Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the thyroid gland.
If you have Hashimoto’s disease or suspect you have it, this article will help you. We’ve done the research for you, pulling together the best resources online to give you one definitive article.
Go back a generation and the issue with health was lack of available information. Today that’s changed and the issue is finding the truth among often conflicting information.
The aim of this article is to handle the contradictions and give you a quick, deep, understanding of Hashimoto’s disease. We’ve also included additional resources… if you want to go deeper.
What is Hashimoto’s disease?
According to Endocrine Web Hashimoto’s disease affects 14 million people in the United States alone.
It’s a condition that’s named after Dr Hakaru Hashimoto, who uncovered the condition in 1912. There is also an atrophic form of autoimmune thyroiditis (Ord’s thyroiditis) which is more common in Europe.
Typically, there is aggressive destruction of thyroid cells. When your thyroid gland comes under attack from malfunctioning immune cells, it impairs your thyroid’s ability to make thyroid hormone. This can result in hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s Disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
If Hashimoto’s thyroiditis attacks your thyroid to the point that the gland can no longer produce enough thyroid hormones for your body to function properly, then you will develop hypothyroidism.
Who Gets Hashimoto’s Disease?
It is not yet medically known why this occurs, but it is thought that environmental triggers such as medications, infection, smoking and possibly stress and gluten may contribute.
WebMD suggests that genes may also have a part to play, because “people who get Hashimoto’s often have family members who have thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases. This suggests a genetic component to the disease.
Hashimoto’s disease affects about seven times as many women as men, suggesting that sex hormones may play a role. Furthermore, some women have thyroid problems during the first year after having children, although the problem usually goes away, as many as 20% of these women develop Hashimoto’s years later.
What are Hashimoto’s Disease Symptoms?
WebMD says, that the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease may be mild at first or take years to develop.
The Mayo Clinic adds:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face
- Brittle nails
- Enlargement of the tongue
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
- Memory lapses
When should you see a doctor?
The Mayo Clinic says you should see a doctor if you develop these symptoms:
- Tiredness for no apparent reason
- Dry skin
- Pale, puffy face
It also says, you’ll also need to see your doctor for periodic testing of your thyroid function if:
- You’ve had thyroid surgery
- You’ve had treatment with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications
- You’ve had radiation therapy to your head, neck or upper chest
If you have high blood cholesterol, talk to your doctor about whether hypothyroidism may be a cause.
And if you’re receiving hormone therapy for hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s disease, schedule follow-up visits as often as your doctor recommends. It’s important to make sure you’re receiving the correct dose of medicine. Over time, the dose you need to adequately replace your thyroid function may change.
Food to eat with Hashimoto’s Disease
HealthLine says, outside of medical treatment, lifestyle changes related to diet that can have a positive and profound effect on the management of your condition. The top nutrients are:
- Iodine – foods high in iodine are seafood, table salt, dairy products, eggs, prunes
- Selenium – foods rich in selenium include: eggss, pork, Brazil nuts, tuna and sardines, beef, chicken
- Zinc – oysters and shellfish, beef, chicken, legumes such as lentils and beanss, cow’s milk
HealthLine also says, some diets are thought to be beneficial for people with Hashimoto disease. It suggests Paleo Diet, gluten-free diet and vegetarian and vegan diet.
Hashimoto’s Disease and the Paleo Diet
Dr Isabella Wentz says “The Paleo diet is a popular and trendy diet that has been making the rounds lately. It’s also one of the most helpful healing diets for Hashimoto’s”.
According to HealthLine The paleo diet eliminates foods that can trigger an autoimmune reaction (such as grains, dairy, and highly processed food). It says, The Paleo diet’s anti-inflammatory benefits can be achieved by eating the following foods:
- Lean meat
- Vegetables (avoid starches such as potatoes
Hashimoto’s Disease and a Gluten Free Diet
According to Dr Isabella Wentz, Celiac disease can co-occur with Hashimoto’s. In fact, studies have estimated that between 1.2 and 15 percent of Hashimoto’s patients also have celiac disease. Furthermore, the antibodies produced in celiac disease can cross-react with thyroid antibodies because they may share similar molecular structures, so molecular mimicry may be one of the reasons for the common co-occurrence of both conditions.
Gluten is part of every wheat flour product and can hide in many different foods. According to HealthLine you should avoid:
Gluten- Free alternatives for common flour-based foods are available, though they can be expensive. If you’re living with Hashimoto disease, you can try the gluten-free diet a try and see if it improves your symptoms.
Hashimoto’s Disease and Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Vegetarians don’t eat meat. Vegans don’t eat any animal products, including milk, butter, and eggs. According to Healthline, these diets are said to help improve the autoimmune response involved in Hashimoto disease. They also reduce inflammation and promote gut health.
Dr Isabella Wentz says, her experience has shown her “that an exclusively vegan diet is usually not the most helpful for people who are trying to heal from Hashimoto’s. She goes on to say that, “Some of the reasons that vegan and vegetarian diets may be problematic in Hashimoto’s are that they can:
- Exacerbate blood sugar issues: Those with Hashimoto’s often experience blood sugar issues, which can be exacerbated by carbohydrate-heavy vegan and vegetarian diets.
- Prevent the gut from healing: Non-meat protein sources such as legumes (beans), dairy, grains, soy, nuts, and sometimes seeds, may prevent the healing of a leaky gut, as these foods are often found to be reactive in Hashimoto’s and can perpetuate intestinal permeability.
