Patients have been on antithyroid drugs for 10 years and longer with no harmful effect. I am frankly at a loss to explain the reluctance of many endocrinologists to use these drugs for as long as it takes to accomplish a remission. Antithyroid drugs are safe and effective. They may be a better form of treatment than radioactive iodine and surgery, except in certain circumstances I describe here and in Chapter 6. No reason exists for not using them for years if necessary.
Reversing Chronic Thyroiditis I am a 41-year-old practicing surgeon. I obtained your book which stated up to 25 percent of the chronic thyroiditis patients have reversal. I stopped taking the meds on my own and I feel pretty darn good after only 7 days. Of course, I will check my TSH in 5 weeks from now to see if the disease is in remission. I am now bench pressing 365 lbs which I have not done since 1982, this is only after 7 days. I asked the internist and the endocrinologist can the chronic thyroiditis go away and they both said never. I showed them your book and they are now reviewing all their patients with Hashimoto’s. Myself as well as the other physicians are wondering 3 things: 1) Do anabolic steroids trigger Hashimoto’s? 2) After reversal how long does it take before the body is normalized (arthralgias, weakness, etc.)? and 3) What is the chance of the Hashimoto’s returning? I don’t recommend stopping your antithyroid drugs to improve your weight lifting. I think it’s a coincidence that you’re stronger seven days after stopping your medication, because the effect of antithyroid drugs lasts four to six weeks or longer. As for your questions, as far as I know, anabolic steroids don’t trigger Hashimoto’s, and I found nothing in the thyroid literature that suggests this could happen. Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s) is an autoimmune disease passed down in the family. Anabolic steroids do reduce the blood levels of thyroid-binding globulins, but thyroid function remains normal. As chronic thyroiditis reverses, a gradual reduction in the levels of blocking autoantibodies occurs, which may take years. A gradual reduction in the need for thyroid hormone may accompany the reduction in the blocking autoantibodies, although this may be very subtle. Your other symptoms may be due to another autoimmune disease that doesn’t reverse, explaining why your symptoms may continue. If the autoantibodies have fallen, they probably won’t return, so the lucky 25 percent who have reversal of the Hashimoto’s are probably free from the disease from now on. Chronic thyroiditis goes into remission in about 25 percent of patients. After you’ve been on thyroid for several years, I recommend discussing with your doctor the possibility of coming