How To Heal Hashimoto's: A Functional Medicine Approach
Inside - The Functional Medicine Approach can help reverse Hashimoto's disease naturally. Understand how to heal Hashimoto's through Functional Medicine. What Functional Medicine Practitioners do differently than Conventional doctors.
Hashimoto's is a common autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. It often goes undiagnosed because it can be hard to detect in its early stages, and sometimes people have no symptoms at all.
However, if left unchecked, Hashimoto's will gradually destroy the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid- this means your body doesn't produce enough of certain hormones (such as triiodothyronine) which regulate metabolism.
This article will show you how you can heal Hashimoto's through functional medicine. Functional medicine is different than conventional medical treatment because it focuses on finding root causes for a person’s health problems instead of focusing solely on masking their symptoms with drugs or surgery
What is Autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells, organs, or tissues. The mistake is made because the body's own cells are very similar to the foreign invaders that it tries to fight off - these proteins all look the same to the immune system.
Autoimmune diseases often start with a condition called inflammation which then causes your immune system to attack healthy tissue and create more inflammation in an ever-increasing cycle of destruction.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's disease: An Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
In Hashimoto's, the inflammation is caused by our white blood cells attacking our own thyroid gland. This leads to a reduction in thyroid hormone levels and an underactive thyroid gland, which can result in symptoms including -
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Weight gain and/or loss
- Depression and/or anxiety (hypothyroidism)
- Muscle aches, cramps, weakness, tenderness
- Skin problems
- Menstrual problems
& much more.
Know in detail about all these symptoms of Hashimoto's disease in this blog post.
How is Hashimoto's disease diagnosed?
The thyroid gland is a very complex organ. So, any dysfunction in the gland whether or not due to an autoimmune response is complicated to diagnose. Complicated, in the sense, the tests are simple but it is important to take the right tests to find the problems.
Unlike taking just a regular thyroid test, TSH, many parameters are to be considered and tested.
Blood works for Hashimoto's disease diagnosis may include testing for thyroid functioning as well as thyroid antibodies.
A thyroid antibodies test is highly important to diagnose autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's or Grave's disease. With just a Thyroid hormone test, these autoimmune problems are often missed.
One of the reasons that a thyroid antibody test is so important is because it can often be detected earlier than changes in hormones.
The blood works include testing for -
- TSH levels
- T4 levels
- T3 levels
- Reverse T3 levels
- Thyroglobulin antibodies
- TPO antibodies
Related Read - What Thyroid Tests To Ask For?
Conventional medicine approach for Hashimoto's disease
In the conventional medicine approach, the doctors look just at the symptoms. They miss understanding the actual root cause that triggers the autoimmune response.
In the conventional approach, regular blood works are taken and the results are analyzed. Not to mention, sometimes only TSH levels are tested which often misses out on indicating Hashimoto's condition.
So, this problem of 'Normal' Thyroid results with alarming symptoms persists in the conventional approach.
Eventually, the root cause of the problem is not analyzed. The most important diet and lifestyle factors are not considered, as well.
Only the symptoms are addressed by conventional medicine practitioners. This often includes medications with synthetic thyroid hormones and surgical procedures to combat the symptoms.
Eventually, your problems keep coming back no matter how many medications you take. Because the root cause still remains untreated. This is where the Functional Medicine approach takes an upper hand. It treats the root cause helping you to reverse your Hashimoto's problem as a whole.
Functional Medicine Approach To Treat Hashimoto's
With the Functional Medicine approach, the root cause of your autoimmune disease is first identified. A Functional Medicine Practitioner will Analyse your various symptoms and will do a comprehensive intake visit. They will not only evaluate your current situation but will take into account your previous medical information to help understand your underlying root cause.
Functional medicine doctors will also order in death lab testing which usually conventional doctors do not order. By doing this in-depth testing they can identify the root cause which has triggered your Hashimoto’s disease.
Everything from your dietary habits to lifestyle is considered before starting the treatment process.
Once the root cause is identified, an exclusive treatment plan is devised for reversing your thyroid.
A Stepwise personalized functional medicine plan is made to help improve your disease process. The very first step involves Lifestyle changes Specially focusing on specific diet plans to reverse your disease. Along with that we also work on reducing stress and improving sleep and optimizing your exercise regimen.
In the next step, we add various kinds of supplements that help to reverse your Hashimoto's disease.
In the last step we work on making your body stronger so that you can be safeguarded from future threats
Possible root causes for your Hashimoto's disease
With the help of various medical tests, the root cause of your Hashimoto's problem is found out. To start with, the following common risk factors for your autoimmune response is looked for by a functional medicine doctor.
Stress and anxiety - While Hashimoto's is known to cause stress and anxiety problems, vice-versa is also possible. Stress and anxiety can actually be the root cause of your Hashimoto's disease. When you are so stressed, the cortisol hormone in your body increases which in turn can trigger an auto immune response or even affect your thyroid hormone production.
Harmful toxins - Exposure to harmful toxins including heavy metals, mold toxins, and everyday plastics can lead to Hashimoto's problem.
Diet - There can be certain foods that you may be sensitive to. Consuming these foods can trigger an autoimmune response in your body. Most common sensitive foods that cause this include gluten, dairy products, processed food, soy, corn...
Various kinds of infections - it has been shown that people who have had certain viral infections like epstein-Barr virus infection, parasites,candida have higher chances of getting Hashimoto's disease.
Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can also cause hashimoto's disease. Especially Vitamin D deficiency - Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in most countries around the world. This is because of lack of sunlight and diet deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency can trigger an autoimmune response in your body.
How does Functional Medicine treat Hashimoto's?
With conventional medicine, only the symptoms are treated for various thyroid problems. With this approach, you don't get a permanent solution to your problem. While with Functional Medicine, a proper protocol is followed to identify your real problem and treat it. Consequently your Hashimoto's can be reversed.
In Functional Medicine approach the following strategies are given almost priority in the treatment of your Hashimoto's disease.
- Eliminate bad foods and lifestyle habits.
- Incorporate good ones that support your body.
The various ways in which these are implemented include -
- Healing your gut
- Improving your dietary routine
- Incorporating exercises
- Reducing your stress
- Improving your sleep quality
Having Hashimoto's or suspecting of one? It is high time you contact a Functional Medicine practitioner near you to identify your problems.
As said, a Hashimoto's Functional Medicine Physician will deep dive into your problems and identify the root cause of your issues in a holistic way. Then the root cause is treated, which in turn will reverse Hashimoto's without any doubt.
Suffering from a chronic disease like thyroid, gut problem, weight issues, autoimmune issues, etc... is not easy. Dr. Gupta is a certified Functional Medicine Physician and his personalized plans have helped thousands of people to reclaim their health back.
Now you can get virtual functional medicine consultation from anywhere in the country, especially if you live in Houston, Toledo, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, NEW YORK & Miami. Please click below to get started with a 15-minute free evaluation call with Dr. Gupta.