Thyroiditis is an autoimmune endocrine condition in which the body makes antibodies against its own thyroid hormone production leading to hypothyroidism. Thyroiditis describes an inflamed thyroid. It is often called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis named after the physician who first discovered the condition. If you suffer from thyroiditis, conventional medicine will offer thyroid replacement therapy, but there are also more natural ways to treat this condition.
Conventional medicine treats Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis with synthetic thyroid hormones in high enough doses to suppress TSH—thyroid-stimulating hormone.
TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in response to circulating thyroid hormone levels of both T4—thyroxine and T3—lieothyrodine.
The autoimmune antibodies, including antithyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase antibodies, are elevated in thyroiditis. These antibodies destroy the enzymes necessary to convert the large protein molecule called thyroglobulin into thyroid hormone.
Conventional thought is to suppress TSH to suppress thyroid enzyme production and thus suppress antibody production. The result is a lifelong dependency on thyroid hormone replacement therapy. The antibody levels take a very long time to normalize if ever using conventional therapy.
Thyroid Replacement Therapy (TRT) includes synthetic thyroxine (T4) and occasionally synthetic lieothyrodine (T3), as well as animal-derived T4 and T3 (Armour Thyroid). Bio-identical botanically derived thyroid hormone (both T3 & T4) can be compounded by a qualified compounding pharmacist. Only bio-identical TRT can be delivered transdermally or sublingually. Synthetics and glandulars must be taken orally.
Focusing on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis is crucial in lowering the damaging anti-thyroid antibodies. I specially formulated amino acids to enhance hypothalamic communication and have found that the antithyroid antibodies lower much more rapidly with Sacred Seven® amino acids than with TRT alone. In some cases of thyroiditis with normal thyroid hormone production and elevated antithyroid antibodies, I have found the Sacred Seven® amino acids alone to be highly effective.
Thyroid function needs to be assessed every three months once therapy is initiated. A full blood panel would include: TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, antithyroglobulin antibodies, and antithyroid peroxidase antibodies. It takes years to reverse high levels of antithyroid antibodies. Even if the TSH and free thyroid hormone levels normalize, patients often continue to feel hypothyroid symptoms (fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation) until the antithyroid antibodies are under control. Sacred Seven® amino acids support hypothalamic functioning and hastens the reduction of antithyroid antibodies to normal levels.
What might be the root cause of thyroiditis?
- Bio-chemical — the endocrine system is intimately orchestrated with the neuro-immune system. No gland functions on its own. Hormones work together. Thyroid function is highly dependent on healthy adrenal and pancreatic function. The hypothalamus which is the maestro of the entire neuro-immune-endocrine system produces master hormones that orchestrate the symphony of hormones in the body. It is the hypothalamus that tells the pituitary gland what to do. One hypothalamic hormone called proopiomelanocortin (POMC) breaks down into the thyroid releasing factor which controls the pituitary production of thyroid-stimulating hormone. POMC also controls the adrenals, glucose metabolism, and endorphin production. Sex steroids can also influence thyroid function and thyroid hormones in turn influence ovarian and testicular function.
Since the thyroid does not function alone, supporting the entire endocrine system while treating thyroiditis is crucial. A healthy diet rich in essential fats (avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, flaxseed) helps to enhance cell membrane function so that thyroid hormone either naturally produced or as replacement therapy can get into the cell. Daily consumption of a colorful array of fruits and vegetables provides necessary antioxidants to help detoxify the effect of antithyroid antibodies. Sea vegetables provide necessary iodine and other trace minerals to enhance thyroid hormone production.
Genesis Gold® helps support endocrine function, is rich in sea vegetables, and includes the necessary amino acids to enhance hypothalamic communication.
- Environmental — toxins have long been implicated as causal factors in autoimmune disease. Viral invasion is thought to be the cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but functional medicine has discovered heavy metal and pesticide toxicity to play a major role in thyroiditis.
In the most difficult cases where antithyroid antibodies are not responding to TRT, amino acid and nutritional support, then heavy metal toxicity should be ruled out. The gold standard test is a provoked 24-hour urine analysis. Hair analysis only reflects the past 6-8 weeks of exposure and blood analysis only reflects the past 92 hours of heavy metal exposure. Chronic long term exposure, childhood exposure or even intrauterine exposure can be most accurately assessed by using a chelating agent (the gold standard is DMSA) to pull the heavy metals from the tissues for the kidneys to clear through the urine. Alpha-lipoic acid can help protect the brain from reuptake of heavy metals during chelation.
- Psycho-spiritual — belief becomes. The thyroid lies in the fifth chakra, the place of speaking your truth. Many patients have difficulty expressing themselves and the thyroid becomes dysfunctional after years of not speaking their truth. Autoimmune thyroiditis is a rejection of self. Healing begins by acknowledging the power of the throat chakra, opening up to expressing oneself honestly, and having compassion for self.
One of the many benefits of using Genesis Gold® is that by supporting the entire neuro-immune-endocrine system, awareness of the emotional facets of thyroiditis become clear. How you are expressing yourself and when you first felt like it wasn’t safe to speak your truth become clear. It’s as if you become a compassionate observer of yourself and that is when the deepest level of healing begins. Genesis Gold® upregulates your genetic potential. You were not born with thyroiditis, so somewhere in your DNA is a healthy you.*
I am so grateful that Genesis Gold® supports healing at the biological, psychological and spiritual levels. In conjunction with Sacred Seven® amino acids, Genesis Gold® hastens healing of thyroiditis.*
May your Hormones be in Harmony,
Deborah Maragopoulos MN FNP
Intuitive Integrative Health
*Statements not evaluated by the FDA