My Husband's Diagnosis

When I wrote previously about my husband's recent health struggles, we were still very much in diagnostic mode. Although the increased nutrition, elimination diet, and lifestyle changes we were implementing were leading to some good results, my husband was still having a lot of pain and suffering. My husband finally found a healthcare provider who would order the tests we wanted, so we could try to gain a better understanding of what is causing his symptoms.


Now we finally have a diagnosis: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, as evidenced by blood tests showing high TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), low T3, and the presence of TPO antibodies (thyroid peroxidase antibodies).




What is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system is actually attacking the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is responsible for releasing thyroid hormones which "control how the body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your body." [1]


People with Hashimoto's often present a mixture of hyperthyroid and hypothyroid symptoms. The thyroid is not releasing enough thyroid hormones, leading to hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, depression, joint pain, and memory problems. Meanwhile, the immune system is creating antibodies that are actively destroying thyroid tissue so that the body is also at times being flooded with thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroid symptoms such as heart palpitations, weight loss, insomnia, and anxiety.


Hashimoto's expert Izabella Wentz estimates that most people have Hashimoto's for ~10 years before it is finally diagnosed. This is because standard blood tests assess thyroid function only through TSH, and in Hashimoto's it often takes many years for the TSH values to actually read abnormally. Based on my husband's blood test results, he has probably had Hashimoto's for many years, and that really explains a lot since he has been exhibiting most of the hypo- and hyperthyroid symptoms listed above for many years.


Our Holistic Approach to Treating Hashimoto's

After many years of trying somewhat ineffectually to improve my husband's health, his Hashimoto's diagnosis is actually somewhat of a relief. It finally gives us concrete direction in knowing where we need to focus our efforts going forward from here.


The conventional approach to treating Hashimoto's is to prescribe thyroid medications and just give in to the fact that the body is going to destroy the thyroid gland. People who follow this approach will have to take thyroid medication for the rest of their lives, and meanwhile they are predisposed to developing more autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis (which my husband already has), and celiac disease. While we are not against trying some thyroid hormone to see if we can help manage my husband's symptoms and slow the damage to his thyroid gland, we are not ready to give in and let his body continue to destroy his thyroid.


Thankfully, knowledge about Hashimoto's disease has come a long way in the last ten years. There is ample evidence that, with the right diet, supplements, and lifestyle choices, many people with Hashimoto's disease are able to actually go into remission. And some people are even able to regenerate the damaged thyroid tissue.


The Root Cause of Autoimmune Disease

According to Thyroid Pharmacist Izabella Wentz,

"There has been a lot of research done on autoimmune diseases and what causes them. Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, found that three things must be present for autoimmunity to develop:
  • A genetic predisposition

  • Intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut”, which occurs when the intestinal barrier of the gut is damaged and allows inflammatory pathogens to enter the bloodstream)

  • Triggers (infections, food sensitivities, etc.)

All three requirements of this “three-legged stool” must be present, or a person will not develop an autoimmune disease. Based on this, by removing one of the factors of autoimmunity, we can reverse Hashimoto’s." [2]


My Husband's Treatment Plan

90-Day Hashimoto's Protocol

My husband is undertaking Izabella Wentz's 90-Day Hashimoto's Protocol. This protocol seeks to address the root cause of Hashimoto's disease through:

  • Liver support and detox - including a gentle 2-week liver cleanse

  • Adrenal recovery - including addressing lifestyle factors that lead to adrenal insufficiency

  • Healing the gut - including following the autoimmune paleo (AIP) dietary protocol which excludes gluten, grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and nightshades

  • Identifying other root causes such as infections and food sensitivities

We are hopeful that the Hashimoto's Protocol will help with my husband's extremely painful and itchy psoriasis, too, since psoriasis is another autoimmune condition.


Homeopathic Remedies

In addition to the 90-Day Protocol, we are using homeopathic remedies to aid in my husband's healing. Homeopathic remedies work naturally, with no side effects, and help the body to heal the underlying imbalance that leads to ill health. We're continuing to use two homeopathic remedies that we had already found to be helpful for my husband's psoriasis: Pulsatilla in alternation with Kali Sulphuricum (which are administered with an extra-diluted dose every few days and were selected specifically to match his own individual skin symptoms, including burning pain, itching, and peeling, with worsening from heat, bathing, bending over, and at night in bed).


In thyroid disease, homeopathic treatment has been shown to be effective in helping blood markers such as TSH and anti-thyroid antibodies return to normal. [3] There are several different homeopathic remedies that have been shown to help with Hashimoto's disease. [4] My husband's Hashimoto's symptoms correspond best to the remedy Natrum muriaticum. That particular remedy has actually been clinically shown to result in improved thyroid markers and improvement in the intensity of the thyroid-related symptoms. [5] So we have added Natrum muriaticum into my husband's homeopathic remedy rotation to aid in healing.


Dynamic Neural Retraining System

My husband is also working on implementing the Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS), thanks to a friend who reached out to me after my last post about my husband's health. DNRS is a neuroplasticity program "which rewires the limbic system to build more functional neural pathways... This focus on rewiring limbic system function shifts the brain and body from a chronic sympathetic response associated with the fight or flight state into a parasympathetic state, or a state of growth and repair, where true healing can take place." Thus far, the DNRS program seems promising and has helped in reducing my husband's stress and anxiety.



Onward and Upward

My husband and I are continuing to work hard towards his recovery. He still has a long ways to go, but overall things are definitely better than they were a few months ago. #FindingAnswers #FeelingHopeful #MovingInTheRightDirection


Do you know anyone with Hashimoto's or other autoimmune diseases? What has been the most helpful in supporting healing from these conditions?



References

[1] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Thyroid Tests,"

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/thyroid

[2] Wentz, Izabella, PharmD. "Why Hashimoto's Requires a Root Cause Approach,"

https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/root-cause-approach-and-hashimotos/

[3] Chauhan VK, Manchanda RK, Narang A, Marwaha RK, Arora S, Nagpal L, Verma SK, Sreenivas V. "Efficacy of homeopathic intervention in subclinical hypothyroidism with or without autoimmune thyroiditis in children: an exploratory randomized control study," Homeopathy. 2014 Oct;103(4):224-31, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25439038

[4] Sharma, Vikas, MD. "How Homeopathy can Help in Treating Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,"

https://www.drhomeo.com/homeopathic-treatment/homeopathic-remedy-for-hashimotos-thyroiditis/

[5] Kumar, V. Sathish, MD. "Effectiveness of Natrum muriaticum 1M on reduction of TSH Level in females between age group 35 to 55 years"

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sathish_Kumar346/publication/323676527_EFFECTIVENESS_OF_NATRUM_MURIATICUM_1M_ON_REDUCTION_OF_TSH_LEVEL_IN_FEMALES_BETWEEN_AGE_GROUP_35_TO_55_YEARS/


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