Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism where the thyroid function is affected due to autoimmune condition.
Nearly 90% of disorders related to hypothyroid condition are caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis only. The lesser known but true fact about the condition is it is not curable.
You can just keep the symptoms under control. Despite treating the symptoms, flare ups occur making it difficult to deal with them. Here are some considerations on the flare up symptoms and dealing with them.
Autoimmune factor in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism that exhibits symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, constipation, poor memory, joint pain, unexplained infertility and more. When you have hypothyroid condition that is not controlled by the usual medication it also indicates presence of autoimmune factor.
If tested, you will find a high level of anti-thyroid antibodies. These antibodies launch a severe attack on the thyroid leading to the symptoms.
A 2009 study published in American Journal of medicine indicates that autoimmune disorders have a tendency to coexist in an individual and also have a hereditary influence. Thus it is necessary to treat the autoimmune factor behind the thyroid condition rather than just treating the hypothyroidism with drugs such as synthroid and others.
However in euthyroid Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, treatment with L-Thyroxine (LT4) helps to decrease the levels of auto antibodies and goiter size. A study published in 2005 in Endocrine Journal suggests that L-thyroxin can diminish the incidence of the disease and also alleviate its symptoms.
The study indicates that early treatment can slow down the disease process and also influence other coexisting autoimmune diseases.
About flare ups in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
A flare up indicates a sudden increase in the activity of a disease resulting in worsening of the already existing symptoms of the disease and also a spike in the lab results.
Insomnia, fatigue, body ache, digestive symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, constipation, gas or bloating, mental haze, headache, numbness in the legs and arms, dizziness, anxiety and depression are some of the symptoms seen in a flare up.
Dealing with flare ups
The important thing about these flare ups is that the thyroid hormone levels will be normal. Most often no specific treatment is prescribed with normal thyroid measurements. However since the flare ups are triggered by the autoimmune reaction, better relief occurs when the treatment focuses on controlling the autoimmune reaction, according to studies on Thyroid Advisor.
While the 2005 study does indicate that L-Thyroxine is effective in alleviating symptoms and disease activity, it is not effective for the flare ups. The flareups occur because the treatment does not address the root cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
A research paper by Sarah Woody indicates that the flare ups can be treated by dietary intervention. The paper suggests using an Autoimmune Protocol.
With this protocol gut inflammation is reduced and digestive health restored. The thyroid condition and autoimmune disorder are also addressed effectively.
Dietary Changes For Better Thyroid Health
By restricting gluten rich foods and foods such as eggs, dairy, nuts, grains and legumes can help diminish the autoimmune reaction. The foods help in reducing the intake of medications for thyroid disease but care should be taken to adhere to the dietary restrictions permanently for long-lasting cure.
The effect of gluten free diet on Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is significant. Since pituitary gland also plays a vital role in controlling thyroid and immunity, it has to be taken into consideration while taking up a treatment plan.
Dietary intervention has a holistic approach that is by far most effective in treating the flare ups.
Other treatment options
There are other ways that can be followed to reduce the intensity of the flare up symptoms like prioritizing your work and allowing more rest and relaxation time in your daily routine and eating nutrient dense meals that are according to the auto immune protocol diet.
These measures will help you combat the stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression symptoms commonly seen in the flare ups. The dietary changes will help to keep the digestive conditions such as constipation, bloating, gas etc.under control.
With Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you need a multipronged approach to combat the thyroid hormone levels and underlying autoimmune condition. Replenishing thyroid hormones to get the hormone levels back to normal is only sufficient to temporarily stop the symptoms.
If you want to avoid flare-ups or diminish their intensity, it is necessary to consider making changes in the diet along with medications. A diet free of gluten can help reduce intensity of the flare up symptoms. When introduced early on, the dietary changes can produce very good results.
In addition to adding gluten free foods, you should also avoid foods such as rice, sesame, corn etc. which trigger a reaction similar to gluten foods. Adhering to Paleo diet can help avoid all the foods that trigger the autoimmune factor in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Probiotics, Omega –3 foods, aloe and licorice are ideal to help heal the inflamed gut tissues, which are behind the autoimmune reaction.
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