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Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects thyroid function. It can cause weight loss, fatigue, and mental health issues. There are many treatments available for Hashimoto’s, including natural alternatives such as diet and lifestyle changes.
Hashimoto’s Disease is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too little of the hormone thyroxine. There are many natural treatment options for Hashimoto’s, including medications and dietary changes that can help improve symptoms.
Is Hashimoto’s Disease a Serious Illness? Yes, it is pretty dangerous since, if left untreated, Hashimoto’s Disease progresses and may result in permanent thyroid impairment. This causes a drop in essential thyroid hormones, leading to a slew of other severe disorders, such as mental health and cardiac difficulties.
Is it possible for Hashimoto’s illness to go away? Yes, with the correct therapy, normal thyroid function may be restored. In this essay, I’ll walk you through the most crucial measures you need to take to conquer Hashimoto’s illness. I’ll go through the causes of Hashimoto’s, typical signs and symptoms, how to follow a healing Hashimoto’s/hypothyroidism diet, valuable vitamins, and other natural therapies for symptom relief.
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune illness, commonly known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or just Hashimoto’s. The immune system produces antibodies that target the body’s healthy tissue, severely influencing the thyroid gland’s functioning.
Hashimoto’s is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism in industrialized nations. A disturbing fact: Hashimoto’s illness is thought to be responsible for 90 percent to 95 percent of hypothyroidism cases in affluent countries like the United States! In most instances, hypothyroidism is caused by an overreaction of the overall immune system rather than an issue with the thyroid gland.
T4 and T3 are the two main hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Their production is dependent on the hypothalamus, the brain’s “control center,” appropriately detecting the demand for more thyroid hormone in the circulation and directing the pituitary gland to produce more thyroid hormone.
The pituitary gland ordinarily produces Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in response to changes in thyroid hormone levels in the circulation. Still, this mechanism is disrupted in Hashimoto’s Disease and hypothyroidism. So either there isn’t enough T4 being converted to T3, the hypothalamus isn’t correctly signaling the pituitary gland, or the pituitary gland isn’t producing enough thyroid-stimulating hormone after being signaled.
You may still be wondering what is the difference between Hashimoto’s illness and hypothyroidism, you may still be wondering? Even though both require the thyroid to be underactive, these two designations are not interchangeable. Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune condition in which antibodies react with thyroid gland proteins, causing the thyroid gland to slowly degrade and produce less thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormone. The most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Disease.
Symptoms and Signs
The following are some of the most prevalent Hashimoto’s disease warning signs and symptoms:
- Anxiety and depression
- Weight gain
- Feeling chilly all of the time, even when others don’t
- Constipation and bloating are two common digestive problems.
- Tenderness and pains in the muscles
- Swollen face, eyes, and stomach
- Swelling and stiffness in the joints
- Hair thinning, hair loss, or changes in hair texture
- Skin that is rough and cracked
- Breathing problems
- Urination regularly and an insatiable hunger
- Sexual disorder or low sex drive
- Changes in the menstrual cycle, such as missing or irregular periods and reproductive issues
- The low immune function causes more colds, infections, and diseases.
Apart from the apparent symptoms of Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, these conditions significantly increase the risk of long-term health consequences. In addition, thyroid and autoimmune illnesses that are left untreated, according to studies, may lead to a variety of health issues, including:
- Infertility, ovarian failure, pregnancy/delivery issues, and birth abnormalities are among women’s problems.
- A thyroid goiter is a condition in which the thyroid gland enlarges, obstructing proper breathing and swallowing.
- Graves’ illness or Addison’s disease (other thyroid disorders)
- Diabetes type 2
- High cholesterol levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
- Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses.
- Problems with the brain and kidneys
- Damage to the nervous system
- Serious infections
Risk Factors and Causes
What causes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? The development of autoimmune illnesses is complex, according to research. Genetics, food, environmental circumstances, stress, hormone levels, and immunological issues are all considerations.
What most physicians don’t tell you is that the following are the underlying causes of Hashimoto’s illness (and so hypothyroidism):
- Thyroid gland tissue may be attacked by autoimmune disease responses that can affect the whole body.
