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Is Thyroid Disease An Autoimmune Disease

How Is Thyroiditis Treated

Understanding Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

How thyroiditis is treated depends on the type, symptoms, and phase of thyroiditis.

  • Thyrotoxic phase: Usually temporary, it will eventually either recover and go to the euthyroid phase, or go to the hypothyroid phase. This hypothyroid phase could be temporary or permanent. It may not be necessary to treat symptoms in subacute, painless, or post-partum thyroiditis. During the thyrotoxic phase, treatment is symptomatic. Antithyroid medications are rarely needed.
  • Palpitations/anxiety/tremors/heat intolerance/increased sweating: These symptoms are treated with beta blockers.
  • Thyroidal pain: The pain can usually be managed with anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If the pain is severe enough, steroid therapy may be required .
  • In other forms, treating the infection will be necessary to eliminate acute thyroiditis. Drug-induced thyroiditis generally lasts as long as the drugs are taken.
  • Hypothyroid phase: If necessary, thyroid hormone replacement therapy is used to treat hypothyroidism. This type of therapy usually continues for 6 to 12 months. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis usually causes permanent hypothyroidism and requires continued treatment.

Is Hypothyroidism An Autoimmune Disease

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the neck, is responsible for producing thyroid hormones that keep our body running smoothly.

Thyroid hormone is responsible for increasing cellular activity throughout our entire body. It also regulates critical bodily functions, including our heart rate, breathing, menstrual cycles, body temperature, weight, and metabolism .

It does all of this by using the iodine in the foods we eat to produce two key hormones: triiodothyronine and thyroxine .

Hypothyroidism is the term used to describe a thyroid gland that is underactive and unable to produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the bodys needs.

An inadequate supply of thyroid hormones can produce many undesirable symptoms, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Causes And Risk Factors

The major cause of Hashimotos thyroiditis is thought to be genetic involvement. Other contributing; factors include heredity, sex and age. Hashimotos thyroiditis affects more women than men. The higher incidence is found correlatively in people with increasing age. However, it can also strike children and teenagers. Hashimotos disease often runs in families. The risk of getting disease is higher if a person has had other autoimmune diseases.

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Avoid Heavy Exercise In The Beginning

Many docs will tell you you just need to do more exercise. ;No. ;For people with Hashimotos, intense exercise may be really bad. ;It can cause swelling and a lot of water retention. ;The reason intense workouts might not be the answer is because many people with Hashimotos suffer from adrenal fatigue. ;Your cortisol production is unbalanced and your body needs rest when you have adrenal fatigue.

Sure, daily walks are fine and light weights for 10-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week is okay. ;But I dont suggest any more than that. ;I made the mistake of partaking in heavy exercise before my wedding in 2016. ;I was so bloated, you can clearly see the inflammation on my face in the photos. ;And for years before that, I never understood why it took me three days to recover from a good run. ;In mid 2017 when I finally started AIP, I waited 4 months before I even went to the gym. ;Just lots of sleep, low stress and a very clean diet. ;I could feel the transformation. ;I started hitting the gym in January of 18. ;Over the course of two to three months, I took off 12lbs that had been plaguing me plus a whole lot of inflammation. ;It looked like I had lost 20lbs.

Note: ;If you are one of those people who must use thyroid hormone to supplement via Natural Desiccated Thyroid, proper adrenal function is one of the keys to the hormone working. ;If your iron or cortisol is lacking, NDT will not work well for you.

What Is Hashimotos Disease

Tips for Supporting Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Hashimotos disease is an autoimmune disorder;that can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. Rarely, the disease can cause hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland;in the front of your neck. In people with Hashimotos disease

  • the immune system;makes antibodies;that attack the thyroid gland
  • large numbers of white blood cells, which are part of the immune system, build up in the thyroid
  • the thyroid becomes damaged and cant make enough thyroid hormones

Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your bodyeven the way your heart beats.

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Different Types Of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Falk: What on earth is autoimmune thyroid disease?

Kirk: Autoimmune thyroid disease is a complex term. Its not really one disease. Its rather a term that refers to a number of different ways that the immune system could affect the thyroid gland.

Falk: Where is the thyroid?

Kirk: The thyroid is on the base of the neck in the midline, so if you were to take your fingers and press right at the bottom of the neck, you probably wouldnt feel it because most thyroid glands are difficult to feel. Its about 4 centimeters tall on either sideits the shape of a butterfly, we like to say. Thats where its located.

Falk: So that organwhat is the thyroid supposed to do in the first place?

Kirk: The thyroid does a lot of things. It produces thyroid hormones. These hormones affect essentially every cell in the body. A simple way to think about what thyroid hormone does, is it is a contributor to metabolism and activity so it may rev up the system, so to speak. If its produced in appropriate quantities it keeps many organs and systems in equilibrium.

Falk: So if your thyroid is overworking or hyperactive, how do you feel?

Kirk: If your thyroid is overactive or if youre producing too much thyroid hormone you may lose weight without meaning to, you may be very hot, you may be sweaty, anxious, or have tremors that you or others may notice. We often hear people say that they have rapid heartbeat or fluttering sensation which we refer to as palpitations.

