Listen to Dr. Risk's Radio Show on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
What is Your Thyroid?
The thyroid is an important gland located in the neck that plays a vital role in regulating the body's metabolism. It produces, stores and releases thyroid hormones into the bloodstream, which have an impact on nearly every cell in the body. These hormones control the body's functions including heart rate, body temperature and metabolism. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can lead to two main conditions, hypothyroidism, which is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland resulting in a slow metabolism, and hyperthyroidism, which is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland resulting in a fast metabolism.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a type of autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. It is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid and it is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland. This results in inflammation and damage to the gland and leads to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin and hair, constipation, and depression. Diagnosis of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is done through blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels and antibodies against the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a chronic condition and is usually treated with replacement thyroid hormone medication
What are symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland and can cause a wide range of symptoms. Common symptoms of Hashimoto's include:
- Dry skin
- Hair loss or brittle hair
- Fluctuating TSH levels
- Weight gain
- Paleness or puffiness of the face
- Joint and muscle pain
- Inability to get warm
- Difficulty getting pregnant (infertility)
- Hormone imbalances, including irregular or heavy periods
- Slowed heart rate and heart palpitations
It is common for Hashimoto's to be triggered after giving birth since estrogen fluctuations can trigger the gene expression of Hashimoto's, but it can also be triggered at other times. It is important to note that not all people with Hashimoto's will experience all of these symptoms.
When should I seek Alternative Treatment for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Alternative treatment options for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis can be considered if the traditional treatment approach of hormone replacement therapy is not effectively managing symptoms. If you have thyroid symptoms that are not responding to treatment, or you are still experiencing fatigue, it may be beneficial to seek alternative treatment options.
One important step to take before seeking alternative treatment is to get your TPO-antibodies tested by your doctor. This can help confirm the diagnosis of Hashimoto's and rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
What Diet Is Good For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
A healthy diet can play an important role in managing the symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. One of the most important dietary considerations for people with Hashimoto's is to avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Research suggests that people with autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto's, may be more sensitive to gluten. Consuming gluten can cause inflammation and fatigue, and can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. A gluten-free diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall well-being.
Additionally, a diet that is rich in nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats may be beneficial for people with Hashimoto's. It is also important to ensure that you are getting enough iodine, selenium, and zinc, which are essential for proper thyroid function.
How is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Treated?
It is important to note that in addition to following a healthy diet, it may also be beneficial to assess the underlying causes of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. One way to do this is through BioScan SRT testing, which can help identify potential triggers such as pathogens, Lyme disease, heavy metal toxicity and chronic fatigue. These underlying causes can contribute to an overactive immune system and exacerbate autoimmune symptoms.
Treatment for Hashimoto's should be tailored to the individual and may involve a combination of approaches. The goal is to save the thyroid from further damage, regulate the immune system, and address any underlying causes. This may involve the use of supplements, herbal remedies, and other alternative therapies, in addition to traditional hormone replacement therapy.
It is important to note that Hashimoto's is a chronic condition and it is important to monitor the thyroid and stay off gluten to keep the autoimmune aspect in check. With proper treatment and management, it is possible for patients with Hashimoto's to live normal lives. However, it is important to work closely with a qualified healthcare practitioner to ensure that treatment is effective and to make any necessary adjustments as needed.
How can Acupuncture help Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body's healing process. It has been found to be beneficial for people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland.
Acupuncture can help to modulate the immune system, which is often overactive in people with Hashimoto's. By regulating the immune system, acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of the disease. Additionally, acupuncture can help to balance hormones, which is important for people with Hashimoto's as it can help to improve the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy.
Acupuncture is also known to promote relaxation, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. It also helps insomnia, fatigue which are common symptoms among patients with Hashimoto's.
Acupuncture is considered a safe and effective treatment option, and it can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help improve the quality of life for people with Hashimoto's. It is important to consult a qualified acupuncturist to ensure that treatment is tailored to the individual's needs and that it is safe to combine with other treatments.
1 © Merrill, S. J., Mu, Y. (2015, January 6th). Thyroid autoimmunity as a window to autoimmunity: An explanation for sex differences in the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25576242.
2 © Dunkin, M. (2020, November 11th). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/women/hashimotos-thyroiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments#2
3 © Kresser, C. (2010, August 30th). Basics of Immune Balancing for Hashimoto’s. Retrieved from http://chriskresser.com/basics-of-immune-balancing-for-hashimotos/