Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - what should I do?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Shannonsparkles, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I just got diagnosed with early Hashimoto's disease. So, that explains the brittle nails and weight gain...

    What's a good treatment for this? Or at least something to keep it from getting worse? I read that Hashimoto's is when, because of infections or allergies, the immune system will start attacking the thyroid gland, causing your body to get less thyroid hormone. Doctors can suppliment your thyroid hormone with medication, but that doesn't really fix the problem; it just keeps you moving while your body destroys your own organ. I want to find something to stop the immune system from attacking my thyroid. My disease is in an early stage right now, so if I can get my immune system to call off the attack, I might be able to step back from a life of poor thyroid function.

    Ideas? I read that anti-allergy herbs like lemon balm and rhodiola help, as well as making sure to take plenty of calcium and magnesium. Also removing allergens from your diet and environment so that your immune system is less hyper. I'll talk to my accupuncturist on Saturday and see what she can offer me. Also visualizing your body leaving your thyroid unharmed.

    Thanks for your help. (( ))
  2. JenniferAnn539

    JenniferAnn539 New Member

    I also have been diagnosed and will be interested to see if anyone has a reply.

  3. cobie

    cobie New Member

    Hi, I know that in ayurveda medicine they treat this with various herbs and packs on the thyroid? Sorry Im not sure what,perhaps do some digging on the net.I think if you address any leaky gut problems, go off gluten this may help. The body needs thyroxine to function, so if treating it naturally make sure you keep an eye on your blood levels,so it doesnt get worse. Iodine is important for the function of the thyroid,make sure you get enough in your diet.[hence the use of iodised salt in some countries] Good luck Cobie
  4. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I did some research on this a while back. Some things that will help you produce more thyroid hormone are: eating fish, using natural sea salt (a great mineral suppliment! has iodine and many other good minerals), and taking kelp or other seaweed stuff. Avoiding cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc. these suppress thyroid function), avoiding flouride and chlorinated water. Doing things to de-stress and to express yourself are supposed to help.

    I'll add more info as I find it. I think this would be a good idea for me, figuring out how to produce more thyroid hormone to make up for what my immune system is taking away, until I can help my immune system to stop eating my thyroid.
  5. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    Three simple things might help - this is short because I am very tired.

    1. rhodiola - I have been taking it for about 6 months - easy on the system and a gentle help and not expensive

    2. avoid anything with soy in it

    3. iodine drops: I get the iodine liquid on script - you may be able to get it without a script - and rub 4 drops into my skin each night. By the morning, the yellow is all gone. If the yellow is still there, then it means that your body's iodine levels are OK. Also inexpensive.

    Good luck
  6. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    I've been doing pretty much what everyone talks about to support my whole body as well. But what I wanted to add is that I've had Hashimotos for many years, and I supplement w/Armor thyroid.

    There were a few months a couple of years ago when the rumor was that Armor had accidently put out lower doses, and I began to feel much worse, and my thyroid felt like it was growing. Panic City!!

    So had may thyroid checked again, and found out I had been underdosing by l/2..........huge! Since increasing my Armor, I'm starting to feel better, and my thyroid is showing no signs of problems.
    But I check my underarm temperature every so often just to make sure I'm in the normal range, which tells me if I'm taking enough. That way I don't have to "worry" about it. Think that's one of the biggest tips I can offer you.

  7. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    On my birthday no less. I'm taking levothyroxine 75mcg's.
    I had a severe virus that kicked of FM and likely caused the hashimoto's. I'm not sure that anything can reverse it.

    Quite honestly, I don't feel much different. My levels are fine now.

    I found this comment on another forum site.

