The function of the hormones inside your body is delicate and quite complicated. In case of interruption or in case of a change in their balance, hormones immediately show certain signs in the weight, mood and the overall health.
Hashimoto’s disease is one of the most common conditions that can cause hormonal burnout and a host of vague symptoms you might attribute to other things.
Understanding Hashimoto’s disease
This disease is known as autoimmune thyroiditis or “Hashi’s” for short, and it is in fact an autoimmune condition that involves thyroid dysfunction. In case of Hashimoto’s disease, the body triggers an immune response in which antibodies are created, and they damage thyroid cells, resulting in low thyroid function over time. This means that an overzealous immune system attacks your thyroid.
A few symptoms of low thyroid function are the following: dry skin, low energy, constantly feeling cold, weakness, lack of concentration and others. Hashimoto’s disease can greatly influence your quality of life and your overall health.
This disease is a common health issue in aging women, since low thyroid is much more common when the woman reach the perimenopausal and menopausal stages. However, this condition tends to develop gradually over time, so it is possible to occur in younger years as well, although its diagnosis can be done later in life.
Hashimoto’s can occur in men too, but women are diagnosed with the condition up to 20 times more often. For women in North America, Hashimoto’s is the most common reason for low thyroid. The body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, first causing an overproduction of thyroid hormones, then causing an underproduction of those hormones because the thyroid has reached the “burnout” stage.
It’s important to note that symptoms of Hashimoto’s can vary widely, depending on the severity of the hormone imbalance. Although they are often vague, you must take note of the following signs:
- Weight gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Swelling at the front of the throat (goiter)
- brittle, thinning hair
- heavy menstruation flow or irregular periods
- Feeling cold all the time
Diagnose and treatment
The diagnosis of the disease follows a blood test that checks for antibodies against the thyroid: thyroid peroxidase antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies.
Its treatment might involve going on thyroid medication, so it’s important to discuss your condition with your doctor and follow instructions appropriately. It is very important for Hashimoto’s patients to eliminate gluten and dairy products immediately. This is due to the fact that it has been shown that getting off gluten has been shown sometimes to correct Hashi’s, and about half of people with gluten intolerance also have dairy intolerance.
Moreover, for proper thyroid function, one must address this disease by certain changes in diet and introduction of several micronutrients and vitamins.
The natural treatment of the disease includes copper, as the thyroid is sensitive to this element (meats, poultry and eggs are rich sources of copper); vitamin A and iron, which are all important for proper thyroid function, vitamin D, as deficiency in this vitamin is more common in people with autoimmune thyroditis; iodine, which is important for normal metabolic and thyroid function, as well as zinc and selenium.
Furthermore, stress is a significant cause of thyroid burnout, which suggests that certain adjustments in the lifestyle are needed and will help you beat Hashimoto’s and restore thyroid balance.