Hashimoto’s Disease, also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or Autoimmune Thyroiditis, was first named in 1912 by Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto. It was first recognized as an autoimmune disease in 1957. Hashimoto’s occurs 10 times more in women than in men and most commonly occurs between 30 and 60 years of age.
Hashimoto’s is now the most common thyroid disease and affects 14 million people in the U.S. alone.
Is your own personal story similar to this?
“I am a female between the ages of 30-60. My grandmother, mother, and sister also had thyroid conditions. I am overweight and have a very hard time losing any weight. I am often very fatigued and frequently feel very unmotivated. Many times I want to sleep a lot but quite often cannot sleep, especially between the hours of 1-4 am. I feel like I am aging too fast. My skin is not as healthy as it used to be. It feels dry and I get acne or other unknown spots on my skin that may or may not be itchy. My hair also feels dry, and is not as thick as it used to be, and I often see a lot of hair in my brush and in the sink. I can even see that my eyebrows are not as full, especially the outer edges. I often feel very emotional and frequently have anxiety and sometimes depression as well. My digestive system is not healthy. I feel stomach discomfort with bloating a lot, have either constipation or loose stools, and indigestion after most meals. I usually always feel very cold, especially my hands and feet except in hotter months when I feel much less tolerant of heat than I used to feel when I was younger. I have tried taking many different nutritional supplements but can’t really feel that much of a difference. I am very frustrated with my experiences going to medical doctors. Some doctors tell me that I don’t appear to have a thyroid issue because nothing showed up in the blood test. Other doctors determine that I do have a thyroid condition and have put me on synthetic thyroid prescriptions and told me that I will need to stay on them for the rest of my life. I don’t feel that it is curing my condition or doing enough to help with my ongoing symptoms. I NEED HELP!”
Here are the most common symptoms and contributing factors of Hashimoto’s:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Low heart rate (or too fast due to taking too much thyroid hormone)
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Dry, scaly skin
- Lowered immune response
- History of digestive issues
- Decreased libido
- Joint or muscle aches
- Nutrient and mineral deficiencies
- Poor appetite
- Swelling in the neck area
- Sex hormone dysfunctions
- Poor diet
- Decreased cortisol
- Inability to manage stress
- Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
- Diffuse hair loss
- Reduced muscle mass
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
It’s important to know that if Hashimoto’s Disease is not arrested in time, it will cause a gradual destruction of the thyroid gland. The damage occurs when the immune system hyper accelerates and the chronic hidden infection, gets out of control, and begins to attack the thyroid tissue. White Blood Cells (WBCs or lymphocytes) infiltrate into the thyroid cells (Thyrocytes) and destroy them. The Thyrocytes are made up of the follicle (reservoirs that store Thyroglobulin, the protein that produces T3 and T4) and Extracellular Matrix (ECM). The destruction of the follicle is similar to sticking a pin into a water balloon. Traditional allopathic medicine treatments for this condition will not halt the disease and stop further destruction of the thyroid gland. This is due to the fact that allopathic medicine does not address the two critical contributing factors that cause the disease. Medical treatment is merely focused on synthetic hormone replacement while doing nothing to stop or reverse thyroid tissue damage.
The Two Missing Pieces of the Hashimoto’s Puzzle
Allopathic medicine denies having any cure for Hashimoto’s because they don’t recognize the two very important contributing factors that are the major cause of this disease: Adrenal gland dysfunction, and a hidden infection somewhere in the patient’s body.
Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
Functional Medicine practitioners always consider the adrenal glands when looking for the major causes of almost all chronic health conditions. The adrenal glands are a key component in conditions involving the immune system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, and the neurological system, especially the brain (mood disorders and cognitive issues). Rarely are the adrenal glands ever considered in the diagnosis of chronic conditions by the medical field. The adrenal glands are referred to as the “stress glands”. In our practice, we have found a connection between the severity and duration of stress in a patient’s history that correlates with the severity and chronicity of the patient’s health condition. Accurate analysis of the adrenals through specialty diagnostic lab testing can reveal the severity of dysfunction in your adrenal glands and the level of influence on your health challenges. Adrenal testing is an important part of our diagnostic process. We use the Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) from DiagnosTechs Labs for the most accurate testing for Adrenal Assessment.
