A streamlined stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs - Adapt Naturals is now live. Learn more

Basics of Immune Balancing for Hashimoto’s


Last updated on


This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

In the first post in this series, we established that hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disease (called Hashimoto’s) in the vast majority of cases. Since then, we’ve explored the role of gluten intolerance, vitamin D deficiency, supplemental iodine, blood sugar imbalances, adrenal stress and a leaky gut in perpetuating the autoimmune attack and disrupting thyroid function. We’ve discussed why dietary changes are always the first step in treating Hashimoto’s, and why replacement thyroid hormone is often necessary for a successful outcome.

What we haven’t discussed yet, however, are specific strategies for bringing the immune system back into balance. That will be the focus of this article.

Originally, I planned to go into considerable detail on the specific mechanisms of immune dysfunction that occur with Hashimoto’s, including a review of immunology, immune system classification (i.e. Th1 or “cell-mediated” immunity vs. Th2 or “humoral immunity”) and immune cell organization. It quickly became clear that such an approach would require an entire series of its own.

So, as fascinating as all of that stuff is, I decided to cut to the chase and focus on the practical, clinical applications. But there’s a caveat. Although I’ll be offering some general guidelines here for how to balance the immune system, if you have Hashimoto’s (or any other autoimmune condition) it’s in your best interest to find someone who understands immunology and is current with the latest nutritional and botanical protocols for treating autoimmune disease.

Why? Because autoimmune disease is not only extremely complex, but also highly individualized. Hashimoto’s in one person is not the same as Hashimoto’s in the next person. In one person, Hashimoto’s could present as a Th1-dominant condition. In another, it may present as Th2 dominant. In still another, both the Th1 and Th2 systems might be overactive, or underactive. And each of these cases requires a different approach. For example, botanicals like echinacea and astragalus stimulate the Th1 system. If someone with Th1 dominant Hashimoto’s takes these herbs, they’ll quite possibly get worse. On the other hand, antioxidants like green tea and Gotu Kola stimulate the Th2 system, and would be inappropriate for those with Th2 dominant Hashimoto’s. (For more information on the specifics of Hashimoto’s autoimmune physiology, see this article on Dr. Kharrazian’s blog and pick up a copy of his book.)

The good news, though, is that there are general approaches to balancing the immune system that are suitable for all types of Hashimoto’s regardless of the specific pattern of immune dysregulation. These approaches can be broken into three categories: removing autoimmune triggers, enhancing regulatory T cell function and reducing inflammation.

Removing Autoimmune Triggers

We’ve already discussed the role of gluten, iodine, stress and a leaky gut in triggering an autoimmune response. Other potential triggers include estrogens, infectious agents, and environmental toxins.

Estrogen fluctuations can trigger the gene expression of Hashimoto’s in the presence of inflammation and genetic susceptibility. In addition to turning on the genes associated with Hashimoto’s, estrogen surges have been shown to exacerbate the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. This may explain why the expression of Hashimoto’s is so common during pregnancy and perimenopause – both times when estrogen may be fluctuating wildly.

Environmental toxins are associated with autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto’s is no exception. Certain antigens like mercury that bypass our barrier system cause a potent immune response that can become chronic and overactive. If you suspect environmental toxicity may be contributing to your condition, it’s probably a good idea to get a test for chemical haptens and heavy metal antibodies.

Autoimmune thyroid disease has also been associated with a variety of infectious agents, including Rubella, Rubeolla, Epstein-Barr Virus, Retrovirus, Influenza B virus, Coxsakie virus and Yersinia. The mechanism in all cases is theorized to be cross-reaction between thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptors and infectious agents. Once again, if you suspect an infectious agent is involved in your condition, a screening for these pathogens is a good idea.

Enhancing Regulatory T Cell Function

These strategies are all designed to enhance the function of regulatory T cells (also referred to as the Th3 system). Regulatory T cells are used to balance the activity between T-helper cells (Th1 & Th2) and T-suppressor cells (which “turn off” the immune attack).

Vitamin D has been shown to influence regulatory T cells, which in turn modulate T helper cell expression and balance the Th1 and Th2 response. For more on this see The Role of Vitamin D Deficiency in Thyroid Disorders.

The gut flora play a significant role in both cell-mediated (Th1) and humoral (Th2) immunity. Studies show that this protective role can be maintained and modulated by taking probiotics. Specific probiotic strains can influence the secretion of cytokines to help direct naïve helper T cells towards either a Th1 dominant, cell-mediated immune response or towards a Th2 dominant, humoral immune response.

