Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the Endocrinologist

After receiving the news that I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I was in a bit of a daze, as I didn’t know anything about the condition. All the typical questions were going through my mind: Why did I get Hashimoto’s? What causes Hashimoto’s? How can I treat Hashimoto’s? Can Hashimoto’s be cured?

While I waited to see the endocrinologist I tried using my phone to google for information, but the phone reception at Mt. Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore is terrible and I could hardly load a page or two before I was called in to see the specialist. Now I was going to get some answers!

The doctor, who was pleasant enough, then started to tell me the bad news. They don’t really know what causes Hashimoto’s, but there seems to be a genetic disposition to it. Hashimoto’s tends to be more common in women, especially those over 50, so I was rare male case. All that he could offer is to monitor my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and Free T4 levels to determine the correct dosage of T4 (Euthyrox in my case). There is no cure and I would have to take the pill every day, for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, this is where I started to learn the hard lesson that for chronic diseases, such as diabetes, Hashimoto’s, and arthritis, western medicine doesn’t have a good answer, other than: “here, have a pill.” I’ll do a dedicated post on this problem at a later date, but suffice to say, I was quite frustrated after leaving the specialist.

I contacted my family to find out that my mum has hypothyroidism, but was never tested to see if the cause was Hashimoto’s. Given the genetic component, I’m guessing she probably has Hashimoto’s and I was predisposed to getting it from her wonderful genes. Thanks mum! 😉

I was determined to educate myself on this disease and find out if there were any different opinions on Hashimoto’s.

Anyone who has used the internet to research health conditions will have undoubtedly encountered the same problem that I then did. There is just so much information and plenty of it is written by people who make sweeping statements about a particular condition based on their own experience. Known in the scientific jargon as N=1 studies (a sample size of one), thus their opinion is hardly a great indication of validity. There is also the complication that Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism tend to get lumped together which can cause confusion and poor recommendations. Finally, most of the information is more focused on women with Hashimoto’s than with men with Hashimoto’s.

After a  lot of reading articles and watching too many Youtube videos, the best cause of action seemed to be to fix my diet to remove all possible food related triggers that cause possible immune system responses. A paleo diet came up as one of the best options. Can you imagine how I felt when I read that? Here I was trying to make a positive lifestyle change and had already chosen a paleo based diet. Then I find out that it is the best diet for a condition that I didn’t even know I had when I made that choice!

Once the diet is started I needed to get the medication working to bring my TSH, T4 and T3 levels under control. After that there was not much that I could find on people who had actually managed to come off their medication and keep the disease at bay.

Given that sorting out the medication would take quite some time (months), I decided to dive into the paleo and primal world to learn as much as I could about my choice of lifestyle change. Then when I had my medication sorted I would return to focusing on how to possibly cure or at least control my Hashimoto’s.

For those that are interested here are my first test results for the Hashimoto’s indicators:

T4 Free    10.37  (10.00 - 23.00 pmol/L) 0.81 (0.78 - 1.79 ng/dL)
TSH        11.873 (0.450 - 4.500 mlU/L)
Tg Ab     122.40  (0.00 - 4.10 IU/mL)
TPO Ab   1300.32  (0.00 - 5.60 IU/mL)

There was no T3 test performed, as at the time of testing there was no known condition, thus it was unnecessary. The antibody tests were performed on the same blood sample to confirm Hashimoto’s, but only ordered after the doctor saw my TSH result.

In my next post I’ll go into more detail on the research I did during this time, including Youtube videos to watch, websites to visit and other, useful bits of information.



14 thoughts on “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the Endocrinologist

  1. Pingback: My Pre-Primal Health Status | Louco73's Place on the Internet

  2. Rabeya

    Hi
    I have come to your website while searching for best endo in singapore. There is no support group in singapore and no such forum to get information about hashimoto hypothyroidis. I have visited several doctors in my country and in singapore for my disease and two pregnancy loss. They dont understand hashimoto as i have come to know from internet.
    You r on right track about treating hashimoto by maintining diet as i have found in several websites.
    So many tests to be done to check my defficiencies and food sensitivity, metal sensitivity, leaky gut, and so on.

    In this regard, i m looking forward to come to singapore and see an endo who knows these things
    As i found you knowledgeable, i m requesting to suggest me the best endo in this regard.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. louco73 Post author

      Hi Rabeya,

      Most endocrinologists will stick with the western treatment protocols and do not understand how to manage Hashimoto’s other than hand out T4 pills. What you need to find is a integrated medicine or holistic doctor who will assess your symptoms from head to toe and make adjustments to medication, diet, lifestyle and supplements to address the disease.

      I have had excellent results with Dr. Ian Lee at Integrated Medicine, 8 Biomedical Grove, Singapore 138665, +65 6333-8618.

      There is an auto-immune support group in Singapore that I’m a founding member of. We meet every now and then to talk about our conditions, treatment and also hear from speakers such as doctors specializing in the field.

      I’ll drop you an email to make sure you get this information quickly.

      Reply
        1. louco73 Post author

          Eileen, we don’t really have seminars, but are looking at getting someone relevant such as a doctor or nutritionist along to a meeting. See my reply below for general info.

          Reply
      1. Shravani

        Thanks a lot for this information!!!!! Can’t tell u how happy I am to know about Dr Ian.
        Like many others, even I am lost and desperately trying to find a good endocrinologist in Singapore. Hashimoto’s has landed me in deep seas with multiple pregnancy losses. I need to fix the Antibodies and for that need alternative thyroid medications. I have read about LDN and iodine in treatment of elevated Ab.
        Its nice to know there is a Hashimoto’s support group in Sing.
        Could you also send me the details of the same?
        Thanks for writing this blog and lending a helping hand!!!!!

        Reply
    1. JT8088

      Hi

      I noted that you had consulted Dr Ian Lee. Can you elaborate more on his approach? I am looking to change doctors and am looking for any recommendation I can get. There isn’t much to go on even online.

      Cheers
      Jacintha

      Reply
      1. louco73 Post author

        Hi Jacintha,

        Unfortunately Dr. Lee has stopped his practice because of trouble with the MOH. They didn’t like his methods despite hundreds of patient testimonials stating that he had helped them improve the quality of their life. The great thing about Dr. Lee is that he was trained in functional medicine, so he would look at you as a whole rather than individual symptoms.

        If you join the Facebook Autoimmune group in Singapore you can find a thread on doctors that I started there with a couple of recommendations. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1511172962475100/

        Reply
  3. Saritha

    Hi Louco,
    I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroid( hashimoto’s ) since last year. I am trying to find a good doctor open to discussing alternative medicines like homeopathy etc. I recently also started having itchy rashes all over my body and one doctor and linked it to auto-immune while others suggest allergies. Frankly i would want a very holistic approach. I tried contacting Dr. Ian Lee but no one picks up the call there. Would you probably be having some contact number which I can use?

    Reply
    1. louco73 Post author

      Saritha,

      Terribly sorry for not seeing your comment earlier. Hopefully you have been able to contact Dr. Lee by now or at least another doctor who has helped you.

      Reply

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