Hashimoto’s and Functional Medicine

a health checkupHashimoto’s thyroiditis, or simply Hashimoto’s, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in America. It is also called also as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, it can be a debilitating condition that develops over time. But it can be treated using traditional and alternative approaches, e.g. functional medicine. Many specialty clinics or centers cater to the latter.

A wellness center in Las Vegas such as RedRiver Health and Wellness Center, for example, may focus on treating conditions using the functional approach or specifically treat endocrine diseases.

Autoimmune disorder

Research shows that Hashimoto’s is genetic. As an autoimmune disorder, the condition occurs when antibodies attack the thyroid gland leading to chronic inflammation. As the thyroid gland is impaired in producing hormones (thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH), it declines in function resulting in an underactive thyroid, i.e. hypothyroidism. The disorder often affects middle-aged women, but it can affect men and children too.

There are no unique symptoms of Hashimoto’s. But symptoms may include fatigue, constipation, and weight gain. There could also be signs of sensitivity to cold, dry skin, and muscle pain. Other symptoms are depression, decreased exercise tolerance, and irregular menstruation.

Functional medicine approach

Functional medicine, unlike traditional approaches, does not offer treatments through drugs or surgery. It aims to examine why a symptom occurs, focusing on that symptom instead. With Hashimoto’s, it helps by looking at how the disease developed over time. It does not treat the disease (or any other disease) generally since people can have different reasons for the same symptoms.

As such, functional medicine searches for common causes like autoimmunity, food intolerances (e.g. gluten), low or high blood sugar, and bacterial or yeast overgrowth in the intestines. As with autoimmunity, Hashimoto’s is caused by thyroid autoimmunity, which leads to high TSH.

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For wellness patients, expect a functional medicine approach to treatment in addressing each factor, depending on your case. You will be advised on how to manage your disease, lower your TSH, and eliminate thyroid symptoms.