Acupuncture has recently been shown to regulate the Th1 and Th2 immune response. In this study of patients with depression, both Prozac and acupuncture were shown to reduce inflammation. But only acupuncture restored the balance between the Th1 and Th2 systems. In another study, acupuncture reduced inflammation and lessened the symptoms of asthma by regulating the balance between Th1 and Th2 cytokines.

Like what you’re reading? Get my free newsletter, recipes, eBooks, product recommendations, and more!

Reducing Inflammation

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) play an important role in preventing and reducing inflammation. I’ve written an entire series of articles on this topic, which I’d recommend reading if you haven’t already.

The ideal ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is between 1:1 and 3:1. The average American ratio is closer to 25:1, and as high as 30:1, thanks to diets high in processed and refined foods. The result of this imbalance is – among other things – inflammation.

Two steps are required to bring this ratio back into balance. First, dramatically reducing consumption of omega-6 fats, and second, moderately increasing consumption of omega-3 fats. I explain how to do this in considerable detail in this article.

Another benefit of increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids is that they have also been shown to help balance the Th1 and Th2 systems.

Aside from ensuring a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, following an anti-inflammatory diet/lifestyle and avoiding dietary triggers like gluten and iodine is essential.

Putting these general approaches to balancing the immune system into action should give you a good start towards getting the autoimmunity under control. But if you don’t see the results you’d like, I’d recommend working with someone who knows how to address your particular immune imbalance more specifically.

ADAPT Naturals logo

Better supplementation. Fewer supplements.

Close the nutrient gap to feel and perform your best. 

A daily stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs.

Chris Kresser in kitchen
Affiliate Disclosure
This website contains affiliate links, which means Chris may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. You will pay the same price for all products and services, and your purchase helps support Chris‘s ongoing research and work. Thanks for your support!


Join the conversation

  1. Environmental factors indeed,

    Radioactive Iodine
    Halogen compounds
    and Heavy metals

    All target the glandular system and more. Go to stopsprayingcalifornia.com for a complete list of toxins in the air.

    You can:

    Organic juice (beets, green apples, carrots, pineapple)
    Take Atlantic Kelp pills
    Walk at least one mile a day
    Find a pure water source (like Noah’s water ph 8.4)
    Take pure maca root pills or powder
    Eat sardines (high in D and B12)
    Use Reflexology and Reiki if possible

    and of course Astragalus root as directed from your herbalist.

  2. Oops,

    I forgot 1 more dimmer switch item…….organic coconut oil in a jar. 1 tablespoon in morning, just swallow it:) it blocks/ binds to the antibodies from attacking thyroid tissue and tissue behind your eyes, my vision became blurry… And has resolved.
    Cooking, and body moisturizing…

    Additional notes::: Your body Is hyper sensative during Hashimotos .. Try to avoid at all cost !!!!!
    Sented items of any sort, laundry soap, personal hygiene items , I have not worn make up for 2 yrs or used lotion or cream only coconut oil.
    Antiperspirants have metals in them …. Avoid or minimize
    Amalgam fillings, have them replaced!
    House cleaners, bye bye…. Only vinegar and water
    Dishwasher , cuts some lemons and throw in baking soda
    Per – rinsed dishes only. Dish washing detergent very toxic!
    No dry cleaning, no candles no air fresheners in home or vehicle. All of these thing have a cumalitive affect .
    As for fruit…… No soft cover tree fruit pears, plums
    Grapes…… Tomatoes 🙁 I eat tomatoe products only when
    I am not hasihi’s. Strawberries, melon, apples r great.
    Stay away from nitrates…. Hot dogs, bacon, deli meats
    Turkey is the only meat that farmers cannot hormonely
    modify. Bake one slice it up.
    Night shade fruits and vegetables can trigger food allergies
    Tomatoes, potatoes etc….
    No peanuts or peanut butter very toxic nut absorbs
    pesticed and ground impurities…
    Try fresh almonds or almond butter.
    Potato Chips… 🙁 Sorry very bad chemical on them.
    No microwave popcorn 🙁
    Stay away from broccoli and cauliflower they can trigger.
    I’m so sorry the list goes on and on.
    The above items have been modified or deleted from my day to day.
    As I feel I may have a work environment component, pesticides, fungisides a lot of sunscreen,
    a perfect storm of an aging decline in progesterone, sports
    drinks instead of alkalined lemon water was probably enough
    to overtax my system.
    I’ve never done recreational drugs, or used alcohol daily,
    I have always been active and maintained a low BMI.
    There r a lot of chemicals out there!!!!

    Didn’t mean to be so long winded……
    God Bless You and Yours

    • Autoimmune paleo diet and elimination diet experiments have helped me a ton with my hashi’s symptoms. But avoiding goitrogens, chemicals of all kinds, fluoride, chlorine, iodine except from the cleanest possible sources, and most immune stimulants is also very helpful!

      • A great resource you might look into is Dr. Alejandro Junger’s books Clean Gut and Clean ….. if you’re looking for great CLEAN food and recipes, he also has one out called Clean Eats. It’s close to Paleo but more focused on immune function, leaky gut and has helped a lot of autoimmune people.

      • Hi Hashi Sufferrr,
        As for wheat , I’ve never been
        A big bread, pasta, flour eating individual.
        Croutons on a salad daily that’s was about it……
        June 2014 gluten free, and
        I have experienced another degree of relief. Wheat / flour are on a lot of things you would not even think of. Research gluten free!!!Small relief for me but relevant enough to incorporate the restriction.
        Gut flora has been a game changer as well.
        I’m in the process of finding
        out why my body has a heavy
        Metal toxic over load.
        Dr and I feel we are at the pinnacle of the problem.
        Basically when heavy metals are absorbed, the body recognizes them as minerals.
        Your thyroid needs minerals to function properly unfortunately your thyroid
        Receptors accept the heavy metals and are unable to
        Detoxify !!!!!!! There are only a few things that can chelate them out of your system.
        And if you try to chelate detox
        to quickly you can damage hour kidneys.i will be starting this process and hopeful my
        Research is solid.

        ????? Look up heavy metal toxicity syptoms…..

        God Bless

    • Anyone with thyroid issues should only consume organic strawberries, as well as products made only with organic strawberries, such as jam. Commercially grown strawberries are sprayed with a pesticide called Methyl Iodide which attacks the thyroid. Actually, no one should consume strawberries treated with Methyl Iodide, as it can cause thyroid issues in people who previously had none.

    • Well done! Add to that … that too much almonds reduce Immunoglobulin A, primary defense in the gut, so if consumed daily may be problematic and that peanuts absorb high amounts of Barium.

  3. Hi fellow Hashimoto patients…….
    I am a 50yr woman w/ 2 .5 years of Hashimotos research….
    Levoxyl had undesirable side effects!!!…I only took it for 3.5 months….. This is what works for me.
    1st read up on alkalining your body, with distilled water…
    Cook only in ceramic coated pans or glass. Eating & drinking
    from glass or proper plates and bowls….. No lead values
    I use SmartWater and baking soda if I’m not home.
    Alkalining your body will give your body the natural ability
    To absorb needed nutrients and expell toxins… It’s called
    Homeostasis – cells having the ability to repair themselves and
    Balance systems. 1st 30 days, just touching the surface of things after 90 days of religiously testing urine w/ PH strips
    All of your organs will be saturated.
    2nd Dimmer Switches for inflammation and maintenance
    1stSelinium 1-200mcg 2x’s Brkfst , dinner 2 HRT. 2 2nd Progesterone on my neck 1 gram daily none during your period. I still have my menses.
    3rd Glutothiane ….. Can not be absorbed w/ supplement form… Needs to be organic Top 5 foods containing highest amount . #1 raw egg whites #2 Avocado#3 Brazil Nuts
    #4 Garlic#5 Asparaus & Sesame Seeds these are in potency
    order. I eat at least 1 item + 4 Brazil nuts w/ every meal.
    My Endo is shocked at my remission!!!!!
    As for iodine sea kelp is my option and 1/225mcg 2x’s with
    Brkfst and dinner……Cannot take this with thyroid meds!
    My Vitamine D runs low …… I use D3 liquid drops
    As a bonus I integrated Vibrant Health — Green Vibrance

    I hope this helps one person…… It’s been a sucky road
    Trying to educate myself when I was feeling sooo bad…

    God Bless

    • Thank you – you’ve helped this one person! Its been a minefield working out what the doctors don’t tell you and what you need to know. Been diagnosed three months with auto immune disease and had to beg for tests for iron, vitamin d, cortisol , serums and B12 etc the first three were very low… 24,25, 300… and antibodies of TgAB were 966! TSH 6 and Free T4 was 11.2 so all out of normal range. Have about 30 of the classic symptoms. But hypo adrenal too is a double horror.

      They stuck me on waiting list for endo appointment in 3 months time. Offered me levothyroxin 50mg and totally ignored that the adrenal glands were knackered with low cortisol and that meds like this could put seriously compromise them further without prior improvement. !!!! So am doing all the nutritional supplement and household things I can….. and visited a homeopath that maybe co incidentally rendered me with dry hacking cough for 6 days and counting had paramedics over this morn felt so low.

      So going through painful process of learning. Found a Dr who has traditional background but went private as his holistic approach was threatening to the GMC! So with his support and a second homeopath hope I’ll get there. WAs advised to take flax seed oil by a naturopath only to discover after drinking it every day in smoothies its not good for slow thyroid! So looking at as many sites and their contradictory statements to gather general info on T cells, inflammation, and correct foods.

