Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroid, which is the slowing down of thyroid function. This is an autoimmune condition, which means that the immune system is inappropriately attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland creating inflammation and cellular death.
Early Hashimoto’s can present with hyperthyroid symptoms such as:
- weight loss
- rapid heart rate
- (among other symptoms)
However as the immune system attacks and damages the thyroid tissue symptoms and function move into a hypothyroid picture:
- weight gain
- feeling cold
- hair loss
Hashimoto’s disease is typically treated by correcting thyroid hormone levels with prescription hormone support, however many people are able to reduce their thyroid prescription requirements when the underlying immune attack on the thyroid is managed. There is also a strong interconnectedness between the thyroid and adrenal glands and gonads (ovaries or testes) and therefore imbalances in these hormones can create dysfunction in the systems governed by the thyroid – namely metabolism and energy.
It is important when being assessed or treated for thyroid dysfunction that a comprehensive hormone panel be done regularly. This can include testing for:
- thyroid hormones T3 and T4 as well as TSH
- thyroid antibodies such as anti-TPO and anti-TG
- sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone
- adrenal hormones including a 4-point cortisol assessment to determine if the adrenal glands are producing cortisol at appropriate levels throughout the day
Ultimately it is important to recognize that each person may require a slightly different treatment approach to optimize thyroid function- this is why we work with you to determine a personalized approach to find your optimal health!