• Jamie Sculley, ND

3 Things You Can Do About Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Updated: May 1




What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

This is a hypothyroid disease that is autoimmune in nature. The immune system “attacks” various aspects of your system including thyroid hormone receptors and enzymes, resulting in less active thyroid hormones. Autoimmunity can be caused by a variety of factors such as infection, stress, genetics, exposure to environmental toxins, and intestinal inflammation.


How do you diagnose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

Autoimmune thyroiditis can be diagnosed by blood tests. There are markers in the blood for the antibodies that can be elevated when there is autoimmune activity going on. These tests are called TPO antibodies and TG antibodies. These are involved in converting inactive thyroid hormone to active hormone. Other helpful tests are TSH, free T3 and free T4 because these give insight into how much thyroid hormone you have circulating in your body. When someone has one autoimmune disease there may be others because the immune system can “attack” other body systems. Other tests that can help guide treatment include testing for Celiac disease, food allergies or intolerances and a viral disease called Epstein Barr virus (EBV). These can all be tested with blood tests.


What you can do about Hashimoto's


Take out food allergies and intolerances - Finding out if you have food intolerances or allergies is helpful because much of the immune system is regulated by the digestive system and getting the gut healthy can help to reduce the autoimmune activity. Finding and removing food intolerances is an important first step because it reduces inflammation and allows the gut to begin healing. You may have heard of “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability. If the gut is inflamed for a long time it becomes permeable and allows proteins into the bloodstream that shouldn’t be there. These proteins are treated like invaders and attacked, which causes further inflammation. Once you take them out, the gut can heal and the “leakiness” can subside. Common dietary intolerances are gluten (wheat, rye, barley, spelt) and dairy. Consider taking them out of the diet for 6 months to 1 year to give your gut enough time to heal.


Provide nutrients that support the thyroid - There are many vitamins and minerals the thyroid needs to make thyroid hormones and convert inactive hormone (T4) to active hormone (T3). These nutrients include iodine, zinc, selenium, and copper. Good general sources include seafood, eggs, fish, beef, beans, nuts and seeds. Check out my other blog post discussing this further.


Reduce stress - When you’re stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This is part of the “fight or flight” response and can be helpful in an urgent situation but if it’s not turned off it can have harmful health effects. Cortisol and the adrenal glands that produce it slow down the thyroid activity, reduce thyroid hormone production and bind up hormone to make it less active.

Stress reduction can be done in many ways. Think about what you like to do, what brings you joy and happiness, and what relaxes you. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Self-care and taking time for yourself is important. Being constantly busy and on the go produces more stress and more cortisol. Free up your schedule and include time for reading, walking, journaling, time with family and friends, and hobbies.

  • Get good, restful sleep! Sleep and rest is one of the best ways to take care of your adrenals and is vital to reducing stress and its effects on the body.

  • Exercise will stimulate the thyroid and is a great way to get those endorphins going. Do any type of activity you enjoy and will stick with long term.

  • Meditation and deep breathing can shift your nervous system into a calmer mode. Do this for 5-15 minutes everyday. The time of day doesn’t really matter. Try it in the morning if this tends to be a time of day that is stressful for you. It can help to set your mood and intention for the day. Meditate at night if you are having trouble sleeping and need to calm an overactive mind. Try it during the day if you’re having trouble concentrating and need to take a quick break.


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In health,

Dr. Jamie


This website is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.



Resources

“Hashimoto's - What Is It Trying to Tell You?” Aviva Romm MD, 2 Apr. 2018, avivaromm.com/hashimotos-symptoms-telling-you/.

Myers, Amy. “The Adrenal-Thyroid Connection.” Amy Myers MD, 9 July 2018, www.amymyersmd.com/2017/03/adrenal-thyroid-connection/.

Pizzorno, Joseph E., et al. The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine. Elsevier, 2016.





This website is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.



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