You just have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and told by your endocrinologist that there is no treatment, however if your symptoms worsen you can try Levothyroxine. Does it sound familiar to you?
Does it mean you just have to live with it and take medication even though there is no treatment…? I know you may feel confused and overwhelmed at the same time…
In this article:
Let me share with you some good news though. As long as conventional medicine can’t offer you any effective treatment, functional medicine and holistic health practitioners have available natural treatment protocols that works.
I want to reassure you that you have options and healing Hashimotos thyroditis naturally is possible. However, the quicker you act the better chances to reverse it.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition that if left untreated, it will lead to chronic damage of thyroid tissue. Thyroid has ability to repair itself that’s why it’s important to understand what you can do and act now as with the right treatment your thyroid function can certainly return to normal.
Natural Treatment for Hashimoto’s
Natural treatment for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis focuses on two aspects.
- It aims to reduce autoimmune response and
- improve your thyroid function.
I’m going to share with you the most important steps you need to follow in order to address both and how to cure Hashimoto’s thyroditis naturally.
In this article I will explain why levothyroxin ususally doesnt work, cover common root causes of the auto immunity, what is the best diet for thyroid, natural thyroid supplements for hashimotos as well as other natural remedies for hashimotos thyroditis that will support your healing and alleviate your symptoms.
Below are also few other posts that you may be interested in reading:
- How to lower thyroid antibodies naturally
- How to activate your self-healing power hidden in you
- How removing gluten and other triggers can help you with Hashimotos
Why Levothyroxine usually doesn’t work:
Conventional treatment for Hashimoto’s is very limited, the approach is to monitor it and if the Hashimoto’s progresses to hypothyroidism, synthetic hormones are usually recommended. The problem is that waiting till diseases develops to more serious stage doesn’t really solve the problem at all or make you feel better.
Moreover, synthetic T4 hormones (Levothyroxine or Synthroid are commonly prescribed) can only correct your T4 hormones levels but it does not address the autoimmune component of the disease and doesn’t address directly your T3 levels which are more needed for your overall wellbeing. Also, as each medication, it comes with side effects too…
80% people on thyroid medication don’t feel any better for few reasons:
- Synthetic thyroid hormones won’t fix your immune dysfunction (Hashimoto’s)
- Most medication is synthetic T4 which is inactive form and your body to feel good, wake up refreshed in the morning, be full of energy, in a good mood, with glowing skin and hair needs active form which is T3
- Moreover, your thyroid hormones need to enter the cell to do their job. If your cells receptors are unresponsive, you won’t see or feel any improvements
- If you are undereating, under chronic stress or over exercising your body will produce more reverse T3 which will “steal” your active T3 leaving you with all the symptoms. You can read more about it and how to lower reverse T3 here
- Also, if you have problem with converting T4 to T3m no matter how much synthetic T4 hormones you will be taking, you won’t feel any better either as your body needs T3, not T4.
Best natural treatment for Hashimotos Thyroditis:
Functional medicine offers holistic approach and addressed the root cause of an overactive immune system and related thyroid dysfunction, not only symptoms. Addressing the rootcause, appropriate diet in combination with supplements is the best natural treatment for Hashimotos thyroids.
As long as we don’t address underlying issues, the symptoms won’t resolve. It’s like just sticking a plaster on wound. You cover it up but once you take it out, it will start bleeding again.
Alternative medicine looks at the health of your gut, liver and adrenal glands; your level of exposure to toxins and excess oestrogen or hormonal balance in general; as well as the quality of your current diet and lifestyle. How it may contribute to nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar imbalance and stress on the body. In other words, you can reverse Hashimoto’s and correct your under active thyroid once you find the root cause and apply appropriate protocol to correct existing imbalances that are causing dysfunction of your immune system and thyroid.
Natural treatment strategy for hashimotos involves:
- Support thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism
- Regulate immune system
- Reduce thyroid antibodies
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
- Reduce stress and support nervous system and adrenal glands
- Reduce exposure to foods and toxins that inhibit thyroid function
How to find the root cause?