Hidden Chronic Infection
Also referred to as a “Stealth Pathogen”, a chronic hidden infection that stays sequestered somewhere in the body and is never addressed by conventional medicine is usually always a root cause of an autoimmune disease. As long as the infection (bacterial, viral, mold, etc.) is present, the immune system becomes “revved up” and stays stuck in attack mode like the gas pedal in your car that is stuck in “pedal to the metal” position. It’s also important for you to know that as the immune system accelerates, so does inflammation levels right along with it. See: The Physiology of an Autoimmune Response
The allopathic medicine approach to this is the prescribing of dangerous anti-inflammatory drugs which are a major cause of kidney damage, gut damage, and many other destructive conditions. See: NIH article: kidney damage from NSAIDs (Anti-inflammatory drugs)
At Functional Medicine Center, we thoroughly investigate, through lab work and a thorough assessment of your health history, for the evidence of primary infections and possible co-infections. For example, we test the blood for Epstein Barr Virus antibodies, which are usually always associated with Hashimoto’s as well as many other autoimmune diseases. See: NIH – Viruses and Autoimmunity
Thyroid Blood Test Panel
We also find that it’s important to do a very thorough thyroid blood panel that includes 9 different tests, including Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) antibodies and Thyroglobulin antibodies (TG abs). Most medical doctors usually only test TSH and sometimes T4 which is not thorough enough and not diagnostic for Hashimoto’s. A high percentage of the female population has undiagnosed Hashimoto’s. See: Blood Test Markers For Hashimoto’s Diagnosis
As soon as we get the results from the diagnostic lab tests, we will work on a plan to resolve these issues for you one at a time. The diagnostic test results will help us determine what the priorities will be. We set out to resolve the most critical first, before moving on and addressing other contributing factors.
In most with a Hashimoto diagnosis, we start with treating Stealth Pathogens by using powerful natural nutritional supplements that are very effective against many types of infections. We will monitor your progress by re-testing your blood after a few months for any previous positive test results to see if antibody levels (for example) are down to healthier levels, showing that the treatments are proving to be effective. Another treatment program may also be needed to get the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, etc.) back to optimum functional levels, by using nutritional supplements and dietary changes. Another important factor that is often neglected by many practitioners who treat endocrine system conditions is the HPA Axis (Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal Axis) and the HPT Axis (Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal Axis). Many patients require treatments that target the whole “chain of command” from the top down versus merely trying to restore function in the bottom of the chain only (Adrenals and Thyroid)
Quite often, a nutritional program for healthy gut regeneration is needed for many patients. Symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) including stomach pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea are quite often due to Intestinal Hyper-permeability, also known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This gut condition is another major factor that leads to immune suppression and chronic inflammation. Did you know that 80% of your immune system (Secretory Immunoglobulin A, or SigA) is in the lining of your gut?
When the treatment plan is initiated and followed diligently, patients relate marked improvements in many of their symptoms, even within a few months and improvements are substantiated in the followup diagnostic lab testing. When the right nutritional supplements are used in the treatment plans, the positive results can be quite significant. For many years we have used supplements from Standard Process Labs due to their high quality and high success rate in their use for chronic conditions. Download this article about the superiority of using Standard Process Lab’s supplements:
Here is something you can do now to start the diagnostic discovery process:
An accurate yet simple test that can determine hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) that is usually always associated with Hashimoto’s is “Barne’s Axillary Temperature Test”. This test can often be more accurate than blood testing for an underactive thyroid. Download and print the instructions here.
If you are premenopausal, accurate assessment requires that you test yourself 10 days in a row. If you are postmenopausal, you only need to test yourself for 5 days in a row. If your average score is below 97.8, it is quite certain that you have hypothyroidism, The lower your score, the more severe. Call our office today: (405) 724-8404. The sooner we start the diagnostic process, the sooner the recommended course of treatment can be started, with a greater chance of arresting this disease and changing your course to a much healthier life!
The primary goal for each of our patients with Hashimoto’s is, at the very least, to halt any further destruction of the thyroid gland by the attack of the White Blood Cells-Lymphocytes and reverse the condition while improving your overall health. We will do everything we can to restore your vitality and sustain a lifetime of wellness for you while minimizing your risk of developing further autoimmune conditions and helping you to live your very best life!
Q: Why doesn’t the medical field know about this treatment for Hashimoto’s?
A: First, the medical field denies that there is an actual cure for Hashimoto’s, or for that matter, any other autoimmune disease. They prescribe drugs merely to “manage” these conditions. Secondly, they are not taught in medical school about the important role of the adrenal glands in maintaining optimal health. They also don’t acknowledge the fact that dysfunctional adrenals are almost always a root cause of many chronic health conditions. The only time they may consider the adrenal glands is when the adrenals are in a serious disease state: Addison’s Disease or Cushing’s Syndrome. The third reason is that Hashimoto’s can only be improved by treatments using a Clinical Nutrition approach. Although there is a small percentage of medical doctors who have abandoned the standard medical practice and have gone into the specialty of holistic medicine, the great majority of medical doctors, since they are not taught about nutrition in medical school, practice standard allopathic medicine (pharmaceutical based).
Q: Why haven’t other doctors I’ve been to previously recommended the extensive blood testing that the Functional Medicine Center recommends?
A: We can only guess that the reason their testing is very limited is because they are not taught this in medical school. Remember, allopathic medicine is all centered on pharmaceutical prescriptions. A quick and easy “solution” for them in “treating” a patient with an under-active thyroid is to read a lab test, see that TSH is on the high side and T4 is on the low side (even with just one single blood test) and then tell the patient that they need to be on synthetic thyroid hormone replacement prescription for the rest of their life. We would want to ask: “why only do 1, 2, or 3 (at the most) thyroid tests when there are at least 9 different tests available? They don’t have a plausible answer to this question. Also, insurance companies don’t want doctors to do any more testing than “what the standard is”. When it comes to insurance companies, it’s all about cost containment. These two reasons keep the insurance companies happy and Big Pharma happy. It’s also important to point out that the profit margin for drug sales is astronomical compared to profits from natural nutritional products.
Q: Does insurance pay for Functional Medicine doctor visits and treatments?
A: Unfortunately they do not, for the most part. Insurance companies are tied into Allopathic Medicine, exclusively. Sometimes insurance companies will pay for all or part of our initial extensive blood panel. You would need to know your deductible and if it’s been met yet for the year you are currently seeking health care. All other diagnostic labs we use for patients are specialty labs that are unique to the field of Functional Medicine and not recognized by health insurance companies. We have, however, experienced great reimbursement coverage from one company that is a Health Sharing Plan: “Samaritan”. Our experience with this particular company showed them to be very “Holistic Medicine-Friendly”.
Q: How effective is your Functional Medicine approach to treating Hashimoto’s?
A: We are very happy to report that our success rate in treating Hashimoto’s is between 95-97%. We define success as outcomes ranging from “complete health restoration” to “greatly improved” based on much-improved lab testing results, alleviation of symptoms, and level of patient satisfaction with the results.
Q: How long does it take to get results?
A: Every patient is different. Factors that determine the speed of results include the patient’s age, how long the patient has had the condition, the severity of the blood test results, diligence in sticking with the program and adherence to the healthy eating plan, and the amount and length of time of stress in the patient’s life. The earliest amount of time we have experienced seeing patients return to complete health has been 3 months. In more severe cases it can take anywhere between 6-12 months for optimal improvement.
Q: Are the results long-lasting/permanent, and will I need to continue taking the supplements?
A: Again, every patient is different. Once we achieve optimum improvement, there will be no need to continue the initially prescribed supplement treatment regimen. All of us, however, can greatly benefit from some amount of recommended supplements depending on a patient’s genetics and the possibility for perhaps some permanent damage mitigation or body system maintenance as we age. For example, in our day and age, most of us should consider taking something for our immune system to ward off potential various infections. In my case, because I sustained permanent damage from years of antibiotic prescriptions, I take a number of upper and lower GI supplements to insure I keep my digestive system as healthy as possible.
Testimonials From Our Autoimmune Disease Patients
“I suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for several years. I just learned to live with severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, and many other debilitating symptoms. My primary care doctor had convinced me that there was not a cure for my disease and that I would have to stay on some heavy drug therapies for the rest of my life. I hated the fact that I would have to always take these drugs because I had done my own research and found out about the horrendous side effects that were common to the users of these drugs (Methotrexate and Remicade Infusion). When I was 75 years old I met Dr. Ramsey. He talked to me about my health challenges and told me that he believed he could help me. I was not familiar with Functional Medicine and was admittedly skeptical that a natural approach using only dietary changes and nutritional supplements would be able to successfully treat such a difficult chronic disease as mine. Dr. Ramsey recommended a book for me to read: “The Pharmaceutical Myth” by Gerald Roliz. This book completely changed my mindset and for the first time since the beginning of my diagnosis, and I actually believed it was possible to be healthy again without having to use the dangerous drugs I had been on for so long. I was so determined to stay on the course of treatment he put me on which included a very healthy eating plan (I was extremely diligent and did not cheat) and amazingly effective nutritional supplements. Six months later I was a new person! I completely regained my health and was even able to get off both drugs, to my astonishment! I never dreamed that I would ever be able to waterski again, but now I do and I’m thrilled that I can look forward every year to summers on the lake!” Sally N.
