What is Hashimoto disease and hypothyroidism?
There is a general misconception that Hashimoto's disease and hypothyroidism are essentially the same things, but this is incorrect.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid either stops or slows down in its production of thyroid hormones. These hormones essentially control how your body uses energy and low levels cause your body's metabolism to slow down.
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Hashimoto's disease (also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hashimoto's hyperthyroidism etc) is as the name suggests. a disease that can cause the condition hyperthyroidism. In fact, it is one of the main causes of hyperthyroidism, which explains why they are commonly mistaken to be the same thing. Hashimoto disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes your antibodies to react against the proteins in your thyroid gland. This antibody attack causes the thyroid to become inflamed and enlarged and as a result, it becomes less effective at producing thyroid hormones, potentially leading to hyperthyroidism.
What are Hashimoto's symptoms?
The main Hashimoto disease symptoms are caused by the slowing down of your body's metabolism as a result of the reduced thyroid hormone. So as you would expect, they can be hard to notice and steadily get more obvious as the condition worsens. They are:
- an enlarged thyroid, which results in a swollen looking neck (called a goitre)
- difficulty swallowing and breathing due to the goitre
- modest weight gain
- joint and muscle pain
- feeling cold or more sensitive to cold
- dry, coarse hair
- problems getting pregnant.
How do I find out if I have Hashimoto's disease?
Usually, the first symptom that people recognise for Hashimoto disease is a swollen thyroid gland (or neck). However, to make sure that you do have Hashimoto's, your health practitioner will normally do a thyroid function test and/or an antibody test. This involves taking a blood sample and sending it to be tested for various hormones and antibodies.
What is the best treatment?
The normal Hashimoto's treatment is to take regular doses of synthetic thyroid hormone, usually in a tablet form. This replaces the hormones that your body can no longer make and usually needs to be taken for the rest of your life.
Natural treatment for Hashimoto's
Our naturopath, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner believe that it makes sense to not only treat the symptoms (low thyroid hormones), but to also improve your overall health, and most importantly your autoimmune system. This is usually done through both herbal remedies and an improved diet plan. Find out more by viewing the separate therapies below.
Greg Bantick has been in practice since 1975 in a wide variety of clinical settings. He has particular interests in dermatology, digestive, mood and auto-immune disorders. He is registered as a Chinese herbalist, pharmacist and acupuncturist with AHPRA CMR0001733690.Read More
Tina has over 30 year’s clinical practice in natural therapies. As a practitioner in naturopathy and acupuncture, Tina has remarkable insight coupled with a caring nature and is a beacon of hope for those she cares for.Read More