A Naturopathic Doctors Hashimoto’s / Graves’ Disease Approach Overview
Epstein barr virus (EBV) exposure and infection occurs in approximately 95% of the world population1. It is likely that you have already been exposed to EBV in your lifetime. Most people become infected by childhood and recover quickly without complications. However, some of my patients become lifelong carriers, and EBV infections can lead to other health issues such as chronic infectious mononucleosis, leading to a variety of symptoms. EBV is associated the development of several autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), systemic scleroderma (SSc), and dermatomyositis/polymyositis (DM/PM)1,3. Additionally, EBV is associated with certain cancers, the malignancies include: Burkitt’s lymphoma, B-lymphoproliferative disorders, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma2. EBV is also implicated in the development of autoimmune thyroid conditions including Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis1.
A recent study showed that patients with diagnosed autoimmune thyroid conditions also have a concomitant EBV infection1. EBV infected thyroid cells likely leads to recruitment of lymphocytes and other inflammatory mediators, contributing to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis including Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease1. The immune system normally controls EBV infection; however, if there is dysfunction of the immune system, leading to a decrease in immune cells that typically target EBV infected cells, this may lead to autoantibodies towards the thyroid cells infected with EBV4. Although the development of autoimmune thyroiditis conditions such as Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease is multi-factorial; EBV has been extensively studied to be associated with the development of these conditions.
What kind of Natural approaches can I expect with my Naturopathic Doctor & how is this different from an endocrinologist?
At Atlas Health Medical Group, our autoimmune specialist, Dr. Michelle Barraza, NMD, will take a complete, comprehensive evaluation of your current health condition. We not only address your thyroid function but we also take a holistic approach and evaluate all the organ systems involved. Since your thyroid gland plays a role in your body as a whole, we approach your natural medical care holistically. We use integrative, natural, and effective alternative treatments to promote healing. In contrast, an endocrinologist may only address your thyroid gland with pharmaceutical medications. However, our natural treatments include:
- A thyroid supporting and balancing diet plan, specifically designed for you
- Vitamins and minerals directed at promoting thyroid function and health
- Botanical / herbal medicine to target symptoms associated with thyroid condition and promote healing of thyroid gland to regain functioning
- Glandular supplements
- Integrative treatment options to include pharmaceutical medications
A Naturopathic Doctors Hashimoto’s / Graves’ Approach
Our autoimmune specialist will specifically tailor the treatments to your individual case to get better results. Treatments can include:
- Comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic testing
- Medical Nutrition
- Medical-grade vitamins & mineral supplementation
- Herbal Medicine
- Lymphatic Therapy
For more information about Naturopathic Medicine, Atlas Health, or Dr. Michelle Barraza, please call 480-648-1534.