Hashimoto's Patients Have More Symptoms - TSH Misleading
Feb of 2011: Johannes Ott and colleagues from Kaiserin Elisabeth Spital and Medical University of Vienna, Austria, report that women with higher levels of anti-thyroid antibody had a significantly higher number of symptoms, even though their levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-a measure of thyroid function-did not differ from TSH levels measured in women with lower antibody levels....
"This study raises important clinical issues. Although the authors did not study thyroid hormone treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, it raises the possibility that optimal doses of thyroid hormone will not completely ameliorate all symptoms. Further studies are required to confirm the findings of Ott et al. and to determine if patients with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis still have residual symptoms despite achieving an ideal biochemical response to thyroid hormone replacement therapy," says Charles H. Emerson, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Thyroidand Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, in Worcester."
This research result held no surprise at all to me. The immune system generates many chemicals that are currently not tested by medical professionals. The autoantibodies TPO and Tg only represent the tip of the iceberg of the autoimmune response in Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Once Hashimoto's thyroiditis is in progress then many chemicals, including the cytokines, are know to impact thyroid hormone action within the cells. If thyroid hormone action is impacted inside the cells then TSH, FT3, FT4 can all look perfect but the individual is likely to still have symptoms.
I discuss this in Chapter 29 of 'Recovering with T3' and Datis Kharrazian does it in his 'Why Do I Still Have Symptoms' book. This non-news is well overdue to be taken account of by listening to patient symptoms and response to thyroid treatment rather than blood test results. We also need a wider range of available thyroid hormone treatments to overcome some of the issues that cannot be seen through thyroid blood tests.
Good to have this research result but deeply frustrating that we thyroid patients still have to suffer with out of date and ineffective treatment practices.