Miriam Young is a Medical Herbalist in Brisbane, specialising in thyroid dysfunction, including Hashimoto’s.

Hashimoto’s is merely the name of the doctor who first identified swelling in his patients’ thyroids over a hundred years ago. He recognised that iodine deficiency did not wholly explain the problem. The label only just named the symptom of inflammation, not the underlying cause. Thyroiditis is merely inflammation of the thyroid gland.

To be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s you need to have both thyroid anti-bodies raised.

These two are the Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroid Immune Globulin.

If you go to your doctor and ask for a thyroid test. He or she will usually only request TSH and If you come back with a normal TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), from your doctor, (if you have been to him/her recently complaining of fatigue) and this comes back normal, then no further investigations will be made. The trouble is, many people with Hashimoto’s have a normal TSH reading (according to GP’s parameters), so it goes undiagnosed.

Most doctors don’t understand the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s, and if diagnosed, will merely prescribe Thyroxine, a synthetic form of T4, which does nothing to treat this condition. TSH is a pituitary hormone, (not a thyroid hormone), which communicates to the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone. TSH in isolation tells you very little about thyroid function.

The cause of Hashimoto’s is a weekend immune system usually due to the Epstein Bar Virus, which has taken hold, and silently moved deeper into the organs and glands over the years.

Most of us have contracted Epstein Bar Virus at some stage in our lives. It may have come into the system as swollen glands for a few days, or worse, we went to bed for a week during our University years. Unfortunately the EBV never went away entirely, and hid in your liver and is opportunist in its movements.

Over the years, poor digestive function with a dairy and gluten-rich diet and a poorly functioning liver, heavy metal toxicity, (especially mercury), orthodox medication, stress, shock and a body full of cortisol are optimal conditions for EBV to slowly and steadily take over, and so called Auto-Immune Disorders result.

When I was at College 25 years ago, we were taught by doctors, that Hashimoto’s is an Auto-Immune condition, whereby the body was confused and the immune system, was now attacking self-tissue. From all my years of being in practice, research, and my understanding of how viruses operate in the body, I feel that one day this science will become out-dated. It is the virus that is attacking our body, not our own immune system.

If you suspect any kind of thyroid condition and not getting anywhere with your doctor, I would recommend a full panel of thyroid bloods performed in a private lab, that you just pay for yourself.

I use a lab called Nutri-Path, a medical laboratory, offering more tests than any other integrative laboratory in Australia. They are based in Victoria, but you can go to any pathology lab in Australia and get your blood drawn, they courier it to Nutri-Path for you.

Naturopathic Assessment and Treatment includes…

  1. Full thyroid blood panel, including Vitamin D
  2. Iodine Loading Test. (not spot iodine)
  3. Heavy Metal Toxicity Assessment and Mineral Analysis using the Oligoscan (which I use in clinic)
  4. Dietary and Life Style changes including Stress Reduction, Emotional Healing
  5. Prescription of Anti-Viral, Immune Modulating Herbal Medicines
  6. Gut healing and Liver Detox
  7. Prescription of Amino Acids and Nutrients to restore assessed deficiencies using the Oligoscan

Length of time it takes to heal Hashimoto’s, and return both anti-bodies back to normal is anywhere between 6-12 months. There is always a vast improvement after 6 x months, but the complete normalising can take longer. It of course depends on the consistency of the client following the program and how dedicated they are.

I felt this was an important article to write, as there are many people who have been labeled with Hashimoto’s and think that’s it forever! The results in my patients paints a very different picture. That level of fatigue and foggy head that is experienced with Hashimoto’s, does not have to be tolerated.

Reference: Central European Journal of Immunology

Cent Eur J Immunol. 2016; 41(3): 297–301.

Published online 2016 Oct 25. doi: 10.5114/ceji.2016.63130