- Contribute to nutrient deficiencies that may exacerbate Hashimoto’s: Vegan diets put us at risk for deficiency for many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, carnitine, manganese, zinc and omega-3’s.
HealthLine agrees. It says, “Be aware that vegetarian and vegan diets can leave you deficient in important vitamins and minerals such as iron, B-12, and vitamin D. Supplements should help balance the nutritional deficiencies found in this type of diet.
If you choose to try this diet to help improve your thyroid and gut health, focus on introducing whole, plant-based foods into your diet like:
- Vegetable oils
- Legumes like lentils and beans
- Vegetables proteins like tofu and tempeh, in moderation
If you are unsure what a healthy diet looks like, this article may help.
Dr Wentz says, “While autoimmune thyroiditis is usually associated with excess iodinee, hypothyroidism can be induced by a lack of iodine. In fact, it is the leading cause of non-autoimmune hypothyroidism in the world, with over 30 million people estimated to be iodine deficient. Since vegan diets tend to be low in iodine, due to the avoidance of seafood, dairy and eggs, vegans can be at a greater risk of developing iodine deficiency-induced hypothyroidism.”
Can Homeopathic Remedies help Hashimoto’s Disease?
Nicole Cunningham is a Homeopathic Health Practitioner with 17 Years of experience has been called the “Mayo Clinic of Alternative Healthcare Practitioners”.
Serving thousands of clients in her practice, she specializes in treating families who face the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hormonal Imbalance, Chronic and Auto Immune Diseases and Weightloss.
Her line of Homeopathic formulas, PuraForce Remedies, have been tried and tested by hundreds of families.
Below Nicole explains how homeopathy works in relation to Hashimoto’s Disease…
Homeopathy is a 200+ year old system of medicine used by over 500 million people worldwide. It has the best record of safety in the history of all medicine, with hundreds of studies showing its effectiveness on humans, animals, plants, and cells. Seven research laboratories have confirmed that homeopathic remedies at all levels of potency contain nanoparticles of the original medicinal substance from which they were made – making homeopathy the first nano medicine known to humankind.
Hashimoto’s Disease is an illness that affects young people and adults, most commonly women. It’s a chronic inflammatory condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The symptoms experienced by the patient include exhaustion, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, fluid retention, brittle nails, muscle and joint pains, depression, low motivation, memory loss and systemic inflammation.
Hashimoto’s Disease can be hereditary as well as appear in young people with no known cause. It is a progressively deteriorating disease, as the immune system creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland. As such it is important that treatment is sought out immediately if unexplained weight gain, fatigue, depression and swelling appear for the patient.
What are Homeopathic Remedies made from?
Homeopathy is safe and non-toxic. While the remedies are made out of plant and minerals, they are the energetic essence of that substance so they are completely free of side effects and therefore useful for all ages and life stages. Hashimoto’s Disease can affect adults and young people, even people who outwardly look very healthy.
What are the advantages of Homeopathy?
Homeopathic Medicine treats the person as an individual, it evaluates and addresses the person as a ‘whole.’ Homeopathy treats the mind and the body creating harmony and enabling the individual to reach their highest potential.
Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well being.
You are treated as an individual, not as a collection of disease labels.
Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical and finds the ‘like cures like’ match for them.
Homeopathically prepared remedies provide the minimum dose, are gentle, subtle and powerful. They are non-addictive, and not tested on animals.
Who can use Homeopathy?
Homeopathic Remedies are absorbed via the limbic system and not the digestive tract. They can be taken alongside and instead of pharmaceutical medicines with confidence.
There are no interactions or special considerations needed. It can be used by all ages and stages of life including during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The remedies can even be used by newborn babies and the elderly.
Homeopathic Remedies are tasteless and odourless! They are ideal for children and babies who are averse to taking medications. You can even put it into cold drinks such as water, juice or milk without them knowing!!
1 *Bell, I., et. al., Adaptive network nanomedicine: an integrated model for homeopathic medicine. Frontiers in Bioscience (Scholar Edition) 2013; 5(2):685-708
*Bell, I., et. al., Enhancement of adaptive biological effects bynanotechnology preparation methods in
How Homeopathy can be used to help Hashimoto’s Disease?
Homeopathic Remedies assist with symptomatic relief as well as improving the overall energy levels, well being and quality of life of people who suffer from Hashimoto’s Disease. Homeopaths work side by side with medical practitioners to identify the levels of underactivity in the thyroid from blood and saliva tests. Homeopaths can offer non pharmaceutical treatment to patients that yield incredibly fast and lasting results.
By supporting the person as a whole the immune system and inflammation are both addressed by the Homeopathic Remedies. These remedies strip the inflammation from the body, the result of this is the immune system stops attacking the thyroid and hormonal glands. Long term management by the Homoeopath will include remedies for inflammation and the prescription of a constitutional medicine for the patient. These remedies restore the patient’s energy levels as well as diminishes the fluid retention, weight gain and depression that is experienced daily.
The longer the patient is under the Homeopath’s care the more unlikely the patient will use steroids and other medications to further prevent the deterioration of the condition.
Homeopaths have great success in the long term management and prevention of Hashimoto’s Disease. Patients who take Homeopathic Remedies for many years to stabilise the condition experience a wonderful quality of life with very minimal symptoms. The greatest benefit however, is from the continued use of the constitutional medicines and the disease progression is indefinitely slowed so that the patient doesn’t continue to suffer.