What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that is a common cause of hypothyroidism. It occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation of the thyroid. As a consequence, the thyroid gland is unable to function optimally and therefore does not produce thyroid hormones as normal.
How is Hashimoto’s Diagnosed?
Hashimoto’s can be diagnosed by a blood test that examines thyroid antibodies including anti-thyroglobulin antibodies and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies. These antibodies can still be high even if other hormone tests such as TSH and T4 are normal, so it is important to conduct thorough testing to correctly diagnose thyroid disorders.
Some patients with Hashimoto’s may also have high levels of reverse T3 (rT3) which is also measured through a blood test. This is different to the active form of the thyroid hormone T3, as it still binds to the T3 receptor but does not activate the receptor. Therefore, no activity occurs when rT3 binds to the site of action. High levels of rT3 can also prevent further conversion of T4 (the inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active version), therefore treatment doses of T4 may need to be lowered while high rT3 is being treated.
How do we treat Hashimoto’s?
All autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s can be treated with 3 main things:
- Removal of gluten from the diet
- Repair the gut (remove any infection, replace good bacteria, repair the gut)
- Use low dose naltrexone
To treat Hashimoto’s specifically, your doctor may prescribe T3 as well as T4. Some nutrients such as selenium, iodine and iron are often low in patients with Hashimoto’s, however it is important that your doctor checks your levels before taking any of these supplements.
Mitochondrial support can also be beneficial as ATP (an energy source in our body) is required to transport thyroid hormones into the cells. The transporters for T4 requires even more energy than the transporter for T3, therefore supporting the mitochondria (the power cell in our bodies) can assist with Hashimoto’s. Mitochondrial dysfunction can also be treated with coQ10, alpha lipoic acid, L-carnitine, NADH, Magnesium and d-ribose.
As well as thyroid hormone and nutraceutical treatment, lifestyle changes can greatly improve thyroid health. Stress can have a negative impact on our health, especially thyroid health. Ongoing stress can result in higher levels of inflammation, resulting in poor thyroid function.
It is important to note that this is general information regarding hashimoto’s and every patient should discuss with their doctor the best treatment approach for each individual. If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us on 073396 8999 or at email@example.com
References available on request