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Posts Tagged ‘hypothyroidim’

still have thyroid symptoms

Do you take thyroid hormone medication but still suffer fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation, depression, cold hands and feet, or other thyroid symptoms? Have you been told there is nothing more that can be done for your thyroid symptoms because your lab tests are normal?

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, affects millions of Americans. Many people continue to suffer from hypothyroid symptoms and a worsening of their thyroid condition despite taking thyroid hormones. This is because 90 percent of hypothyroid cases in the United States are due to Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Although thyroid medications may be necessary to maintain thyroid function, they do not address the immune system’s relentless attack against the thyroid gland.

To identify Hashimoto’s, it’s important to screen for TPO and TGB antibodies on a blood test. If either of these is positive it indicates the immune system is attacking and destroying the thyroid gland, causing symptoms. In this case, the main strategy is not necessarily to treat the thyroid gland (although thyroid hormone medication may be necessary), but to balance the immune system in order to tame autoimmune attacks against the thyroid.

As outlined in the book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian, this is a multi-faceted approach that includes:

  • Going on a strict gluten-free diet. Numerous studies from several different countries show a strong link between Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and other wheat-like grains. Interestingly, studies show those with a gluten intolerance are genetically more prone to Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten also promotes inflammation and leaky gut, which exacerbate autoimmune disease.
     
  • Adopting an autoimmune diet. For some people, going gluten-free is not enough to manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and they need to follow an autoimmune diet that eliminates common inflammatory foods, such as dairy, eggs, or other grains. A whole-foods diet that emphasizes plenty of produce and eliminates processed foods is important to manage an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
     
  • Repairing a leaky gut. Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, often plays a role in autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign invaders into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these foreign invaders trigger inflammation and autoimmunity.
     
  • Stabilize blood sugar. Stabilizing blood sugar is vital to managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. A diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates (such as breads, pastas, pastries, and desserts) creates inflammation and hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to tame an autoimmune condition. Energy crashes, fatigue after meals, excess belly fat, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, and sleep issues are all signs you may have a blood sugar handling disorder, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or insulin resistance (high blood sugar).

These are just a few of the basics of autoimmune management for conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. It’s important to manage your autoimmune condition to lower your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, or Type I diabetes.

To learn more about Hashimoto’s and other factors that can cause hypothyroidism, read the book 
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSci.

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resveratrol curcumin autoimmune inflammatory

Thanks to exciting new research, we can more effectively manage autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory disorders that plague so many people today. This new approach involves the use of two natural compounds, resveratrol and curcumin, which have been found to work better when taken together than separately.

Synergy between resveratrol and curcumin

Resveratrol is a compound derived from Japanese knotweed, and curcumin is derived from the popular curry spice turmeric. Both are well known for their antioxidant qualities.

However, newer research shows that taking them together creates a synergistic effect, making them potent tools for quenching the inflammation and damage associated with autoimmune flare-ups and chronic inflammation.

Successful for many autoimmune, inflammatory disorders

Examples of these disorders include autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s), arthritis, brain fog, gut pain and inflammation, multiple food and chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, asthma, eczema and psoriasis, and other conditions related to inflammation or autoimmune disease.

Going beyond TH-1 and TH-2

When we manage an autoimmune disease in functional medicine, we identify why the immune system is imbalanced, and work to restore that balance.

In simplest terms, the immune system can be divided into two parts. The pro-inflammatory side of the immune system (also called “TH-1”) responds immediately to an invader in the body, such as by surrounding a splinter with pus.

The anti-inflammatory side of the immune system (“TH-2”) has a delayed response and produces antibodies to an invader. These antibodies tag the invader so that if it shows up again, the immune system can respond more quickly.

In a healthy person, these two systems work in balance. However, in the person with an autoimmune disease, one of these systems has become overly dominant.

This polarity between TH-1 and TH-2 underlies autoimmune conditions, and we use nutritional therapies to help restore balance. This helps tame inflammation and autoimmune disease.

TH-17: The new immune player

Studies have increasingly spotlighted another important player in the immune system called TH-17. While appropriate expression of TH-17 is important for immune defense, overactivation of TH-17 plays a key role in autoimmune disease and chronic inflammatory disease. When it comes to quenching flare-ups, TH-17 is our newest target.

This is where the synergy between resveratrol and curcumin come in. Working together, resveratrol and curcumin have been shown to dampen the pathways that activate TH-17, thus protecting tissue from inflammation and damage.

Inflammation and excess body fat

An interesting study on the anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol and curcumin also looked at obesity. One of the most unfortunate aspects of excess body fat is that it creates low-level, chronic inflammation.

This chronic inflammation feeds autoimmune disease or chronic inflammatory disorders. This is a double whammy for the person struggling with weight gain due to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, an autoimmune thyroid disease. This study found that working together, resveratrol and curcumin significantly reduced inflammation caused by excess fat tissue.

As a side note, the resveratrol curcumin combination is also being studied for its effectiveness in fighting hair loss, psoriasis, joint disease, and other inflammatory disorders.

Immune regulation

Resveratrol and curcumin also work by supporting “regulatory T cells.” These cells do what they say—they regulate the activity of TH-17, TH-1, and TH-2, keeping all the facets of the immune system in check. When they don’t work efficiently, the immune system can tip out of balance, thus promoting inflammation and autoimmunity.

Other compounds that successfully support this regulation system include vitamin D3, vitamin A, fish oil or krill oil, specific probioitic strains, nutrients that boost activity of glutathione, our master antioxidant, and nutrients that act on nitric oxide pathways.

Resveratrol curcumin combo is exciting breakthrough

The exciting new research on TH-17 gives functional medicine practitioners new tools with which to approach autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory disorders. By unwinding vicious cycles of inflammation, they help protect the body, whether it is your knees or your brain, from the damage and degeneration caused by inflammation.

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