Hashimoto’s and COVID

Note: The text below is a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

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Hi. Today we’re going to talk about Hashimoto’s and COVID. So, we’re going to take this from the perspective of what I’m observing, not from “I’m the expert of the universe”, or I don’t have any axes to grind here, so we’re not going to get into anything that I think is going to get me kicked off of the air or whatever it is that we’re on here.
So, COVID, so a lot of people are asking me, okay, a lot of people I call and they call me and they say, “Doc, so I have this and I have an irritable bowel syndrome. I’m getting chronic pain, I’m getting joint pain.” All the things that I treat, “all the things I got them. I’m seem like I have this or that, migraine headaches and my lungs are a problem.” And then, I’ll go through my normal consultation. And what I started to have happen, not that… Two years ago, “Oh, and before we’re done, I have one more, I just have one more question. I just got COVID, could that have anything to do with it?” So, I think the answer is yes. I don’t think that’s controversial at this time. I’m reading about long COVID all over the place. And so, I think that my perspective is going to be more of maybe a forecast of what I think you’re going to hear.
So, what I’m seeing is this. I’m seeing… I’ve seen tons of people who got COVID and have developed chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic gut problems, chronic anxiety. And in the beginning, the thought process that I was going through was, “Wow, these people sound just like my regular patients who come in with autoimmune problems and chronic anxiety and depression and chronic gut problems and irritable bowel syndrome.”
And I thought it’s kind of interesting. And then, I started seeing the articles on the health sites, and I have an app where I can access a bunch of health sites that I can go through every day from different newspapers and different journals, and I do so. And I started this look at the histories and they’re going, “Oh my God, this long COVID, it’s going to be… Or is there such a thing.” And that whole thing, that was a couple years ago. Again, I thought, “Man, that looks just like my patients. This sounds like just like my patients.” Well, a couple years later now, people are actually saying this long COVID is here. It is long COVID, it’s real, it’s here to stay. And they’re… it’s interesting, typical of the medical industry or the medical research industry, they’re taking every single symptom and they’re trying to find one thing that is causing that symptom.
But here’s what I think is going on, based on what I’m seeing. What I’ve seen, this is after bringing in patients, evaluating them, testing them, and then treating them. Okay? And I’ve had enough time to do maybe 50 patients, which is a lot in my practice as a percentage of people who came in with, “well, had this happen, this happened, this happened, and it happened right after I got COVID.” So, here’s what I’ve seen. I think what we’re going to see is the vast majority of these folks have developed autoimmune problems. And that may sound to you like it sounded to me when my mentors said, when we were evaluating chronic fatigue immunodeficiency disease patients years ago, it sounded to me like a very strange thing when they told me that all these people were going to have Hashimoto’s, autoimmune diseases, all that type of stuff. And I thought “Autoimmunity? Nobody gets autoimmune, nobody gets Hashimoto’s.”
Well, this kind of might sound like this to you when I’m telling you about COVID, because that’s what I’m seeing. Now I don’t know if it’s just my patient population. Okay, fair enough. I don’t know if it’s just my patient population that seeks me out, because I do a lot of autoimmunity and a lot of chronic conditions. But what I see is they come in with all of it. They come in with the… And no two people are going to be the same. Who’s got the heart problems? Who got the myocarditis? Who’s got the anxiety? Who has the irritable bowel syndrome? But what I’m seeing an awful lot is once you start to investigate this person’s history, later you’ll find out that they have a history of autoimmune conditions in their family. Since, Hashimoto’s is now considered the most common autoimmune condition in the world.
And I’ve read articles in research magazines and journals that say, “It is now more prevalent than all of the other autoimmune conditions together.” And since about 75% of my chronic pain patients have tested positive for Hashimoto’s, I see a lot of Hashimoto’s being set off. I see a lot of people who had MS, they were in remission, and now they’re not in remission. People had rheumatoid arthritis, they were in remission, they weren’t in remission. So, what I’m seeing is, as I take their history, I go back beyond when this happened and ask, “What was your health history like beforehand?” Maybe they had a thyroid problem that was diagnosed with hypothyroid, but now they’ve blown up and they have a classic autoimmune thyroid disease and it’s affecting their gut, it’s affecting their cerebellum, which can cause dizziness vertigo balance. Now, they got gut problems, now they’re developing food sensitivities.
