Ask the Pharmacist: Help for Hashimoto’s disease

Suzy Cohen
Columnist
Thyroid hormone is not always understood, so I’ll tell you that it is a fat-burning switch. If the hormone swings low, you gain weight, if it’s elevated you may not be able to gain weight.

Thyroid hormone is not always understood, so I’ll tell you that it is a fat-burning switch. If the hormone swings low, you gain weight, if it’s elevated you may not be able to gain weight.

With the auto-immune condition Hashimoto’s, your levels of thyroid hormone may be like a pendulum driving you crazy with varying symptoms. I think many people have this condition and do not know it yet. Today’s article is to help you understand the symptoms, as well as new information about it.

Hashimoto's disease is an immune disorder and condition in which your own immune system attacks your thyroid. When the human body’s own immune system targets the thyroid gland as if it were a foreign tissue, it causes an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland termed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; other names for this condition include chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or chronic thyroiditis.

Thyroid hormone is not always understood, so I’ll tell you that it is a fat-burning switch. If the hormone swings low, you gain weight, if it’s elevated you may not be able to gain weight.

A new study published in June 2021, in the Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine found that the ratio of uric acid to HDL cholesterol are elevated. Both uric acid and HDLF can be measured with simple blood tests.

Hashi’s like other autoimmune conditions will cause pro-inflammatory cytokines that attack different systems of the body. So, antioxidants are very important, and a clean diet is too.

Digestive enzymes are important for a person with any type of autoimmune condition because they help reduce the burden of partially digested proteins in your body, which sometimes exacerbate your symptoms.

When a dietary antigen is seen by your immune system - and I’m thinking gluten or casein - your immune system goes to work to fight that off, not realizing it is attacking its own tissue.  So, your intestinal microflora plays a role, and probiotics are useful, especially in Graves’ disease, but I wonder if digestive enzymes are even more important.

Other symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include problems with memory. Is it crisp and do you focus on what people are saying? Do you have more anxiety lately or suffer with insomnia? Brain problems are an under-diagnosed, but well known phenomena that occur with this condition, and it’s called Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy.

Sometimes thyroid problems can be mitigated with antioxidants (especially those that specifically break down peroxide and turn it into water and oxygen). Some of the things you can do to help yourself with Hashimoto’s include the following: 

  • Reduce peroxide and break it down with catalase enzyme.
  • Calm down the inflamed tissues by eating a low histamine diet.
  • Consider minerals like selenium to support healthy TPO levels.
  • Take protease enzymes and/or DPPIV to help break down gluten and casein.
  • Routinely check blood levels for thyroid antibodies, uric acid, HDL, free T3/T4 and more.
  • Consider probiotics and a high-quality B complex vitamin.

Certain foods can trigger you, especially those that are high in histamine. I wrote a special Food Guide that I’m giving away called “Hashi No No’s” and it’s downloadable at my website here:  store.suzycohen.com/hashi-no-no. 

More:Ask the Pharmacist: Why dill’s good for you

And:Ask the Pharmacist: Factors that contribute to thyroid disease

Also:Ask the Pharmacist: Taurine supports brain and heart health

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.