Hashimoto’s doesn’t appear overnight. Some major event or stressors like emotional trauma, pregnancy or severe injury or infection can be a trigger but usually it’s a combination of multiple factors that have been an excess burden for your body for prolonged period of time. Overtime it will lead to immune system dysfunction and will cause your body not being able to recognise what is actual threat and what is not.
Assessing your overall health taking into account your past and your current situation can help to identify where the imbalances are and what is driving your autoimmunity. Additional testing can be extremely helpful too as it helps to get better insight what’s going on inside your body.
What are common root cause and risk factors you should consider?
|Genetics:||There’s a saying that states “Genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger.” Certain genes make you mor prone to certain diseases but not every person with a genetic predisposition will develop an autoimmune condition as our diet and lifestyle has powerful ability to switch off and on diseases genes.|
|Environment:||That can be different for everyone and it’s not only air pollution or contaminated water. Environmental trigger also known as a “stressor” is everything harmful in your external surrounding or in other words “outside your body”. Most common ones are heavy metals, processed foods, pesticides, infections, food sensitivities i.e to gluten or dairy, radiation and electromagnetic field exposure, chronic stress, mold|
|Nutrient deficiencies:||Most common in case of Hashimoto’s is vitamin D and selenium but of course it’s much more to it. The thing is once your body has all the “essential materials“ to build and repair – it will heal itself. The problem starts when our body is deprived of key nutrients over prolonged period of time. Then environmental toxins and chronic stress only speeds up the process and can aggravate the severity of the disease.|
|Gut Health:||Poor gut health is associated with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions for two reasons. 80% of your immune system is in your gut and if your gut lining is compromised it will allow infections, food particles leak to the blood stream causing inflammation and immune response. Moreover, gut dysbiosis is another big drivers of inflammation.|
You may have some genetic predisposition but the major cause are environmental factors and poor gut health.
Hashimoto’s = genetics + environment + nutrient deficiencies + leaky gut
All of these risk factors create a vicious cycle of continually increasing stress on the body. Chronic and prolonged stress depletes nutrients and leads to imbalances and damage of adrenals, gut and liver as well as compromises detoxification and immunity. The cycle continues until the immune system spirals out of control creating chronic inflammation and an overactive immune system – the perfect storm leading to Hashimoto’s.
To summarise, common causes and risk factors are:
- Chronic stress (emotional, physical and social stress) and emotional trauma
- Poor gut health (gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, SIBO)
- Poor digestion and elimination
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Excess use of sugar and alcohol.
- Food intolerances (gluten and dairy sensitivity are most common)
- Menopause, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances
- Heavy metal overload from food, water and environment
- Infections (EBV, H. Pylori, parasites, yeast and fungi overgrowth like candida i.e)
- Chronic blood sugar imbalance, insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Impaired function of liver and adrenals
- Birth control pills and excess use of antibiotics
- Excess exposure to environmental toxins, fluoride and perchlorate in water, mercury and other heavy metals, lithium
- Exposure to radiation/EMF
- Overconsumption of soy products and uncooked “goitrogenic” foods.
What is best diet for Hashimoto’s?
You probably heard that food is medicine and yes appropriate food is one of the best natural cures of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Elimination diet or AIP (the autoimmune paleo diet) are the most common one used in reversing Hashimoto’s. For some people it works for some people it’s not enough. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, as each person is different with individual needs depending on lifestyle, personal story etc. However, there are some basic principles to follow or at least to start with if you are just beginning your healing journey and looking for natural ways to treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis:
- Eliminate trigger foods, especially gluten and dairy
- Reduce sugar, refined carbs and artificial sweeteners
- Increase healthy fats intake including omega 3s and anti-inflammatory spices: ginger, turmeric, rosemary
- Add coconut oil as it’s potent anti-microbial and helps to nourish the gut
- Use bone broth (recipe here)- it has great gut healing properties and is one of the best natural remedies to support your treatment
- Ensure enough fibre and variety of vegetables
- Reduce soy and soy products like soy milk or soy yogurts.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
Diet is big part of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis natural treatment. However our lifestyle and stress is quite often overlooked. As long as reducing your stress exposure or your stress sources may not always be possible or very limited. What you can do is to improve your reaction and stress response. How you react to stressful situation and how quickly are you able to return to relaxed state it’s absolutely fundamental.
