How To Start Healing Your Low Thyroid Function
The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland in front of your neck. It works with almost every organ and we literally can’t live without its hormone.
According to the American Thyroid Association, over 20 million people suffer from some form of thyroid dysfunction, with up to 60% of these people not aware of this condition.
A few interesting facts are that:
- Women are 5 to 6 times more likely to be affected than men
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function and hormone production) is much more common than hyperthyroidism (high thyroid function and hormone production)
- The large majority of hypothyroidism is autoimmune in nature — Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
What happens in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is low thyroid function due to an autoimmune attack. The body at some point (mistakenly) decided to attack the thyroid issue. Eventually, there is enough thyroid tissue damage that not enough thyroid hormone is made and therefore thyroid medication is needed.
I see one or a combination of these in the clinic:
- The patient is feeling tired, foggy minded, can’t lose weight, has sleep issues, perhaps there is hair loss, or menstrual cycle issues. The TSH (thyroid stimulating normal) looks normal by standard value (between 0.5 to 5.0 mIU/L) but possibly not within the optimal range which for women is 0.5 to 2.0 mIU/L
- The patient is on thyroid medication which brought partial or no improvement to their symptoms
- In both cases, checking their thyroid antibodies revealed being elevated and creating an attack on the thyroid tissue
Not addressing this autoimmune issue is why many people don’t feel well in spite of “normal” values or taking thyroid medication. In addition, not addressing the autoimmune issues predisposes you to develop other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Sjögren’s syndrome, etc.
How to start the healing of the autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
The world renowned medical doctor Dr. Alessio Fasano indicated the cause of autoimmunity to be three legged. There must be three conditions for an autoimmune issue to start in your body: a genetic predisposition, a gut issue, and a trigger present.
Let’s explore these 3 conditions one by one.
- Genetic predisposition: there is not much you can do about the genetic predisposition, however since the autoimmune issue is triggered when these three conditions come together, it tells us that the genes are not everything, but what happens around them.
- Gut issues: 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, hence in order for an autoimmune issue to be present, there must be a gut issue present. I cannot emphasize how important it is to address this, even if you think you don’t have gut symptoms! For example, I have seen this clearly in my case. I had no real apparent gut issues, yet I had Hashimoto’s and when I did a comprehensive stool test to look at my gut, I found all kinds of issues. I wrote an extensive article on the basics of gut healing, read it here.
- A trigger being present: There must be an initial trigger present to act as the last piece that pushes the body towards an autoimmune attack. Let’s say you have a genetic predisposition, the gut function may be already less than ideal, then there comes the trigger which could be mental, emotional or physical. Some of the triggers could be a traumatic event (illness, divorce, loss of a loved one, car accident) where the person says they never felt well since. Or it could be certain toxins, a chronic gut infection (which was the case for me, I unknowingly had a major bacteria and parasite overgrowth), or reactivated EBV (Epstein Barr virus), or major food sensitivities.
The healing process starts with healing the gut and uncovering what the triggers are, so you can solve them and then the autoimmune attack can calm down and eventually some people go into full remission.
No matter if you go into remission or not, you will feel a LOT better. The supplements you take will be more effective and so will be the thyroid medication, if you are on one.
Wishing you great healing!