What Causes Hashimotos Disease

Researchers dont know why some people develop Hashimotos disease, but a family history of thyroid disease is common. Several factors may play a role, including2

Hypothyroidism can also be caused by

  • some medicines used to treat bipolar disorder or other mental health problems
  • iodine-containing medicines used to treat abnormal heart rhythm
  • exposure to toxins, such as nuclear radiation

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What Causes Graves’ Disease

Graves disease is triggered by a process in the bodys immune system, which normally protects us from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. The immune system destroys foreign invaders with substances called antibodies produced by blood cells known as lymphocytes. Sometimes the immune system can be tricked into making antibodies that cross-react with proteins on our own cells. In many cases these antibodies can cause destruction of those cells. In Graves disease these antibodies or thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins do the opposite they cause the cells to work overtime. The antibodies in Graves disease bind to receptors on the surface of thyroid cells and stimulate those cells to overproduce and release thyroid hormones. This results in an overactive thyroid .

Who Is More Likely To Have Hashimotos Disease

Celiac Disease and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Hashimotos disease is 4 to 10 times more common in women than men.2 Although the disease may occur in teens or young women, it more often develops in women ages 30 to 50.3 Your chance of developing Hashimotos disease increases if other family members have the disease.

You are more likely to develop Hashimotos disease if you have other autoimmune disorders, including4

  • celiac disease, a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine
  • lupus, a chronic, or long-term, disorder that can affect many parts of the body
  • rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder that affects the joints
  • Sjögrens syndrome, a disease that causes dry eyes and mouth
  • type 1 diabetes, a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high

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How Is Autoimmune Disease Diagnosed And Treated

Autoimmune disease diagnosis and treatment depends on the disease. The diagnosis process typically includes a clinical examination, family history, and blood tests as a starting point. Blood tests may measure key functions of organs that are targeted, but the key measures typically are evaluations of antibody levels, and markers and measures of inflammation and inflammatory responses in the body.

In some cases, imaging tests may be performed, such as X-rays to assess joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis, or an MRI to look for brain lesions in multiple sclerosis. In some cases, biopsies may be needed to differentiate benign from cancerous lesions, cysts, nodules, or masses, or may help further detect antibodies that are not evident from blood test but are present in organs or glands.

Treatment of autoimmune diseases frequently targets reduction of the inflammation, relief of related symptoms, and rebalancing of any affected hormones. In the cases of the more debilitating autoimmune diseases, modulation of the immune system to slow the rate of permanent damage to organs and tissues may be an important part of treatment.

Are There Risk Factors That Increase Your Chances Of Having Thyroid Problems

Females are more likely to have a thyroid-related disease than males but other factors may increase the risk of thyroid problems. These include a family history of thyroid disease, having an autoimmune condition such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, ingesting excessive iodine , age older than 60, and having had a thyroid issue or thyroid cancer in the past.

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How Is Hashimotos Disease Diagnosed

First, your healthcare provider will take your medical history and perform a physical exam. He or she will feel your thyroid gland to determine if it is enlarged. Blood tests are also ordered. These include:

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone test: A high TSH level most commonly means the thyroid gland is not producing enough T4 hormone. This lab is usually most consistent with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism.
  • Free T4 test: A low T4 level suggests that the person has hypothyroidism.
  • Antithyroid antibody test: Presence of antibodies indicates a higher risk of developing Hashimotos hypothyroidism.

The most common imaging test that may be ordered is an ultrasound of your thyroid gland. The ultrasound shows the size and appearance of the thyroid and if there are any nodules or growths in your neck area.

What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroiditis

(PDF) Autoimmune thyroid disordersâAn update

The symptoms of thyroiditis depend on the type of thyroiditis and phase of thyroiditis.

  • Hyperthyroid phase: Usually short lasting If cells are damaged quickly and there is a leak of excess thyroid hormone, you might show symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as:
  • Being worried
  • Increased sweating and heat intolerance
  • Anxiety and nervousness

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Apple Cider Vinegar For Thyroid

This fermented drink is known to provide a solution for almost every ailment. It is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial agent that houses several other properties, making it a potent solution to deal with several ailments.

Why does it work?

There are numerous publications and studies that have been conducted and are being conducted on the efficacy of apple cider vinegar for thyroid implications. However, ;the relation between hypothyroidism and apple cider vinegar is complex to understand.

It is to be noted that apple cider vinegar may not bear any direct effect on the thyroid implications. However, it does bear major implications on the symptoms caused by this disease.

It effectively helps in alleviating inflammation caused due to hypothyroidism, it helps in fighting the obesity that could be a direct implication of hyperthyroidism. Additionally, it also helps increase stomach absorption, thereby helping in the increased vitamin and mineral uptake by the stomach.

How to use?

Procedure:
  • Set a cup of water to boil in a saucepan.
  • Chop an inch of fresh and juicy ginger into pieces. Grind the slices of ginger to extract the ginger juice.
  • Add a teaspoon each of the ginger juice and ginger bits to the water in the saucepan and boil for a few more minutes.
  • Take the ginger tea off the flame and add 2-3 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar to it. Stir well to prepare an evenly dissolved solution.

