If weight loss is hard for you, there is often a thyroid hormone issue behind it affecting your metabolism – the golden key that regulates our ideal weight.
When metabolism is slow, weight gain is one of the first signs, followed by fatigue, brain fog, mood changes, and hair loss.
Check the symptoms below to see which Autoimmune Thyroid Category you fit into.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
It is an autoimmune condition that results in the tissue destruction of the thyroid gland. This damage eventually leads to swelling of the thyroid gland, inadequate thyroid hormone production, or hypothyroidism.
The thyroid hormones ‘talk’ to all the other hormones, and activate energy inside every cell. When these hormones are too high or too low, it causes immediate symptoms.
Over time, these symptoms build up to a pre-disease picture, and eventually if not treated, can turn into more serious medical diagnoses that require medication or surgical intervention.
The antibodies that appear most frequently and should be involved in a proper screening are:
- TSH, fT3, fT4, rT3.
- Antithyroid Peroxidase Antibody or TPO Ab (Ab is short for antibody) this is also known as Antithyroid Microsomal Ab
- Antithyroglobulin Antibody or TG Ab
- Thyroid Receptor Antibodies (TRabs) Graves is the autoimmune hyperthyroid condition sustained by autoantibodies binding to and activating the TSH receptor located on the thyroid follicular cell.
The following categories are not medical categories, these are cohorts of patients we often see in the clinic and I have correlated their symptoms into definable groupings based on our experience.
Stress-related Hashimoto’s Disease
- Super tired around mid afternoon, but often get a second wind after 9:00pm
- Fat accumulates around the upper half of the torso – around the ribs, back, and top front of belly
- Heart rate variance’s – eg palpitations, racing heart beat, or fluttery heart rate.
- Intolerance to noise
- More irritable, moody and can be prone to anger/rage outbursts
This category of people are displaying symptoms driven by thyroid and adrenal hormones. They will be low in some key nutrients needed for mental balance, such as zinc and magnesium. Often they aren’t digesting well and having issues with absorbing amino acids from the diet, or they are not eating enough to meet their nutritional needs because when they do, they put on weight. If stress has been their ‘normal’, then blood sugars go out of balance, and fatty liver may be a problem affecting liver function.
This phase may sometimes get spurts of thyroid hormone in their system from the autoimmune antibodies attacking the thyroid. This elevates heart rate, sweating, anxiety. Consequently, blood sugars become out of balance, inflammation increases, and other hormones become sub-optimal as well.
Chronic Fatigue and Hashimoto’s Disease
Often associated with patients who have had a virus such as glandular fever, Ross River fever or Q fever. Patients may not be aware of the actual cause of the virus, but have ‘never been well since’ an bug or flu.
Inflammation is always of concern, and these patients simply aren’t functioning well. Their detoxification status is poor, digestion is slow, and energy production is low.
If Hashimoto’s is diagnosed, often a swollen throat is visible, termed thyroiditis – inflamed thyroid.
- Tired no matter how much rest they get.
- Often have dark circles under eyes.
- Trend toward constipation.
- Some report heart rate changes when laying down.
- Fluid retention.
- Can fall asleep anytime anywhere.
Toxic Hashimoto’s Disease
This category is a bit tricky, and these patients have a toxic load in their body that is affecting their health and often boycotting their treatment.
They may have thyroid nodules, or ‘hot’ nodules. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is associated with a higher risk of thyroid nodules, which can lead to goiter formation. A hot nodule is defined as a nodular region of the thyroid gland that takes up large amounts of radioactive iodine relative to the rest of the thyroid gland, hence it is visualised as a “hot spot” on a thyroid scan. Hot nodules usually need to be tested and treated by an endocrinologist, and best results can be achieved with integrating naturopathy with your specialist.
Other forms of toxic Hashimoto’s is due to heavy metal accumulation in the body or the thyroid gland itself, which can be the driving trigger for autoimmune disease. Heavy metal accumulation is a factor in thyroid patient due to their less then optimal detoxification ability – because of low thyroid hormone.
Detoxification takes specialist care in these cases, and regular monitoring with blood tests and appointments may be required with your practitioner.
Heavy Metals (HM) are metallic elements found in our polluted environment which can cause damaging effects to our health even at low concentration. Heavy Metals have been found to disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain and are associated with not only chronic diseases but particularly with behaviour changes, dementia, Alzheimer and have been found to inhibit thyroid functions too. The most toxic metals are Aluminium, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury. Copper is a necessary mineral that plays havoc in our body when in excess – particularly the thyroid.
It is important to work with a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable and experienced about the gentle removal of Heavy metals from the body as well as minimising direct exposure on a daily basis for best health outcome.
Common symptoms – these are not acute poisoning symptoms, that is an emergency situation. These symptoms are due to a chronic load of toxins in the body that are affecting metabolic function:
- Brain fog
- Digestive problems such as IBS and diarrhea, heartburn and indigestion
- Fatigue – both acute and chronic
- Mood changes such as depression, anxiety and mood swings
- Migraines or headaches, both acute and chronic
- Nausea and stomach cramps
- A blurry vision or poorer vision
- Numbness or tingling in the arms and/or legs
Treating Hashimoto’s Disease
Understanding which category your symptoms fall in helps us guide you to the best testing to understand your triggers and the root cause.
Armed with that knowledge, we can individualise treatment to bring about harmony and balance to your hormones again, stop the Hashimoto’s from attacking the thyroid and damaging it further, and have you feeling healthy and sane again!
Hashimoto’s can be put into remission, you just need the right pathology and treatment solutions for YOU.
- Consult with people trained and experienced in solving your health symptoms.
- Get thorough functional testing to understand the mechanisms behind your symptoms.
- Follow an integrated health approach that addresses multiple factors – not just one.
- Manage stress, improve your lifestyle, and learn which foods to eat to support your unique healing needs.
Book a FREE 15 minute consultation with a naturopath so you can discuss your symptoms and find out if we can help you finally meet your health goals.
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We take all the guesswork out, do thorough testing, and create an individualised treatment approach to get you well.