Our clinic has decades of experience testing for and treating Hashimoto’s Disease.
Hashimoto’s Disease was the first disease to be recognized as an autoimmune disorder. It was discovered in 1912 in Japan by Dr. Kakaru Hashimoto. Hashimoto’s occurs when the immune system views the thyroid as a foreign intruder and starts destroying it. It is characterized by alternating occurrences of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism occur when the thyroid cells are destroyed and reserved thyroid hormone is released into the blood stream. Symptoms of hypothyroidism occur when there simply isn’t enough thyroid hormone because the gland is under attack not functioning properly. In the beginning, the patient feels nothing. Later, as more thyroid cells are being broken down Hashitoxicosis may occur. Hashitoxicosis is basically when symptoms of hyperthyroidism occur in Hashimoto’s patients, generally for an abbreviated period of time. These symptoms include panic attacks, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, diarrhea and quick weight loss. These attacks of Hashitoxicosis continue – waxing and waning – causing a roller coaster of symptoms until eventually the thyroid gland can no longer function. Hashimoto’s is frequently misdiagnosed as depression, bipolar disorder, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or an anxiety disorder. Hashimoto’s can be hereditary and is more common in women in the 45 to 65 year age group. Patients with Hashimoto’s disease may or may not have a goiter.
Diagnosing Hashimoto’s Disease:
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme typically occuring in a healthy thyroid gland. TPO is integral in the creation of thyroid hormones. In patients with Hashimoto’s Disease the immune system makes antibodies against TPO that mistakenly attack the healthy tissue. If TPO antibodies are present in blood samples it suggests that the cause of thyroid disease is an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto’s Disease or Graves Disease. Most individuals with Hashimoto’s Disease will have elevated TPO levels; however some may not, especially in the early stages.
A TPO test detects antibodies against TPO in the blood. Renewed Vitality providers always include a TPO antibody test in the panel of tests when checking the thyroid and hormone health of their patients. The TPO test along with other blood tests and careful examination of other clinical data help determine the cause.
Treating Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s can come from insufficient iodine, selenium, iron and zinc. A comprehensive approach to treating Hashimoto’s Disease includes nutrient repletion and thyroid hormone replacement. It is also likely that other hormones will be lacking or off balance because they are influenced by the thyroid hormone. The hormones DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and others should be checked and adjusted as needed. Gluten can trigger the autoimmune reaction that causes Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten and other inflammatory foods should be removed from the diet immediately. These include corn, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, yeast, and anything that is GMO. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, substances that block iodine uptake into the thyroid. Iodine is critical to healthy thyroid function. Cruciferous vegetables should be minimized and/or cooked to reduce the glucosinolates. An iodine supplement may also be recommended to aid with thyroid health. Underlying viral and bacterial infections should also be identified and addressed.