Hashimoto's Disease vs. Hypothyroidism?

H is for Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism.

If you have read any of my first posts on this blog, you may have seen a common theme - thyroid issues, specifically Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism.  Both are life changing and keep you guessing as to what to do next, what doctor to see next and what tests should be run.

Even though both deal with the thyroid itself, there are similarities and differences between the two.


Hypothyroidism basically means that the thyroid isn't producing enough thyroid hormones.


While there are many symptoms of hypothyroidism (as many as 300 symptoms), below are some of the most common symptoms:
  1. Fatigue
  2. Hair loss
  3. Inability to lose weight
  4. Infertility
  5. Forgetfullness
  6. Lack of energy
  7. Swollen glands
  8. Dry skin

Hashimoto's Disease

Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease where the body actually starts to attach the thyroid gland, thus causing hypothyroid symptoms.


Since Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease, the symptoms are fairly typical to that of hypothyroidism.  

Differences between Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism

There are 3 main differences (although there are more), between the two thyroid diseases.

  1. Since both diseases affect the function of the thyroid, the only way to determine if someone has Hashimoto's Disease or Hypothyroidism is by testing for a rise in thyroid antibodies.  If there is a rise in Anti-TPO or Anti-thyroidglobulin, then there is a chance that Hashimoto's Disease is present.
  2. Another difference (although one that I would recommend for both Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism) is the preference of following a gluten free diet for those that have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's.  The reason is that some people may have an underlying gluten intolerance and be reducing anything that may cause further inflammation in the body, the better that your body, once appropriate treatment is started, can possibly begin to heal.
  3. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease.  It has been found that once you have one autoimmune disease, you potentially can have other autoimmune diseases and even have higher inflammation markers on certain tests.

What to do if you suspect Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's Disease?

If you suspect that you have either thyroid disease, the first step is to get proper thyroid testing. Unfortunately, most doctors will only test TSH levels for determining if you have a thyroid issue at all.  The downside to this is that in order to ensure you are getting proper treatment for hypothyroidism is to have a full Thyroid Panel done.  

A Thyroid Panel test will include:

  • TSH
  • Reverse T3
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • TPO Antibodies
There are other Thyroid Panel tests found through different lab companies, but these ones listed above are the ones that should be tested at a minimum.  

For further ifnoramtion about Hyperthoroidism, please visit thyroid.about.com to find out more and to find doctor's in  your area that have been known to properly diagnose and treat both Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism.

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  1. I was diagnosed at the end of Feb with Hashimotos I also have PCOS. Thanks for sharing this info! I'm still sorting through and learning about it as its a complex disease.

  2. I''m learning about inflammation issues myself. I developed fibromyalgia in Oct. of 2013. Then suspected RA. I read the book The Inflammation Nation by a guy named Childers. It was excellent and a real eye-opener. Diet is 95% of our inflammation. I started working with a nutritionist and an LMT and 3 months after a major overhaul of my diet, my blood work is normal. I do have a high CCP, which means I'm at higher risk for RA than others, but it does not mean I'm guaranteed to get it. I went up to Mayo Clinic and the doc there told me to keep doing what I'm doing. He said most people don't take diet seriously, but we really can turn our health around, if we learn more about what helps and what hurts our body. So nice to find you during the a-z. I'm going to like you on facebook, so I can stay connected. Here are my links, if you want to visit.
    facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventures-in-the-Ballpark-Marianne-Ball/394038163950377?ref=hl
    blog: http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com


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