Hashimotos Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also called autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease, occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing the thyroid to swell. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces a hormone called thyroxine that controls growth and the rate at which the body uses energy (metabolism). This consequently creates disregulation of the hormones, an increase in inflammation (as seen by the swelling) and chaos to the metabolic functions of the body (sleep, energy, weight, skin health, nervous system function).


  • sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • mild weight gain
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • small thyroid gland
  • enlarged neck
  • dry skin
  • hair loss
  • muscle cramps
  • heavy and irregular menstruation
  • difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • less common symptoms main include facial swelling and joint stiffness


  • Check for food sensitivities such as gluten. Food intolerances may be a contributing factor to the underlying autoimmune condition and gluten specifically antagonises the thyroid gland creating sensitivity, inflammation and disruption. Simply avoiding gluten can help the regulation of the thyroid gland to improve over time
  • Address low immunity
  • A liver function test and a full blood profile to determine nutritional status is also advisable
  • Address nutritional status, common deficiencies are minerals (Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Magnesium) along with others such as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D
  • Often when people begin thyroid medication it can be difficult to establish the correct dosage required by each individual. It is advisable to speak to your Health care professional regarding the dosage as you may find your current prescribed strength to not be tolerated by your body. The symptoms you mentioned – headache and lethargy may be side effects to the medication and it is generally recommended by Naturopaths to begin on a lower dose rather than a higher one and to build the amount up slowly so as to find the correct dosage and minimal unwanted side effects. The same rule applies if natural therapies are used. Please tell your health care provider if you are taking any other drugs (prescription or over the counter), herbs or supplements as they may interact with treatment. Hashimotos thyroiditis is a difficult condition to treat and results may not be recieved immediately through medication. It is also suggested to treat the underlying immune system disregulation for better long term results
  • Please see a Naturopath to have a full case history taken as it is important to assess your overall health. They will be able to assist you with supplementation advice and ongoing support that this condition requires
  • Patients may receive hormone medications for the rest of their lives to substitute the underactive thyroid. Sometimes treatment involves the surgical removal of the thyroid gland. With lifelong hormone supplementation, these patients are also able to live normal and healthy lives


  • Iodine has been used to prevent goiters that are caused by iodine deficiency.
  • Gamma oryzanol (occuring in rice bran oil, corn and barley oils).May reduce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in patients withhypothyroidism. As a result, this may reduce the chance of a goiterdeveloping
  • Selenium is important as an anti-inflammatory and nutrient for the health of the immune system
  • Zinc supplementation may improve thyroid hormone levels (particularly T3) among women with hypothyroidism