Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism: Natural Therapeutic Management

Nigella Sativa and Thyroid

The most prevalent autoimmune disorder experienced by approximately 30 million of the United States population today is called Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism; this particular disease targets the thyroid gland, and presents more frequently in women than in men. Over time, Hashimoto’s eventually causes the thyroid gland to stop working properly, and can even lead to certain types of thyroid cancer. (1) The thyroid glands are located right below the cricoid cartilage AKA “Adam’s apple”, and is shaped like a butterfly. When hormones are released from the thyroid glands, they contribute to things like helping our brain and muscles work correctly, and also helps us maintain our body temperature. (4)

Also known as thyroiditis, the inflammation from Hashimoto’s usually leads to hypothyroidism, which leaves the thyroid glands underactive within the body. When this happens, a person might experience the symptoms of muscle weakness, pain in the joints, anxiety/depression, excessive tiredness, dry or pale skin, hair loss, an increase in weight, constipation and cold intolerance, just to name a few. (3)

Proper function of the thyroid glands is necessary, since they are responsible for initiating the growth of cells within the body as well. (2) Occasionally, the thyroid gets enlarged (typically referred to as a goiter), and this can be a visual sign of thyroiditis uponbexam (if your doctor actually takes the time to examine you). (4)

Some studies theorize that hypothyroidism is correlated with an excessive amount of inflammation in the stomach (otherwise known as gastritis) that is caused by stress. When there is an increased amount of stress, this inflammation in correlation with hypothyroidism can lower the metabolic rate in the body and disrupt the normal secretion of acid within the GI tract. If there are fewer thyroid hormones, then this makes metabolism drop drastically and decreases the growth and production of cells in the body.  This combination is particularly problematic if there is abnormal bacteria or yeast in the gut since they will proliferate with lower levels of acid! (2)

Typically, an oral prescription hormone medication has been helpful for the symptoms of Hashimoto’s; however, since this drug may cause long-term damage to bones and the cardiovascular system, more natural ways to treat thyroiditis have emerged. One of these is the Nigella sativa plant, or otherwise known as fennel flower or black cumin! The seeds of this flower pack the most punch, and they have many positive health benefits. These include being utilized as an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant, and this plant has also been shown to help to boost the immune system (oil is the most common supplemental form). (1)

When it comes to a disease like Hashimoto’s, you want to find a treatment that will naturally and safely support the root cause, and reduce any possible side effects. Using properties from this plant, many studies have shown that improvement within the dynamics of thyroiditis have occurred, and there is possibly a correlation in using this natural treatment with the reversing of hypothyroidism (clinical levels of thyroid hormones do change with correct dosing). (1)

There are other proven ways that you can help treat Hashimoto’s naturally, and these include reducing stress levels, treating gut dysbiosis, limiting foods that might trigger symptoms (which will differ with each person), reducing inflammation (including using cold laser), and trying to reduce the amount of contact with toxins that might affect your antibodies. 

Remember, the most important analogy you can visualize with autoimmunity is the hammer flying through a window.  Once the hammer smashes the window, just because you remove the hammer doesn’t mean the problem is fixed!  This is why we have achieved the consistent results with our functional medicine clients in Boulder.  You have to rehabilitate the immune system after removing the triggers and then manage
the condition moving forward! (5)

Although much research is still needed, the improvements and headway that is being made to help naturally treat hypothyroidism is improving every day. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or need more information, but realize that they are other alternatives other than prescription drugs to help heal this auto-immune disease!

Hopefully this information will help your body come a little closer to optimal health.

Let your health soar again!
Ian Hollaman,

(1) Farhangi, M. A., Dehghan, P., Tajmiri, S., and Abbasi,
M. M. (2016). The effects of Nigella sativa on thyroid function, serum Vascular
Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) – 1, Nesfatin-1 and anthropometric features in
patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: a randomized controlled trial. BMC
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
16(1), pp. 471.

(2) Abdel-Sater K. A. (2009). Gastroprotective effects of
Nigella Sativa oil on the formation of stress gastritis in hypothyroidal
rats. International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology1(2),
pp. 143-149.

(3) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hashimotos-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20351855

(4) https://www.thyroid.org/hashimotos-thyroiditis/

(5) https://avivaromm.com/reduce-hashimotos-antibodies/

Peyronie’s Disease: What Is It, and How Can Shockwave Therapy Help?

