Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is named after the doctor who first described the condition in 1912. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack, inflame and eventually destroy it’s own thyroid tissue. This is one of the most overlooked and mismanaged conditions in our health care system. The treatment is the same for all hypothyroid conditions, and that is thyroid medication. The issue with Hashimoto’s is that this treatment does not address the slow destruction of the thyroid gland, nor the fact most patients with Hashimoto’s do not respond well to the medication because it is not addressing the entire issue. The proper treatment should also include supporting the immune system. Once you have an autoimmune disease, if the immune system is not addressed this sets you up for developing more and more autoimmune diseases. This disease tends to occur in families and is associated with other autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
Thyroid function is essential for the functioning of many organs and systems such as; bone health, fat burning, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, female hormone metabolism, adrenal function and heart health. The symptoms with Hashimoto’s fluctuate between hypo and hyper thyroid function such as: insomnia, hair loss, constipation, fatigue, swollen legs, depression, dry skin, poor memory and decreased concentration to name just a few.
If managed properly, consistently and from a nutritional perspective, the progression and destructive nature of this condition can be minimized over the patients life time.