Doctor Chris Heimlich, DC, DACNB, of the Scottsdale Phoenix metro area Comments:
Eighty percent of hypothyroidism in the United States is caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. An autoimmune disease is an illness that occurs when the tissues of your body are attacked by its own immune system. With Hashimoto’s it is the thyroid gland that is under attack.
The recent research also shows there is a strong incidence a part of the brain called the cerebellum that is also targeted and attacked with patients that have Hashimoto’s.
Although, Hashimoto’s Disease can cause hyperthyroidism, it most commonly causes hypothyroidism, which is a low thyroid state. Typically Hashimoto’s is a slow gradual immune attack, resulting in thyroid cell death, eventually destroying enough cells to cause low thyroid symptoms.
Medical management of Hashimoto’s disease doesn’t change because the mechanism is autoimmune, although it should. Replacement thyroid hormones are still the treatment of choice. Absolutely no attention is given to the autoimmune destruction itself. This is because the use of steroids to calm the immune system down could cause more harm than benefit in the overall health of the patient.
Focusing the clinical management on slowing and modulating the autoimmune attack is crucial in Hashimoto’s Disease. How can you have a properly functioning thyroid if the body is continually attacking and killing it?
We take a functional approach to naturally supporting and modulating the immune system in autoimmune cases. We do special lab panels to measure the specifics of the immune response. We look at inflammatory cytokines, lymphocyte subpopulation analysis, and natural killer cells. Natural management of autoimmune conditions is complex. Support that is specific to the individual immune system is essential if you truly want to help Hashimoto’s Disease.
I see people every day that have medical histories that scream that they have an autoimmune problem, yet they continue to suffer because no one ever looked at the whole picture.
If you suffer with a thyroid problem and you would like to become a patient in our office just click on the Schedule tab or give us a call at 480-991-9355.
Dr Chris Heimlich, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician and Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist