Note: The text below is a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
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Okay, the question is medication for Hashimoto’s. There’s no medication specifically for Hashimoto’s. There are medications in and around Hashimoto’s, so I’ll go with that. The number one medication that is used, mostly by alternative functional medicine practitioners, is low dose naltrexone. Low dose naltrexone goes in, dampens the inflammation, creates an effect in your system that increases your endorphins, makes you feel better. That can dampen immune responses by just calming that whole system down. It’s a favorite for alternative medical doctors. I tried it. For those of you who don’t know, I have Hashimoto’s. I tried it years ago. I think it made me feel better, but it gave me horrible nightmares and horrible dreams. And I hear that a lot. I’ve heard that a lot from people who take it. That’s number one. That’s not for Hashimoto’s. In fact, it’s a drug that was developed for a whole different thing.
They just happen to see what happened. It’s really more like a dampening, increasing endorphins. None of these drugs are made for Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is a thyroid problem. The drug for Hashimoto’s is take a thyroid medication, especially in the mental world, basically their whole solution. We’ll come back to that in a second. If there were a drug for Hashimoto’s, it would be the one that’s already there for autoimmune problems. If you’re watching this and you have rheumatoid arthritis, or you have lupus or you have Sjogren’s or you have irritable bowel syndrome, not irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or something like that, that’s autoimmune. What do they give you? They give you a steroid. Because why? Because it decreases and ultimately dampens and maybe even crushes the immune system. It comes with its whole set of side effects, which I don’t have to go into.
A lot of you’re going, “Ah, I don’t want to take a steroid for the rest of my life.” And you’d be right. I don’t know that it would ever reach the level of taking an immunoglobulin therapy, which is another therapy for autoimmunity. But, the point is Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune problem. It’s not primarily a thyroid problem. Somebody can go, “It’s a thyroid problem.” Is lupus a primarily a skin problem? Is rheumatoid arthritis primarily a joint tissue problem? No, they’re primarily autoimmune problems. That’s why they give you steroids to dampen the immune inflammation.
It’s the same thing with the thyroid. I’ve had patients that have come in and said, “One more thing I wanted to ask you.” As I was doing their history, it’s like, “I had this thing happen to me and they gave me steroids for 10 days and I felt enormously better. All had my anxiety went, my heart palpitations went.” And I said, “Yeah, because for 10 days your immune system was put out of commission. It couldn’t flare up and attack you.”
From that perspective, and I’m not suggesting you do this by the way, but from that perspective, anti-inflammatories, steroids would be more appropriate because they would be dampening immune inflammation, which in turn would attack your thyroid. Or if you had Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and all these other things, it would, in turn, dampen immune responses to all of them. To all of them. Those are drugs that would probably be appropriate, at least short term, for an autoimmune thyroid disease. But, there is no drug for autoimmune thyroid disease. And let me just say one thing about thyroid medication. I take thyroid medication. I take levothyroxine and I take liothyronine.
I know a lot of you out there go, “No, I’ll never take a drug. I’ll never take a drug.” For thyroid, it’s a little different. Once you get everything calmed down and under control by figuring out what your triggers are and your irritable bowel syndrome under control and dampening your anxiety, all the things that flare up immune responses against self tissue, in your particular case, Hashimoto’s. Now your numbers become usable. Your thyroid TSH and your T43 become usable because they’re not being affected by all that.
And you still have hypothyroid, the medication, the proper, the right drug, because some people react natural. Some people do better natural. Some people react to levothyroxine. Some people do better than that. Some people can’t take synthroid. Once you find the right medication for you, it is better long term. It keeps your thyroid more stable. Why is that?
Because the T4 hormone that’s in several of the medications, whether it’s synthetic or whether it’s natural, and the T3 hormone in the natural, they’re steroids. What did I just say? I said they’re steroids, might be a good thing. They’re steroids on a much lower level. They’re not going to crush your whole immune system. They’re going to go in and they’re going to dampen inflammation in areas that are going to be very intimate to your thyroid and your thyroid biochemistry. And it’s going to help those areas to stay more under control and have a much more difficult time of becoming inflamed long term.
I didn’t come to this determination at all. I go to symposiums on this all the time. And this data started coming out about six years ago. I want to say five or six years ago, maybe even four. But it was somewhere in there, that this data started coming out. If you can, start your patients off with thyroid hormone. For those of you who are on thyroid hormone and you’re getting treated by an alternative practitioner, stay on it. For those of you who are not, it can be a real crapshoot trying to find a doctor who will find the right medication for you, especially at the right dose in the beginning. And I don’t have patients do that. If they’re not on thyroid hormone when they come in here, I treat them without it, and then at the end we test. If it’s appropriate, then I refer them for proper thyroid hormone treatment. That’s the skinny on medications and Hashimoto’s.