thyroid and immune system, any link.

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I have had a weak immune system since being diagnosed with hypothroyidism two years ago. Can someone tell me if this has happened to them. How can I fix the problem?

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  • Posted

    I used to have more than my share of throat and chest infections until I had my thyroidectomy 11 years ago. Then they became much less frequent. The doctor said that there was no connection but I think there was. Also I get free flu jabs because of my thyroid.
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  • Posted

    YES! The thyroid is located smack dab in the middle of the highest concentration of lymph nodes in the body, and directly above the main lymphatic drain area. Common sense and simple biology indicate the thyroid is intimately involved in regulating the immune system.

    But, also, yes, most people with hypothyroidism experience immune system problems. In fact, hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease, either Hashimoto's ir Grave's disease.

    So yes! Yes! Yes!

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    • Posted

      I have congenital hypothyroidism . As far as I know this is different to Graves and Hashimoto. I have never been told that I have either of them.
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    • Posted

      Mine is congenital.  Thyroid disease on both sides of my family. It was two decades before a doctor mentioned it was Hashimoto's.

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    • Posted

      Did anything happen to lead the doctor to say that? I will look it up but it has never been mentioned to me. I have a brother and sister with underactive but my parents didn't have it. I also have a brother who doesn't.

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    • Posted

      If you have cysts it's usually Hashimoto's. Goiter are Graves from what I've read. Not sure though. Doesn't matter, both are autoimmune.

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    • Posted

      i have just looked up Hashimotos but am sure that I don't have it. When you say that your hypothyroidism is congenital, do you mean that you were born with it or just that it runs in your family? The info which i have just read says that Hashimotos usually develops later in life (around 30).

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    • Posted

      I mean it is genetic. ALL the women on my dad's side have low thyroid. My mother has low thyroid. 

      I feel I've always had low thyroid, but it was not noticed until I developed a large cyst, yes, in my early 30s. prior to that I'd never had anything but TSH tested. I'd had a TSH test done in my 20s that showed slightly elevated. I've been on the caffeine/sugar/chocolate Merry-go-round since my teens, a sign of low thyroid. My guess is that it often takes a decade to develop a calcified cyst.

      You can read anything but I'll tell you that all the women on my dad's side have low thyroid. I'm talking 4 generation. The younger generations are developing the disease earlier. So it has to be genetic.

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    • Posted

      I am not arguing about it being genetic but I am just making a distinction between that and actually having the condition from birth and needing thyroxine straight away. Mine was diagnosed when I was 3 months. Now all babies are tested automatically at birth.
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    • Posted

      My understanding is congenital means 'born with' or 'from birth', whilst genetic means 'is passed to person from parent via genes' (but doesn't necessarily mean your parent has the medical condition, though some of your relations will have). Does this help clarify matters?

      Also, not all hypothyroidism is Hashimotos, though most of it is. A small proportion of hypothyroidism is caused by low iodine intake (but be aware that too much iodine is toxic so one needs to be very careful if using iodine supplememts). Some areas of the world have low iodine levels in the soil and therefore in the foods that are grown and eaten, and there is a higher chance of having non-Hashimotos hypothyroidism. Hashimotos is where the immune system attacks the thyroid. Many people consider there is a link between eating gluten and Hashimotos, though I can't remember the details.

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    • Posted

      Barbara, interesting. I was told that all thyroid disease is either Hashimoto's or graves, both autoimmune. Hmmm. Whether caused by low iodine, or not.

      The gluten connection is where the gluten protein is very similar to some cell surface proteins, to the point that it triggers an autoimmune response in some people. For those people, eating wheat causes the body to attack certain cells, including thyroid cells.

      Personally, I suspect there are multiple contributing factors: genetics, chemical exposure, wheat/gluten, bacterial infections, pesticides (especially those that are chelating agents).

      As for genetic or congenital, tomAto, tomOto. Many congenital traits are discovered later in life... As are genetic traits. Both can also be discovered early. Congenital traits are sometimes genetic. 

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    • Posted

      Neither of my parents had underactive thyroid and there is no history in the family. However they had 4 children and 3 of us were born with hypothyroidism. My youngest brother doesn't have it at all (but might have a recessive gene for it). He has had 2 sons and they don't have it.

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    • Posted

      I don't know. It just means that the baby produces insufficient thyroxine from birth and will always need the supplement. A lack of it will eventually cause brain damage if undetected but all babies are tested at birth now. Mine wasn't diagnosed until 3 months.

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    • Posted

      There's no history of hypothyroidism in my family either, though a relation had asthma. I seem to be the only one who has any autoimmune diseases and I have several. So mine doesn't seem to be genetic or congenital, so there must be somethng else going on. A trigger of some sort? My trigger could have been being frequently ill as a child, or having my tonsils out when I was 10 years old. I'm curious to know more about tyrosine.

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    • Posted

      Excerpt from University of Maryland medical Centre...

      'There are different kinds of hypothyroidism with different causes. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, antibodies in the blood mistakenly attack the thyroid gland and start to destroy it. Post-therapeutic hypothyroidism occurs when treatment for hyperthyroidism leaves the thyroid unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. And hypothyroidism with goiter happens when you don’t get enough iodine in your diet. In the developed world iodine is added to salt so goiter is rare, although it still happens in undeveloped countries.'

      as I have hypothyroidism without goiter I presume I have enough iodine in my diet, so am not planning on ataking iodine supplements, especially as further on they go on to say too much iodine can cause hypothyroidism. I found this by doing a scholar search in google (to do a scholar search, add the word scholar to the words you are searching on).

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