    "I have done some investigation and the low carb diet does help with Hashimoto's. In fact, one guy has posted on another website that with low carb eating and some other treatments such as green tea and others, that he has been able to reverse Hashimoto's and he NO LONGER has the antibody."
  8. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    Hashimoto's was diagnosed before the fibro for me .. it was torture because I have a big inward goiter as well .. I'm just glad it isn't hugely noticeable ? .. The first symptoms were the sensation of a stuck lump in my throat and then everything went downhill quickly .. I actually wanted to have my thyroid and goiter removed but the surgeon would not do it .. too much of a mess to handle .. BUT .. he recognized the fibro symptoms even though I was centered on that terrible feeling of some one trying to choke me .. I'm grateful he was so observant .. otherwise I don't know what would have happened to me.
    So .. here I am almost 5 years after .. I'm on .112 Synthroid daily and taking lots of supplements to try and help myself ..
    Shannon .. there is a product ( Canadian ) that helps .. GreensPlus created by a Canadian nutritionist Sam Tracy .. if you look on Geniune Health site they explain the products .. I take GreensPlus Energy and I'm looking at the adrenal support one too .. you may also have adrenal fatigue .. it seems to go hand in hand with all of this. Ask for cortisol testing to see where your levels are .. I'm guessing you are low in the morning like me .. makes you extra tired ..
    I was overwhelmed by it all in the beginning .. then I just got mad and researched like crazy to find help .. it is something that is very individual .. the same things don't work for the same disorders .. so do what you feel best with !
    Good Luck !
    Fudge : )
    PS .. I'm allergic to Soy ... and oh brother they seem to want to dump that in a lot of foods now .. so be careful is right !
    Also .. do NOT eat whole grains and take your thyroid meds with it .. I found out from my endo that it suppresses the affectiveness of the med drastically .. so also watch for that ... there are a lot of us out here hanging on ! haha
  9. darude

    darude New Member

    Sorry to hear your news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But at least you know what you have now. I have a friend with Hasimotos so I will call her and find out what I can. I have a postitive ANA 1:360 and not sure what it is attacking now. Maybe the meds will help you overall now you know what you are dealing with.
  10. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Thanks for the tips. I'll talk to my accupuncturist tomorrow and see if there's something she can do.

    Looks like Hashimoto's can be caused by viruses and metals in the body. Dr. Marti at the FFC said my Hashimoto's might clear up once the virus are killed, but she didn't sound hopeful.

    Does anybody here with Hash's get a funny feeling where your thyroid is? Like an ache or pressure or itchy feeling? It feels like that for me. Does using thyroid hormone make your neck feel normal again?

    I do the rhodiola already, the low-carb diet and the green tea. I probably get enough iodine with my sea salt. I dunno. Maybe my thyroid really IS damaged. I think I will try to focus on detox things for now, I guess. I do this visualization thing where I put my hands on whatever part of my body I want to talk with and hear what it has to say. From what I see (and I know it sounds hokey) it looks like my thyroid hormone is contaminated with something that irritates my immune system like crazy. So I've been talking to my immune system to try to persuade it to let the thyroid hormone pass by unharmed, even though it's damaged. Well, there is nothing I won't do to try to keep my body going. I just think to myself, if something can make this start, then something can make it stop. But maybe it's wishful thinking.

    Is it true that when you start taking a thyroid hormone, that your own thyroid stops production? I was hoping that maybe I could take the hormone for a while to feel better and then when I kill off the viruses and detox the metals and then maybe my thyroid would be back to normal again. But a nurse friend of mine told me that once you try a thyroid hormone, you're on it forever, your own thyroid will never function again. That's depressing. Especially since the thyroid produces more than just the particular hormone you would be taking, so you would be missing out on the complete blend. Sounds like you would get thrown out of balence somewhere else.

    I'll let you know if I find out anything good tomorrow. Thanks for the support and info. ((((love)))) Shannon
  11. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    Dear shannon
    I think the info you were given by the nurse re/ thyroid is a little overstated. I am not a doc. and am therefore only speaking from personal experience.

    It is true that while you take thryoid med. ( and adrenal med.) your own throid - and adrenal - works less - which might be exactly what it needs to do in order to recover. That is debatable, and depends on the individual.

    However, if a person is on thyroid/adrenal med. for some time e.g., 6 months or so, perhaps even up to two years, they can come off it - SLOWLY- and monitor throid/adrenal function. Often with the support of natural supplements. Check out Dr. Wilson material on the net. However, you do need a doc. who knows what s/he is doing.

    This is exactly what I am trying at the moment: I am having throid med (T3) and slow release cortisol to support my adrenals and thryoid for 6-12 months and then the doc. will gradually replace them with supplements to see if my low functioning thryoid and exhausted adrenals have had a chance to recover. However, if they have not 'rested' enought I may have to decide what to do next - but they were not working before I started this programme. My coritisol levels were almost non-existent and the doc. said the thyroid and adrenal functions were too low to take up natural supplements and needed stronger support.

    Good luck with your decisions

    [This Message was Edited on 11/25/2005]
  12. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    That's encouraging. I was wondering if it was possible to get some function back after taking hormones. Thank you too for mentioning Dr. Wilson for me to research. Is he the Wilson of Wilson's thyroid disease? I think it might be hard to find him with a search, as there are so many Wilsons out there - could you tell me his first name please, or something else I can type into the search box to help me get there? Thanks so much for the info. :)
  13. amberini

    amberini New Member

    It seems like many of us have problems with our thyroid.
    I have just a couple of things to add to all the great ideas mentioned here.

