Functional Medicine Approach For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto's is a common autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. In the US, Hashimoto's is said to be the major cause of hypothyroidism or low thyroid.
The exact cause is still unknown for Hashimoto’s. But the current research suggests that environmental factors like poor diet, stress, infections, toxins, contribute to the onset of Hashimoto's disease.
The problem with Hashimoto's treatment is that conventional medicine can only offer you a bandaid approach of putting you on thyroid medicine. But they cant do anything to reverse this underlying autoimmune process.
However, with the Functional Medicine approach, every patient undergoes a detailed root cause analysis. With this, Hashimoto's problems are easily identified even in the earlier stages.
In this post, we will discuss, What is Hashimoto's disease? How functional medicine differs from conventional medicine in terms of diagnosis and treatment for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis & much more. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or suspecting one, read on!
What is Hashimoto's disease?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ in the neck. The thyroid gland produces different hormones called thyroxine or TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone).
These thyroid hormones are essential for the regulation of one's metabolism, or the speed at which a person burns calories. In short, it is responsible for coordinating various body functions.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that is caused by chronic inflammation of your immune system attacking your own tissue cells including those located in your thyroid gland causing it to swell up.
Hashimoto's Disease may progress due to environmental factors such as exposure to radiation, chemicals that hurt DNA molecules, air pollution, cigarette smoking, insufficient iodine intake, poor diet, stress and even some prescription drugs.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's disease
The progression of Hashimoto's disease usually occurs gradually over a period of years and it can cause chronic damage to your thyroid gland. Because of this, distinct symptoms don’t appear in the early stages. So, Hashimoto's disease has symptoms that are not very much different from those caused by an underactive thyroid.
Here are a few signs and symptoms of Hashimoto's disease.
Diagnosis of Hashimoto's disease
Early diagnosis is very important for autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's disease. Hashimoto's disease can be diagnosed with a blood test and an ultrasound.
The diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of antibodies to thyrocytes in the patient’s bloodstream (anti-TPO antibody).
The diagnosis is similar in both conventional as well as functional medicine approach. But the problem is conventional medicine doctors start with testing for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level and inactive thyroid hormone (T4) level only. There is a good chance that Hashimoto's problems are left out with these tests alone.
With Functional Medicine, a complete panel of thyroid health tests is done. They include testing for TSH, T3, T4, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibody levels. This clearly shows the presence of Hashimoto's disease.
Conventional medicine approach for Hashimoto's thyroiditis
In Conventional medicinal practice, the treatment of Hashimoto's disease is to replace thyroid hormone.
Conventional medicine practitioners often don't go deeper into the problem to identify the underlying root cause. The goal in the conventional approach is always symptom relief and management of side effects from medications.
This can lead to being on medications for your entire life, and in meantime symptoms keep worsening.
They usually ignore the need for diet and lifestyle changes. As a result, your problem won't be fixed even after being on medication. For example, if your issues are due to gluten insensitivity, they will not be cured until your gluten intake is reduced.
Functional Medicine Approach For Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Functional medicine practitioners take a deeper look at the root cause of your symptoms. Functional medicine is an approach to health care that focuses on identifying and treating the underlying causes of disease, rather than just its symptoms.
In functional medicine, it's believed that issues in other systems or organs (such as gut problems) can contribute to autoimmune thyroiditis. Your body attacks itself because something else was wrong with you first.
So, if you have been diagnosed with this condition through conventional medical tests & treatments for years without seeing any positive changes in symptom relief- then perhaps there are things going on elsewhere in our bodies that need attention too.
The goal of the functional medicine approach is to first identify what has caused inflammation of your thyroid gland. And then work on improving the function of your thyroid gland.
A typical Functional Medicine approach includes —
So you see this approach is very revolutionary which not only addresses your underlying cause of Hashimoto’s, but also helps you reverse your disease and live symptom free for forever.
With all these said, the first step is to visit a Functional medicine doctor specializing in Thyroid healing in Houston. Your Functional Medicine doctor will discuss in detail your problems and devise an appropriate treatment plan for your Hashimoto's disease.
Dr. Gupta now offers virtual online functional medicine consultations for people who need Hashimoto treatment in Houston Texas. If you are interested in working with Dr. Gupta, you can get started with a free 15 minute evaluation call.
There is no reason for you to suffer from your health conditions.
Let us work together to find the root-cause of your disease, and fix it. Click below to start your healing journey with us.