Hashimotos, Herbal medicines and Holistic Care – things you should know!
Pathology and biomedical overview – Pathophysiology (the disease process)
Hashimotos is a:
• Chronic autoimmune disease
• Lymphocytes accumulate in the gland and antibodies accumulate leading to hypothyroidism and goitre
• Common to be euthyroid (normal thyroid function) in early stages and progress to hypothyroid
• Approximately 25% of people are hypothyroid at diagnosis
• TSH may be normal or elevated and is not enough to test to exclude hashimotos
• Antithyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin autoantibodies are the main 2 antibodies that will be elevated in hashimotos
• Common to have comorbid autoimmune conditions – often people will have multiple autoimmune diseases at the same time
• strong familial association (50% of immediate relatives)
There can be many triggering events in autoimmune disease for example infection, stress, genetics, environmental pollutants and chemicals such as heavy metals, intestinal hyperpermeability aka leaky gut, food allergies and intolerances eg. gluten
• mainly affects middle age women
• Thyroxine is used to increase thyroid hormones in hypothyroidism – T4 replacement (remember that T4 still needs to be converted to the active thyroid hormone which is T3)
A quick note on herbal medicines
Herbal medicines have multiple actions in multiple body systems – this is why you need a qualified practitioner to do a complete health assessment for you and design a uniquely tailored and personalised blend to meet your individual needs.. Herbal medicines can and do interact in both positive and negative ways with pharmaceutical medications.. another reason to consult with a qualified practitioner before consuming herbal medicines..
General goals in autoimmune conditions:
- regulate the immune system
- reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
- identify food triggers
- support the nervous system
- identify and exclude infective triggers
Lets have a look at a snapshot of some evidence for herbal medicines:
Remember that herbal medicine is a traditional medicine that has a long history of use. Evidence based practice includes the evidence, the patient preferences, traditional knowldege and the clinicians expertise. Where evidence is not available for a particular herb the practitioner will rely on traditional use and expertise to prescribe..
A qualified practitioner will interpret and apply the available evidence to an individual person – the conclusion of a research article or clinical trial needs to be scrutinised and analysed for bias and quality of the design to make the results credible and generalisable to patients. This is another reason why you need a degree qualified practitioner to guide your treatment..
Consider that i put these charts together more than 1 year ago and that makes the information already possibly out of date! New research is published all the time and your practitioner will be constantly researching to stay up to date with the current evidence base..
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal or general health advice – see a qualified practitioner for personal health advice and refrain from self prescribing herbal medicines. If anything you have read here raises any questions or concerns regarding your health consult with a healthcare professional for personal health advice.
Australia wide naturopath servicing Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Glen Innes and the New England area, Inverell, Armidale, Emmaville, Uralla, Surry Hills or where ever you are travelling from with online skype consults available.
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