      Am taking selenium, magnesium, anti oxidant, pro biotic, L Glutathione, Iron, B complex, A, C tablets, D3 spray, barley grass, collagen!, omega oils, adrenal support with liquorice and borage, ginseng tinctures…. and oh yes, trying to cook whole food meals but without cruciferous, grains and nightshades, gluten, dairy and soy….. whilst exploring how to do hair mineral analysis test for mercury lead and aluminium, even nickel, much early dental work exposure and some mercury amalgams badly removed…..

      talk about stress overload!!! Hoping it will all start to pay off when this bug shifts..

      Wish the GP would hand out a leaflet with all this info on so you could get the full picture in a day…. oh yes, waiting for my T3 results I had to beg them for and a second (actually 8th blood in all) sample as they forgot to test before!

      • In regards to my glutathione diet options…….
        Glutathione is made in the liver, after
        certain foods……. Supplinents of glutathione are not processed!!!!
        Don’t waist your time energy or more
        Money!!!!! Egg whites/ with the least amount of shock coming out of shell.
        Raw if u can swallow it like “Rocky”
        movie……#2 Avocado #3 Brazil Nuts,
        #4 asparagus# #5 sesame seeds
        Progesterone and cortisol cream spread on neck in the morning are dimmer switches….
        My doctors had not researched my info until after my blood work came back in remission 1.5 yrs….no thyroid medication , It’s working with the right food and life balance..
        God Bless

  4. You state that astragalus and echinacea stimulate Th1 and that taking them could increase autoimmune response. I have just finished writing book on astragalus that will be out in a month or so. In doing so, I read over 1800 studies on astragalus. I am unable to find any data that supports this idea that astragalus pushes the immune system to inappropriately cause Th1 domination when that could harm the patient. Every study I have read shows that astragalus alters the very complex immune system to benefit the patient. Sometimes astragalus increases Th1 dominance and sometimes it increases Th2. This over simplistic idea about astragalus revving up the immune system and causing an attack on normal tissue is a canard. There is no data that supports this idea. Astragalus has been shown to down regulate autoimmune responses in: Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic asthma, myasthenia gravis, etc. You are in good company with this myth as almost every website that sells/discusses astragalus also parrots this idea. You are too good a doctor to not use original data in your assessment of this important herbal medicine.

    • I’m looking forward to your book on astragalus. Will it be available on amazon?

      • Yes, the book will be available on amazon.com as well as an e-book. It’s called, Astragalus-Ancient Herb For Modern Times. Look for it in May. Thanks.

    • I agree 100%! I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and have used many of the recommended natural treatment, the results being so-so. From my reading I was drawn to Astragalus. Though I was warned by everyone that since my condition was TH1, this would cause further problems. I just had a gut feeling I was making the right choice so I started off slowly. Right from the first day I began to feel better, I have continued to full dose and am doing great now, to the disbelief of many others on the forums I post that have autoimmune issues. It barely know I have it anymore, it has made a big difference and I am NOT on any medications either. I would advise others to try it, just one capsule and see for yourself.


    • Agreed. All data I’ve seen shows Astragulas has a modulatory on the imbalance state of Th1/Th2. I use it with Herpes patients with great success.

      • I didn’t do well with astragalus. Is it common in your practice for people with hashi’s to have an uncomfortable autoimmune reaction to it?

  5. Hi Chris,
    do you know what the difference of TPO and TG’s are?
    my Anti-TPO is 14 and my Anti-TG is 320.
    I have noticed most people have higher anti-TPO’s.
    Is one more involved in the Th1 or Th2?
    thanks so much, karen

