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Hashimotos Thyroiditis

Hashimoto's is a thyroid condition that can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and muscle weakness. Luckily, there is plenty that can be done naturally to support your health with Hashimoto's. Read on to find out more

What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (Hypothyroid)?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland's ability to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. In this condition, the body produces antibodies that attack the cells in the thyroid. Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may include fatigue, weight gain, muscle weakness, and the enlargement of the thyroid gland, known as a goitre[i].

Why do we get Hashimoto’s and who’s most at risk?

Genetics and family history play a role in the risk of developing Hashimoto's disease. If you have a family history of thyroid disorders or other autoimmune diseases, the likelihood of developing Hashimoto's disease is higher. In addition to this, the immune system changes that occur during pregnancy can also contribute to the onset of Hashimoto's disease after giving birth[ii].

What are the risks associated with developing Hashimoto’s?

Heart health: Untreated hypothyroidism can result in poor heart function, irregular heartbeats, and high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) (bad) cholesterol, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease[iii].

Mental health impact: Depression and other mental health disorders may occur early in Hashimoto's disease and can worsen over time[iv].

Reproductive dysfunction: In women, hypothyroidism can cause reduced sexual desire, difficulties with ovulation, and irregular and excessive menstrual bleeding[v].

Risks for men: Men with hypothyroidism may experience reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and a decrease in sperm count[vi].

Risks in pregnancy: Hypothyroidism during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth[vii].

Myxedema: This is a very rare and life-threatening condition which can occur due to severe, untreated hypothyroidism. Symptoms include extreme drowsiness and unconsciousness[viii].

Why is nutritional therapy important for Hashimoto’s?

Nutritional therapy for Hashimoto's is based on the proper nourishment of the body and regulation of the immune system by an anti-inflammatory diet. We can also use our in-depth and holistic consultations with one of our Nutritional therapists to address the cause of your symptoms.

Supplement recommendations for Hashimoto’s

Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in thyroid hormone metabolism and has been shown to help reduce thyroid inflammation. It may also support the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to its active form (T3)[ix]. Viridian Selenium 200ug

Vitamin D: In terms of Hashimoto’s, Vitamin D supplementation may help support immune function and reduce inflammation[x]. Terranova Vitamin D3 and K2

Omega-3: omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation associated with Hashimoto's disease[xi]. Wild Nutrition Pure Strength Omega 3 / Bare Biology Life & Soul Omega 3 Fish Oil Liquid

Probiotics: A healthy gut microbiome is important for immune function and may play a role in autoimmune conditions. Probiotic supplements can help promote a balanced gut microbiota, which may indirectly support the management of Hashimoto's disease. Look for a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic supplement[xii]. Viridian Synerbio Daily High Strength Probiotic

B vitamins, such as B12 and folate, are essential for optimal thyroid function and energy production. B vitamins also help to combat fatigue, a common symptom of Hashimoto's disease[xiii]. Cytoplan Super B Extra

Try these complexes designed with major thyroid supporting nutrients in mind - blends of vitamins, minerals and plant extracts for comprehensive nutritional support: Viridian Thyroid Complex / Pure Encapsulations Thyroid Support Complex

Dietary suggestions for Hashimoto’s

Nutrient-dense diet: Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet to ensure you're getting essential nutrients[xiv][xv].

Reduce inflammation: You can try an anti-inflammatory diet by limiting processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. Instead, choose foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish with beneficial omega 3 fats[xvi][xvii].

Consider removing gluten: Some of those with autoimmune thyroid disease find that avoiding gluten can help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms. It’s best to get advice on a gluten free diet from a nutritional therapist and avoid gluten free processed foods where possible[xviii].

Support gut health: Include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi to promote a healthy gut microbiome. This may help reduce inflammation and support overall well-being. Also aim to significantly reduce junk foods which contain additives and poor-quality fats that are detrimental to health[xix].

Look out for selenium levels: Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in thyroid health. Consuming selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts, seafood, and organ meats in moderation may be beneficial. However, excessive selenium intake (usually supplementally) can be harmful, so it's always best to monitor levels or before planning to take higher levels, please do so under the guidance of a nutritional therapist[xx].

Lifestyle suggestions for Hashimoto’s

Manage stress: Chronic stress can worsen autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's disease. Think about how you can employ stress management into your lifestyle, such as relaxation exercises, engaging in regular physical activity (what you can manage), getting enough rest and finding activities that bring you joy and peace and help you unwind[xxi][xxii].

Get optimal sleep: Aim for consistent and adequate sleep which is great for supporting overall health and thyroid function. Create a calming bedtime routine, ensure a comfortable sleep environment, and work to establish a regular sleep schedule[xxiii].

Functional testing options for Hashimoto’s

Complete Thyroid Panel - This test analyses serum levels of TSH, total T4, free T4, free T3, anti-TG antibodies, and anti-TPO antibodies, complete with reverse T3 to assess central and peripheral thyroid function, as well as thyroid auto-immunity.

Coeliac & Gluten Sensitivity Panel - A Coeliac and Gluten Sensitivity Panel can help determine if people with Hashimoto's disease have issues with gluten. This panel includes tests that check the body's immune response to gluten, which can help identify if gluten is causing problems and making symptoms worse[xxiv].

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Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.