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Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Functional Medicine to Reverse it

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Functional Medicine for Hashimoto's

What is Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder that can result in hypothyroidism, or a thyroid that is underactive. In rare cases, the condition might result in hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and chronic autoimmune thyroiditis are all names of Hashimoto's disease.

The thyroid gland is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland which is located at the front of the neck. In Hashimoto's disease patients:

  1. The immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, and excessive quantities of white blood cells, which are part of the immune system, accumulate in the thyroid, causing the thyroid to become damaged and incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone.

  2. The thyroid becomes damaged and can’t make enough thyroid hormones.

  3. Thyroid hormones regulate how your body uses energy, thus they affect practically every organ in your body, including the rate at which your heart beats.

  4. The thyroid gland produces hormones which regulates the metabolism.

Hashimoto's illness most commonly affects women between the ages of 40 and 60, while it can affect women of all ages and men as well.

Does Hashimoto’s shorten your life span?

Even though there are symptoms linked with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the prognosis is reasonably good with early intervention, adequate therapy, follow-up care with a physician, and being proactive about potential complications.

Anyone suffering from Hashimoto's thyroiditis should be able to live a normal life if they adhere to these guidelines.

Factors influencing the prognosis of Hashimoto's disease :

Hashimoto's illness is an autoimmune disorder, which implies that the immune system of the body attacks its own cells and organs. The immune system normally protects the body from illnesses produced by bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances.

Every person's experience with Hashimoto's disease is unique. Yet, some circumstances can impact the disease's prognosis.

These are three things to think about:

Early detection:

Early detection of Hashimoto's illness can improve your attitude and, in the end, reduce long-term problems. Individuals who are diagnosed early by a doctor can benefit from proactive treatment such as hormone medication or monitoring, depending on whether Hashimoto's disease has resulted in hypothyroidism.

Obtaining the Right Care:

If Hashimoto's disease has caused hypothyroidism, there are therapy alternatives. Treatment can enhance your quality-of-life and help you avoid subsequent issues.

Maintaining regular contact with your Functional Medicine Doctor:

Following up with your doctor is an excellent approach to stay health-conscious. Even if Hashimoto's disease has not resulted in hypothyroidism, it is critical that you attend all scheduled appointments to monitor your condition.

Functional Medicine Approach to Hashimoto’s Disease:

Functional medicine investigates the reasons of illness and restores health by treating the underlying causes of disease in each individual. Untreated Hashimoto's can cause goiters, cardiovascular hazards, mental health concerns, myxedema, and birth deformities.

Traditional treatment views Hashimoto's as a thyroid gland condition rather than an autoimmune disease. That suggests the autoimmune process is still ongoing and will most likely manifest as other autoimmune disorders in the future.

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The Root Causes of Hashimoto's Disease:

Major reasons that contribute to Hashimoto's thyroiditis and other autoimmune illnesses:

1. Adrenal Fatigue and Mental/Emotional Stress: Our bodies are subjected to stress on a daily basis. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can interfere with thyroid hormone production. Cortisol levels rise in response to stress, and your adrenal glands create and release it. Prolonged stress can cause adrenal exhaustion, which can result in chronic inflammation and immunological activation. This can involve mental and emotional stress, as well as trauma, which have been identified as common risk factors for the development of autoimmunity. In individuals with Hashimoto's disease, we discovered that restoring adrenal function and lowering stress can be a breakthrough.

2. Toxins and Chemicals in the Environment: While there are hereditary and biochemical causes for this autoimmune disease, research suggests that other factors need to be considered. Environmental exposures are frequently neglected as a cause of autoimmune thyroid disease by traditional medicine, yet they have been demonstrated to have an impact on a range of health disorders. Environmental factors which contribute to Hashimoto's are:

· People who live near a petrochemical complex

· Pesticides that are synthetic

· Insufficient sun exposure and vitamin D insufficiency

· PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) (polychlorinated biphenyls)

· BPA (bisphenol-A) (bisphenol-A)

· Radiotherapy

· Heavy metals.