  6. Hi Chris, I’m pregnant (12 weeks) and I’ve lost 3 pregnancies so far – 2 of them in the 17th week. Doctors tested me for:lupus, autoimmune antibodies, antiphospholipid antibodies, coagulation disorders, trombophilia, antithyroid antibodies, CD19 lymphocites, CD16/CD56 NK cells, IgG, IgA, IgM, C-reactive protein, toxoplasmosis, cardiolipids, and other hematology tests – all NEGATIVE, except CD3+ CD4+ , CD4+/CD8+ which are elevated, and the rest outside the range:CD3+ at the upper normal in range (range is 55-83 and I have 83), abs CD3+ is 2,24 (range is 0,70-2,10), CD3+ CD4+ is 61(range is 28-57), abs CD4+ is 1,64 (range is 0,30,-1,40), ratio CD4+/CD8+ is 3,05 (range is 0,70-3) . As for abs CD8+, it is within range 0,54 (range is 0,20-0,90).
    The problem I have is that the 2 immunologists I saw said this means nothing; my 2 gynecologists said they don’t know what it means and they want to put me on wide range antibiotics and send me to the hospital to be closely monitored, fearing it was infection that led to acute chorioamniotitis, even if the cultures they tested came up negative and I had absolutely no symptom of infection, in the second pregnancy being on antibiotics a week before the miscarriage happened.
    I know this is off topic, I am just trying to find help anywhere it is offered. Do you think I could be Th1 dominant and reject the pregnancy thus?
    On the other hand I seem to have a serious allergy to dust mites – IgE 305 (range is 0-100) and I read that this is one of the signs of Th2 dominance.
    I would take all steps necessary to shift the Th1-Th2 balance, I’m just afraid not to make the wrong choice. I live in the Czech Republic and access to more tests than the ones I mentioned is rather difficult.
    Thank you so much in advance and I hope you will reply soon 🙂

    • Damiana, I don’t think the author has time to answer questions any more–judging from how many above are not answered, or have been answered by other people. I sympathize with your concerns! But I’m not an expert, so I can’t imagine what all those numbers mean. I have Hashimoto’s myself, but it’s not bad like some. I finally found a functional medicine doctor who is helping me, but I don’t know if you have those in your country.

      I wanted to suggest that you join a Facebook group that I’ve been a member of for a while now. There are over 9,000 members, and when someone asks a question, most of the time there are many who can answer, or direct the asker to a good resource like books or websites. It’s been extremely helpful to me. If you’re on Facebook, look for the “Hashimoto’s 411” group.

      I also remembered this blogger’s story because she also lost a baby due to autoimmune problems. You might find her site very helpful–and she might be able to answer some questions if you write to her. I hope you can find some help soon!


      • Hi Diane, thank you for the reply and the link, I checked it and there are many things I learned.
        I will join the facebook group, too. I’ve finally managed to make an appointment with a reproductive immunologist in Prague next week and now I have some hope. Thank you again!

        • Damiana, I’m glad to hear that! Sure hope you can make some progress soon. I know this disease can be very complex, and it takes time to understand what’s going on and what to do about it. Best wishes!

    • go see this doctor. he was one of the few recommendations by dr mark starr, author of type 2 hypothyroidism. if you cant go there then pay for a consult via skype with them.

      Thierry Hertoghe
      Brussels, Belgium
      + 32 2 736 68 68


      • Hi J, thank you for the info. I checked the link and I’ll most surely pay a consultation via skype if the doctor from Prague cannot help me. I really hope he will, I’ve seen great reviews though so I have some hope.

    • Hi Daciana,
      Were you able to carry the baby to full term? B12 deficiency could have been the culprit in your miscarriages.

  7. Hi, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after my pregnancy which had a tragic ending. Everything seemed to be perfect until I was about 22.5 weeks when all of a sudden my amniotic fluid dropped to nothing. I was on bed rest in the hospital until 32 weeks when I delivered my son, and he passed a day after I delivered due to his lungs not being developed. I tried everything in the hospital to regain fluid, and his kidneys looked healthy from the autopsy (we only had the kidneys looked at) although doctors say there could of been some abnormality in the function of the kidney. No one can unfortunately tell me what happened to my son, he was a beautiful and healthy looking baby, and a good size for a premie. I have been on a search since to find out any connection with thyroid as I suspect I have had this condition undiagnosed for a while. I was so good through out my pregnancy (no coffee once I found out, sugar, etc) but I did eat a lot of gluten. I am just looking for any findings of this type of situation.

    • Angie, I don’t have information about that (I’d be googling it, just like you), but I wanted to take a moment to express my sympathy for the loss of your beautiful baby boy.

      I’m part of a group at Facebook called Hashimoto’s 411, with over 9,000 members. There’s a lot of good information shared there…you might consider joining us!

      Also, I remembered a blogger who lost her baby as a result of Hashimoto’s, so I eventually found the entry I remembered: http://realsustenance.com/how-i-kicked-my-autoimmune-disease-into-remission/

  8. What should I look at when deciding what probiotic to buy? I am not really a vegetarian, although I very seldom eat meat. I hate the pieces getting stuck between my teeth. I get a lot of wind, and very smelly, if I do dare to eat meat. How can I overcome that problem? I’ve been diagnosed with both Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease.

    • Corine, almost any refrigerated probiotic will be good. Maybe some on the shelf will be okay, too–I’ve just heard in the past that refrigerated is best. Get the highest count you can afford–or just ask for advice at the health food store.

