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Let’s talk about the treatment of Hashimoto’s (Technically known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease) along with what it is, typical symptoms & why it happens.

Considering that Hashimoto’s is a disease that impacts the thyroid gland. Today I have worn my thyroid gland badge.

 

I am so thrilled to be here. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Michelle Cooke, Period & Hormone Naturopath, Natural Fertility Educator & Naturopathic Emotional Release Practitioner. I help women struggling with their menstrual cycles, have easy, pain-free periods, balanced hormones & emotional wellbeing. I’m the Founder and Director of Reproductive Wellness, a clinic located in Melbourne. I see patients online and face-to-face.

 

What is Hashimoto’s?

 

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Disease is an autoimmune condition whereby the immune cells in your body have turned on you and have attacked the thyroid gland (yikes harsh!). The thyroid is a cute little butterfly looking gland located just below your Adam’s apple on your neck. Your immune system creates antibodies that attack the thyroid gland.

 

It is not recognising that this is not an imposter such as a virus, bacteria, or something foreign, and your immune system thinks that your thyroid gland is not a normal part of your body. The antibodies damage the thyroid cells, which destroys them. This results in inflammation of the thyroid gland & consequently a reduction in the ability of your thyroid to produce thyroid hormones (T4 and T3). This commonly results in hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). In some rare cases, your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormones.

 

These antibodies bind to the thyroid preventing the production of adequate levels of thyroid hormones (T4 & T3). Furthermore, the antibodies don’t always just stop at the thyroid gland, they can also bind to the acid producing cells of the stomach (known as the parietal cells), pancreas and adrenal glands. They are rather destructive!

 

 

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease?

 

You may have some or all of these:

 

  • Hair loss

  • Thinning hair

  • Brittle nails

  • Puffiness in the face

  • Fatigue

  • Dry skin

  • Constipation

  • Feeling sensitive to the cold

  • Joint stiffness and pain

  • Depression or low mood

  • Muscle weakness

  • Muscle stiffness, tenderness & aches

  • Poor memory or concentration

  • Swelling of thyroid (goiter)

  • Weight gain

  • Low libido

  • Irregular periods

  • Heavy periods

 

 What tests should be done for Hashimoto’s?

 

When looking at Hashimoto’s test wise, it is important to have an overall look at the thyroid. Testing should include:

 

-TSH

-FT4

-FT3

-Thyroid Antibodies (TgAb – Thyroglobulin Antibodies, TPO Ab – Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies)

-rT3 (reverse T3)

 

Also check for coeliac disease through blood testing considering it is an autoimmune condition.

 

Along with this blood test, assessing basal body temperature each morning as you wake is another way to assess if there is hypothyroidism. You would do this using a basal body thermometer. Of course, I don’t recommend doing this on its own. But if you notice that the temperature is below 36.4 degrees that may indicate that you have hypothyroid.

 

I’ll talk about other very important testing later on in this video. 

 

What causes Hashimoto’s? 

 

There are several underlying causes / contributing factors / risk factors or triggers:

 

  • Stress

 

  • Acute low grade infections

 

  • Genetics: if someone in your family has thyroid condition or autoimmune disease

 

  • Having other autoimmune diseases: Diabetes Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus

 

  • Environmental exposures: herbicides, pesticides, pollutants, household cleaning products

 

  • Food / drink exposures: food additives, alcohol

 

  • Gut issues:

  1. Leaky gut: inflammation of small intestine lining > particles passing through into blood stream that shouldn’t be there > inflammation, immune system on high alert which impacts thyroid antibody levels.

  2. Bacteria imbalance: either in small intestine, large intestine or both. A study has shown that over 50% of those with hypothyroidism can also have SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth)

  3. Allergies or food sensitivities

 

  • Digestive issues: poor elimination & digestion 

 

 

Treatment of Hashimoto’s

 

There are so many areas to focus on when it comes to Hashimoto’s it is not simply just about supporting your thyroid gland. And as you can see above, it depends what things are triggering your Hashimoto’s as mentioned above.

 

3 tips I would recommend to you:

 

  • Avoid gluten:

For the majority of people gluten is very inflammatory to the small intestine lining. Considering inflammation of the small intestine and leaky gut is a trigger for Hashimoto’s it’s a no brainer. Furthermore, inflammation can cause a rise in thyroid antibodies. Gluten is the protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley etc. Going gluten free is really easy these days.

 

  • Address stress:

Feeling relaxed and calm are essential factors in helping with Hashimoto’s, because if you are stressed it does impact thyroid function. Your body will put the brakes on the thyroid and start making rT3 instead of T3. This will slow down production of thyroid hormones. Make sure that you take time out, do things that relax you such as yoga, Pilates, going for a relaxing walk in nature, breathing exercises & running a nice warm bath with essential oils. Lots of lovely self-care practices.

 

  • Get your gut bacteria assessed:

This is really crucial, 70% of our immune system is in the gut.

Considering Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition, you can’t treat any autoimmune condition without looking to see if there is any bacterial dysbiosis (an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the large intestine). There is not so desirable bacteria that produce toxins that are inflammatory. The test is known as a microbiome test, not all microbiome tests are created equal though. I personally don’t recommend any old company to get the test done through because the accuracy is not the same.

 

Generally, you are usually under the care of an Endocrinologist when you have Hashimoto’s.

My other additional suggestion is to see a Naturopath. Have a Naturopath on your health care team that specialises in Hormones like myself; to help support you with natural medicines (nutritional and herbal medicines), assess any nutritional deficiencies, make sure your pathology results are optimal, refer you for a microbiome test to assess bacteria levels in the large intestine & address the underlying root causes of Hashimoto’s. I also recommend seeing a Naturopath because simply addressing the thyroid alone is not enough. Yes of course that is part of it, but if you are just simply addressing the symptoms, it doesn’t address why it is happening in the first place.

 

I use a combination of herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, NER (Naturopathic Emotional Release) to look at underlying emotional contributors, diet & lifestyle advice to treat each individual based on the clues gained from the pathology testing.

 

If you are experiencing Hashimoto’s, I would love to help you, go ahead and book a FREE 15 min discovery call to find out more about how we would work together and if we are a good fit. Click on the link below:

Thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions or comments please pop them in the comments box below 🙂