Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, low thyroid function or Hashimoto’s? Are you confused as to what you can do to treat it, how to reverse the condition and also why it happened to you in the first place?
Hypothyroidism has various possible causes making the treatment individualistic, but most importantly you first need to be able to determine whether your disease is autoimmune driven, Hashimoto’s disease, or not.
Statistics are currently estimating that around 6 out of 10 hypothyroid patients have an autoimmune reaction to their thyroids. What does this mean? The body makes antibodies or white cell soldiers to destroy the thyroid tissue. The mechanism is not 100% percent understood yet but is seems that the immune systems seems to think that thyroid cells resemble other body tissues e.g. gut lining, certain allergenic foods or even certain viruses or bacteria. The immune system will attack the thyroid gland over a period of a few years until it is eventually totally destroyed.
Maybe you can understand now that it is important to know whether you have Hashimoto’s so that the underlying cause can be addressed. Your GP will normally only test for TSH or T4 but it is of vital importance to test all the thyroid hormones to get a clear picture. These tests will include the following:
- Thyroid antibodies, both Anti-TG as well as anti- TPO.
- Reverse T3, not a standard test but very helpful to determine whether stress is the cause of your disease.
Once your testing has been done your doctor will be able to see clearly whether you have an autoimmunity or not.
If your TSH is high it means that your brain is sending signals to the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone since it is detecting there is not enough of this hormone circulating in the body for proper functioning.
T3 and T4 can give us a clue whether you have enough circulating hormones in your blood and if you have enough of T3 which is your more metabolically active hormone.
Thyroid antibodies with clearly show whether you have auto immunity in your thyroid.
Reverse T3 can be described as the brakes of the thyroid gland and T3 the fuel. This means that T3 will stimulate metabolism and reverse T3 will slow the metabolism. This can often happen during periods where the body is under stress, physically or mentally.
When blood tests do not indicate any auto immunity the thyroid might just be lacking building blocks to produce thyroid hormones and this can be supplemented to ensure optimal functioning.
Hashimoto’s disease can occur due to various causes. Some of these causes are:
- Gut or digestive issues
- Infections, viral or bacterial
- Food intolerances and allergies
The golden rule when it comes to your thyroid health is not to just assume that taking a thyroid replacement like Eltroxin will solve the problem. Work together with a practitioner to try and find the cause, treat it and reverse the auto immunity.
Your thyroid is integral for your body function and without thyroid hormones a person will not be able to survive. It dictates your breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous system, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycle, body temperature, cholesterol levels and much more. Therefore, treat it with respect, cherish it and make sure that you have a happy thyroid!!
For any questions please contact
DR MARIKE DE KLERK
NATUROPATHIC HEALTH CENTRE
012 460 9216