- Problems with normal digestive functioning and leaky gut syndrome
- Inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy are common allergies.
- Grains and various food additives are other often ingested items that produce sensitivities and intolerances.
- Emotional tension
- Deficiencies in nutrients
You’re more likely to acquire Hashimoto’s Disease at some point in your life if you have several risk factors. These are some of them:
- Women are much more likely than males to get Hashimoto’s Disease for unknown reasons. Women may be more vulnerable because they are more affected by stress/anxiety, which may significantly influence women’s hormones.
- The majority of persons with Hashimoto’s Disease are in their middle years, between 20 and 60. People over 50 are at the highest risk, and studies think the danger rises with age. Thyroid disorders may go undiagnosed in older women because they closely resemble menopause symptoms. Many women over the age of 60 suffer from hypothyroidism to some degree (estimates show around 20% or more). Still, thyroid disorders may go undiagnosed in older women because they closely mimic menopause symptoms.
- A family history of autoimmune diseases: If a family member has had Hashimoto’s Disease or a thyroid condition, or if you’ve had other autoimmune illnesses in the past, you’re more likely to have it yourself.
- Stress leads to hormone abnormalities such as adrenal insufficiency, causes alterations in the conversion of T4 thyroid hormones to T3, and impairs the body’s immunological systems after recent trauma or a high level of stress.
- Thyroid hormones are influenced by pregnancy in various ways, and it’s conceivable that some women may develop antibodies against their thyroid during or after pregnancy. Postpartum autoimmune thyroid syndrome, also known as postpartum thyroiditis, is the most frequent thyroid condition in the postpartum period, with a five to nine percent incidence rate.
- Cigarette smoking
- A history of an eating issue or an obsession with exercise: Thyroid function is lowered, and hormonal imbalance is exacerbated by undereating (malnourishment) and overtraining.
Autoimmune Disorders and Leaky Gut Syndrome
If you have a thyroid issue, your gut is likely to have had a role in its development. Autoimmune illnesses are often linked to a condition known as a leaky gut syndrome. “All illness originates in the stomach,” Hippocrates famously said, and numerous scientific investigations now confirm that he was correct. Therefore, if you want to treat your thyroid, you must first repair leaky gut conditions. You may achieve this by modifying your food, taking specific supplements, minimizing stress, and eliminating toxins from your body, as you’ll read more about below.
When you have a leaky gut, the perforations in the lining of your intestines get more expansive, allowing substances like gluten to enter the bloodstream via microscopic gaps. This is why many persons with thyroid disorders may experience practically immediate effects of enhanced thyroid functioning and fewer symptoms if they follow an anti-inflammatory and gluten-free diet. In the following sections, we’ll look into therapies in more depth. But, for the time being, bear the following in mind: The first step in your diet should be to eliminate the foods that trigger inflammation in your stomach and inflammatory reactions in your body.
The indications and symptoms you’re experiencing, as well as the results of blood tests, are used to diagnose Hashimoto’s Disease. Because it evaluates thyroid hormone and TSH levels, a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test is often used to diagnose Hashimoto’s Disease or hypothyroidism.
A doctor will likely prescribe an antibody test to discover whether thyroid antibodies are common in Hashimoto’s patients. During an ultrasound, specific Hashimoto’s symptoms might be seen.
There is significant debate regarding what levels are normal and abnormal, and blood tests may not disclose anything wrong in the early stages of thyroid problems since thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) may seem normal. This is why getting many expert opinions may be quite beneficial.
Is there a treatment for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? Hashimoto’s Disease is curable. So what’s the best way to treat Hashimoto’s Disease? Depending on whoever you ask.
Traditional treatments for autoimmune illnesses, such as Hashimoto’s Disease, often include “waiting and watching” and taking drugs like levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone (brand names Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc.). However, if the condition goes far enough, surgery may be required.
Unfortunately, these therapies do not address the underlying issues that cause autoimmune responses to begin with. Thyroid drugs, such as synthetic hormones or steroids, aren’t always a panacea, and you’ll probably need them for the rest of your life if you take them.
