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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis



Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies directed against the thyroid gland lead to chronic inflammation. It is not known why some people make antibodies, although this condition tends to run in families. Over time, however, this results in impaired ability of the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, leading to gradual decline in function and eventually an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs most commonly in middle aged women, but can be seen at any age, and can also affect men, and children. Because the condition usually progresses very slowly over many years, people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may not have any symptoms early on, even when the characteristic TPO (thyroid peroxidase) antibodies may be detected in blood tests. However, over time, thyroiditis causes slow and chronic cell damage leading to the development of a goiter (enlarged thyroid) with gradual thyroid failure, and most patients will eventually develop symptoms of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, increased sensitivity to cold, dry skin, depression, muscle aches and reduced exercise tolerance, and irregular or heavy menses. 


Lifestyle Recommendations:


• Reduce stress, anxiety, and associated negative emotions; rely on a support system to keep a more positive outlook on life. • Eliminate toxins, not only from foods, but from personal care products, household cleaners and paints and aerosols – see http://www.ewg.org/ for a guide to making more informed decisions about safety from harmful chemicals. • Detox halogens such as fluoride, bromide and chloride. • Consider detox measures such as far infrared sauna, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, bentonite clay, exercise.


Dietary Tips and Caveats:


• Determine the best diet for you – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo Template, low FODMAPs, Autoimmune Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS Diet, Feingold Diet, the Body Ecology Diet, the Elemental Diet, Iodine-free, a Vegan or semi-Vegan Diet, etc. Keep a detailed food journal that documents all dietary reactions. • Identify specific dietary triggers such as nuts, nightshade foods, beans, legumes, or MSG. • Avoid sugar, including agave nectar and honey; avoid sugar alcohols (mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol) if intestinal discomfort is present. • Avoid alcohol. • Drink plenty of water. • Include healing foods like bone broths, gelatin, saturated fats, turmeric tea, vegetable juices, smoothies and fermented foods to heal the gut lining, reduce inflammation and replenish nutrient deficiencies. • Add fermented vegetables to eating plan. • Avoid grains and remove any foods that are difficult to digest. • Avoid high mercury fish, especially swordfish, orange roughy, shark, tile fish, king mackerel, marlin and certain tunas. • Eat ample amounts of organic vegetables and low glycemic fruits, taking care to avoid foods with high pesticide residue. • Keep blood sugar balanced by eating small meals frequently throughout the day and incorporating high quality protein at each meal – use digestive enzymes,Betaine HCl, or Plant Enzyme Digestive Formula if necessary. • Eat foods that are rich in selenium such as Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. 


How Can Chiropractic Care Help?


Chiropractic is about balancing the nervous system. And the nervous system innervates every cell and tissue in the body. So if there happens to be “interference” with the nerves which innervate the thyroid gland, then this possibly can result in malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. If someone has a nervous system that is out of balance, since the nervous system controls the immune system, then this person very well might have an immune system that is out of balance as well. As a result of this weakened immune system, the person will be more likely to develop a chronic infection, which in turn can trigger an autoimmune response. Or perhaps the nervous system imbalance is making the person more susceptible to the effects of stress, which in turn caused a leaky gut, which in turn caused an autoimmune thyroid condition.