    First, one of the specialists on thyroid disease is Dr. Richard Shames and his wife. They currently live in California and have written several books about this subject.
    Another wonderful source of information about autoimmune thyroid disease is Mary Shoman. She too has written several books, Living well with Autoimmune Disease is one of them. She lives with it so she understands.
    Both authors explain the disease, give treatment options and coping techniques.

    Another theory about this disease is the role of inflammation. ( Inflammation Nation is one current book, The Anti-Inflammation Zone is another. )
    One natural treatment option is using Fish Oil ( omega 3 fatty acids ) along with Borage Seed oil ( not flaxseed oil). My holistic M.D. suggested using 6000mg each every day.( 12K per day). I spread it out and take some with each meal.

    The best advice is to be an informed healthcare consumer.

    Best of Luck to you
  14. chantoozy1

    chantoozy1 New Member

    Thiriod problems not easy I sufferred for years got worse from medicines then found a wonderful natural therapist she has changed my life instead of crawling around exhausted and weighing some 65lbs more I was getting more stressed everyday now I look forward to each day I take a natural thiriod replacement (you might want to check B12 levels mine were low so I take B12) I eat gluten free we grow our own fruits and vegetables and I eat or drink at least 3 tablespoons of Cold Pressed Virgin coconut oil it took a few weeks but it has been an amazing trip my skin is less dry my eyebrows and hair stopped falling out my nails are growing strong my eyes are clearer and I have lost 36 lbs I have been doing this for around 2 months and it is amazing I use the cocnut oil for cooking and I sufferred a spider bite 6 months agao and nothing helped the rash so I popped the coconut oil on it two applications later it was clear so now I use it as a skin moistorizer do some reasearch it is amazing what it will help A researcher here in Australia believes Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil is amazing for the immune system and I have to agree I just wish I had known about it 3 years ago I would have finished my garden by now Good Luck do your reasearch and I am sure you will find what works for you
  15. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    Here is the info re. Dr. Wilson:

    James L Wilson - he has written, amongst other things, a book called Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome - I have the book - I wouldn't buy it if I were you, but you might be able to borrow it from a library. Also Dr. Teitelbaum covers the topic quite well in his book, from Fatigued to Fantastic NB - the new, revised edition. It is, in my opinion, a better book as it covers adrenal and thyroid stuff as well as lots of other stuff on CFS. It is probably the most useful book I have on the topic.

    I know that you can purchase all sorts of adrenal supplements over the net. Be careful re. the quality of some of the products, both Wilson and Teitelbaum produce their own, supposedly better quality and standardized levels.

    Also, I would suggest that you have you vitamin D3 levels tested. This is a debatable area re. type of test, supplementation. But it is useful to know what your levels are. There are various threads on this message board. I had my levels tested - they were really low and I believe that raising them slowly has helped me and helped me cope better with the thyroid and adrenal medication.
  16. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Just dug up this arcticle written by a thyroid expert. Can't wait to try my cat's claw. Says it's even good for a leaky gut. Thank you so much everyone for your replies. Keep posting anything that has helped you. I don't know if this really works or if I'm just immagining it, but when my thyroid starts getting that itchy achy feeling, I press one or two fingers into the indentation at the base of my neck just above my collarbone, deep enough to feel my pulse. Makes it feel better. (((((hugs)))) and thanks!!!!!!!!!

    The Herbs That May Help Hashimoto's, Graves' & More
    by Mary Shomon

    Anthropologist and herbal expert Viana Muller, PhD, has been involved in research, growing, harvesting, collecting, propagation and distribution of certified organic and wildcrafted South American medicinal herbs. Here, she shares some thoughts about South American herbs and autoimmune disease.

    Mary Shomon: Some practitioners theorize that autoimmune diseases can be triggered by:
    Food sensitivities and uncontrolled allergies, in particular, to milk and gluten products
    Viral exposures, such as Epstein Barr virus or HHV6 or Coxsackie
    Bacterial infections such as foodborne yersinia
    Mycoplasma infection
    While we have courses of action for allergies and sensitivites and bacterial infections, preventing or treating many of the viruses implicated in autoimmune disease is less clear-cut. Are there South American herbs that can help bolster immune defenses and perhaps prevent viral infections such as Epstein Barr virus or HHV6 or Coxsackie -- or help treat viruses once one has been exposed and perhaps has a chronic infection or viral syndrome?