It seems to be the same pattern that we saw had occurred back when we were studying chronic fatigue, immunodeficiency disease/fibromyalgia, for me 15 years ago for some of my colleagues, even longer than that. So, at the very least, it would appear that if you have had COVID and you’re looking at this and you have a suspicion or you’ve been diagnosed with long COVID and nobody knows what to do with you, I think it would be a good bet that you assume that you are in, if not an entire category of patients who are being triggered by a virus. And again, viral triggers are very common for autoimmunity. There’s several of them. There’s Herpes viruses. There’s cytomegaloviruses. There’s Epstein-Barr viruses. Bacterial infections can do it. Lyme can do it. These infections are already commonly known to set off immune responses and cause autoimmune problems in people who are genetically predisposed to it.
So, I would say being a viral infection, seeing what I’m seeing, seeing the blood panels look autoimmune, their histories look autoimmune. Everything looks autoimmune, in the vast majority of these patients, maybe not all of them, the vast majority that walk in here. So, I would say that if you are looking at this and bringing this up because you’re like, “Oh, Hashimoto’s and COVID, and I think maybe something’s going on with me,” that’s how I would pursue it. I would pursue it first as an autoimmune condition. Especially if you look back in your history and you have had already suspicions of having autoimmunity beforehand. Or if you look back in your history and your mother’s got a thyroid problem and your aunt’s got a thyroid problem and your grandmother’s got a thyroid problem, or your uncle’s got MS, or your aunt has lupus or something like that, and you have that genetics in your family and you’ve already had symptoms of maybe wondering what’s going on with me? And then, you hit COVID and now you’re done.
Okay, now it’s just like everything has fallen apart. Nobody knows what’s wrong. You’re on long COVID. You’re one of the persons, I’m reading these articles about whose life has become the way it’s become. I think that your best bet is to assume that you probably have developed some sort of an autoimmune response. That’s what I’m seeing. I’ve seen other people come in here who, well, that’s autoimmune. I was just going to say have developed, who have developed diabetes from COVID, but that’s diabetes type 1. I have seen other people who just seemed to have blown up and got an irritable bowel syndrome and maybe diabetes type 2. And yet we tested them and they didn’t have antibodies for autoimmunity. And that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have autoimmunity, okay? But we did treat them for what they had and treated them as though they were autoimmune and seemed to be a good thing to do.
So, that’s what I’m seeing. That’s a question I get like, “Oh my God,” every week. And I think this is real data. Again, a lot of people out there are going to go, “Well, you’re a chiropractor or you’re not in a research field.” Well, I have friends in the research field. I mean at Harvard, Loma Linda University, Bastyr University, and National College of Health Sciences and more. But it’s not that, is that when you’re a clinician, when you’re in the field, you see things long before people in the research field even think about looking into it, because you have to see it first for it to get out there for people to go “Maybe we should do some research on that.”
So, I think it’s legitimate to be discussing this with you. And it may not be a surprise for some of you. Some of you might say, “I looked in this journal the other day,” or “I saw this in the LA Times,” or “I saw this in the Washington Post,” or “I saw this in the Wall Street Journal’s health sections,” or something like that. And it sounds just like what you’re talking about. And yes, this is getting out there a little quicker for obvious reasons. This is a front of the mind issue with millions of people getting it. And so, it’s come to the forefront much, much quicker than most things do for the medical profession to funnel billions of dollars in there to study and research. So, that to what I know today would be what I think you need to know as a potential investigator or a potential patient, relative to COVID and Hashimoto’s.

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