Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of thyroid diseases in children and adolescents and it is also the most common cause of acquired hypothyroidism with or without goiter. Autoimmune thyroid disease includes Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and idiopathic hypothyroidism (atrophic Hashimoto's thyroiditis).
Thyroid 2010. Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis. Patients with HT assigned to selenium supplementation for 3 months demonstrated significantly lower thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPOab) titers.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013. Selenium supplementation for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Results of four studies show that evidence to support or refute the efficacy of selenium supplementation in people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis is incomplete.
Yonsei Med J. 2014. Low serum vitamin D is associated with anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody in autoimmune thyroiditis.
Q. I am 48 year old female with
autoimmune issues (Hashimoto's thyroiditis, lymphocytic colitis). I have no
calcium deposits but I had a heart attack. The only 3 reasons is blood clot,
vasospasm and infection. Internet research indicates that all the above could be
autoimmune related. Is there herbs I can take to help my body not attack itself?
I already take fish oil, aloe vera, and boswellia.
A. I have come across few human studies regarding the role of nutritional supplements as a treatment for this condition.
Dear Dr. Sahelian. I have read your research and am very
impressed by your level of expertise in the area of supplements and your
caring and honest approach to this subject. I actually have Hashimoto's autoimmune disease and just recently discovered that the Immune
stimulating herbs I was taking was actually hurting me instead of helping
me! So I started doing some research and came upon your web site! I decided I really need to consult you regarding what
kind of supplements I can take. It seems that not many doctors know about Autoimmune disease so
unfortunately they just wing it! I want to do everything in my power to help myself heal or at
least lead as much of a normal life as possible without the fear of things
getting worse. So I really would appreciate if you could take some time
and do a phone consultation with me.
I have been searching for answers for a long time and if someone can shed
some light on this for me, it would mean the world to me.
A. Unfortunately, at this time, I have little knowledge of herbs or supplements helping with this condition. But if I come across such research, I will mention it on this web site.
I have heard that with Hashimoto's it is possible to
develop antibodies to the thyroid protein in the natural thyroid supplement and
that synthetic might be best in that case. Have you any information on this or
where I could read about it?
A. I have not come across this claim.
What causes Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
There is no direct evidence that infections cause Hashimoto's thyroiditis in humans, while iodine and iodine containing drugs can precipitate it in susceptible populations. Like most autoimmune diseases of humans, chronic lymphocytic (Hashimoto's) thyroiditis results from the combination of a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger. A body of clinical and epidemiologic evidence points to excessive ingestion of iodine as an environmental agent. In genetically determined thyroiditis in animals, iodine enrichment has been shown to increase the incidence and severity of disease.
Psychological and physiologic stress can induce various immunologic changes. Stress affects the immune system either directly or indirectly through the nervous and endocrine systems. These immune modulations may contribute to the development of autoimmunity as well as the susceptibility to autoimmune disease in genetically predisposed individuals. Stress can be one of the environmental factors for thyroid autoimmunity.
Metabolic syndrome in both euthyroid and subclinical hypothyroid women is connected with obesity, visceral fat accumulation, and higher TSH and IL-6 concentrations. Immune thyroiditis is associated with higher TSH and IL-6 levels. Obese subclinical hypothyroid women with Hashimoto`s thyroditis have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome when compared with subclinical hypothyroid women without thyroid autoimmunity.
Hashimoto thyroiditis is often associated with type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, type 2 and type 3 polyglandular autoimmune disorders. Girls with Turner syndrome may develop Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis have positive antibodies to thyroglobulin and/or to thyroperoxidase in blood. Thyroid function could be normal or abnormal (overt hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism).
The linkage between Hashimoto's thyroiditis and some HLA genes has been reported and a genetic predisposition to thyroid autoimmunity is suggested by observations in twins.
Course in children
Ital J Pediatr. 2013. Hashimoto's thyroiditis in childhood: presentation modes and evolution over time. Aim of this survey is to report the most recent views about Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) natural history according to the different presentations. In children presenting with either euthyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism HT spontaneous course is frequently characterized by a trend towards deterioration of thyroid function, whereas in those presenting with overt hyperthyroidism a definitive resolution of hyperthyroid phase is to be expected. Another possible even though unusual outcome of HT is the conversion to Graves' disease.
