A Thyroid Root Cause
Finding and eliminating chronic infections can eliminate the symptoms of many conditions like Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions…
Eliminating the infection can even put the conditions into remission!
A message from a reader inspired me to go deeper into one of these infections, which can trigger Hashimoto’s.
Here’s the message:
“Dear Dr. Wentz,
I have a suggestion that I feel is important to include if you ever come out with a second edition of your book.
After any interventions for my Hashimotos’ over a three-year period, which included gluten free, low dairy, low sugar, H. pylori and parasite treatment, Natural Desiccated Thyroid, and many supplements, I’ve recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease and a tick-borne co-infection, Babesia.
Likely I’ve had it for years, and it is what caused my Hashimoto’s. After hanging put on Lyme groups, I’m discovering many Hashimoto’s patients who have Lyme.
It’s too much of a coincidence …and I feel the word needs to get out, so Hashimoto’s patients and their doctors can get them the proper testing just in case.
They would need a Lyme literate medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
Dr. Horowitz has a great new book on the subject that is the equivalent to your book but in the Lyme/multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome world. Thought you might be interested. Love the work you do!”
Not suggesting every Hashi patient’s root cause is Lyme by any means, just that it can be one root cause, through molecular mimicry, and since many of the symptoms overlap with those of Hashi’s that many on Hashi groups are suffering from.
I feel the word needs to get out. I was through reading a woman’s story in an online Hashimoto’s support group, who was recently diagnosed with Lyme that it got more on my radar.
And then I went to a new nurse practitioner, and ended up getting tested for Lyme after she thought my symptoms matched, and my tests came back CDC positive.”
While I do discuss Lyme, a tick-borne infectious disease, as a potential root cause of Hashimoto’s in my book Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause and in my post about infections and Hashimoto’s, I want to give you additional resources to help you overcome this debilitating infection!
As those of you who have been reading my book and posts know, I am a big proponent of lifestyle changes, like adopting a nutrient-dense diet… but unfortunately, sometimes diet is not enough. Although getting on an appropriate diet will help everyone, it will not always result in a remission of your autoimmunity. (Interested in trying out the Autoimmune Paleo diet? Download free recipe plans!)
I thought this was an important message to bring up, especially for those of you who have tried the diet and have had limited success. Autoimmunity starts in the gut, and Lyme disease destroys the gut completely!
So if you’ve tried a lot of things, have a lot of symptoms, you’re tired, in pain, have numbness, headaches, memory problems, pain that changes or moves around the body, symptoms that come and go no matter what you do, symptoms that worsen around your period, symptoms that get better or are intensified on antibiotics (either due to the antibiotics suppressing the Lyme or killing too much, causing die-off)… please look into testing for Lyme — it can be a root cause of your Hashimoto’s!
Dr. Richard Horowitz is a pioneer in Lyme treatment and has developed a Lyme quiz you can take to see if you are at high risk for Lyme.
You will need a blood test to confirm the infection; I recommend this lab for testing for Lyme.
I also want to warn you that Lyme is a really difficult infection to eradicate. As the reader who wrote in mentioned, not many doctors are very familiar with treating a chronic Lyme infection — you will need a Lyme literate doctor, as well as a lot of support, to overcome this infection.
Go to Ilads.org for more info on Lyme literate practitioners.
I hope this information helps you on your journey!
PS. You can download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 thyroid-friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter of my first book for free, by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways and helpful information.
- Tomer Y, Davies TF. Infection, thyroid disease, and autoimmunity. Endocr Rev. 1993;14(1):107-120. doi:10.1210/edrv-14-1-107
- Buskila D, Atzeni F, Sarzi-Puttini P. Etiology of fibromyalgia: the possible role of infection and vaccination. Autoimmun Rev. 2008;8(1):41-43. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2008.07.023
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- Skar GL, Simonsen KA. Lyme Disease. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; May 6, 2022.
- Dhliwayo N, Wajahat R, Havrylyan A, Moid A, Khayr W, Barsano CP. Lyme Disease: An Autoimmunity-Based “Destructive Thyroiditis” or Just Another “Non-Thyroidal Illness”?. J Endocr Soc. 2021;5(Suppl 1):A940-A941. Published 2021 May 3. doi:10.1210/jendso/bvab048.1922
Note: Originally published in February 2015, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.