When telling other people that you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, you may be asked “Is that overactive or under-active thyroid?” Many family members and friends may not have an inkling what Hashimoto’s is, so they may not understand the suffering that those of us who have it go through. It can be controlled, but never cured. Hashimoto’s may be a primary contributing factor to other auto-immune diseases, which may lead some individuals with the disease to try alternative treatments to hopefully cure or alleviate Hashimoto’s.
Traditional Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Treatment
One of the reasons that the seriousness of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is so misunderstood is that the treatment is much the same as for anyone who experiences an under-active thyroid condition. But Hashimoto’s is a disease, not just a condition. With Hashimoto’s, the person’s own immune system thinks the thyroid gland is a foreign invader and attacks it. My thyroid is completely destroyed; I have no thyroid function at all. Every function of the body is slowed down in a person with Hashimoto’s; there may be other auto-immune diseases present in the body. Yet the standard, traditional treatment is the same as in a person with mild underactive thyroid function, synthetic thyroid hormone, known as Synthroid or Levothyroxine. Like in any other thyroid patient, the dosage will have to be adjusted, especially in the beginning, to find the correct dose that brings the right level back into the body.
Alternative Treatment for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
There are several websites that claim to offer alternative treatment for Hashimoto’s.
Natural Endocrine Solutions recognizes that “not everyone with this autoimmune thyroid condition is a candidate for natural treatment methods.” yet they also claim that “one can’t argue that the conventional type of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis treatment procedures don’t do anything to help with the cause of this condition.” Advice is given that patients should consult with and be evaluated by a natural holistic doctor to “evaluate your condition and give you the guidance you need to restore your health back to normal, assuming this is possible of course.” Natural Endocrine Solutions raises the premise that Hashimoto’s is not just a thyroid disease but a complex autoimmune problem that causes malfunction of the thyroid gland, causing the Hashimoto’s.
Native Remedies does a great job of explaining the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and some of the suffering that those of us who have the disease endure. They then suggest alternative therapies that someone who has the disease may consider. Therapies such as Herbal medicines (naturopathy), homeopathy, acupuncture, massage and yoga are among the “Natural therapies to alleviate symptoms.” The site informs those seeking natural treatment that “A combination of herbal ingredients such as Equisetum arvense, oatstraw (Avena sativa), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and gotu kola (Centella asiatica) can be used” as natural treatment options, even along with conventional thyroid mediations. They do advise discussing the dual treatment with your doctor.
Alternative Treatment: An Individual Decision
When seeking information about alternative treatments, I soon decided that they were not for me. I have many allergies to several trees, weeds and some plants. Some of the “herbal” remedies are ingredients that I have never heard of and even those I have heard of, I am afraid I will end up in the emergency room getting treatment for the severe allergic reaction and worse yet, not even be able to tell doctors what I was exposed to.
While I will advocate for the fact that eating healthy and exercising is a contributing factor to overall health, none of the exercise or yoga that I have done has made one bit of difference in my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. In fact, when I stopped taking the thyroid hormone on just alternate days for a 2 week period, my thyroid levels dropped so low the dosage had to be increased. I was not just overly tired; I actually grew weak.
So deciding on whether to consider alternative treatments has to be an individual decision. Consider where the information is coming from. If the site only offers suggestions but there is no physician or certified specialist standing behind that treatment, you may want to consider whether it is right for you. Discuss it with your doctor before you discontinue or alter your thyroid medication treatment.
I decided that the best course of action for me is to not embark on alternative treatment for my thyroid disease, but to continue following the advice, diagnostic testing and ongoing treatment with my endocrinologist and using only conventional treatment of synthetic thyroid medication.
There are indeed several alternative treatments for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some people with the disease may leap into alternative treatments with joy, believing that they will be cured of the disease. Others, myself included, are more cautious. It is an individual decision; just be careful that you do not find yourself in a medical crisis due to severely critical thyroid issues.