What are Thyroid Conditions?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat that makes specific hormones. When this gland isn’t working correctly, you can experience a variety of symptoms. Over 90% of thyroid conditions are autoimmune, meaning that the body attacks it’s own thyroid tissue. Thyroiditis is the swelling of the thyroid gland. If you’re one of the 14 million people in America who are suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or 10 million people who have Graves’ disease, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help improve symptoms and get some relief.
Thyroid Condition Symptoms
Do you suspect or know that you have a thyroid condition? You may experience symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Brain fog
- Constipation or “tummy troubles”
- Muscle weakness or joint pain
- Sleep problems
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Hair loss
- Dry or pale skin
- Heart palpitations
- Hoarse/deepened voice
Triggers for Thyroid Conditions
What can trigger or fuel an imbalance in your thyroid gland?
- Gluten sensitivity or other food triggers
- Viral infection such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
- Plastics like BPA, phthalates, parabens
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Mold toxicity
- Low glutathione status
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Leaky gut
- Blood sugar dysfunction
- Low vitamin D
How Can Dr. Autoimmune Help?
Typically in treatment for hypothyroid conditions, an oral hormone medication is prescribed and can be helpful for the symptoms. However, since this drug may cause long-term damage to bones and the cardiovascular system, many people choose to find more natural ways to treat their thyroiditis.
It can be frustrating trying to find help with chronic and complex conditions, which is why we have chosen to dedicate our practice to exactly that. Instead of treating the symptoms, our functional medicine approach focuses on finding the causes.
All autoimmune diseases start in the gut. We design custom plans of dietary intervention, supplements and lifestyle recommendations to help heal the gut and support the immune system rather than focusing on the thyroid. In supporting these fundamental functions of the digestive tract we can reduce inflammation and see dramatic changes in symptoms.
Finding the Root Cause
We know that autoimmunity requires 3 things to develop:
- Genetic predisposition
- Leaky gut (a.k.a intestinal permeability)
- An environmental trigger
It All Starts in the Gut!
Our small intestine consists of 25 feet of tubing, the inside surface area being equivalent to that of a doubles tennis court!
Proteins called “tight junctions” prevent a flood of material into the gut. Low vitamin D levels coupled with inflammation in the gut starts to widen the space between cells, allowing materials (bacteria and food) to start seeping through. This triggers inflammation and as antibodies are formed they begin to target the thyroid. This is why medication may help symptoms but it can never resolve your thyroid condition.