Autoimmune Thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is more common than you realize. Hashimoto was a researcher who described an inflammation in the thyroid gland which was caused from the person’s own immune system attacking it.
In this video Dr. Minkoff will explain:
- Autoimmune disease
- Signs and symptoms of hashimoto’s
- What to do at the first sign of hashimoto’s
- Treatment options for hashimoto’s
Hi! Dr. Minkoff, LifeWorks Wellness Center. I want to talk about a common problem today which is autoimmune thyroiditis, better known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hashimoto was a researcher who described an inflammation in the thyroid gland that was caused from the person’s own immune system attacking it. Now autoimmune disease is very common. It’s one of the leading, most increasing diseases that we see in the environment. And what happens is that the person’s immune system gets confused. It is supposed to make a determination that something is either us or not us, it’s like self vs. not self. Each of the cells in our body have a protein on the surface which tells the immune system or tells the rest of the body that that’s us and don’t attack. There’s like a radar coming out of these immune cells looking to see foreign or not foreign. If it’s foreign like a bacteria or a parasite or a yeast it will go BAM, that’s foreign, attack it. If it’s one of us let’s say the signal looks like this it’ll say ah that’s one of us, friend… you know it’s friend or foe. Sometimes what happens is that the immune system gets confused about what is friend and what is foe. Now this can be caused by things going on in the intestine where there’s leakages and foreign proteins come across and the immune system gets overwhelmed and it attacks. Sometimes the structure, the surface structure of the cells in the thyroid gland can be modified or changed. Viruses can do this, heavy metals can do it, probably plastics can do it. And the thyroid gland sitting right here, just below the mouth may be getting things that trickle down into it and make it look like it’s not us. At which point the immune system says hey that’s bad, that’s a bad guy and it sends attack particles, these are called antibodies, they’re proteins. They’re proteins made by the immune system which latch on to the cells of the thyroid gland and that raises in another immune response where cells come in and cause inflammation and try to attack those cells. Now sometimes this can happen to the point where the thyroid gland is under so much stress because it’s being attacked by our own cells, that it starts to not function right and we see levels of thyroid hormone go down down down down and the person has to get thyroid from the outside or we have to prescribe thyroid from the outside in order to keep the body levels normal because the gland is under stress. We can measure these antibodies, these attack particles in the blood and when we see a new person we always screen them for this and you can see that the level of these antibodies is supposed to be very low or none but a person with it with thyroiditis where it’s really turned on, the levels of being the many hundreds in the many thousands and it should be say below 10 or below 6 or below 5. So that gives us an indication of how bad it is. Sometimes when this happens the person will actually feel swelling or pain over their thyroid which means the gland is actually inflamed. So we have a number of treatment strategies for this we have to reverse the autoimmune thing that’s going on and then we have to get the thyroid gland healed and we have various ways to do this but usually it’s successful, the gland will calm down, it will start to feel better, it will start producing a thyroid hormone again and sometimes people who needed thyroid hormone may not need it anymore. OK. This is very very common and many people who have low thyroid are suffering from this to one extent or another. OK, now you understand Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, hope this helps.