Has your doctor tested you for Vitamin D deficiency?

Harmony Hunter

92% of Hashimoto’s patients with Vitamin D deficiency 

I’m going to explain why Vitamin D deficiency is connected to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

Vitamin D is a critical regulator of your immune system and research has already established that Vitamin D deficiency is highly associated with other autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Type I Diabetes.

And Vitamin D deficiency IS associated with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism–another autoimmune condition.

What is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune attack on the inside of your thyroid gland. Over time, your immune system destroys the inside of your thyroid gland—so much, that you can’t make enough thyroid hormones and you suffer low thyroid symptoms.

What does low thyroid symptoms Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism cause?

Here’s a short list:

  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • brain fog
  • a need to sleep excessively in order to function
  • high cholesterol
  • infertility
  • joint pain

In 2011 a great scientific study looked specifically at Hashimoto’s patients and Vitamin D.

The researchers took 161 confirmed Hashimoto’s patients (meaning these people had positive TPO antibodies and/or positive TGB antibodies) and measured their Vitamin D levels.

The results of their study are downright scary.

92% of the Hashimoto’s patients had Vitamin D deficiency.

This study defined Vitamin D deficiency as less then 30 ng/dl.

148 out of 161 had Vitamin D deficiency. Crazy, right?

It gets worse.

They even broke down the results into three categories of Hashimoto’s patients:

Overt Hypothyroidism
Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Let me explain what those mean.

Overt Hypothyroidism Hashimoto’s means:

The person has high TPO and/or TGB antibodies.
Their TSH is high.
The person has low thyroid symptoms (I see these every day).

Subclinical Hypothyroidism Hashimoto’s means:

The person has high TPO and/or TGB antibodies.
Their TSH is high.
The person does NOT have low thyroid symptoms (I don’t see many of these).

Euthyroid Hashimoto’s means:

The person has high TPO and/or TGB antibodies.
Their thyroid lab test numbers are “normal.” (I see quite a few of these people in my practice).

Now here’s how they broke it down.

94% of Overt Hypothyroid Hashimoto’s patients had Vitamin D deficiency.

98% of Subclinical Hypothyroid Hashimoto’s patients had Vitamin D deficiency.

86% of Euthyroid Hashimoto’s patients had Vitamin D deficiency.

(The researchers say that it’s not statistically significant in the euthyroid group. But I’m telling you it is clinically, practically significant.)

Look at those numbers again….see how many of those Hashimoto’s patients had Vitamin D deficiency? Huge.

We know for sure that Vitamin D has something to do with Hashimoto’s. But what exactly does Vitamin D do?

Here’s the short answer…

Vitamin D is a critical regulator of your immune system.

Without Vitamin D your immune system can become over-exuberant. Without Vitamin D your immune system can easily become unbalanced. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to an expression of an autoimmune attack on a tissue.

So for example in Hashimoto’s….

if you carry the gene for Hashimoto’s and you become Vitamin D deficient your gene can turn on and you can start expressing it and start attacking your thyroid. Over time you become low thyroid and you develop low thyroid symptoms.

And then…you go see a doctor who probably doesn’t test you to see if you’ve got Hashimoto’s (medical doctors have nothing to offer but replacement hormones anyway). They just put you on Synthroid or Armour…

…but, in the long run, you end up not feeling much different because the replacement hormones just don’t do much for the underlying autoimmune process.

Sadly, this is exactly what usually happens to a person with Hashimoto’s.

Does this mean that you should buy Vitamin D and start supplementing?

No, it doesn’t.

Because even though Vitamin D is relatively harmless, you don’t know how much you need. Plus, there’s a complex situation in which if you take the wrong dosage of Vitamin D— read carefully— if you take the wrong dosage of Vitamin D you can actually make yourself worse.

Taking the wrong dose of Vitamin D can make you have MORE low thyroid symptoms—even if you really are Vitamin D Deficient.

That scenario involves something called 1, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D, and is a little bit beyond what I want to explain here.

The takeaway message….

Even though there’s a 90% chance that you’re Vitamin D deficient if you have Hashimoto’s— this doesn’t mean you should go out and start supplementing Vitamin D.

You need to find someone who understands exactly what I’ve been telling you about, someone that understands there are other things to look at… and that Vitamin D, even though it’s important, is not the magic bullet.

In my practice,, we see a lot of people that need Vitamin D but some people need more or less than others–and many times it’s the difference between the person feeling good or feeling worse. A small number people can’t take Vitamin D at all—even though they’re deficient.

Find someone that knows what to do. Finding a good integrated functional medical practitioner is a good start.

Written by Dr David Clark, DC Functional Neurologist

About Dr David Clark, DC Functional Neurologist

Dr David Clark found Chiropractic during his journey to change his own health and poor habits. In 2005 Dr Clark became one of less than 1,000 board-certified Chiropractic Neurologists in the world. Chiropractic Neurology brings together current research findings from fields such as psychology, neuropsychiatry, neurology, neurophysiology and nutrition. Dr Clark has lectured at leading chiropractic colleges, medical schools and private schools on topics such as alternative medicine, nutrition, neurology and learning/behaviour problems such ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia. He specialises in treating Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis at his Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC.


Thyroid. 2011 Aug;21(8):891-6. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

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