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Hashimoto's Flare Up: Get Clear On What To Look For

What is Hashimoto's Disease?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a condition that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland and is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism. Hashimoto's flare-ups are periods of intense inflammation that can occur when the gland isn't producing enough hormones. They can be highly disruptive and lead to many complications, including weight gain, fatigue, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also called Hashimoto's disease, is an autoimmune condition. Thyroid gland damage occurs when it attacks the immune system by mistake. As a result, hypothyroidism can develop when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones to meet the body's needs.

A condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake is referred to as an autoimmune disorder.
Hashimoto's Flare up - Blog - showing diagram of the thyroid - Conscious Med

What is Graves’ Disease?

Graves' disease causes hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland. You produce more thyroid hormones than you need, so your body speeds up many of its functions.

Hashimoto's and Graves' diseases are both autoimmune disorders that affect your thyroid gland, which produces hormones that regulate your body's basal metabolic rate.

What is a Hashimoto’s flare-up?

A Hashimoto's flare-up is a temporary increase in symptoms experienced by people with Hashimoto's disease. These flare-ups can be brought on by stress, illness, or other triggers and can last for days or weeks at a time. During a flare-up, people may experience fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and other symptoms.

Hashimoto's disease flare-ups can generate hypothyroid symptoms even if you are receiving treatment for it. If this occurs, it's most likely because your thyroid replacement hormone is insufficient, typically levothyroxine (T4).

Symptoms

You can experience Thyroid symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin & hair
  • Puffy face
  • Muscle & joint aches
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Low mood or depression
  • Irregular or heavy periods
  • Slow heart rate
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
Hashimoto's Flare up - causing joint & muscle pain - blog - Conscious Med

What are the causes of Hashimoto's flare-up?

A variety of factors can cause a flare-up of Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Nutrient Deficiencies

  1. Iodine
  2. Selenium
  3. Zinc
  4. Vitamins B-12 and D

Medicines and Supplements

Thyroid medication can be interfered with by certain drugs and supplements.

  1. Calcium Carbonate
  2. Iron
  3. Multivitamins containing calcium and iron
  4. Antacids
  5. Estrogens - used in birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  6. Certain medications for lowering cholesterol, ulcer, seizure, and antibiotics

Stress

The thyroid is affected by stress because it slows down your body's metabolic rate. There is a reduction in triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormones when thyroid function slows during stress.
Stress encompasses a variety of conditions, namely:
  1. Emotional Stress - pertains to work, relationships, and health.
  2. Physical Stress - going through an illness, injury, or surgery.
  3. Pregnancy, menopause, and other life changes.
Hashimoto's Flare up - fatigued woman falling asleep - Blog - Conscious Med

The triggers of Hashimoto’s flare-up

  1. Diet

    A healthy diet can stimulate your hormones, brain, and gut, reversing immune dysfunction and inflammation.
  2. Emotional & Physical Stress
    The impact of stress on your body is far-reaching, affecting everything from your hormone production to your immune system.
  3. Viral Infections
    One environmental factor triggering an autoimmune outbreak is viral infections (like rubella, mumps, or Epstein-Barr virus), and a virus causes inflammation as a defense mechanism. Conditions of any kind can put a strain on your body, making it susceptible to disruptions.
  4. Lack of Sleep & Lack of Exercise
    Thyroid health can improve by getting enough sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get low-quality sleep, your immune system will have a difficult time building up its forces.
  5. Bacterial Infections (Acute or Recurrent)
    Bacterial infections can also stress the immune system, leading to Hashimoto's exacerbations.
  6. Parasites
    Parasites can also trigger outbursts. There have been reports that some cases of Hashimoto's are associated with blastocystis hominis infections.
  7. Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
    Chemicals that disrupt hormones are classified as EDCs. EDC chemicals like these either block or mimic native hormones in the body. Moreover, they make thyroid lab tests appear better than they are, thus interfering with thyroid diagnosis. These chemicals are found in plastics, receipts, drinking water, clothing, lotions, creams, etc.
  8. Leaky Gut
    A leaky gut means that your body's protective barrier (intestinal lining) is not as effective, and toxins may enter your bloodstream unintentionally. You may experience inflammation in your gut, or your immune system may react to the toxins, two factors that can cause a flare-up.

How are Hashimoto's flare ups treated?

The treatment for a Hashimoto upsurge can vary depending on the symptoms, including dietary changes, medication, or surgery.
Approaches to managing flare-ups are:
  • Changing your medication or stopping it may be recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Researchers suggest that bioidentical thyroid replacement may be more effective.
  • If you have nutrient deficiencies, your thyroid function will improve by taking supplements or changing your diet.
  • Mindfulness meditation may improve immune system function for stress-related thyroid flare-ups.
Hashimoto's Flare up - lifestyle changes through food showing a rich salad topped with nuts, olives, and guava - blog - Conscious Med

Lifestyle Changes for Hashimoto's

The effect of diet and lifestyle changes on Hashimoto's thyroiditis can be significant, including lowering antibody levels, improving thyroid function, and reducing its symptoms.