    Dr. Viana Muller: A high quality camu-camu fruit powder grown wild in South American rainforests has produced spectacular results with all types of herpes viruses, including Epstein Barr and Herpes Zoster (shingles). I have seen it work much faster than Acyclovir, the standard anti-herpes medication and better than L-lysine--the most common holistic treatment.

    I've also seen camu-camu drastically reduce the rate of outbreaks of genital herpes outbreaks--from once every six weeks to once in eight months.

    Another herb which grows deep in the rainforest which has proved to be very effective for managing chronic hepatitis C is a climbing vine whose botanical name is Desmodium adscendens (sometimes called amor seco or Strong Back herb). People with liver pain from this condition have found relief in 24 hours and over a period of 60-90 days their elevated liver enzyme levels drop dramatically. But it doesn't actually kill the hepatitis virus--it works on liver repair.

    The herb which has shown in animal studies to kill the hepatitis virus is called "Chanca Piedra" or Break-Stone. It looks like a small fern and grows in swampy areas of the rainforest.

    Mary Shomon: Do you feel there are any South American herbal remedies that can help bolster the immune system or prevent autoimmune disease?

    Dr. Viana Muller: The four most effective South American botanicals that I know to bolster the immune system--and help prevent autoimmune disease or reverse it--are: the camu-camu fruit, maca root, cat's claw bark, and graviola. It is crucial for consumers to realize that just because the bottle has the name of one of these botanicals on the label, it doesn't mean that what is inside the bottle will be effective for them. For example, there are many companies that use a small amount of camu-camu fruit--with no guaranteed natural Vitamin C percentage, derived from the camu-camu fruit itself, in their product. This type of product is virtually worthless. You want a product that has a guaranteed 8% natural Vitamin C/bioflavonoid level.

    (Note from Mary: You can get a high-vitamin-C camu-camu from [link url=http://www.wholeworldbotanicals.com]Whole World Botanicals[/link] that is considered 20 times more potent than Ester C.)

    Mary Shomon: Is there any evidence for use of South American herbal remedies for treatment of autoimmune diseases? (lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid diseases) and other conditions?

    Dr. Viana Muller: There is strong anecdotal evidence for the use of maca to strengthen the immune system and I've personally seen some remarkable turn arounds with various autoimmune illness. A 43 year old woman with severe asthma since the age of 18 is able to go off of her daily asthma medication (6 pills a day) after one two weeks of taking one teaspoon of organic maca extract powder per day.

    A 68 year old man with Parkinson's Disease who is no longer able to walk regains his strength and muscle control to the point that he can walk again and his muscle tremors are less severe.

    A 42 year old woman who has had severe eczema since she was a teenager--especially on her face--whose face cleared up in 2 or 3 weeks using 1 tsp of organic maca extract powder per day. After two months, she gets occasional small outbreaks--especially if she is under stress--but it goes away very quickly.

    Scores of women with hypothyroidism who take 3 to 6 caps a day of organic maca extract a day who are either able to reduce their dosage of Synthroid, Unithroid, or Armour, or whose symptoms are much improved in the following areas while maintaining the same dose of their thyroid medication: increased energy, more regular menstrual periods, less bleeding and less pain with the monthly cycle; increased hair and nail growth.

    Minimizing Side Effects
    Mary Shomon: Some autoimmune disease treatment involve use of fairly strong drugs, such as methotrexate, or Remicade, or strong non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. What are your thoughts about how South American herbs might help complement their conventional treatments and minimize the negative side effects of strong drug treatments?

    Dr. Viana Muller: Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has strong anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as adjuvant therapy for helping to offset the side effects such as nausea felt by many undergoing chemotherapy. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, but otherwise is quite safe.

    Mary Shomon: Food sensitivities have been implicated as triggers in a number of autoimmune diseases. From a practical standpoint, are there any role for South American herbs in helping someone with an autoimmune disease deal with food allergies and sensitivities?

    Dr. Viana Muller: Leaky gut syndrome has been helped by Cat's Claw Extract (boiled bark or alcohol based extract). Camu-Camu has also proven helpful for getting rid of headaches brought on by food allergies, including sugar!

    Viana Muller, PhD, is co-founder and President of Whole World Botanicals, a company that is involved in research, growing, harvesting, collecting, propagation and distribution of certified organic and wildcrafted South American medicinal herbs. As an anthropologist, Dr. Muller has been making rainforest herb collecting/study trips to the Amazon River Basin since 1989.
  17. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I started taking Traumeel this week, and I notice that my thyroid area has pretty much stopped having that itchy-achey feeling.