How much to use?

Symptoms Of Hashimotos Disease

Hashimotos disease progresses very slowly over many years, so the symptoms may go unnoticed. The symptoms and signs vary depending on individual factors including the severity of the condition, but may include:

  • Unrelenting fatigue
  • Stiff and tender joints, particularly in the hands, feet and knees
  • Cognitive changes, such as depression or forgetfulness
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • In women, heavy menstrual bleeding .

Sometimes Hashimotos disease does not cause any noticeable symptoms. The condition may be discovered during investigations for other, perhaps unrelated, medical problems.

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Is Hashimotos Disease Dangerous Or Fatal

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to some serious complications and, in rare cases, death. These include:

  • Heart problems, such as enlarged heart or heart failure.
  • Mental health issues, including depression.
  • Myxedema coma, which needs immediate emergency care. Myxedema is a rare, life-threatening condition that can lead to heart failure, seizures, coma and death.

Genetic Basis Of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

What The Symptoms For Low Thyroid & Autoimmune Disorder Are

Autoimmune thyroid disease susceptibility genes have been identified. They can be divided into immune-modulating genes and thyroid-specific genes.

The autoimmune polyglandular syndromes are a group of diseases characterized by the presence of a combination of multiple autoimmune disorders. AITD occurs frequently in these patients. APS-1 also called autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy is a rare monogenic disease caused by mutations in the autoimmune regulator gene. APS-2 is the most common APS, a combination of Addison’s disease with either AITD or type 1 diabetes mellitus and its inheritance is complex with multiple loci involved .

Matthew Kim, Paul Ladenson, in, 2012

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Eastern Perspectives On Acupuncture For Hashimotos Disease

Traditional Chinese medicine also sees acupuncture as a powerful natural approach to managing Hashimotos. But, unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine looks at the bigger picture of how this therapy restores balance to the body. Here are a few reasons why acupuncture can help Hashimotos based on Chinese medicine:

Acupuncture clears heat

As we saw above, acupuncture is a natural anti-inflammatory. While researchers are now discovering these effects, ancient Chinese medicine doctors knew that acupuncture treatment could release excess heat from the body.

Acupuncture smoothes Liver qi for balanced emotions.

When we repeatedly experience emotions like anger, anxiety, depression, and frustration, tension builds. And when we dont release them properly, the Liver qi is affected. The flow of qi and blood becomes stuck and stagnant, which opens the door for a host of issues.

Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to relieve Liver qi stagnation. It gently relaxes the Liver so it can resume the duty of coursing qi through the body. As a result, stagnation dissipates, circulation improves, and we feel more emotionally balanced.

Acupuncture reduces phlegm build-up.

How Is Graves’ Disease Treated

The treatment of hyperthyroidism is described in detail in the Hyperthyroidism brochure. All hyperthyroid patients should be initially treated with beta-blockers. Treatment options to control Graves disease hyperthyroidism include antithyroid drugs , radioactive iodine and surgery.

Antithyroid medications are typically preferred in patients who have a high likelihood of remission . These medications do not cure Graves hyperthyroidism, but when given in adequate doses are effective in controlling the hyperthyroidism.

If methimazole is chosen, it can be continued for 12-18 months and then discontinued if TSH and TRAb levels are normal at that time. If TRAb levels remain elevated, the chances of remission are much lower and prolonging treatment with antithyroid drugs is safe and may increase chances of remission. Long term treatment of hyperthyroidism with antithyroid drugs may be considered in selected cases.

If your hyperthyroidism due to Graves disease persists after 6 months, then your doctor may recommend definitive treatment with either radioactive iodine or surgery.

If surgery is selected as the treatment modality, the surgery should be performed by a skilled surgeon with expertise in thyroid surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

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Natural Treatment For Hyperthyroidism

Were going to discuss several natural therapies for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and to help manage the symptoms. However, I want to be clear that you shouldnt try to treat hyperthyroidism alone and need to find a clinician to support you.

As a naturopathic physician I am licensed to treat hyperthyroidism and prescribe the medications above, but I still recommend patients also have an experienced endocrinologist as part of their health care team.

What Are The Types Of Thyroiditis

Thyroid disorders
  • Hashimotos thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. This is the most common form of thyroiditis and is around five times more common in women than in men. Hashimotos thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism, and thyroid hormone replacement treatment is needed.
  • Silent thyroiditis or painless thyroiditis: another autoimmune disease caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. It is also common in women and the next common cause after Hashimotos thyroiditis.
  • Post-partum thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies that sometimes occurs shortly after a woman gives birth
  • Radiation-induced thyroiditis: a condition caused by external radiation used as a medical treatment for certain cancers, or by radioactive iodine used to treat hyperthyroidism
  • Subacute thyroiditis or de Quervains thyroiditis: an often painful condition thought to be caused by a virus
  • Acute thyroiditis or suppurative thyroiditis: a relatively rare condition caused by an infectious organism or bacterium
  • Drug-induced thyroiditis: a condition is caused by the use of drugs such as amiodarone, interferons, lithium, and cytokines. It only occurs in a small fraction of patients using the offending drugs, so it is not common in the normal population.

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