What is Hashimoto's Disease?

Our thyroid is an important gland as it part of our endocrine system which includes our adrenal glands, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries and testies. Our thyroid helps to regulate metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, muscle function, menstrual cycle, brain development and bone growth.

The most common form of thyroid dysfunction is Hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid and 90% of hypothyroidism patients have Hashimoto’s Disease which is quiet common in women and affects women of all ages.

Men can also have thyroid health issues especially if they are working in the mining industry, mechanics or on a farm as they are exposed to many harmful chemicals.

Hashimoto’s Disease isn’t a problem of your thyroid like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or thyroiditis. It’s actually a problem of the immune system and is an autoimmune disease. This is where your immune system is attacking your thyroid, causing it to under produce its hormones and slowing down all of your metabolic processes.

Before we dive into how to overcome your symptoms, let’s cover the basics of Hashimoto’s Disease.

Signs that you could have Hashimoto’s Disease

  1. Fatigue and feeling exhausted even after sleeping 8-10 hours
  2. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor memory
  3. Weight gain or inability to lose weight
  4. Cold hands or feet, low body temperature
  5. Hair loss or thinning, brittle hair
  6. Constipation
  7. Hormonal imbalances including PMS, irregular periods, and low sex drive, infertility
  8. Dry skin or brittle nails
  9. Mood imbalances such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings
  10. Decreased heart rate
  11. Neck swelling, snoring or hoarse voice

Mind you, some of these symptoms can occur in perimenopausal women so it is really important to have a diagnosis either from your GP or specialist. I can organise testing through my clinic as well as being tested for an autoimmune disease and having a complete thyroid panel done is important so that we can see what is really going on with your thyroid hormones. 

Naturopathy can assist you to Overcome Hashimoto’s Disease

Over the last two years I had noticed more women coming into clinic with thyroid issues along with autoimmune conditions and I've done more training so that I am up to date with what the latest treatment programs are.

As a Naturopath who has had a long history of thyroid issues along with being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism during my third pregnancy and then went into hypothyroidism around 18 months later. I know they do swing between under and over active in times of stress and I do take my thyroid supporting supplements and eat to support healthy ageing.

My thyroid issues could be genetic as well as my mum has nodules on her thyroid and these are reducing in size and severity due to eating a whole food diet along with having her thyroid supplements each day.

It is important to work with someone who has experienced what it actually feels like to have most of the symptoms mentioned along with having an autoimmune disease.

My top tips are

  1. Repair your Gut - if you have Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune condition, repairing your gut is vital to reversing your symptoms. After all, nearly 60-80% of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract. Leaky gut, which occurs when your gut lining becomes too permeable, is one of the necessary precursors for autoimmunity, including Hashimoto’s.

If your gut is leaky, toxins, microbes, viruses, bacteria and partially digested food particles are able to escape into your bloodstream. Once escaped, they trigger an attack from your immune system, over stressing it until your immune system eventually attacks your thyroid by mistake. Untreated leaky gut can lead to other digestive health issues such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).  Yes there is a big link between SIBO and thyroid issues.

  1. Anti-inflammatory Diet - one of the primary causes of leaky gut is an inflammatory diet—particularly one including gluten and dairy. Gluten produces a chemical called zonulin that causes the tight junctions in intestinal wall to open up.

To make matters worse, gluten has a very similar protein structure to your thyroid. The protein structure is so similar that your immune system thinks they are one and the same. So every time you eat gluten your gut remains leaky and gluten particles escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system attacks these particles, and in the process catches your thyroid in the crossfire. This is a phenomenon called molecular mimicry—simply put, a case of mistaken identity.

Dairy is the second biggest culprit for Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions because casein, the protein found in dairy, is very similar to gluten, and causes the same molecular mimicry reaction.

"I do recommend that all Hashimoto’s clients eliminate gluten and dairy for good"

It is important to add the delicious, nutrient-dense foods that your thyroid needs into your diet. Two of the most important nutrients for your thyroid are iodine—a building block of thyroid hormone—and selenium, which helps convert thyroid hormones to their active state and reduces Hashimoto’s antibodies.

Eating a diet rich in clean, whole foods will go a long way in boosting your levels of these critical nutrients.

Hair and Product Bio-Compatibility Testing is a great tool to add in as it will direct us to what foods and products you can have and what needs to be avoided for a six month period.

3. Detox - Mercury and nitrates are toxins chemically similar to iodine and are quickly absorbed by your thyroid in place of iodine. When this occurs, your thyroid doesn’t have enough iodine to produce adequate levels of its hormones, perpetuating Hashimoto’s symptoms. Additionally, nitrates have been linked to increased rates of thyroid cancer.

These toxins can be present in your tap water, and mercury can also be found in the air from coal-burning plants, as well as pesticides, fish, cosmetics, older dental fillings and vaccines.

Be mindful of what you are putting on your skin especially rubbing or spraying onto your neck as creams, anti-wrinkle serums and perfume can be full of toxins that will wreck havoc on your thyroid.

It is important to focus on supporting your detox pathways so you can safely flush toxins from your body. I have a new detox program that can be implemented into your treatment to prevent your exposure to these toxins and to remove them from your body.

4. Underlying infections - there are a number of infections associated with autoimmune diseases. The most common infections found in people with Hashimoto’s are:

    • Epstein-Barr virus,
    • Herpes viruses,
    • Hepatitis C and
    • Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori).
I have tests that I recommend for clients if they haven’t already been diagnosed. These viruses and bacteria can be treated naturally. 
  1. Relieve Your Stress - the hormones released by your body when you are stressed slow your thyroid hormone production, reduce your ability to convert thyroid hormones to their active state, and bind up the thyroid hormone in your bloodstream so it can’t enter into your cells and do its job.

 While most of us can’t eliminate stress entirely, it is important to relieve stress to minimize its impact on your health.  

Everyone relieves stress differently, so I encourage you to find what works for you. It could be going on walks in nature, meditating, yoga, journaling, taking a relaxing bath, or any other stress-relieving activity. Sometimes changing jobs or even changing your home life can be what's needed for you. 

The good news is that by addressing the root causes that leads to your immune system attacking your thyroid in the first place, we can reverse your condition and eliminate your symptoms.

Treating any autoimmune disease takes time as you may of had this for quiet a few years without knowing.  I love to prescribe a herbal formula and supplements that are specific to your needs and your root cause along with the necessary dietary changes as these are all necessary to support your body to heal along with a positive mindset.

I offer a lot of support for you on your healing journey which includes meal plans and/or recipes, mindset tips and weekly emails to support you in between consultations. 

If you are ready to get back on top of your thyroid health and support your immune system to heal please reach out and either book your consultation for an appointment in clinic or online. 

 

Yours in health and wellness,

 

 

Katrina xx

katrina froome, naturopath, brisbane naturopath, online consultation, thyroid, sibo, ibs, hair loss, anxiety

 

 

 

 

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