What are other known Hashimoto’s thyroiditis natural remedies? Below are some lifestyle- related natural ways that can support your healing journey
- Swap tap water or plastic bottle water to clean filtered water – tap water contains chlorine and fluoride that impair your thyroid function.
- Ensure quality sleep, ideally 8h. During deep sleep your body detoxify and repair.
- Spend at least 30min outdoors a day, best in nature if possible as it can calm your mind and increases your “happy” hormones that support healing.
- Exercise (mix of cardio sessions and resistance training).
- Journal, practice self-awareness, meditation and mindfulness.
Natural thyroid supplements for Hashimoto’s
There are certain basic nutrients that low levels are linked with Hashimoto’s
- Vitamin D
- Vitamins B
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Additionally adaptogenic herbs may be beneficial if you struggle with high levels of stress and appropriate probiotics as balanced gut microbiome helps to regulate immune response in Hashimoto‘s.
With supplements, choosing the right form, dosage and timing is also very important to get the best out of it.
Final thoughts and key takeaway
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is complex autoimmune thyroid condition however there are ways to treat it naturally. Your body can heal itself if only you remove what is harmful and provide with all it needs. To summarise, below there are 5 main steps of Hashimotos natural treatment plan that will help you to break that vicious cycle and feel better
5 steps to reverse Hashimoto’s:
- STEP 0: Find the root cause (look for hidden infections, food intolerances, leaky gut, toxins, mold) and address stress
- STEP 1: Clean up your diet
- STEP 2: Fix your gut & digestion
- STEP 3: Correct nutritional deficiencies to support your thyroid & adrenals
- STEP 4: Optimise your mitochondria and methylation
- STEP 5: Support your liver, eliminations & detoxification pathways
If you are interested in learning more or you have tried things already and it didn’t work, feel free to reach out to me and I would love to help you solve the mystery of your Hashimoto’s 🙂 I help lots of women already so I can do it with you too. Sometimes it may be just one missing bit that you have overlooked, sometimes it may be more complex. The thing is that with the right guidance you will get there faster than on your own.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Gluten Safe to Eat If You Have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
There is strong link between gluten, leaky gut and Hashimoto’s. In general gluten should be avoided when you try to reverse Hashimoto’s naturally. Click here to read more what grains are worst and what better alternatives for Hashimoto's
Does a gluten-free diet help with Hashimoto's disease?
Yes! Excess gluten contributes to leaky gut leading to more inflammation and prevents your body to heal. Some people can see significant improvement with Hashimoto’s just by excluding gluten from the diet. Click here to read more.
How much vitamin D should I take for Hashimoto's
It really depends on your current vitamin D levels so best is to do the test and based on the results determine the right dosage for you. For maintenance during winter months 2000-4000IU is completely safe to take. If you are severely deficients you may even go up to 8000IU short term. If you decide to supplement vitamin D always take it with vitamin K2, magnesium and vitamin A as these are important co factors. Click here to read more about other supplements that can help reverse Hashimoto's naturally
Should you avoid iodine with Hashimoto's?
It really depends. Supplementing iodine without selenium can make Hashimoto's worse but what is worth emphasising that a lot of people with Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism are deficient in iodine. Best and safest way is to do urine iodine test first as iodine from hair tissue mineral analysis may not be that accurate. Click here to read more about iodine and how important it is not only for thyroid but also for breast and ovaries.
Thyroid peroxidase antibody test: What is it?
This test measures the level of thyroid antibodies in your blood. Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) itself is an enzyme normally found in the thyroid gland and it plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones. Click here to read more about anti-TPO and other useful thyroid blood tests that everyone should do
What does it mean if you have thyroid antibodies?
