Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods
Graves' Disease & Hyperthyroidism
Hashimoto's & Hypothyroidism
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Is It Possible To Eliminate The Autoimmune Response In Graves Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

When someone with Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis goes to their medical doctor or endocrinologist, their doctor will focus on the thyroid gland.  Managing the thyroid symptoms can be important, as it will be necessary for some people with hypothyroid conditions to take thyroid hormone, and for some people with hyperthyroid conditions to take antithyroid medication.  The problem I have with this is that most of these doctors don’t address other compromised areas of the body.

It’s bad enough that they won’t try to help correct weakened adrenal glands, improve poor digestion and gut health, or correct any vitamin or mineral deficiencies (with the exception of vitamin D and B12, and iron in some cases).  But to completely ignore the autoimmune component is crazy if you ask me.  Of course the primary reason why they don’t do anything for the immune system is because they don’t know what to do to help restore its health.  And in most cases they have no interest in finding out.

With that being said, is it possible to completely eliminate the autoimmune response in Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?  This admittedly is a controversial subject, as some will claim that once you “turn on the genes” for an autoimmune condition there is no way to turn it off.  Then there are those who believe you can stop this process.  Even with the advances we have had in genetic testing, I’m not sure if this is something that can be measured.  Plus, we also need to keep in mind that apparently not everyone who develops this condition has a genetic component, although this might be controversial as well.

There Is Still A Lot We Don’t Know About Autoimmune Conditions

Even though we are constantly learning more about autoimmune conditions, there is still a lot we don’t know.  And things are always changing.  For example, cytokine testing was once thought of as a way to measure the autoimmune response.  But upon attending a recent conference on thyroid health, I was told that this type of testing is no longer thought to be accurate.  Perhaps this will change in the near future, but the point is that it is difficult to look at the autoimmune response and see if it has been “shut off”, or even suppressed.

How about looking at the thyroid antibodies?  I think it’s important to look at the antibodies, as if they are positive then this concludes that someone has an autoimmune thyroid condition.  But just because someone once had positive thyroid antibodies and now tests negative for thyroid antibodies doesn’t confirm that the autoimmune response has been eliminated.  This doesn’t mean that it’s useless to measure the antibodies on follow-up tests (although many medical doctors think doing this is pointless), but negative thyroid antibodies alone doesn’t tell the entire story.

The Primary Goal Is To Control The Inflammation

Although I don’t know for sure whether the autoimmune response can be “eliminated”, or simply suppressed, what I do know is that in any one with Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, inflammation is an issue.  And if one is going to suppress the autoimmune response and help restore the health of the person, one really does need to get the inflammation under control.  The problem is that so many different factors can cause inflammation, and at times it can be difficult to determine what specifically is causing it.  In many cases a food allergy such as gluten or casein is causing the inflammation, and therefore needs to be avoided.  Sometimes another food allergen is causing the problem.  Sometimes the inflammation can be caused by a candida infection, H. Pylori, or parasites.  So it can be a challenge to determine the source of the inflammation, but doing so is essential to help with an autoimmune condition.

But how do other factors cause or contribute to an autoimmune thyroid condition, such as weak adrenal glands, mineral deficiencies, heavy metal toxicities, imbalances of the sex hormones, etc?  These all can potentially act as triggers to the autoimmune response, and so they do need to eventually be corrected.  For example, the adrenal glands are closely tied into the health of both the immune system and the gut.  And so problems with the adrenals can in turn compromise the immune system, which in turn can lead to the development of an autoimmune condition.  Plus, let’s not forget that the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, which is essentially an “anti-inflammatory hormone”.  This is why corticosteroids are commonly recommended, as they help to control inflammation.  So if someone has an adrenal problem where the cortisol levels are depressed, then this will affect the body’s ability to control inflammation.

So while I’m guilty at times of talking about how it is important to “eliminate” the autoimmune response, the truth is that this is difficult to measure.  As a result, when dealing with someone who has Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, one of the main goals is to suppress the autoimmune response and to get rid of the inflammation.  In order to accomplish this one of course needs to get rid of the inflammatory trigger, whether it be gluten, a candida infection, etc.  Herbs such as hemidesmus, boswellia, and turmeric can help with the autoimmune component and inflammation.  Then once this has been addressed the goal from this point on is to have the person maintain their health and try their best to avoid those factors which can trigger the autoimmune response again.


