Inflammation is at the core of most chronic illnesses including hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. But how exactly does inflammation cause hypothyroidism? Nonthyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) is the state in which inflammation causes negative changes to thyroid hormone including low T3 and increased reverse T3 (rT3). T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone and rT3 actually blocks T3 receptors so inflammation can really knock out thyroid function. TSH levels however stay relatively “normal” in NTIS thus leaving many patients with the symptoms of hypothyroidism but no diagnosis since no one is checking their T3 or rT3 levels.
The authors begin by stating that subclinical hypothyroidism is characterized by “normal” T4, T3, Free T4, and Free T3 with an elevated TSH. And these patients have an increased risk of cholesterol abnormalities, heart disease, mental illness, and pregnancy complications even though their symptoms are relatively mild.
Your gut microbiota has an intimate connection with your thyroid including connections with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease. In this research review I’d like to cover a recent paper entitled, “Microbiota and Thyroid Interaction in Health and Disease” published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by Eleonare Frohlich and Richard Wahl.
The authors begin by stating that the gut microbiota can act on thyroid function due to the region of where someones lives, their diet including iodine intake, obesity, age, sex hormones, and how autoimmunity can impact the microbiota. I was impressed to see them state that the gut microbiota is linked to autoimmune disease, estrogen, iodine, and obesity. Estrogen can be a key factor in Hashimoto’s disease and a healthy gut is required for optimal estrogen metabolism and excretion through the feces.
They also mention the connection between the gut and the liver in relation to thyroid hormone metabolism in both these organ systems. Your gut is key to properly absorbing and utilizing the thyroid medication that you’re taking and they mention this as well.
In this episode of The Dr. Hedberg Show, I interview Melissa Gallico about fluoride. We talked about where fluoride comes from, why it was added to our water supply, how to know if your water is fluoridated, how to filter fluoride, other sources of fluoride, the fluoride-acne connection, the fluoride-thyroid connection, how to detoxify fluoride with iodine, and how to petition your local legislators to remove fluoride from your water supply. I was not aware of the fluoride-acne connection so this was an enlightening podcast that everyone should listen to who has acne or a thyroid issue.
In this post I’ll cover everything you need to know about ferritin and hypothyroidism. The ferritin test is a simple blood test and it is one of the most important tests you should have if you have Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, and hypothyroidism. Ferritin is a storage form of iron and the ferritin level test can tell you if your iron stores are low and need to be increased. The ferritin test is rarely ordered by conventional doctors so many patients are left with the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism when it is actually their low ferritin levels that are causing their health problems. The first issue with iron is that iron deficiency may be quite severe but blood markers such as hemoglobin and the red blood cell count may be normal. This leaves many patients, especially women, misdiagnosed as not having anemia.
Can Genistein Help Heal Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism?
In the fall of 2016, a study was conducted in China and published in the medical journal Immunobiology. The researchers looked at the compound genistein and Hashimoto’s disease to see if it affected thyroid function in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The research paper was entitled, “Genistein improves thyroid function in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients through regulating Th1 cytokines.” To clarify, “Th1 cytokines” refer to a type of thyroid-helper cells that indicate how much inflammation there might be in the thyroid gland. In other words, they are markers of inflammation.
The results of this study were very exciting so you might want to pay close attention.
Does a low-carbohydrate diet work best for Hashimoto’s disease? What about a gluten-free diet? There are a number of diets out there claiming to be the best for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but as with any condition, there is no single best diet for everyone. I’ll cover two research papers that look into two specific diets for Hashimoto’s disease.
Is There a Connection Between Vitamin D and Hashimoto’s Disease? Does Vitamin D Supplementation Help Heal Hashimoto’s Disease?
Vitamin D has long been established in literature as a highly essential nutrient with benefit to the musculoskeletal system and bone density. It also functions in the body as an immunomodulator, facilitating normal immune system function and improving resistance against certain diseases.
Given this background, one has to wonder if a deficiency in vitamin D would be prevalent among individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and if so, would supplementation with vitamin D help patients manage the disease or perhaps even prevent it?
We have never had any good studies looking at how food allergies, or more specifically food intolerances, affect Hashimoto’s disease. A recent paper, however, did show that people following a gluten-free diet can help heal Hashimoto’s disease. In this article, Dr. Hedberg answers the question if food intolerances affect Hashimoto’s disease?