Discovered as early as 1743, Peyronie’s disease affects men anywhere from 30-90 years of age, and presents itself as a curve or deformation of the penis while erect, along with hardened skin within the shaft of the penis. (1) At times, this disease also correlates with erectile dysfunction, causing pain and discomfort to those affected. A study performed over a span of 35 years showed that the average age that men tend to develop this particular disease is 53 years of age; and, playing a big role in Peyronie’s disease is the occurrence of erectile dysfunction, which correlates with approximately 30% percent of cases. (1)

There are several reasons why erectile dysfunction plays a part in Peyronie’s disease, but the most prevalent ones are as follows: an abnormality in the penis that prevents sexual intercourse, hardened skin within the penis, decreased cardiovascular function, and emotional stress and other associated feelings (guilt, shame, etc.) because of how the penis looks. (1) Another study done with men with Peyronie’s disease showed that a good majority of the men researched had some type of cardiovascular disease or blocked veins that deliver blood to the liver, which is hopefully key in determining how to determine different options for treatment, for both erectile dysfunction as well as Peyronie’s disease. (1)

Awhile ago, it was thought that Peyronie’s disease would naturally resolve itself without any issues – however, over a five-year span of time, men with this disease have had several different resolutions. Some of the men noticed their condition worsen, some maintained their condition, and others noticed improvement. When Peyronie’s initially begins, many men begin to notice pain when their penis is erect, and a possible change in the curve as well as the hardening of the skin in the penis. (1) Not all men present with pain though; the curving of the penis in some isn’t painful at all.

So, what is the main cause of Peyronie’s disease? Several studies have found a connection between men that have experienced some sort of trauma to the penis (microtrauma that is typically experienced the most during sexual intercourse) and the occurrence of Peyronie’s disease, as well as erectile dysfunction. (1) With over 13% of men being diagnosed with this condition, it’s important to realize that this kind of trauma can cause the hardened skin, or fibrous plaque, to build up within the penis, and this is important to know in order to find out how we can remedy it. (2)

Aside from the physical aspects of Peyronie’s disease, there are other symptoms that can be present as well – and these are the emotional and psychological ones. Reducing the ability to function sexually can be very stressful for both men and their partners, often leading to feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and embarrassment; these feelings can also grow over time, especially if the disease progresses or there is no resolve within the condition. (2)

Thankfully, there are new and upcoming ways to be able to help treat Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction – one of those being shock wave therapy. Also called extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, this method of treatment sends low intensity waves into the specified tissue of the penis through a probe, which internally causes microscopic trauma to the tissue. This in turn causes the body to increase blood supply to the area, facilitating the healing process. (3)

This treatment is considered conservative for men suffering from Peyronie’s disease, and discovering the improvements that can be seen within shock wave therapy is imperative. A pool of studies done over a month’s time determined that there are short term results from this procedure, as well as longer than that. (4) Other studies have shown that there is a decrease in the pain associated with Peyronie’s disease, and men have noticed improvement in both their erectile function as well as with their overall quality of life and emotional wellbeing. (5)

More research needs to be done, but shock wave therapy is looking promising in the realm of helping to treat not only Peyronie’s disease, but also erectile dysfunction, and improving the lifestyle and sexual function of men affected with these conditions.
(1) Jalkut, M., Gonzalez-Cadavid, N., & Rajfer, J. (2003). Peyronie’s Disease: A Review. Reviews in Urology5(3), pp. 142-148.

(2) Bilgutay, A. N., and Pastuszak, A. W. (2015). PEYRONIE’S DISEASE: A REVIEW OF ETIOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS, AND MANAGEMENT. Current sexual health reports, 7(2), pp. 117-131.

(3) Gruenwald, I., Appel, B., Kitrey, N. D., and Vardi, Y. (2013). Shockwave treatment of erectile dysfunction. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, 5(2), pp. 95-99.

(4) Angulo, J., Arance, I., de Las Heras, M., Meilan, E., Esquinas, C., and Andres, E. (2017). Efficacy of low-intensity shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis Therapy efficacy shockwave low intensity for erectile dysfunction: systematic review and meta-analysis. Spanish Urological Records (English Edition), 41(8), pp. 479-490.