Diets

There have been several diets found to improve Hashimoto's symptoms in some people.
  • gluten-free diet
  • sugar-free diet
  • Paleo diet
  • grain-free diet
  • dairy-free diet
  • an autoimmune modified paleo diet
  • low glycemic index diet

Supplements

Taking supplements may help lower thyroid antibodies and inflammation.
Getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and practicing self-care are imperative. Stress reduction techniques lower thyroid antibodies, improve quality of life, and decrease depression and anxiety. When you're fatigued, it's vital to allow your body to rest and avoid foods that will compromise your immune system leading to Hashimoto's outburst.

When to see a doctor for a Hashimoto's flare up?

If in case of unexplained weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and constipation, consult your functional medicine doctor to find out if you are experiencing Hashimoto's thyroiditis flare-ups.

People with Hashimoto's disease must be aware of the potential for a flare-up while taking the necessary steps for prevention. If you are experiencing any Hashimoto symptoms, it is essential to seek medical help immediately to prevent or minimize the outbreak's severity while keeping the thyroid hormone levels in check.
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What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease. Unlike traditional medicine, which often treats symptoms without addressing underlying problems, functional medicine seeks to understand the body and identify imbalances contributing to illness. Functional medicine practitioners use various tools, including nutrition, lifestyle changes, and supplements, to help their patients achieve optimum health. The root cause is a term used in healthcare to refer to the underlying cause of a disease or condition. A root cause may be genetic, environmental, or lifestyle-related. Identifying and addressing root causes is a key component of functional medicine.

Who is a typical patient you see?

We see a variety of individuals looking to upgrade their health and well-being. Our patients vary from complex health issues to the average person who doesn’t feel right. We help patients with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood disorders, and more. Dr. Truc assists patients in getting off medication safely and healthily that is best suited for the individual.
Our advanced diagnostic testing, combined with Dr. Truc’s Functional Integrative approach, reveals the root cause of these issues.We see a variety of individuals looking to upgrade their health and well-being. Our patients vary from complex health issues to the average person who doesn’t feel right. We help patients with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood disorders, and more. Dr. Truc assists patients in getting off medication safely and healthily that is best suited for the individual.
Our advanced diagnostic testing, combined with Dr. Truc’s Functional Integrative approach, reveals the root cause of these issues.

What can I expect in a wellness consultation?

We see a variety of individuals looking to upgrade their health and well-being. Our patients vary from complex health issues to the average person who doesn’t feel right. We help patients with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood disorders, and more. Dr. Truc assists patients in getting off medication safely and healthily that is best suited for the individual.
Our advanced diagnostic testing, combined with Dr. Truc’s Functional Integrative approach, reveals the root cause of these issues.

I’m not sick. Should I still schedule a consultation?

Prevention is the best medicine, especially when it comes to your health. Most people believe that illness occurs in the body when you get older; this is not true. By taking steps to prevent disease and injury today, you can stay healthy and avoid costly medical bills later on down the road. Unhealthy habits create chronic inflammation in the body, leading to later illness.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Dr. Truc offers a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to answer any patient's questions or concerns regarding their health ailment and go over the services provided at Conscious Medicine. We look forward to connecting with you and scheduling a call today

Do you accept insurance?

We do not accept insurance. You can pay by credit card, debit card, HSA/FSA debit card, or care credit. You are welcome to submit the superbill for possible reimbursement from your insurance company. This document itemizes the services rendered and provides the insurance company with the information they need to process your claim. Many of our patients get up to 70% reimbursed.
We do not take any part in submitting claims or calling insurance companies, which is 100% the patient’s responsibility. We do not bill or participate in Medicare for any of our services.

Why don’t you accept insurance?

Unfortunately, insurance companies often dictate patients' care, limiting the effectiveness of treatments and time spent with our patients. Reimbursement rates are often too low to cover quality care costs. The administrative burden of dealing with insurance companies can be significant, which takes away from time that could be spent providing care to patients. We believe in providing the best possible care to our patients by spending as much time as necessary with each patient with personalized treatment plans to ensure their needs are met.

Are lab tests covered by insurance?

Lab tests are not covered by insurance. Many insurance plans, especially those provided by employers, only cover tests that are considered "medically necessary." You are welcome to check with your insurance supplier to see if they will reimburse you for out-of-network labs.
Lab tests are necessary because they can help diagnose many conditions, from uncomplicated infections to more severe diseases. They can also tell us how well your organs work and help us monitor your overall health.

Where can I get my lab testing done?

Our most commonly recommended lab test for stress management is a non-invasive test done in the comfort of your home with ease.

Some labs may require bloodwork which we offer at our Conscious Medicine office. If the distance is an issue for lab testing, we are happy to assist you in finding a facility closer to where you live. At Lab Corp, you can schedule an appointment directly with their facility.

*To follow CDC sanitation and safety protocols, we only accept one patient at a time in our office, wear proper PPE, and disinfect them.*

What if I live in another state? Can you still be my doctor?

Yes! All of our consultations are done virtually by phone or internet via Zoom Calls.

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