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Navigating Hashimoto's with a Functional Medicine Approach

Hello there! Have you recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism? Wondering if you have Hashimoto's? Been dealing with a thyroid condition for a long time and just not feeling better? If any of these apply to you OR you’re just curious about what a functional medicine approach to Hashimoto's thyroiditis looks like, you're in the right place. Let's delve into what Hashimoto's entails and how a functional medicine approach can offer a pathway to better health and vitality.

woman holding throat thyroid gland

What is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland (oops!), leading to hypothyroidism. It’s a common thyroid disorder, especially among women, affecting up to 5% of the US population. The condition can disrupt the delicate balance of your body's metabolism, causing various symptoms and affecting overall health.

Understanding the Symptoms

Hashimoto's symptoms can be diverse and often develop slowly, which can make them easy to overlook. They range from fatigue and weight gain to cold intolerance and mood swings. Some people may experience a goiter (an enlarged thyroid), while others might have subtle signs like dry skin or brittle nails. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for early intervention and effective management.

The Functional Medicine Approach

Functional medicine offers a comprehensive way to address Hashimoto's, focusing on the individual and their unique health profile:

  • Thyroid Hormone Replacement: This involves assessing and adjusting hormone levels to find the right balance, which may include synthetic or natural thyroid hormones. The choice in medication comes down to how well the patient can convert T4 to the more metabolically active T3 hormone, history, symptoms and patient preference.

  • Gut Health and Hashimoto's: Investigating gut health is pivotal, as gastrointestinal function can significantly impact autoimmune conditions. Strategies like healing the gut lining, removing inflammatory foods, and optimizing gut flora are essential to reducing thyroid antibodies and restoring balance to the system.

  • Screening for Other Autoimmune Conditions: Given the interconnected nature of autoimmune diseases, a thorough assessment for other potential autoimmune disorders is essential. Screening for celiac disease should always be considered.

  • Nutritional Support: Nutrition plays a vital role in managing Hashimoto's. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in selenium, zinc, and antioxidants, can support thyroid health and reduce autoimmune activity. Healthy fats and oils are also extremely important.

  • Stress and Thyroid Health: Chronic stress can worsen Hashimoto's symptoms. Techniques like mindfulness, yoga, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective in reducing stress and its impact on the thyroid.

thyroid gland drawing in hands

Detailed Look at Botanical and Nutraceutical Interventions

In addition to lifestyle and dietary changes, specific supplements and botanicals can support thyroid function and immune regulation. The choice of nutrients and dose varies patient to patient and it's important to discuss this with a healthcare provider who is trained in functional and/or naturopathic medicine:

  • Black Cumin Seed: Has been shown to improve thyroid function and reduce autoimmune markers in some studies.

  • Selenium: This mineral is crucial for thyroid hormone production and can help reduce autoimmune antibodies.

  • Zinc and Iron: Both are essential for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.

  • Thiamine and Vitamin D: These are often deficient in Hashimoto's patients and are important for energy metabolism and immune regulation.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, they can help modulate the immune response and support thyroid health.


Hashimoto's thyroiditis is more than just a thyroid issue; it's a complex condition that affects the whole body. With a functional medicine approach, you can explore various facets of your health to find the most effective management strategy. It’s about taking a step back, looking at the big picture, and crafting a personalized plan that addresses your unique needs.

If you'd like to work with me to get to the root cause of your thyroid issues and treat your symptoms holistically, click the link below for more information on how to schedule or book a 15 minute discovery call.

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