“I searched online for a Functional Medicine specialist and found Dr. Ramsey. He was one of only two Functional Medicine doctors in my town. Several people I knew steered me away from the other one so I decide on Dr. Ramsey due to his great reputation for being very dedicated to helping his patients and lending an empathetic ear. For quite some time I felt that trying to get help for my Hashimoto’s thyroid condition was becoming more and more frustrating. I felt that my medical doctor was not really trying hard enough to help me and all I came away with on every visit was just more changes to my thyroid hormone prescription with no real positive changes in my condition. Dr. Ramsey did blood tests and then put me on a very healthy diet plan, as well as prescribing me some nutritional supplements from Standard Process Labs. I gradually started feeling better and better and after a few months he ordered a new blood test to check my progress. It was amazing how much my Thyroid and Epstein Barr virus antibodies had come down and my symptoms had improved a great deal as well.” Jessica L.
“I came to Dr. Ramsey in a very desperate situation. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease by my doctor who put me on some medications that just made me feel worse so I stopped taking them and set out to try to find a holistic doctor. I thank God that I found Dr. Ramsey. I was extremely unhealthy and did not understand why I, a young female only 26 years old, would have such severe health issues. I had severe fatigue and sleep issues. My digestive system was horrible and made me feel pretty miserable most days. My hormones were a mess and my emotions were out of control. I knew that my husband and young daughter found me difficult to be around. One of the most difficult things of all was that my skin looked terrible as I was completely broken out with severe acne. It was so bad I was extremely embarrassed to go out in public. I was so desperate to get help because my husband, daughter, and I were going to be leaving the U.S. in 3 months to become missionaries in a very remote part of the world to work with tribal people in Papua New Guinea. I was very concerned because I knew I needed to be healthy enough so I could be dedicated to helping many people when we lived there. I also knew that I would not have any access to nutritional supplements once we were comitted to being there for who knows how long. Dr. Ramsey put me on “The Stealth Pathogen” Program as he felt that this would be the most powerful supplement program to hopefully reverse my Hashimoto’s Disease. Within a month I began to notice dramatic positive changes in my health. I continued this program for 2 more months and then right before we left to go overseas, I showed up at Dr. Ramsey’s office to thank him and Donna for all their wonderful help in returning me to a complete state of health. The best part was seeing their faces light up with happiness when they looked at my face and saw how beautifully healthy my skin was! We all hugged and thanked God together for His healing and His timing! ” Sarah H.
“I suffered for about 25 years with a lot of neck pain, headaches, and acid reflux. About two years before I found Dr. Ramsey I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and was put on a prescription of Levothyroxin. Even after being on the prescription for a year and a half, I continued to have achy joints and muscles and was sure that I had Fibromyalgia, even though I was not diagnosed for this by my medical doctor. When I started seeing Dr. Ramsey, he told me that he was pretty sure that I had Hashimoto’s Disease, mostly based on my symptoms which included: dizziness and problems with balance, inability to lose weight, indigestion, unhealthy fingernails, dry skin, dry eyes, dry and thinning hair, sensitivity to chemicals, sugar cravings, stomach bloating, drowsiness after eating, dry mouth, fatigue, feeling very cold, swollen and stiff joints, neck and back pain, numbness and tingling in many parts of my body, difficulty sleeping, brain fog, sinus congestion, chronic cough, swollen lymph nodes, anxiety/nervousness. To sum it up: “A real Hot Mess”! Dr. Ramsey ordered a very extensive blood test (much more extensive than I’ve ever had previously). The blood test confirmed that I did indeed have Hashimoto’s. I was not previously diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and now I know why. I wasn’t properly tested for it! I’m appalled at the lack of care and proper investigating by the medical field. Many of my friends agree with me on this and so many of us are told “there’s nothing wrong with you and you just need to be on an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug.” This makes me absolutely livid! But now I’m very happy because after Dr. Ramsey’s correct diagnosis and the nutritional treatment program he put me on for 3 months, I feel amazing and am on my way to getting my health back to 100% again! My 2nd blood test after the 3 month program showed incredible improvements with the test numbers way down from where they were. Thank you Doctor Ramsey! (my husband thanks you too!) ” Amanda N.