      About the “wind,” you might be interested in a book I just read. It’s called “Kick Your Fat in the Nuts,” and the Kindle e-book is free at Amazon. He goes into the problems of digestion, with symptoms such as gas and burping, and how to correct digestion with hydrochloric acid and a beet supplement. It’s fascinating. I haven’t tried it yet, but he explains how many people lose weight just by correcting their digestive problems. I didn’t think I had digestive problems until I read that book, but now it’s clear to me that I do, and I’m going to follow his advice.

      • Probiotics are certainly NOT created equal … there are so many options when it comes to different strains, potency, and processing and quality.
        Chris talks a little above about Th1 and Th2 dominant states … and if you are autoimmune or trending that way, finding out your T-helper systems is extremely important. Now back to probiotics … there are certain strains that are helpful for Th1 dominant individuals that reduces the pro-inflammatory cytokines and/or promotes anti-inflammatory cytokines (for instance L. salivarius and L. bulgaricus reduce TNF-alpha). There are also strains of good bacteria that stimulate IL-12 and therefore stimulate Th1 such as L. casei and and B. Longum.
        This is certainly not a complete list of strains and support but if you’re really serious about supporting your bio-identity and current metabolic state, a general approach of consuming any ole probiotic isn’t enough or complete.
        In general, Klaire Labs is a very good reputable probiotic company and there’s a lot of positive info and research on VSL#3 for certain conditions as well. In general, I’ve found most of my patients needing much higher doses than they expected for results. Whether doing a GUT REBOOT or working on immune regulation, many patients are on at least 100 billion of a multi-strain probiotic daily.

        P.S. How it is made/encapsulated matters too …. it’s got to be able to survive the stomach acid to reach the gut where it is needed. This is sometimes the defining factor of two labels that both “look the same” but one if much more expensive. That’s why I trust Klaire Labs is they understand and practice good manufacturing for probiotics especially.

  9. I am trying to find in depth Hashimotos info. I was diagnosed with it aprox 25 years ago…before age 10 and was on various T4 meds for 20+ years…and higher then normal doses the last 5 years on T4 I kept complaining of symptoms thinking I needed mnore and labs would prompt drs to reduce my labs..the downhill spiral prompted mnonths of research and evetually a change to Armour. I also have had T1 diabetes since age 7. The armour thryoid changed my life aand relieved over 20 ailments and allowed me to stop a handf of other meds that weren’t working anways. My diet is very clean, GF, DF and almost vegan. I supplement everything I lack. My current issue is I can’t feel releived of all my symptoms and have labs in nornal ranges. My FT3 is elevated and my TSH has been completely suppressed for almost 3 years. My heart and bone density have been tested and are ideal. My throid gland is a bit swollen..and last time checked antibodies were still elevated even on LDN. Do you think my thyroid is basically dead at this point? Does hashimotos ever end and just turn into hypothyroidism? By keeping my T3 levels high I have little to no flareups.. All the drs in medical group have fired me and now refuse to run labs for me. I see a private dr who specializes in hormone disorders. I’ve tried T3 only, I supplement with sea salt to keep my sodium levels up in range and adrenals show signs of struggle but can’t tolerate any form of adrenal support. Also I’m interested in the thought that my pituitary gland may be comprimised since my tsh has been so low even before switching to armour and while severely hypo and barely suriving…

    • Per my previous comment, I’d suggest Sarah Ballantyne’s auto-immune protocol, and the Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet as the foundation for nutrition and macro-nutrient balance. You can order labs directly through Life Extension. You probably have some underlying chronic infection/gut issues that need to be addressed as well.

  10. Have you seen Sarah Ballantyne’s blog? She healed her autoimmune disease by eliminating *all* food triggers that causes her immune system to flare up. (See http://www.thepaleomom.com/tag/sarah-ballantyne)

    I think that autoimmune disease is originally caused by leaky gut, which allows large foreign proteins to come into the blood. These proteins cause low-grade inflammation through the innate immune system, but do not initially cause autoimmune issues. However, when an infectious agent is encountered, the infection ramps up the adaptive immune system and, because the leaky-gut foreign proteins are present, can cause the immune system to create antibodies to them as well, and to “learn” that these proteins are dangerous. So in the future, any exposure to these foreign proteins causes B cells to ramp up their antibody production and can cause T cells to ramp up as well.

    So the body is not trying to kill its own cells or create problems with its metabolism — it thinks it is fighting a serious infection, signalled by the foreign proteins leaking through the gut, or recognized by the gut-centric immune system.

    This theory seems to fit all/most autoimmune diseases, and when you eliminate *all* foods that trigger an immune response, the auto-immune disease goes into complete remission. Of particular note is that B-cell-created antibodies have a half-life of about 2 weeks, and eating a trigger for an autoimmune issue will usually cause a “flare” for 1-3 weeks. Sarah says that every time she ate a trigger food, she had two weeks of flared lichen planus, we’ve had similar experiences with food sensitivities.

    Of course, the infectious agent that upregulates the adaptive immune system could be gut bacteria as part of the leaky gut…

    This also explains why taking digestive enzymes helps many people with auto-immune issues. The enzymes break down the larger proteins that would trigger an immune response.

    If this is all correct, then balancing Th1/Th2 is probably irrelevant, and is just addressing symptoms. The cure is to stop eating foods that trigger an immune response.

    Sarah would be a good person to invite for a podcast 🙂

    • Actually, after more reading and some personal experience, balancing Th1/Th2 is pretty critical 🙂 A strong, balanced immune system looks like the key to long-term good health. Avoiding trigger foods/environment is treating the symptoms (required until you are healed, because they totally unbalance/stress your immune system).

    • Great comment. Nice to hear well thought out advise being given to those who suffer from this complex disease state.

  11. I was diagnosed four months ago with Hashimotos after almost two years of fighting fatigue and depression. My doctor had me go gluten free and add a vitamin regiment and it has changed my life. My energy is up, depression gone and focus is back. At first my stomach wasn’t tolerating the vitamins so she recommended liquid vitamins put into a protein shake. I found gluten free liquid multi vitamins and a gluten free chocolate protein powder at a local health food store and the combination works great. I notice when I cheat and eat pizza ot something because my energy drops for a couple days and I get some joint pain. Finding it’s not worth it and there are plenty of other creative ways to improve your diet and still enjoy it. If you approach it as a healthy life style change versus a disease it makes the transition much easier. Good luck everyone!

  12. I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease by a Specialist Physician. But not with Hypotheroid. However, he did give me Eltroxin. He also gave ILLOVEX SR 150mg which I refused to take. He was quite upset so I eventually bought it and took it exactly once. I think it is too strong, and I don’t trust any anti-depressants anymore, as the Psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bi-polar and could not understand why none of his medication worked. Another Phychiatrist had me complete a questionaire and said she could find no trace of mania or hypo-mania. Could this confusion be as a result of (then) undiagnosed Hashimoto’s? The ILLOVEX did bring sensation back to my legs. But is it safe?

    • None of that shit is safe whatsoever. Stop believing doctors who are trying to diagnose you with “mental health conditions.” Don’t take anti-depressents for ANYTHING. The first step to healing Hashimoto’s is to eat a raw foods diet. It’s that easy.

    • Corine, I have read that a diagnosis of bipolar may very often be undiagnosed or untreated Hashimoto’s. I did a Google search on this for a friend who supposedly has both, and found tons of information. Try it! Good luck!

  13. Chris, in your opinion are Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism related? I’ve noticed in my research a lot of the symptoms are the same.

  14. I was diagnosed with hashimotos 10 years ago live in Australia. Have been on a merry go round ever since. Tried Thyroxine. For 5 years until Everything started to go wrong, became allergic to it Believe it has done so much Damage. Diagnosed with Fybromyalga. Depression. Perniscious Anemia, Barrets. Asophagitis. The list goes on I was fine before going on Thyroxine. I. Get the. Shakes. Tremors. Headaches. Panic attacks. Anxiousness ect ect am now on (pigs Thyriod ). Still having problems dosage can’t seem to get it right it does scare me somewhat to be on this. Would rather be on. Something plant based. There does not seem to be any answers for thyroid problems. As you say everyone is different. It is quite scary at times and very Frustrating.

    • you need to work with a dr that knows what they’re doing. your case is getting more complex the longer things go uncorrected. read over http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com and 21centurymed.com and http://www.thyroidbook.com some reasons, for instance, for the probs are that dessicated thyroid has some iodine in it which could be a problem for those with hashimotos, according to dr datis kharizzan… read those pages and search for audio interviews with dr mark starr and dr datis kharrizian and janie bowthorpe at http://www.oneradionetwork.com and janie bowthorpe has a good interview at http://www.undergroundwellness.com

      • So is there a safe thyroid hormone that doesn’t have any of these triggers?? What makes it difficult is I’ve read that intolerance’s can also come without symptoms. So what does one do in that situation? Get a specific food allergy test? (but I’ve heard even those test can be inaccurate)

        For instance, I’ve done an elimination diet. Which is supposed to be the “gold standard” to detect problematic foods. However, I never really noticed a difference in my symptoms when I added back foods.

        But yet when I take a food allergy tests, I have intolerance’s to all sorts of foods, and even stranger is gluten never comes up either.

        Sometimes I’ll show intolerant to a food, and then other times wont either.

