When diagnosing and treating Hashimoto’s, I always assess the functionality of three key things: your hormonal orchestra, your adrenal glands, and your gut.
In my Autoimmune Diet post, I talked a little bit about gut health, and how targeting specific food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy or soy can invariably treat Hashimoto’s from the source.
Hashimoto’s is an immune problem. In treating it, I look at the Gastro-intestinal system first, using remedies that can ultimately heal the gut. Some of the best remedies I use are ancient and herbal. Each of my patients is subjective; the herbal treatment I prescribe depends on the nature of her autoimmune response.
The Thyroid and The Adrenals: A Gland Story
The adrenals and the thyroid operate in sync, acting in harmony at the hormone gene-receptor level.
The adrenals produce cortisol, which controls the body’s stress levels. When your body suffers from a cortisol imbalance, your thyroid functions less efficiently. Adrenal fatigue causes cortisol production to speed up, triggering the thyroid to slow down the production and distribution of hormones. Too much cortisol, and the body will build up a resistance to excessive thyroid hormone signals, and stop responding to it altogether.
Natural Adrenal Adaptogens
If the cause of your Hashimoto’s excessive stress or adrenal fatigue, I’ll use ashwagandha (or Indian ginseng), astralugus, rehmannia, or rhodiola. These are all adrenal adaptogens that help your body balance its stress response. An easy way to remember is that adaptogens help you adapt to stress.
- Ashwagandha enhances the conversion of T4 to T3, kicking your thyroid hormone production back into play. It also helps treat insomnia, an additional stressor that may be causing your body to produce extra cortisol, and therefore decrease thyroid function.
- Astralagus is an overall immunity booster, increasing the production of your body’s anti-stress compounds and reducing the ability of cortisol to bind to blind
- Rehmannia offers adrenal support, balancing cortisol levels and enhancing overall immune function.
- Rhodiola balances cortisol levels to comprehensively control the body’s stress response, including reducing fatigue and anxiety, increasing the sex drive and mental sharpness, and managing stress and
It’s important to determine whether your Hashimoto’s is caused by an overactive TH-1 or TH-2 autoimmune response; operating like a see-saw, these two T-helper cells fight for dominance over the immune response, reacting positively to different substances and treatments.
Direct Thyroid Stimulants
Some roots perk up the thyroid directly through anti-inflammatory agents or hormonal stimulants.
- Blue Iris Flag Root detoxifies and stimulates the thyroid gland with anti-inflammatory effects. It’s been long used by doctors for treatment of goiter and thyroid
- Rosmarinic Acid effectively kills proliferating T-cells, slowing the autoimmune response.
- Cordyceps is a Chinese medical mushroom that helps normalize the physiological affects of stress of the thyroid, therefore softening the immune response.
- Myrrh Gum is a resinous sap produced by the herb Guggul, known to stimulate the healthy production of T3.
Start treating your Hashimoto’s from the source. Targeting the nature of your autoimmune response will help you find your most effective herbal remedy.
In good health,