Calming the Autoantibody Attack in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Is it possible to calm the immune system and stop the onslaught of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
Some people believe that it is possible to calm the immune system and stop Hashimotos' thyroiditis.
I'm not an expert on this and my reading on this area has been fairly patchy. However, for those that want to investigate this area more then I'll mention a few strategies that are talked about a great deal. These may be the starting point for those that want to find out more about reducing the TPO and Tg autoantibodies that are raised in Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Strategies Believed to Calm the Immune System in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
For a thyroid gland that is under attack by TPO and Tg autoantibodies then ensuring that the right thyroid treatment is in place and the patient is not hypothyroid in terms of FT3 and symptoms/signs is a good starting place.
The right thyroid hormone treatment will not be effective if cortisol levels are low. Consequently testing cortisol with a 24-hour adrenal saliva test and correcting low cortisol is essential. Many of my blog posts and parts of the 'Recovering with T3' book is concerned with the need for healthy adrenal output of cortisol and the use of the CT3M when necessary, so I will say no more about this subject here.
Vitamin D3 supplementation has been shown to be helpful in reducing the autoimmune attack in Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Vitamin D levels can be tested with a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. Supplementation with vitamin D3 is essential if vitamin D is low. Supplementation with 5000 IUs of vitamin D3 may make sense even if vitamin D levels are within range. Some doctors recommend higher doses of vitamin D3 but it is important to take medical advice on vitamin D3 supplementation (especially if a patient has kidney issues as vitamin D can cause further kidney damage).
If iron levels are low this will put stress on the processing of thyroid hormones, so iron should be properly tested and supplemented if it is not at a healthy level.
Vitamin B12 and folate should also be tested as if these are low this will also create stress on the body and impair thyroid hormone action.
Magnesium is often low in thyroid patients and is very important to thyroid hormone metabolism. Ensuring magnesium levels are optimal is thought to be important in avoiding autoimmune disease.
Good dietary intake or supplementation with B vitamins, vitamin C and other minerals is also important.
Gluten is known to be a factor in the development of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This is a massive topic in itself but one of the strategies that many thyroid patients adopt is to go gluten free. This and many other relevant topics may be found Datis Kharrazian's excellent book 'Why do I still have symptoms when my lab tests are normal?'. More information on his book and work may be found on http://www.thyroidbook.com/.
I have already written a blog post on the links between gut health and the thyroid: http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/thyroid-hormones-and-gut. Healing the gut may be a necessary part of recovery from Hashimoto's thyroiditis if the gut is compromised. Simply avoiding gluten may not be enough to repair the gut integrity and regain a healthy balance of good and bad gut flora. Dietary changes, probiotics, and detoxifying may also be necessary to repair a leaky gut and restore the natural detoxifying system. The Gaps diet is one method of achieving this. For more information on this consider reading 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome' by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.
Iodine therapy is thought to be important in detoxifying the body, particularly if iodine levels are low or halide (like bromide) levels are elevated. For more information on iodine therapy consider reading 'Iodine why you need it' by Dr. David Brownstein. There are many articles on the Internet about iodine also. Some well known and useful links are:
Low dose naltexone (LDN) is a drug that is known to modulate the immune system. Many thyroid patients have had good results with LDN and have seen their TPO and Tg autoantibodies reduce significantly (these are the two main Hashimoto's autoantibodies).
I have already written a blog post on LDN and here is the link: http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/could-low-dose-naltrexone-ldn-be-silver...
This blog post is just a menu of potential options that thyroid patients may wish to investigate further themselves. My own focus has always been on the effective and safe use of T3 and on the circadian T3 method (CT3M). My own antibody levels fell through the use of T3-only to both correct cellular thyroid hormone levels and cortisol. Investigating techniques that may be helpful in calming down the immune system has not been an area I have spent a lot of time looking into. However, I think the above may provide some readers with a starting point for their own investigations.