      • Cornstarch is not a gluten. It may be cross contaminated by gluten in some cases but pure cornstarch is safe for celiacs.

  15. This is going to be rambling because I’m in a hurry but I just feel I have to respond. Chris, I diagnosed myself with Hashi’s a few years ago and then got it confirmed by a holistic MD, and have had to do most of my own research for various reasons. I wish I had seen your article three years ago when I was unable to get out of bed for days at a time and lost many friendships and jobs…or 25 years ago when I had had increasing symptoms all my life and asked my doctor if it could be thyroid, and she said I was too young and my insurance wouldn’t cover a test (which would probably have been inconclusive anyway because doc’s don’t know what to look for.) To address some of the critical comments above, yes it’s very frustrating being a patient because autoimmune disease and Hashimoto’s are extremely complex and everyone can be affected extremely differently, treatments that are successful for many are emerging, top endocrinologists are not keeping up, and practitioners from MD’s to chiro’s can be totally on the ball or out of left field trying to cash in on desperate patients. It can’t be easy for the most well-intentioned practitioners because there are so many different things that can go wrong and so many potential causes and treatments, and more accurate diagnosis is expensive and complex. In my case, at least some forms of hormone supplementation made me fluctuate wildly between hypo and hyper. A whole food paleo diet (my own version of autoimmune protocol paleo based on doing elimination diet over and over to test my reactions to every single thing I put in my body), limiting goitrogenic foods to loading up one or two days a week, probiotics, selenium, tyrosine, vitamin d, lots of clean water, a little fish and flax oil and a good multivitamin/mineral a few times a week, organic unsu;phured molasses once in awhile for iron, avoiding chemicals (body products, foods, pesticides, cleaning products, paint…etc) and many both th1 and th2 immune-stimulating supplements and foods, not getting amalgam fillings and avoiding tuna and flourescent bulbs, and a few other measures is helping me slowly get somewhere I couldn’t imagine two years ago. With this disease it’s great to get a good professional if you can afford it so you can find out what’s really going on, but regardless it’s important to read everything so that you know what your doc is supposed to know. For people trying to get a big picture, I recommend Kharrazian to get a [confusing but useful] background, because most of his approaches are based on existing research and studies. Try to take the time to learn and keep an open mind, because if you don’t have a medical background it’s going to feel like the more you learn, the less you know. Remember depression, rage, and panic attacks are symptoms of a hormonal disorder, which is what you get when your endocrine system is affected by autoimmune disease. Accept that it can be very complicated and keep experimenting and reading and you will probably make rapid or gradual progress.

  16. Hi, I have hashimotos I’ve stopped taking iodine, glutin, MSG, floride, I read labels now on everything, I have a burning curiosity, Why ??? Why are autoimmune diseases so rampant, so unknowable, Why are we told nobody knows what causes these diseases. Just take this pill for the rest of your life, and here is a list of horrible diseases your twice as likely to get now. Your information is priceless and your sharing with everyone who is curious, for free. Thank you Kris. By far this is the best information, I’ve heard anywhere, I’m healthier and happier my doctors have never seen anyone with my health problems get better, keep sharing your knowledge, and keep on making the world a better place. Kim.

  17. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s through ultrasound. I’ve heard that you can still have Hashi’s and havenormal/no antibodies (which is my case on both a TPO test and a TGB test).

    I have been avoiding gluten, but I can’t really tell if it helps my thyroid or not because antibody numbers don’t change for me. Could there be a different issue and/or how can I tell if fixing my gut flora is actually helping?

    • 5% of hashi patients show no antibodies. Many show up normal to the fluctuation between hypo and hyper thyroid…just depends on when your test (just a snapshot in time) was run. Looking at anti body numbers is not a good way to monitor progress…improvement In your hair falling out, energy, cognitive functions, etc are a good way with free t3…the active hormone that really makes the difference

  18. hello, i have a question: i have hashimoto and i did my food allergies test and they came out negative. does this mean that it doesn’t matter what i eat? i really wish i could lower my increasingly high antibodies. thank you

      • Yep, and I was also told this too. But, I rarely if ever catch a cold, a flu. I do however, spend alot of time outdoors (Vit D)

        But how do you explain that? : D Is there a way of knowing if your immune system is ‘THAT’ weak?

        I certainly would hope so. I think it’s very important for one to know exactly what these triggers are. Especially reading up so much about how all accumulated “stressors” in general (mental, emotional, chemical, etc) can affect your immune system….

        But guess what? It can also be an equally BIG stress for someone to unnecessarily restrict, or worry, about a diet.

        Can these triggers “fluctuate” from time to time as well? I realize gluten is off limits. But what about the others such as corn, dairy, etc. There is just some foods that make life worth living too!!