3. Deficiencies in Nutrients: We ensure that each patient receives optimal nutrition in order to quiet the immune system and prevent autoimmune attacks. Most persons with autoimmunity are low in essential nutrients that regulate the immune system, such as glutathione, omega 3s, and vitamin D3. To function properly, the thyroid gland requires a variety of nutrients, including iodine, zinc, selenium, tyrosine, and others.

4. Infections that last a long time: You may have an illness and be unaware of it since the symptoms have not yet manifested themselves. This can result in an autoimmune reaction. If you have gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, or heartburn, as well as non-gut symptoms such as brain fog or depression, you might have a chronic infection in your gut. Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) is a bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine or bowel. Antibiotics, maldigestion, or starchy meals can all contribute to this. If left untreated, gut infections stimulate the immune system and may create intestinal permeability as your body tries to clear the excess germs. Thyroid disease has also been associated to mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus), mumps, and the flu.

5. Increases in Insulin: Blood sugar homeostasis is essential for thyroid function and reversing Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Many Hashimoto's patients are sensitive to carbs and sweets. Following a carbohydrate-rich meal, the pancreas releases insulin to help remove the additional sugar from the bloodstream. Blood sugar changes can exacerbate Hashimoto's symptoms. Insulin surges help to lower blood sugar levels, but they also increase inflammation and aggravate the immune system. This does not require a diabetes diagnosis to occur. If you have a history of stress or adrenal fatigue, the negative consequences of blood sugar imbalance can be exacerbated.

6. The Dominance of Estrogen: Hormones are the molecules that inform our cells what to do, and hormonal abnormalities result in incorrect messages. Both men and women can acquire oestrogen dominance, or high oestrogen levels. This is a potent hormone that, if not balanced, can be exceedingly inflammatory and irritating to the immune system. To expect the thyroid gland to generate thyroid hormone efficiently, all hormones in the body must be balanced and healthy.

As these areas of health are addressed, Hashimoto's illness can be reversed. The immune system settles down and stops assaulting the thyroid gland when we assist patients focus on gut health, stress, diet, blood sugar balance, toxins, hormonal balance, and chronic infections. When the autoimmune attack on the thyroid is stopped, the gland can resume normal function. It means you no longer have to suffer from Hashimoto's illness! You have the option of turning it around.

Hashimoto’s Disease Therapy Options:

A functional medicine doctor would most likely need to see you and assess your health issues on an individual basis. Functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach, assessing your particular lifestyle, physiological, and genetic aspects while looking for underlying triggers or fundamental causes. Restoring health and wellbeing may imply a strategy that addresses you as a whole person, rather than just a set of symptoms.

  1. Finding the foreign substance or infection that is causing the gut to attack itself.

  2. Following the discovery, efforts on repairing intestine damage and improving gut health will commence.

  3. Doing an elimination diet to eliminate foods that may be causing sensitivity, such as dairy, gluten, or other grains.

  4. Getting rid of environmental pollutants or chemicals that may be causing the problem.

  5. Offering tools and services, such as dietary changes, to help people manage with stress and lower cortisol levels.

  6. Assisting in determining the cause of your insulin surges and treating them.

Functional Medicine not only helps in Reversing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis but also strengthens your immune system

The good part is Functional Medicine helps us to understand that, right diet and lifestyle choices can work wonders when it comes to healing and treating thyroid.

Dr.Priti Nanda Sibal is CEO of Mediskool Health Services Pvt Ltd. She has experience of 25+ years and is a successful functional medicine practitioner in Gurugram. She practised with a philosophy that focused on human relationships and treating the whole person, rather than simply the disease. Such ideology was dubbed "Whole Life Health" by her. As the healthcare system made it more difficult for patients to receive this level of personalised treatment, Dr. Priti Nanda Sibal near Gurugram decided to bring change in lives of people. She gave priority to personal health of an individual and she is doing it by practicing dedicatedly entirely to Functional Medicine.


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