Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s and Auto-Immune Thyroid

An estimated 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid related illnesses, the majority of them women.  Yet thyroid related illnesses are more often than not ill-diagnosed, and there is much about their treatment that bears greater clarification and study, especially in the frequently undiagnosed Hashimoto’s patient.  The most recent science emphasizes the root cause of thyroid related illnesses as being environmental factors, particularly infectious disorders.  Though this science has been in the literature since the 1940’s, the full concept is only now re-emerging and being utilized successfully in modern clinical models.

It is generally accepted that thyroid auto-antibodies, thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase (rarely assessed in standard thyroid panels) reflect disease activity and progression and are valuable in disease prediction and the classification of Hashimoto’s (if you have been diagnosed as hypothyroid there is about a 90% chance it is actually Hashimoto’s autoimmune response or disease) and Graves disease.  While most clinicians rely on antibody levels and elevations in thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), they give little attention to the factors involved in thyroid auto-immunities and most hypothyroid conditions.  Researchers and clinicians should be asking the question “Why does the human body react to its own antigens resulting in the production of potentially harmful auto-antibodies?” (causing the body to attack itself).  This event may be caused by environmental factors (ie bacterial or viral infections), toxic chemicals binding to human tissues, and/or neurologic imbalances causing modification of the body’s immune system allowing the body to attack its own tissues.  The thyroid is the most vulnerable tissue, by far, to these “autoimmune” attacks.

The basics of thyroid gland and thyroid metabolic physiology must be understood to clinically assess thyroid dysfunction and management.  Rarely does this occur in today’s five minute clinical doctor visit world and with the insufficient thyroid panels that have become “standard”.  Since the thyroid gland is connected to many “dots” including gastrointestinal dysfunction, adrenal hormone metabolism, stomach acid production, brain chemistry changes, and liver detoxification, its dysfunction can contribute to clinical manifestations throughout the body.  These must all be assessed.  A basic understanding of the immune system function is a critical first step in managing thyroid disorders.  The immune system must be addressed and supported along with the thyroid to successfully manage Hashimoto’s, prevent future autoimmune diseases and enjoy a better quality of life.

Proper thyroid management should also include identifying the six main patterns of low thyroid function (of which only one requires medication), using blood tests.  By understanding the functional blood chemistry panels the clinicians can assess and support the myriad of thyroid disorders confounding his patients often using only natural medicine and dietary changes.

When all of the clinical “dots” are connected and given the proper attention, and are addressed efficiently, the “thyroid” suffering patients lives can often be changed for the better.

References

Kharrazian, Datis, DHSC, DC, MS “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism”, Morgan James Publishing, February 2010

Vojdani, Aristo, PHD, MSC, MT, “Antibodies As Predicators of Autoimmune Diseases and Cancers”, Expert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics, June 2008 593-605

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