(5) Palmieri, A., Imbimbo, C., Longo, N., Fusco, F., Verze, P., Mangiapia, F., Creta, M., and Mirone, V. (2009). A first prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease. European Urology, 56(2), pp. 43-44.

Suffer from Arthritis? Stem Cells Can Help.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 25% of people in the United States suffer from arthritis. This ends up being close to 54 million people that are dealing with aches, pains, and swelling in their joints on a regular basis. About half of the people dealing with arthritis within the United States have their work, daily activities, and hobbies limited due to the results of these aches and pains, which is a huge statistic! (1)

There are many different forms of arthritis, and one of the main ones that people are affected with is osteoarthritis; gout is another common form, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. This disease can severely affect one’s quality of life, especially if the arthritis makes it hard to walk down to the mailbox or difficult to push a cart through the grocery store. Walking up stairs or opening jars are other common everyday tasks that might be hindered by the presence of arthritis, regardless of the form. (1)

With the improvement of functional medicine in today’s society, diseases like arthritis are able to be focused on in order to find a cure for the cause and the symptoms. One of the currently studied areas in healthcare regarding arthritis is using stem cells to regenerate and renew cartilage in the areas of pain within the joints. Studies have shown that the use of stem cells is helpful in those patients with arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. (2)
Osteoarthritis causes issues within the joints of the body, and specifically causes a breakdown of the cartilage between bones. It also creates extreme stiffness within the body, excessive pain, and cracking noises in the joints (this is known as crepitus – you might hear a popping or cracking sound when moving). All of these factors combined can lead to a reduction in the overall quality of life, so finding a treatment for this disease is imperative. (3)

Since the cartilage that lies between the bones (otherwise known as articular cartilage) doesn’t really have any ability to be able to heal or repair itself, finding a way to delay the tissue breakdown and further delay the onset of injury occurrence is a priority. Studies have shown that stem cells are often able to help reduce the level of inflammation within the joints, which in turn helps to prevent the negative effects of osteoarthritis.  In addition to increased viscosity and improved range of motion, stem cells can literally regenerate the cartilage creating a new surface to use! (5)

Osteoarthritis in the knee joint is one of the top areas of degeneration within the body, so finding a functional treatment that works to improve this has been researched multiple times. Since stem cells are so adaptable and can change themselves into many different types of cells, this kind of therapy is ideal in the process of healing osteoarthritis. Stem cells are also top of the line for being able to replicate themselves quickly, so healing and improved function is also noted.  Time to notice changes with stem cells varies but our clients typically report 2-6 weeks and then they progressively improved from there. (3)

Investigating this type of arthritis within the knee joint, several studies have discovered that using stem cells for treatment has led to improvement within the joint for several patients. With the quality of the cartilage within the joints increasing due to the use of stem cells, this is a promising area of modern medicine that is prominent within the Boulder and Denver communities and those affected with different types of arthritis. (4)

With a functional medicine focus in areas like Denver, Colorado, this type of stem cell therapy is helping multiple patients reclaim their normal lifestyle and regenerate new cartilage within their joints.

There are other ways in order to manage your arthritis symptoms outside of functional medicine treatment as well; controlling weight, performing low-impact activities, and incorporating physical activity into your everyday lifestyle will aid in handling this disease. (1)

(2) Jevotovsky, D., Alfosno, A., Einhorn, T., Chiu, E. (2018). Osteoarthritis and stem cell therapy in humans; a systematic review. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 26(6), pp. 711-729. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2018.02.906.

(3) Dubey, N., Mishra, V., Dubey, R., Syed-Abdul, S., Wang, J., Wang, P., Deng, W., (2018). Combating Osteoarthritis through Stem Cell Therapies by Rejuvenating Cartilage: A Review. Stem Cells International. doi: 10.1155/2018/5421019

(4) Iijima, H., Isho, T., Kuroki, H., Takahashi, M., & Aoyama, T. (2018). Effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis toward the establishment of effective regenerative rehabilitation. NPJ Regenerative medicine, 3, 15. doi:10.1038/s41536-018-0041-8

(5) Diekman, B., and Farshid, G. (2013). Stem cell-based therapies for osteoarthritis: challenges and opportunities. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 25(1), pp. 119-126. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32835aa28d