Histology and anatomy
There is an infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells between the follicles followed by their atrophy. Abnormal ultrasound patterns may be present in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis disease as diffuse hypoechogenicity and pseudonodules.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis symptoms and signs
These include goiter, menstrual disorders, short stature, constipation, nervousness, fatigue, and exophthalmos have been reported as the most recurrent clinical features of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Most patients are euthyroid clinically. Some patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may have no symptoms. The clinical course is variable and spontaneous remission may occur in adolescence.
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for Hashimoto thyroiditis may include blood tests to detect levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid antibodies.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis treatment
Specific treatment is currently not available for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This condition usually results in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), which can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (the administration of thyroid hormone) which usually alleviates the goiter condition.
L-thyroxine therapy is indicated in Hashimoto's thyroiditis with hypothyroidism, but periodic re-evaluations are required because this disease could be a self-limited disorder in some cases.
I was wondering if Hashimoto's thyroiditis could be caused by the thyroid picking up fluoride, aluminum or chlorine molecules by mistake since they are so similar to iodine molecules therefore causing the immune system to notice a potential invader - the fluoride-aluminum, chlorine molecules and begins to attack the thyroid itself. I was doing some research on the net and saw that when the immune system finds an invader in an organ it sometimes mistakenly attacks that organ in an attempt to eject the invader. I immediately thought of my Hashimoto's. I also checked online for the incidence of Hashimoto in the world and it seems it is always in more "civilized" areas, i.e. areas more prone to use chlorine, fluoride in their water supplies and fluoride in their toothpaste. I also found that fluoride binds with aluminum which toothpaste containers are made of. Waste water systems are now using aluminum in their systems to help the solids sink to be taken out and of course that means that the fluoride they are adding is going to bind to the leftover aluminum and be ingested by us. I saw that women are many times more likely to be affected by Hashimoto's than a man but I am wondering if men really go to their doctors when they are sick. My hubby has been having all the symptoms of low thyroid but never goes to the doctor.
A. I don't know enough about the causes of Hashimoto's thyroiditis to make an informed comment about the presence of minerals in food and water supply and the increased risk for this condition. The fact that Hashimoto's thyroditis is several times more common in women than men makes the excess mineral theory less likely to be a cause since one would expect both men and women to be effected in a similar manner since both sexes would ingest a similar amount of these excess minerals.
My thyroid was diagnosed as hashimotto and I take a
multiple vitamin that has 150 mcg of kelp in it. Is this ok?
It is not easy to predict. Much depends on one's overall diet and how much iodine is being consume, and the amount of iodine contained in the kelp and whether the product label is accurate. As a general rule, it is not recommended to supplement with iodine for this condition however I have not seen any good studies that have evaluated this topic in a thorough manner.
Just thought you might want to address the use of maca root to heal the thyroid in Hashimoto's and also helps with adrenal fatigue.
I am suffering from Hashimotos disease and was just
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and Sojgrens too. I have been searching for
something natural to help slow down the progression of this autoimmune disease.
The Chinese herb called Chang Shan, and a company called Sun
Catcher Herbs has formulated a product called Sclero-eze that is supposed to
help people like me. Are you familiar with this supplement product? I am tempted
to try it.
A. I was not familiar with this herb Chang Shan, a review of the research shows it has some anti-inflammatory properties but I could not find any human studies regarding the use of this herb for autoimmune conditions. One web site says, "Sclero-Eze is one of a kind. It's the world's first and only herbal formula containing Chang Shan made for Scleroderma sufferers." This statement violates FDA rules because supplement sellers are not allowed to claim that their product treats or cures a disease. The fact that a company selling such a product is violating a Federal law makes one suspicious on the integrity of such a company.
I am a 16 year old girl who is having hasimoto's
thyroiditis. I was diagnosed this disease when I was 15 years old. Im still
currently having hyperthyroidism. Does this disease really
affect my growth? My siblings are all tall except for me. Does this have to do
with hashimoto's disease? And how does it affect? If yes, then what should i do
to make myself grow taller?
This condition can disrupt growth in children or teenagers. I have not studied the treatment in enough detail to know how to influence physical growth.
Q. I take finasteride
for hair growth and
prostate health, any effect on HT?
A. I do not think so.
Q. Can you give me information on fluids
and how much to drink daily for HT treatment?
A. Fluid intake should not make too much of a difference.
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