What is Hashimotos?
Hashimotos Thyroiditis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. As with all autoimmune diseases (i.e. celiac, muscular dystrophy, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc), it is a body’s attack onto itself. In the case of Hashimotos, the body sets out to attack and destroy the thyroid gland. Hashimotos is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the US and predominately affects women. In ~90% of cases Hashimotos disease is misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland has many functions in the body, including energy production, hormone synthesis, and regulation of metabolism. Symptoms of Hashimotos include, but are not limited to chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, depression, infertility, and weight loss/gain. Diagnosis is achieved via a blood test to measure thyroid antibodies (anti-thyroid peroxidase and Thyroglobulin antibody). High levels of antibodies (outside normal range) indicate disease.
I have read many a website attempting to define Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Most websites I find, especially mainstream sites, lack pertinent information. If you’re looking to learn more about Hashimotos the best resource I have found this this website, written by a Hashimotos patient and author of the book Stop the Thyroid Madness. Although the website is not written by a health professional, in my research it contains a great deal of accurate and to the point information about the disease if you’re looking to learn more.
If you suspect you have an autoimmune disease, including Hashimotos, I highly recommended that you consult your physician or holistic health provider for guidance, diagnosis and treatment. Also, please keep in mind that many people with autoimmune diseases are able to find relief from their symptoms and increased control of their disease when following a minimally processed, plant-based (and in some cases gluten-free) diet to reduce inflammation in the body. I especially love Eat Ur Veggies, also written by an RD as a go to source for information on nutrition as it relates to autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise and affect more than 50 million Americans. To learn more please visit the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association.
If you’re looking for additional support or information around Hashimoto’s or other Autoimmune diseases, please feel free to contact me directly.