Thyroid antibodies develop when a person’s immune system mistakenly recognises components of the thyroid gland or thyroid proteins as foreign. That can lead to chronic inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis), tissue damage, and disruption of thyroid function.The presence of TPO antibodies in your blood suggests that the cause of thyroid disease is an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto's disease or Graves. The prevalence of thyroid antibodies tends to be higher in women and tends to increase with age. You can read more and how to lower thyroid antibodies naturally here
Can thyroid antibodies go away?
Yes! Part of the natural treatment for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is to reduce thyroid antibodies with appropriate diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. The key is to address the root cause. . You can read more and how to lower thyroid antibodies naturally here
What is the normal range of Anti TPO antibodies test?
Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) test: Less than 9 IU/mL. Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test: Less than 1.75 IU/L. Thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) test: Less than 4 IU/m. Click here to get full list of functional medicine ranges for other thyroid blood markers. They are much narrower than standard ranges used by GP and they will help you to explain why you are feeling certain way even though your results are "within the range" according to standard reference ranges.
What should I do if my antibody TPO test is high?
Finding the root cause of inflammation and elevated TPO antibodies is the first step. There are also certain supplements that help to lower thyroid antibodies.
Selenium and vitamin D supplementation is one of the most common practices to reduce thyroid antibodies (anti-TPO). Click here to read more about other foods and supplements that will help you to lower thyroid antibodies
What is the best vitamin to take for Hashimoto's disease?
There is no one-size-fits-all as it depends on what nutrient you are deficient, however there are few commonly used to manage the symptoms like Vitamin D and B vitamins.
What supplements help Hashimoto's disease?
Supplements containing vitamins D and B along with selenium, zinc are among the most common and best supplements for Hashimoto’s. Including anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin i.e can be beneficial too.
How is Hashimoto's thyroiditis diagnosed?
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and Thyroglobulin (Tg) antibodies are tested to diagnose Hashimoto's disease. If you are experiencing various unexplained symptoms and your basic thyroid blood tests are not at the optimal level (i.e TSH below 1 or above 2) then ask your doctor to do full thyroid panel and test for antibodies or do it privately. The sooner you detect it, the better chances to reverse it. Click here to read more
Do regular blood tests show thyroid problems?
Regular blood test recommended by GP includes TSH and free T4 only which is not sufficient to detect thyroid dysfunction, especially with wide lab reference ranges. Click here to read why under active thyroid or Hashimoto's are so often underdiagnosed.
What is Hashimoto's thyroid, and how can I cure it?
Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder that targets your thyroid gland. It’s related to immune dysfunction where your body is not able to recognise what is harmful (viruses, bacterias, other pathogens and foreign bodies) and what is not. As a result, it starts attacking your own body tissues, in case of Hashimot’s - your thyroid.
If is left untreated it can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid and thyroid gland damage in the long term. You can cure it by addressing the root cause using appropriate diet, supplements and lifestyle changes.
How to reverse Autoimmune Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
Reversing Hashimoto’s is a process that involves correcting nutritional deficiencies, addressing gut health, stress and other imbalances that are driving inflammation.
Can thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) be cured through diet?
Yes and no. Diet is definitely great starting point and first step however quite often is not enough.
Can Hashimoto's thyroiditis cause depression?
Yes! Thyroid diseases, including Hashimoto's disease can affect your mood and mental health, often causing anxiety or depression and its linked with presence of inflammation and thyroid antibodies. Click here to read more how low thyroid function can cause anxiety and depression.
How to avoid brain fog when I have hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's?
Optimise your TSH and thyroid hormone levels. There is strong connection between brain fog and gut. With low thyroid T3 hormone levels your metabolism will be sluggish and your digestion and absorption impaired increasing risk of gut dysfunction and gut dysbiosis. Click here to read more about brain fog, thyroid and 5 things how to improve it
Can Hashimoto's Disease Cause Painful Joints?
Yes. Hashimoto’s is inflammatory disease. Chronic systemic inflammation affects the whole body including you joints. Inflamed joints can cause pain or swelling. Moreover, Hashimoto's increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.