Is there a difference between Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism?
I often hear these two terms being used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference between these terms. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland is under-functioning. The reason as to why your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally could be a number of reasons. One of these reasons is if you have antibodies attacking your gland such is the case with Hashimoto’s. So, Hashimoto’s is a cause of hypothyroidism, just like elevated estrogen and poor conversation can cause a sluggish thyroid gland.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, one key difference when working with Hashimoto’s clients that needs to be considered is the state of their immune system. After all, it is the immune system that produces thyroid antibodies. So, treatment and care should be focused on both the immune system and thyroid health.
However, that sadly isn’t the case for many people with Hashimoto’s’. As Hashimoto’s is just treated like hypothyroidism, given a thyroid hormone replacement pill such as levothyroxine or Synthroid and that’s the end of it. However, that is only really addressing half of the equation.
At our wellness center, when working with Hashimoto clients we maintain and prevent the worsening of thyroid health, but we also work on supporting the immune system. Through various recommendations, many patients can lower antibody production, which helps to maintain thyroid function.
➡️Identifying and removing all food intolerances and sensitivities
➡️Testing and supplementing with therapeutic doses of vitamin D
➡️Using immune-modulating herbs such as astragalus and cordyceps
➡️Assessing for other hormone imbalances, such as estrogen dominance and healthy cortisol levels
➡️Implementing anti-inflammatory foods/spices
As you can see there are things that can be done to help support your immune system, which in turn will benefit your thyroid. You do not and should not have to walk around with insanely elevated antibodies all the time! It is all about finding the right balance for you, which is why functional medicine can be extremely helpful for thyroid issues, especially Hashimoto’s.