• LaurenWallace

Natural Remedies for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

By Jillian Levy, CHHC

March 25, 2018

Original article and page source found here.

Is Hashimoto a serious disease? Yes, it is quite serious because when left unaddressed, Hashimoto’s disease typically continues to progress and can cause chronic thyroid damage. This results in a decrease in crucial thyroid hormones, which can set off a cascade of other major issues including mental health and heart problems. (1)

Can Hashimoto’s disease go away? Yes, with the right treatment it is possible to return to normal thyroid function. In this article I’m going to share with you the most important steps you need to follow in order to overcome Hashimoto’s disease. I’ll go through the root causes of Hashimoto’s, common signs and symptoms, how to follow a healing Hashimoto’s/hypothyroidism diet, beneficial supplements, as well as other natural treatments to help treat symptoms.

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or simply Hashimoto’s, is an autoimmune disorder, which means the immune system is producing antibodies that are attacking the body’s own healthy tissue, and in the process negatively impacting functions of the thyroid gland.

In developed countries Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. (2) An alarming fact: In developed countries like the United States, it’s estimated that 90 percent to 95 percent of cases of hypothyroidism are due to Hashimoto’s disease! (3) In the vast majority of cases hypothyroidism is not actually a problem of just the thyroid gland itself, but rather it’s a condition stemming from overreaction of the entire immune system.

The primary hormones that are produced by the thyroid are called T4 and T3. Their production depends on the brains “control center,” the hypothalamus, accurately sensing the need for more thyroid hormone in the bloodstream and signaling the pituitary gland to then release more.

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is normally released by the pituitary gland in response to changing levels of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream, but with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism this system fails. There is either too little T4 being converted to T3; the hypothalamus is not signaling to the pituitary gland properly; or the pituitary gland is not releasing enough thyroid stimulating hormone after it is signaled to do so.

You may still be wondering, what is the difference between Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism? These two labels are not interchangeable even though both involve the thyroid becoming undertactive. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies react against thyroid gland proteins causing gradual destruction of the thyroid gland itself, resulting in reduced production of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is considered a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the most common warning signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease include: (4)

  • Fatigue

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Weight gain

  • Infertility

  • Feeling cold easily, including when others do not

  • Digestive issues like constipation and bloating

  • Muscle aches and tenderness

  • A swollen face, eyes and belly

  • Stiffness and swelling in the joints

  • Hair loss, changes in hair’s texture or hair thinning

  • Rough, cracked skin

  • Trouble breathing

  • Frequent urination and excessive thirst

  • Low sex drive or sexual dysfunction

  • Changes in the menstrual cycle, including absent or irregular periods and problems with infertility

  • More frequent colds, infections or illnesses due to low immune function

Aside from the noticeable symptoms of Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism you might experience, these disorders also raise the risk for long-term health complications. Studies show that people who have thyroid and autoimmune disorders that are left untreated can go on to develop health problems including: (5)

  • Infertility, ovarian failure, pregnancy/birth complications and birth defects

  • Thyroid goiter, caused by the thyroid gland becoming enlarged, which can then interfere with normal breathing and swallowing

  • Addison’s disease or Graves’ disease (other thyroid disorders)

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • High cholesterol levels and increased heart disease risk

  • Mental disorders including depression

  • Brain and kidney problems

  • Neurological damage

  • Serious infections

Causes and Risk Factors

What is the cause of Hashimoto’s disease? Research shows that the development of autoimmune disorders is multifactorial. Genetics, your diet, environmental influences, stress, your hormone levels and immunological factors are all parts of the puzzle. (6)

What most doctors might not tell you is that the root causes of Hashimoto’s disease (and therefore hypothyroidism) include:

  • Autoimmune disease reactions that can attack tissue throughout the entire body, including the thyroid gland

  • Leaky gut syndrome and problems with normal digestive functions

  • Common allergens, such as inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy

  • Other widely-consumed foods that cause sensitivities and intolerances including grains and many food additives

  • Emotional stress

  • Nutrient deficiencies