Did you know that Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroid) has a genetic component and commonly affects women 30-50 years old? … If you live in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Hamilton, or Niagara you should consider our advanced clinical nutrition approach for hypothyroid conditions.
Sluggish Thyroid Disorders
An under-functioning thyroid gland results in reduced thyroid hormone production and availability and ultimately, a sluggish metabolism.
Thyroid hormone is essential for all cells of the body. From a general health perspective, thyroid hormone acts as the ‘signal’ for cells to manufacture protein metabolites necessary for energy molecule production. It therefore plays a major role in combating fatigue. Thyroid issues also should be considered if your aim is to increase longevity.
At the DNA level, thyroid hormone initiates the manufacture of protein products needed for a cell to function. In the brain, thyroid hormone acts as the ‘green light’ for the manufacture of neurotransmitters essential for the regulation of mood, thinking, perception and behavior. Mental health issues associated with under-functioning thyroid metabolism are very common. Adequate thyroid metabolism function is often essential for people suffering from depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Is it Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an ingrained form of hypothyroid under-function. If you have Hashimoto’s your immune system is decommissioning thyroid hormone metabolites and attacking the gland.
Fast Facts on Hashimoto’s
Hashimoto’s is common in women but men suffer from this as well. It affects young women commonly but more often those in the 30-50 year old range. Hashimoto’s has a genetic component which is why we see it often in more than one family member. Contributing factors include environmental chemical (pesticide) exposure, medication, and viral infections.
Autoimmune diseases sometimes occur in clusters. If you have Hashimoto’s you are more likely to have other autoimmune conditions and vice versa. Other autoimmune conditions include pernicious anemia (also called megaloblastic anemia or B12 deficient anemia), rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, celiac disease, Addison’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and auto-immune liver disease.
Hashimoto’s: A Degenerative Thyroid Condition
With time, many cases of hypothyroidism lead to a degenerative state where the body starts an immune attack against the gland (with or without thyroid nodules) or metabolic components of thyroid metabolism. Researchers are now pointing to a brain degeneration component as well.
Hashimoto’s: The Chicken or the Egg?
Does Hashimoto’s cause a low thyroid metabolism, or does it develop as a result of a low thyroid metabolism? Researchers consider that both situations are possible.
Hashimoto’s: Complicating Factors & Treatment Considerations
As with any chronic condition there are many layers of metabolic problems that can contribute to the problem.
Primary metabolic problems associated more directly with Hashimoto’s are those that cause immune compromise and inflammation – this includes food intolerances (gluten, dairy, etcetera), heavy metal toxicity, adrenal fatigue, protein deficiency (includes protein catabolism), antioxidant deficiency, mal-digestion, mineral deficiency and infection. These factors are among the top nutritional and metabolic syndromes to consider for overall good health.
Standard medication treatment for low thyroid metabolism aims to bring thyroid blood levels to normal values but symptoms (described below) tend to persist. Standard lab test are also limited in assessing the problem comprehensively.
Hashimoto’s: The BodyMindLink
Common symptoms of Hashimoto’s include lethargy, weakness, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, husky voice, hearing loss, feeling chilly, dry or scaly skin, outer eyebrow thinning, and heavy menses.
The BodyMindLink series by Dr Ray Pataracchia ND provides insight on Naturopathic approaches that matter and have the potential to benefit general and mental health. Clinical approaches discussed are implemented by the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic (NMRC) in Toronto, Ontario. Our clinic treats a wide array of health conditions.
Disclaimer: Information provided is not to be used for self-assessment, diagnosis or treatment. We advise readers to discuss these topics with their health care provider or book an appointment with our Toronto clinic.