paleo diet for people with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism.

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet: The AIP diet also can reduce thyroid antibodies and improve TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 levels, according to research. To learn more about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet, the Paloma blog has an excellent overview article: What Is The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet?

For additional information, it’s helpful to read Paloma’s article, “What Is The Best Diet For Hypothyroidism?”

THYROID GUIDE

5-Day Thyroid Meal Plan

In this free download, you’ll get a five-day meal plan that includes a grocery list and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snack options, plus dessert.

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Thyroid guide

## 5-day meal plan

Supplements to support and consider

Numerous studies have shown that supplementation with Vitamin D may help slow down the progression of Hashimoto’s, reduce TPOAb levels, and improve overall thyroid function. The end result is an improvement – or even remission – in Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. A good starting point to learn more about Vitamin D and thyroid function is the Paloma article on the “Relationship Between Low Vitamin D And Hypothyroidism.”

Selenium

According to numerous studies, selenium supplementation can reduce TPOAb levels and, in some cases, normalize thyroid function in people with borderline or subclinical hypothyroidism. According to recent research, selenium supplementation can also enhance the effect of vitamin D on thyroid autoimmunity. For more information on the benefits of selenium for thyroid patients, read Paloma’s Quick Guide: Selenium.

Iodine

Iodine deficiency can contribute to hypothyroidism. So in some patients whose borderline or subclinical hypothyroidism is caused by a lack of this essential nutrient, supplementing with iodine can return thyroid levels to normal and result in remission. You can learn more at the Paloma blog, in “The Iodine Hypothyroidism Connection,” and “Iodine Intake And The Risk Of Hypothyroidism: What You Need To Know.” You may also want to download a copy of the Paloma Quick Guide: Iodine.

Iron

The body needs iron to convert T4 into the active thyroid hormone, T3. If you don’t have enough iron, this can cause – or worsen – hypothyroidism.

Some studies have found that correcting and normalizing low iron may be the only treatment necessary to reverse some thyroid conditions and achieve remission. One study, in particular, looked at patients – half had normal iron levels, and the other half were deficient in iodine. Among them, more than half had subclinical or overt hypothyroidism. After supplementing with iron, the treated patients went into remission and had normal thyroid levels.

For more information on the benefits of iron supplementation for patients with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, read “Iron Deficiency, Anemia, And Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism.”

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Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

The prescription medication known as Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) has been shown anecdotally to reduce thyroid antibodies and symptoms in some patients. To learn more about LDN therapy for Hashimoto’s, check out Paloma’s article: “Low-Dose Naltrexone For Hashimoto’s” and a helpful Speaker Series video on “LDN for Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism.”

A note from Paloma

A starting point on the road to remission is finding a healthcare provider who knows how to optimize your hypothyroidism treatment. Paloma’s thyroid-savvy practitioners have demonstrated expertise in diagnosing hypothyroidism and prescribing effective treatments. Paloma doctors across the nation have successfully worked with many hypothyroid patients to achieve remission or resolve persistent hypothyroidism symptoms and improve their quality of life, using the full range of thyroid treatment options.

Monitoring improvements on the way to remission also involves regular blood tests to evaluate thyroid function. One convenient way to get your thyroid tested is with the Paloma Complete Thyroid Blood Test kit. The affordable and convenient at-home thyroid test kit from Paloma comes with everything you need to test Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free Thyroxine (Free T4), Free Triiodothyronine (Free T3), and Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO). You also have the option to add on tests for Reverse T3 (RT3) and Vitamin D.

Dealing with Hypothyroidism? Video chat with a thyroid doctor

Can Hypothyroidism go away without Medication?

Hypothyroidism develops when your thyroid gland stops producing enough thyroid hormones: T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), responsible for regulating bodily functions.

Hypothyroidism Medication

As a result, your body’s metabolism begins to slow down even when the TSH encourages the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.

People suffering from thyroid problems will begin to experience symptoms like dry skin, fatigue, unwanted weight gain, low energy, muscle stiffness or joint pain, intolerant to cold, and a puffy face. It will also increase blood cholesterol and increase the risk of diseases associated with the heart.

Sometimes the case may be mild, So the question remains, Can hypothyroidism go away without medication. Let’s find out.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

The most commonly prescribed treatment for curing hypothyroidism, in the long run, is taking proper medication every day consistently at the same time. This is usually coupled up with regular thyroid checks after six to eight weeks to measure the improvement.

