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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    My wife has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, her current lab results show TSH, T3 and T4 in normal range but her symptoms are relentless and severe (depression, fatigue, weight gain, sensitive to cold, insomnia, swelling in legs etc) - prev lab resluts had very low TSH and elevated T3 and T4.. Her GP is dismissive of further treatment (my wife has insisted on further tests for Fibromyalgia and CFS) - from my research it would appear studies have recommended treatment for Hashimoto patients with normal TSH and T3, T4 levels (the normalcy of these levels do not translate into reduced symptoms in Hashimoto patients) Recent studies where “euthyroid” patients were given levothyroxine substantially decreased auto-antibody levels; " - Researchers have concluded that early prophylactic (preventative) levothyroxine treatment might be useful to help slow down the progression of the autoimmunity of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. How can I find a specialist or GP who will treat my wife?
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    25 years experience as a clinical dietitian with a unique set of skills and knowledge due to :1) current position as an Adjunct Associate Professor … View Profile

    You may also want to visit a clinical dietitian because it may be useful to check if your wife has nutrient deficiencies as these can exacerbate hypothyroid symptoms and potentially affect antibody levels.  Assessing iodine status is important with a urine iodine test as low iodine levels can affect thyroid function and low iodine levels have been reported   in all states of Australia over the last 10 years. Also, low iron, low selenium (check serum selenium), low zinc (check with plasma zinc) and low vit D can all affect thyroid function. Correcting mineral deficiencies can also lower antibody levels and negate/reduce the dose of thyroxine medication.  Furthermore, some patients with thyroid disorders also present with bowel problems, coeliac disease or gluten intolerance so it is important you also rule this out as gluten may also be affecting antibody levels/thyroid function. 

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    Dr Nicolas Oddone Baridon MBBS, MS, MD, FRACS is an accomplished and passionate General Surgeon whose main interest is thyroid surgery (endocrine surgeon). He has … View Profile

    It would be good for you to visit an Endocrinologist in the first place. My recommendation would be Prof. Ken Ho in Eastwood. This would be your first port of call. Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis need to be closely monitored not only due to antibody/hormonal levels but due to increased risk of thyroid lymphoma. This condition is often overlooked. As a surgeon I often see patients that come to me referred for Total thyroidectomy with massive glands with several years of treatment. Consider surgery if multiple nodules or increasing size of the gland, particularly if there is a requirement for thyroxine.

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