Chronic Thyroiditis

What Causes Chronic Thyroiditis?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of chronic thyroiditis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow chronic thyroiditis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind chronic thyroiditis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to chronic thyroiditis.  Here are six possibilities:
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Cigarette Smoke Damage
  • Autoimmune Tendency
  • Gluten Sensitivity
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Lupus (SLE)

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
adverse reaction to stress
occasional rotten egg burps
loss of appetite
hot flashes during period
sensitivity to bright light
occasional sore throats
much reduced sense of smell
constant thirst
slow recovery from colds/flu
recently quitting smoking
history of postpartum depression
morning sickness
... and more than 90 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chronic thyroiditis:
Cause Probability Status
Adrenal Fatigue 96% Confirm
Sjogren's Syndrome 52% Possible
Autoimmune Tendency 14% Unlikely
Cigarette Smoke Damage 0% Ruled out
Lupus (SLE) 0% Ruled out
Gluten Sensitivity 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Immune System Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about chronic thyroiditis:
Chronic Thyroiditis (Hashimoto's Disease). Have you ever been diagnosed with this condition?
Possible responses:
→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably/minor episode now resolved
→ Major episode now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of chronic thyroiditis or chronic thyroiditis, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

People with celiac disease are more likely to develop Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (ATD) than the general public, and the reverse is also true.  Consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune process in those with celiac disease, causing the immune system to attack the body itself.  In the case of ATD, the target of the attack is thyroid gland, resulting in a deficiency or excess of hormones, which causes unpredictable metabolic changes.  The most common type of ATD is hypothyroidism.

In one study, 83 patients with autoimmune thyroid disorder were screened for celiac disease.  Three patients with asymptomatic celiac disease were found along with one who had previously been diagnosed, giving an overall frequency of 4.8%.  By contrast, only one of 249 age- and sex-matched blood donors was found to have celiac disease.

Cigarette Smoke Damage

A study of 132 pairs of twins (264 subjects) showed that smoking can have negative effects on the endocrine system, causing a 3- to 5-fold increase in the risk of all types of thyroid disease.  The association was most pronounced in autoimmune disorders (Graves' disease and autoimmune thyroiditis), although there was still a strong association for non-autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Approximately 10% of lupus patients have thyroid antibodies, and autoimmune thyroiditis occasionally coexists with SLE.

Sjogren's Syndrome

Antithyroid antibodies are created when antibodies migrate out of the salivary glands into the thyroid gland.  Antithyroid antibodies cause thyroiditis, a common problem in people with Sjögren's.

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