However, the problem with every synthetic thyroid medication is it often comes with several side effects, and missing a dose or two might trigger new or unwanted symptoms.

To cater to this problem in a better way, the functional medicine approach works very well.

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It is particularly used to treat thyroid disorders by finding underlying causes rather than masking symptoms. This treatment strategy is used to reverse the symptoms using a personalized approach to the patient. The ultimate goal is to help the individual become healthier and happier by reducing your need for medicines.

Can Hypothyroidism go away without Medication?

People struggling with mild hypothyroidism often don’t need treatment. In most cases of mild hypothyroidism, it can be cured naturally by introducing some new lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, daily yoga, exercise, & meditation, and fulfilling the deficiency of nutrients in the body.

Many studies have shown that thyroid problems are often triggered due to a lot of stress, deficiency of essential nutrients, and having a poor diet.

Once you switch to a healthy diet and follow a healthy regime, it may help you deal with underactive thyroid effectively instead of taking any heavy hypothyroidism medication.

You should consider changing your diet and integrating healthy stuff into your daily life to become a better version of yourself.

However, if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, before you think of making any changes to your diet, you must consult with your doctor and get your thyroid level checked to discuss possible solutions. There are certain edibles including some of the fruits and vegetables, supplements, etc, that can trigger symptoms inside your body.

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So to answer the question “Can hypothyroidism go away without medication?” In short, Probably Yes, once you know what to eat and what to avoid, you can make changes in your lifestyle and reverse the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Preferred Treatment Method for Hypothyroidism

Most commonly patients suffering from hypothyroidism are prescribed synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication.

You need to take this medication consistently without interrupting the daily routine. However, doctors may prescribe liothyronine sodium to treat hypothyroidism in special conditions.

Treating your thyroid is a life-long process, which consuming excessive medication will result in serious health problems like osteoporosis, blood pressure control, and heart palpitations in some extreme cases.

Another preferred method to treat hypothyroidism is a functional medicine approach. This approach is a healthy mix of a good lifestyle with a healthy diet and personalized medications and is strictly based on each individual’s progress.

What happens If you don’t treat Hypothyroidism?

Usually, in most cases of hypothyroidism, not every patient has required treatment as the condition might resolve in time without hypothyroidism medication.

But remember, it is necessary to consider frequent checkups to measure the level of thyroid hormone inside your body if you feel any symptoms.

However, if your hypothyroidism problem does not go away or is left untreated for months, it can become a complicated health issue in the long term.

If this problem is left untreated, then the mild situation is known as subclinical hypothyroidism. It refers to a situation when the TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone levels are increased to promote the production of thyroid hormones, but the levels remain the same.

If there is a continuous decrease in the T4 and T3 hormones, this situation is known as overt hypothyroidism, affecting your bodily functions.

To sum up, it’s always better to check your thyroid conditions from time to time and take the necessary steps required as per the doctor’s opinion.

Do Natural Treatments work for Hypothyroidism?

Switching to a specific healthy diet or consuming prescribed supplements won’t treat or cure hypothyroidism. Still, it will make you feel good, reduce your stress level and decrease the risk of other potential diseases. However, remember to keep up with the prescribed hypothyroidism medication by the doctor.

Even though these natural treatments might not replace the conventional methods of treating the underactive thyroid gland or the functional medicine approach that we usually follow, you can boost up the process of hypothyroidism treatment by taking the following remedies.

  • Manage And Maintain A Healthy Diet Plan: Even though there is no specific diet plan associated with thyroid disease, eating a well-balanced diet would make you feel full and provide your body with sufficient nutrition.
  • Yoga: Yoga is best for relaxing your body, mind, and soul. It has also proven to be more effective in improving blood flow, especially in the thyroid gland.
  • Meditation — Meditation has proven to calm your soul and help you deal with your stress, anxiety, and depression.

Can It be Cured Permanently?

It is possible to cure hypothyroidism permanently in those with Hashimoto disorder, which is usually common in most cases.

To treat it permanently, you need to evaluate the root causes like toxins, nutritional deficiencies, infections, leaky gut, food sensitivity, and hormone imbalance by going through several medical tests.

You can naturally treat these root causes by weeding out the allergen triggers. You can also consider taking natural supplements like curcumin, probiotics, and iodine to resolve the deficiency coupled with a good enough sleep. This In a way will reduce the stress level and make you feel good.

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