Hashimoto’s, the silent torture and 5 steps to overcome it

Without health, life is not life it is only a state if languor and suffering-an image of death

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Waking up every morning with a heaviness in the head, pain all over, cramping calf muscles, a feeling like you lay all night to have your energy drained, and then look into the mirror to see your puffed up face with bags under your eyes and hair that seems to fall like breadcrumbs trailing behind you is all too familiar for someone suffering from Hashimoto’s.

What is Hashimoto’s?

I know that something is wrong but no one else can see it

Hakaru Hashimoto was a physician who discovered this condition affecting the thyroid gland in 1912. Like with everything in medicine it was only in 1930 it was recognized as a unique condition.

Basically, it is a self-destruction of the thyroid gland by the immune system.

So it is more an immune problem rather than a thyroid problem.

The thyroid is merely a target of the immune system.

It affects 1 to 1.5 in 1000 women today.

What is the thyroid? What does it do?

You know that great feeling when you wake up in the morning?Ya me neither?-patient with Hashimoto’s

For those who do not know what the thyroid gland is, it is a butterfly-shaped gland in the base of the front of the neck. It is your metabolic and beauty hormone. It affects every cell in your body.

10% of women have Hashimoto’s but do not know they have it. It can be very silent.

Tips that you may have it

Ignore the tiny crack and then it is a flood you cannot control

  1. You notice sudden weight gain with no change in diet or exercise. A gain of 10 to 20 pounds in 1 to 2 years. (routine blood tests are always normal).

  2. Your hair becomes dry and you see some hair falling.

  3. Your skin needs more moisturizer.

  4. You start having nasal congestion and think it is allergies.

  5. You have moments of anxiety and sometimes have complete apathy almost like depression but you know you are not depressed.

  6. You wake up every morning like you have worked out.

  7. You suddenly seem to be aging as the tone of your skin loosens and you lose your jawline.

  8. You are fatigued by the afternoon but too tired to sleep at night.

For a more detailed review of symptoms see this article

What Next?

The path to success is to take massive and determined action

So you have identified you may have symptoms not captured on regular blood tests. What do you do next?

Simply put test better.

The panel of testing to identify the antibodies as to whether this is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid is important.
TSH, T3 (total), Reverse T3, Free T4, Antibodies to TPO and Thyroglobulin are basic thyroid tests.

However, remember the thyroid does not work independently so I have attached at the end of this article my checklist of basic testing people need when they have symptoms. The checklist of symptoms.

So you identify you have Hashimoto’s what next?

Treatment without prevention is unsustainable

Most people fall into 3 categories
1. Normal tests but have symptoms.

2. Abnormal tests and abnormal symptoms.

3. Abnormal tests and no symptoms.

All people with symptoms have to be treated.

The treatment is where you need someone experienced with the restoration of the thyroid rather than just hormone supplementation.

Remember it is a problem with your immune system so the whole body needs to be addressed.

Simply replacing the thyroid irrespective of what preparation you take will not help.

Address the immune system. Identifying the cause the response and the target.

Immune system:

  • Disruption of this system is not well understood but may be due to

    Viral infection

    Food sensitivities

    Chemical toxins

More detailed history and testing are needed.

  • Deficiencies and Excesses:

    Selenium deficiency

    Zinc deficiency

    Iron deficiency

    Iodine overload

  • Gut inflammation:

    Poor diet

    Infection

    Use of antibiotics

    Stress

What not to do:

Join Facebook groups that talk a lot about how the medical system is broken and how their symptoms are destroying them.

This is absolutely a condition that can be controlled and in some cases reversed. So fanning the flames of discontent does not help.

Invest in your health early.

People do so much of self-management as it seems like it is easy. They spend money on supplements particularly iodine-containing supplements and various diets and procedures.

Always remember we have to identify the root cause.

Then work from there to heal from inside out.

Identify a doctor who has learned the science of the disease and the art of healing.

Someone who can do the test and tell you exactly why you have an immune disorder.

Here are the 5 steps that need to be addressed:

1.Gut and liver health.

2. Nutrition( should be simple)

3. Other hormones( insulin, estrogen, cortisol, Leptin, Adiponectin).

4. Exercise.

5. Stress management.

Gut and liver health requires an approach commonly called detoxing.

This is like emptying the house, cleaning it out and painting it new. Everything looks better.

Same way the detox brings changes depending on the kind of detox done. Most people will get better with better digestion and absorption of food. This process also decreases inflammation.

Nutrition

This is addressed by making sure there are no food sensitivities that need to be addressed and then if so this needs to be taken care off.

Nutrition is best addressed after assessment of the digestive system.

It should be in a simple enough way that a 5-year-old can understand and follow.

Identify if other hormones are optimal.

Hormones change based on the need of the person. If something is high or low it needs to be so (as a normal response to stress) and we will need to address the underlying cause of the change not simply replace with bioidentical hormones.

Exercise:

If the gut and hormones are not addressed just exercise can make things worse. You read right. makes things worse.

Most people exercise and then eat what they want and drink( alcohol)regularly and wonder why they still feel fatigue and weight gain.

Our body works as a system, not in silos. We have to address it as a whole.

Stress Management:

This may be the single most important underlying cause of the problem. Increase in stress hormones has led to immune system dysfunction.

When patients come to me they have already been sick for years and still tolerate the stress for years and then finally snap.

Identify stress, acknowledge and then work on reducing it. What gets measured and reported gets taken care off. Ignoring it or tolerating it makes it more difficult to resolve.

As you can see medications are not the answer.

Supplements are not the answer.

It is rebuilding your health step by step.

Next time you look in the mirror and feel depressed by the image, or see locks of hair falling in the shower or feel you are unable to think, it is time to take action.

Remember the 3 D’s

You deserve to be healthy.
You can design your life.
You desire to live well.

If these 3 D’s are something you believe in then you will find a solution, not live a life of mediocrity and silent suffering.

Check to see if you are truly healthy.
I have prepared a checklist to help you identify if your symptoms need to be addressed.

Click here to download the list

dR.Nisha Chellam MD
Founder of Holistic and Integrative Center of Novi (HolisticICON)

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