Because synthetic hormones replicate those created naturally by the thyroid gland and have comparable effects, some people may see a considerable improvement when taking thyroid drugs, but this will not cure the problem of the immune system fighting itself.
Treatment using natural ingredients
Making the following dietary and lifestyle adjustments will help you cure Hashimoto’s Disease effectively:
1. Eliminate foods that cause your immune system to react
If you want your immune system and thyroid gland functioning to return to normal, you must give your body time to rest and repair. The following are the most crucial measures in managing your food to manage Hashimoto’s Disease:
- Eliminate gluten: If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease, you should begin by eliminating gluten from your diet. This may feel difficult, stressful, or like a significant departure from what you’re accustomed to, but it’s critical. So for roughly 90 days, I advocate becoming gluten-free and grain-free and then sticking to a gluten-free diet long-term.
- Consider eliminating grains from your diet: Gluten is one of the most common allergens and autoimmune triggers, but it isn’t the only one. Look for things that may function like gluten in your body and cause inflammation in your stomach. Pasteurized/homogenized dairy products and ordinary unsprouted cereals are two of these food categories. Dairy foods were formerly eaten raw, while ancient grains were steeped, sprouted, and fermented, making them simpler to digest and providing more absorbable minerals. Today, this custom has mostly disappeared, and refined or bleached flours are used more significantly than ever before.
- Avoid fast food and excessive sugar: Excess sugar in your diet will almost certainly induce gut inflammation, as well as blood sugar changes, weight gain, anxiousness, and other symptoms. In addition, fast meals and packaged foods manufactured with refined oils (such as safflower, sunflower, canola, and maize oil) are also inflammatory and nutritionally deficient.
2. Eat foods that are good for your gut
If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease, a healing diet rich in vegetables and fruits, as well as nutrient-dense foods like bone broth and organic meats, is the best way to go. Your body can digest these meals quickly and are less likely to produce allergic or autoimmune responses.
Finally, you should stick to a diet close to the GAPS diet plan and procedure. This is a traditional diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and organic meats that have been shown to help many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune illnesses. In addition, probiotic-rich meals (such as yogurt that has been fermented for 24 to 29 hours and ancient, fermented dairy products like kefir) and bone broth soup are beneficial.
To begin the healing process, here are some of the best foods for a hypothyroidism diet:
- Fruit and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fiber aids digestion, improves heart health, maintains blood sugar balance, and promotes a healthy weight. Antioxidants and other nutrients help to avoid deficiency and inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA found in wild-caught fish are important for hormone balance and thyroid function.
- Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids such as caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid, which help to promote healthy metabolism, boost energy, nourish the gut, and combat weariness.
- Seaweed: A natural source of iodine that aids in preventing iodine deficiency, which may cause thyroid dysfunction.
- Probiotic-rich foods include kefir, organic goat’s milk yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, natto, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables. In addition, probiotics assist in repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria, which may aid in the gut and immune system repair.
- Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are rich in ALA, a hormone-balancing omega-3 lipid, while beans and legumes are strong in fiber and minerals.
- Collagen, amino acids l-proline and l-glycine, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and silicon are all found in bone broth, which helps to mend the intestinal lining. Make your bone broth to use in soups and stews or eat on its own as a nutrient-dense snack.
3. Dietary supplements
Obtaining specialized foods and supplements that lessen autoimmune responses, help your body manage stress better, and control immune system activity is the second stage in helping to heal and restore your thyroid. Selenium, probiotics, vitamin D, Ashwagandha, and other “adaptogenic herbs” are among them.
Selenium is beneficial to the thyroid since it has been demonstrated to modulate T3 and T4 hormones in the body. Selenium may help reduce the incidence of thyroiditis during and after pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis). Because the thyroid gland requires both selenium and iodine to create proper amounts of thyroid hormones, a diet deficient in iodine and selenium raises the risk of autoimmune thyroiditis. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, individuals who received selenium supplementation for selenium insufficiency had a 40% drop in thyroid antibodies on average, compared to a 10% rise in the placebo group.
