Understanding Hashimoto’s

Mar 13, 2024 | Health & Wellness, Hormone Health, Thyroid

treatment of hashimoto's thyroiditis naturally

Understanding Hashimoto’s

Hashimoto’s is also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease. It is categorized as an autoimmune condition. In this case, it affects the thyroid gland and occurs more frequently in women. According to the American Thyroid Association, women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. This condition occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid, leading to inflammation and reduced thyroid function. Here’s a brief overview of what Hashimoto’s is, why it happens, and ways to not only resolve symptoms but bring balance to your thyroid.


What is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that targets the thyroid gland. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that help regulate basic bodily functions. When the immune system produces antibodies against the thyroid, it impairs the gland’s ability to produce hormones, resulting in an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.


Why Does Hashimoto’s Happen?

Hashimoto’s typically occurs from a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Inflammatory foods, excessive stress, trauma, lack of sleep, exposure to toxins, hormonal birth control, and genetics can all play a critical role in your thyroid function. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach, overworking, undereating, and eating processed foods all decrease thyroid levels. Hashimoto’s is usually the long-term result of these thyroid-decreasing hormone behaviors, especially if you have a family history of hypothyroidism.


How do I know if I have Hashimoto’s?

Blood work will determine if you have low, normal, or high Thyroid hormone levels. When testing your thyroid, look for a practitioner that will check for more than just your TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) as that doesn’t always paint the full picture. Consider working with a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner to help you run the necessary labs to determine your thyroid levels. We also partner with Paloma Health, which provides an at-home thyroid blood testing kit.

Other markers to test when looking at thyroid function:

  • TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone)
  • Free T4 (Free Thyroxine)
  • Free T3 (Free Triiodothyronine)
  • Total T4 (Total Thyroxine)
  • Total T3 (Total Triiodothyronine)
  • Reverse T3 (Reverse Triiodothyronine)
  • TPO Antibodies and TGAB Antibodies


Treatment Options: Medications and Natural Approaches


1. Synthetic Hormone Replacement:

  • Conventional treatment often involves prescribing synthetic thyroid hormones like levothyroxine (Synthroid) or liothyronine (Cytomel). These medications help replace the missing thyroid hormones and manage hypothyroid symptoms effectively. The problem with this is you are not addressing the root cause of why your thyroid is underactive, to begin with. After all, your thyroid didn’t just stop working for no reason. While thyroid medications are important and often a needed step, we know that addressing the root cause of why your thyroid is underactive to begin with can be crucial.

2. T3:

  • Some doctors may prescribe T3 Medication or a combination of T3 and T4 for their patients. This can be extremely helpful for some people depending on which of the thyroid hormones they are low in.

Natural Approaches:

1. Diet:

  • Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in nutrients can help reduce thyroid inflammation. Focus on foods like organic fruits and vegetables, proteins, dark leafy greens, and foods rich in crucial thyroid-friendly minerals like selenium, iron, and zinc, which can help balance your thyroid levels. Additionally, making sure you are consuming enough calories, plays a vital role in hormone production. It is usually recommended that people with Hashimoto’s follow a mostly gluten and dairy-free diet to remove as much inflammation as possible. Some people find the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet to be beneficial in extreme cases, as well.

2. Lifestyle Changes:

  • Stress management, adequate sleep, and regular exercise that aligns with Hashimoto’s can support thyroid health. Things like meditation and deep breathing to help with stress, focusing on 8 hours of quality sleep, and proper workouts like strength training and yoga, are great lifestyle choices for those with Hashimoto’s. For more information on the right type of workout for your thyroid, listen to my podcast episode on strength training here. Also, Check out my favorite Hashimoto’s Aligned workouts here.

3. Supplements:

  • Some individuals benefit from specific supplements like vitamin D or Magnesium, which can support thyroid function. For a list of vitamins, minerals, and supplements to support optimal thyroid function, see our Nourishing Your Thyroid blog post.

4. Diagnostic Testing:

  • Functional diagnostic tests can uncover underlying issues such as heavy metals, environmental toxins, mold toxins, nutrient deficiencies, gut imbalances, or food sensitivities that may contribute to Hashimoto’s.

5. Mindset:

  • By supporting your mental and emotional health by processing stuck emotions, traumas, and limiting beliefs, we help progress our physical health.

Remember that Hashimoto’s is a complex condition with many different causes. Be sure to work with a trusted professional to help guide you toward the best plan of action. While nutrients and foods can support your thyroid, it’s essential to also consider lifestyle factors like stress management, sleep, movement, and mindset.

If you need help running bloodwork or managing your Hashimoto’s, consider working with a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, like SHE Talks Health! Contact us to learn more about how we help our clients best support their thyroid wellness specific to Hashimoto’s.

SHE Talks Health is proud to partner with Paloma Health. Use code SHETALKS at checkout for a discount on thyroid bloodwork.

Be sure to check out our Ultimate Thyroid Wellness Guide for more information on what your thyroid is, and the best ways to support your thyroid wellness journey.


More about Dr. Tanya Paynter

Tanya graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology with a minor in inorganic chemistry before attending medical school at Bastyr University. She graduated in 2012 with her naturopathic medical degree and has been treating women with chronic migraines for almost a decade, having suffered from chronic headaches herself for nearly 20 years. She had a special calling to find a way to help women manage their migraines more effectively. She is the founder of migraine mastery, a 24 week online program designed to significantly reduce migraines and help women better manage their symptoms so they can move beyond just surviving and get back to doing what they love.

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