Hasimoto's & Thyroid Autoimmunity

Despite what the Internet tells you, there is not a one-size-fits-all Hashimoto’s diet.

If you’re tempted to do another elimination diet to help your autoimmune thyroid situation, let me be the voice of reason for you: Autoimmunity lasts forever. I know, that sounds really scary. However, if you’re going to have something forever, it is important that the way you eat is a sustainable diet that you can follow… forever!! The second important fact to note about autoimmune management with diet is that much of the immune system involved in thyroid autoimmunity is adaptive. It is actually called the Adaptive Immune System. This is GREAT news because it means we have some control!
Let’s back up a little: The thyroid gland sits at the base of your neck and is responsible for the production of hormones that help to regulate your metabolism. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the body attacking its own thyroid tissue. The result is hypothyroidism, or low functioning thyroid and low thyroid hormone output, which not only slows down your metabolism, but can have downstream negative implications on your brain, gut, and heart.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroid among women in America and is 7 times more common in women than in men. This can be identified on a full thyroid panel by looking to see if thyroid antibodies are present. Typical dietary management here include elimination of gluten and other food sensitivities, repletion of nutrients that play a role in thyroid hormone production, and controlling the confused immune system.

The Functional Medicine philosophy in the development of chronic conditions, like autoimmunity, begin in the gut. While you may have a genetic predisposition to something, which is like having a loaded gun, whether or not you pull the trigger of that genetic gun depends largely upon lifestyle factors (toxin exposure, stress, food choices) as well as the level of gut permeability (or “Leaky Gut”) you may have. We can’t change your genetics, but together we can manage your diet, lifestyle, and gut integrity to manage your autoimmune disease!

An autoimmune reaction can be occurring long before it is reflected in a high TSH value and it is important to catch the imbalance before too much tissue destruction has occurred. Common medical logic is that if autoimmunity is an issue, your thyroid will eventually be subject to enough destruction due to your body’s production of antibodies against its own tissue that TSH levels will elevate. So, only TSH is evaluated and not other important areas of thyroid function. Then, typically, thyroid hormone replacement is prescribed without addressing root cause of the dysfunction– autoimmunity.

You can have elevated antibodies with normal TSH levels.

Because there are so many factors that can influence TSH, I work alongside clients to get expanded panels to determine where in their Thyroid Hormone Journey there may be kinks in the system. TSH doesn’t show the full picture of what is going on!

Symptoms of Low Thyroid Include:

What are the Suggested Lab Tests?

Here are ways I can help!