Dr. Robert Boydston D.C., of the Boydston Institute, Answers Commonly Asked Questions About The Natural Treatment of Hashimoto's Autoimmune Thyroid
Hashimoto's Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Being the most common presentation of hypothyroidism would suggest that it would have the most effective and refined treatments, given that it is encountered by doctors so often.
Unfortunately this is not the case, it is actually the most mismanaged type of hypothyroidism. Most people who are diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease receive only thyroid hormone replacement, yet continue to suffer with all of the same symptoms. I want to address some of the most common questions I receive about Hashimoto's Disease and help shed some light on what could be going wrong in your case.
1. Should I take iodine supplements if I have Hashimoto's Disease?
Iodine is important for normal thyroid hormone production but in Hashimoto's, supplementing with iodine is like dropping gas on a burning fire. Supplemental iodine will trigger and flare the immune system attack and only make the thyroid problem worse.
2. Should I be taking Vitamin D when I have Hashimoto's Disease?
Vitamin D deficiency is common in Hashimoto's and many other forms of autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is critical for the support of the immune system, specifically regulatory T cells. A simple blood test can help determine whether or not you are deficient in Vitamin D. It is important to have this tested and the proper supplementation dosage be administered.
3. Should I get tested for gluten sensitivity?
The scientific literature shows a high correlation between Hashimoto's disease and gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. With gluten sensitivity the immune system abnormally recognizes the gluten protein as a foreign invader and will try to attack and kill it. This creates systemic inflammation and increases the autoimmune attack on the thyroid.
Note: The blood tests for celiac and gluten sensitivity are notoriously inaccurate. It is recommended to have a stool SIgA test to make a proper determination of whether or not gluten is a problem.
4. Should I take "immune supporting" supplements?
My answer to this question is an emphatic NO!. This is a huge mistake made by patients and doctors alike. Unless you have determined from specific immune testing what your immune system configuration is, these types of supplements should be avoided. You don't want to push the immune system in the wrong way and increase the immune attack on your thyroid gland in a blind attempt to help the immune system. Without being armed with the proper lab testing, immune stimulating supplements are discouraged.
The important thing to remember with Hashimoto's Disease is the immune system is the source of the problem, and finding a doctor trained in looking at the specifics of the immune response, familiar with autoimmune triggers, and trained in the application of natural medicine in relation to the immune system, is your best choice to fully turn down the dimmer on your disease.
If you haven't read our Hashimoto's Recovery Report, that explains how we look at autoimmune thyroid and our natural hashimoto's treatment approach, you can request a free copy by clicking on the link.