By regulating the microorganisms in the digestive system, probiotics aid gut health and immunity. Inflammation is lessened when your intestinal lining is repaired, which also benefits your thyroid.
According to some studies, more than 90% of people with thyroid issues are vitamin D deficient! Vitamin D regulates your immune system and functions similarly to a hormone in many ways. Spending 15 to 20 minutes outdoors each day with your naked skin exposed to the sun is the greatest method to receive adequate vitamin D (cholesterol in our skin turns “previtamin D” into good vitamin D3). However, supplementing with 600 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day may help when this isn’t feasible.
By enhancing your capacity to deal with stress and balancing hormones, Ashwagandha has been shown to help minimize thyroid and adrenal disorders. According to a medical study, it also helps regulate thyroid hormone T4, which is essential if you want to overcome hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s illness. Rhodiola, ginseng, maca, and reishi mushrooms are other adaptogen herbs that function similarly.
B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, are essential for energy maintenance and a variety of cellular and metabolic processes. Vitamin B12 is regarded as the “energy vitamin” because it usually helps the body’s cells work and battle weariness. According to clinical research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the majority of Hashimoto’s patients given 600 milligrams of thiamine per day reported total tiredness regression within a few hours or days.
4. Enhance the body’s detoxification abilities
Detoxification and cleaning regularly might aid your thyroid gland in reducing inflammation. Detoxification is a broad term that encompasses a variety of concepts. For example, reduce your exposure to hormone disruptors in the environment, pollutants in your house, and heavy metals, among other things. Detoxing may also be done in the following ways:
- If you use birth control pills or drugs daily, talk to your doctor about switching to a natural method of contraception or lowering your pharmaceutical dose.
- If you have amalgam fillings in your mouth, consider having them removed and replaced with mercury-free fillings by a DAMS-certified dentist.
- Consider replacing synthetic chemicals in your care and cleaning products with natural products, including essential oils such as lemon, peppermint, lavender, and frankincense.
- Instead of plastic or metal, use glass or ceramic containers to store food.
- Stop smoking, using recreational drugs, and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
5. Stress Reduction and Management
Stress reduction treatments may have an excellent therapeutic impact on autoimmune disease patients, according to a study published by the Immunology And Allergy Clinic of North America on stress and autoimmunity. Studies have indicated that many individuals with autoimmune symptoms (up to 80%!) experience unusual emotional stress before illness development.
Stress may change the synthesis of neuroendocrine hormones and, via boosting cytokine production, lead to immunological dysfunction. Therefore, according to doctors, stress management should be incorporated in all multimodal therapeutic methods to treat the underlying causes of Hashimoto’s Disease and other diseases (like other thyroid disorders and rheumatoid arthritis).
When it comes to reducing stress, various things work for different individuals. Natural stress relievers include taking Epsom salt baths, practicing adaptive exercises (including barre, yoga, Pilates, and weight-training), reading spiritual development literature, spending time outdoors, and cultivating positive connections.
It’s critical not to ignore the signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s Disease. If you believe you have a thyroid condition, you should get tested as soon as possible. Second views might sometimes be beneficial in ensuring an accurate diagnosis.
If you’re searching for a local endocrinologist specializing in thyroid difficulties, go to the American Thyroid Association’s website and search by location.
Keep these critical natural remedies in mind to help you beat Hashimoto’s and get your body back on track:
- Gluten and other foods that trigger sensitivities, as well as other immune-reactive foods, should be avoided.
- Bone broth and other gut-healing foods
- Adding beneficial minerals, herbs, and probiotics to your diet
- Increasing the body’s detoxification capacity
- Long-term stress reduction and management
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you treat Hashimoto disease naturally?
A: The treatment is very similar to how you would treat your regular thyroid gland.
Can I reverse my Hashimoto’s?
A: Unfortunately, there is no known way to reverse Hashimotos without the help of a doctor.
What foods worsen Hashimoto’s?
A: Soy, wheat, beans.
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