 

29 Comments

  1. Marjorie says:

    Thank you so very much!!!!!! I have a significant medical background. My Endocrinologist diagnosed Grave’s Disease two years ago. i asked her why she didn’t look deeper into the stress response, adrenal suppression, changes in cortisol (and effects), insulin suppression, elevated thyroid and the effects to the heart. I stated that there were a significant number of women in the work force (doing double duty with work and home) that were getting thyroid difficulties in their 30’s and upwards. She opted to treat the Grave’s disease only and more or less said “oh well”. There are so many factors in these diseases and how they affect each other, why isn’t more research being done. I read your column every time you post. Thanks so much for your information. I think there is a huge “paper” to be written on stress in women and the outcome. MJM

  2. Erica says:

    I have been through three endorinologist – I fired all three. They don’t want to hear about anything except for me to come in every 6 months, get my T3/T4 and TSH levels checked, tweak the meds if necessary and send me on my way.

    I am not going to my regular GP who tests me for the same, but these things that are spoken of are not going to be taken in by a regular medical dr. We need to find a homeopathic physician for the underlying problems. I started on Turmeric liquid spectrum a couple of weeks ago, I’m taking a prebiotic from Extend Life, Celle Forte IP6 and a host of vitamins and minerals (all separate) so I can control my daily dosage instead of the FDA daily recommended guidelines which I think are bull. Maybe I just need to give it some time, but my hair is still falling out, I still have terrible ringing of the ears, I don’t sleep, I can’t lose weight, I’m irritable, and the list goes on.

    Several months back I was also diagnosed with early stage Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’m kind of working my way through that since I refuse to take any prescribed anti-inflammatories, but these autoimmune diseases seem to go hand in hand.

    Finding the key(s) to how an antibody switch gets turned on to attack the good things in our bodies is most important. Learning how to building up a healthy immune system, getting your Gut in check, all of these things are somehow related. I’m sure of it.

  3. Jamey says:

    I have my annual appt scheduled with my endocrinologist tomorrow, and I’m dreading it. As Erica said, he’ll check my TSH level, tell me there’s nothing more that can be done and reschedule me for next year. (Last year he ridiculed me for asking questions about the use of bioidentical hormones, then he later apologized.)
    So much hubris, so little help.
    Keep these posts and articles going, Dr.
    Thanks.

  4. Sandi Bellack says:

    The issue happens when trying to reduce my inflammation before addressing digestive issues. So I was given Tumero and Resvero, along with Neuro 02 and Nattokinase. The Tumero and Resvero irritate my digestive system causing an auto immune response. I think my digestive system needs to be addressed to heal otherwise it’s a catch 22.

  5. June says:

    I was very recently diagnosed with Graves Disease but am lucky enough to have found a doctor who also believes there is a link between the autoimmune disease and “the gut.” I have been tested and found to have gluten sensitivity as well as allergies to dairy, eggs, and soy. I am working my way through altering my diet to accommodate those allergies, and she has prescribed a number of supplements–B12, D3, and omega 3. Apparently because my gut was so messed up, I was not absorbing nutrients from food.

    I don’t know if it’s the change in diet or the supplements, but I am sleeping better than I have in years and my joint and muscle pain has been significantly reduced. I had a rotator cuff injury for over 6 months that just would not heal no matter how much physical therapy and massage therapy I did. It is 75% better after about 6 weeks of a gluten-free diet and supplements. I will admit that completely changing my diet has been a struggle, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. My husband is going gluten-free with me after seeing an article in a men’s magazine echoing your philosophy. I thought he’d be kicking and screaming the whole way, but he’s on board with it too.

    I enjoy your articles in part because they confirm taht the path I am on is the right one. Plus they are written for a lay person and not full of talk about T3 and T4 levels and medicine dosages. Keep pushing your philosopy. I know in my gut (as messed up as it might be) that it is the right way to go.

  6. Adam says:

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  7. andre says:

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  8. stuart says:

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  10. Tommy says:

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  15. gerald says:

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  16. Lynn says:

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  17. willard says:

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    thanks for information….

  18. Brian says:

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  19. Walter says:

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  20. eduardo says:

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Get Your Free Guide Entitled
“The 6 Steps On How To Reverse Graves' Disease & Hashimoto's Through Natural Methods”
You will also receive email
updates on any future webinars
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Free Webinars on
Natural Thyroid Health


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Natural Treatment Methods:
Graves Disease Treatment
Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Treatment
Natural Thyroid treatment


Conventional Treatment
Methods:
Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid Hormone