Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT) is one of the most common types of autoimmune disease. Women are 7 times more likely to develop autoimmune thyroiditis. Additionally, Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a medical term that describes a decrease in functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland manages the overall metabolic rate of the body; it plays a large role by influencing the function of many major organs of the body. The thyroid gland is a major organ in the endocrine system and it is located at the base of the neck, below the vocal cords anteriorly. Hashimoto’s leads to a gradual decline and failure of the thyroid gland. There are two major forms of HT: goitrous autoimmune thyroiditis and atrophic autoimmune thyroiditis. Some patients can present with a goiter, which is an enlargement and overgrowth of the thyroid gland.
What leads to Autoimmune Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s is caused by genetic and environmental susceptibility. Precipitating factors known to be associated with Hashimoto’s thyroid problems include:
- Viral infections
- Excessive stressful event or high stress lifestyle
- Female gender, additionally older women have an increased susceptibility of developing Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism
- Iodine intake:
- Excessive intake of iodine is associated with an increased risk / prevalence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Medications containing iodine such as amiodarone, is associated with HT
- Radiation exposure
What symptoms are associated with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
- Fatigue, weakness, cold intolerance, weight gain, cognitive dysfunction, constipation
- Dry skin, hoarseness, edema
- Depression, heavy menses, aching joints, aching muscles
How is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis tested?
A comprehensive evaluation of thyroid function can be completed by a naturopathic doctor. Thyroid function is evaluated by specific blood tests including blood panels that measure auto-antibodies against the thyroid gland.
What kind of Naturopathic Approaches can I expect with my Doctor & how is this different from an endocrinologist?
At Atlas Health Medical Group, our Naturopathic Doctors take a complete, comprehensive evaluation of your current health condition. We not only address your thyroid function but we also take a holistic and functional medicine 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 condition 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 Hashimoto’s and promote healing of thyroid gland to regain functioning
- Glandular supplements
- Integrative treatment options to include pharmaceutical medications
Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism and autoimmune disease can be effectively managed through many Naturopathic Approaches to medical care. For more information about Atlas Health Services, or our Naturopathic Medical team Call 480-648-1534 for your free 15-minute consult.