Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland and is the most common form of thyroiditis. It is much more prevalent in women than men. It is an autoimmune disease.
The major role of the thyroid is to regulate growth and metabolism – in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, which causes it to dysfunction, therefore growth and metabolism will be slowed.
Common symptoms are:
- weight gain,
- muscle weakness,
- constipation and sensitivity to cold.
However, some people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis display no symptoms.
If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis check in with your restorative medicine doctor and do the appropriate blood tests (full thyroid panel). If you do have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis your doctor will restore thyroid hormones to alleviate your hormone deficiency. It is extremely important that the dosage is correct – when hypothyroidism is diagnosed, both T4 and T3 pathways should be restored. If you only restore T4 pathways, then you could still have low thyroid symptoms because of problems with the conversion of T4 to T3.
Conventional doctors usually only prescribe T4 (in the synthetic form). Restorative doctors prescribe T4 and T3 (in the natural form). T4 is the inactive form and needs to be converted in the bloodstream into T3, before it becomes the active form. There are no receptors in the body for T4 only T3.
Medicine prescribed by conventional doctors (Synthroid – synthetic) only contain T4. Armour Thyroid prescribed by restorative doctors are natural and made up of T4, T3 and other substances that assist the body in converting T4 to T3, such as calcitonin and selenium. Of course, it is important to get other hormones checked as thyroid dysfunction rarely happens alone. When basic hormones are low or imbalanced the immune system is weak, which may actually provoke autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hormones are crucial in keeping our immune system in order. It is important to get it right if you want to be healthy!
As well as taking thyroid hormones, there are also certain supplements that can help discourage the immune system attacking the thyroid gland.
- EPA/DHA (fish oil), omega-3 – when taking fish oils also take vitamin E to prevent oxidation or choose a source that contains vitamin E.
- Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), omega-6 – it is important to maintain the correct ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, between 3:1 to 6:1, or it can lead to chronic inflammation and many other health problems. The diet today is very high in omega-6 and low in omega-3.
- Magnesium – if you find it causes diarrhea take a lower dose.
- Olive leaf extract – to be taken with food.
- Probiotics – if taking any antibiotics make sure to wait 3 hours before taking probiotics.
- Selenium – to be taken once a day.
- Vitamin C – do not take a high dose if you are subject to kidney stones or gout.
- Vitamin E – make sure to take mixed tocopherols, which is the more active form of vitamin E. Please first consult with your healthcare provider if you are taking blood thinners.