What is Hashimoto’s Disease and How is it Treated?
Hashimoto’s disease isn’t widely known but is a chronic condition that can be associated with several symptoms. By understanding what Hashimoto’s is and how it can be treated, patients can find relief and improve their quality of life.
Hashimoto’s disease is also known as lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis and affects 14 million people in the United States alone. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple, and causes inflammation. The thyroid is very important as every cell in the body depends upon its hormones for regulation of the metabolism and other bodily functions. If the inflammation isn’t treated early, an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism, can occur. Hashimoto’s primarily affects middle-aged women but can occur in men and women of any age, including children.
Hashimoto’s Disease Symptoms
Hashimoto’s results in a large number of symptoms that can be associated with other health conditions, resulting in a misdiagnosis. It’s important to know the below symptoms and see a doctor if they occur. The symptoms of Hashimoto’s include:
⦁ Panic attacks
⦁ Muscle or joint pains
⦁ Hair loss
⦁ Dry skin
⦁ Muscle weakness
⦁ Restless sleep
⦁ Sleepiness during the day
⦁ Memory loss
⦁ Hard to focus
⦁ Concentration problems
What Causes Hashimoto’s?
It’s not exactly known as to what causes Hashimoto’s disease or triggers it. However, a dysfunctional immune system could be triggered by the cumulative toxic burden on the body, which can include stress, injuries, surgeries, heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, food additives, food allergies, processed foods, viruses, bacteria, fungus, mold, and yeast. Functional medicine helps patients get to the root cause of Hashimoto’s, which could be different for each patient. Once the root cause is found, the doctor can create a treatment plan to address the cause and diminish symptoms or get rid of them entirely so the patient’s health can be restored.
In order to treat Hashimoto’s, the patient needs to be tested to ensure they, in fact, have Hashimoto’s. Traditionally, doctors will test for TH to determine if the patient has thyroid problems. However, TH only tells part of the story; it shows if communication between the pituitary and thyroid gland is intact, but doesn’t tell anything about the thyroid cellular activity, which reflects the actual thyroid status of a person. The thyroid gland produces 80 percent of T4 and 20 percent of T3. TSH is not a good indicator of thyroid status especially in Hashimoto’s disease because as cells are being destroyed and they release T4, TSH could remain normal.
Because Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder, antibodies against thyroid proteins can be elevated. If the antibodies are elevated, the patient has Hashimoto’s, but if antibodies are negative it doesn’t necessarily rule out Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is a complex disorder and a comprehensive test that includes free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and antibodies will give the full picture of a patient’s diagnosis.
Treating Hashimoto’s Disease at Angel Longevity
At Angel Longevity Center, we want to ensure that our patients receive optimal levels of care and the latest therapies available in Functional Medicine in Los Angeles. Our friendly staff is experienced in helping patients face and overcome a wide variety of health concerns by creating personalized wellness programs to address each patient’s specific needs. If you currently have Hashimoto’s and want to approach your health with functional medicine, please call our office at (818) 930-5706 to schedule your free wellness phone consultation with one of our specialists.