What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an organ-specific autoimmune disease in which both genetic predisposition and environmental factors combine to act as the trigger of the disease.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common type among the inflammatory diseases of the thyroid gland, namely thyroiditis. You may also have heard of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as autoimmune or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is known as an endocrine system disease caused by a disorder of the immune system.
Autoimmune thyroid diseases are the most common organ-specific diseases, affecting 2% to 5% of the population!
What Is Autoimmune Disease?
Our body’s defense system detects harmful organisms and destroys them with the help of immune cells. In some cases, the immune cells that come to help cannot detect harmful organisms. They may even consider the beneficial organisms of your body to be harmful and attack them. In this case, our body tries to improve the situation by increasing immunity. Diseases in which these situations occur are called autoimmune diseases.
What Are the Causes of Hashimoto’s Disease?
To put it simply, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an immune system disease in which the body fights its own tissue. Currently, it is not possible to prevent the development of Hashimoto’s disease. Some disorders in the immune system play a role in Hashimoto’s disease, and the risk of developing Hashimoto’s disease is usually genetic.
The reason why the body produces antibodies and attacks the immune system is currently unknown. It is estimated that genetic transmission from the family plays an important role. Some of the factors that cause Hashimoto’s disease are as follows:
The incidence of Hashimoto’s disease is higher in females than in males.
Having a family history of thyroid disease or another disease related to the immune system increases the risks.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can affect individuals of all ages; however, it is generally seen more in middle-aged individuals.
Relationship Between Hashimoto’s Disease and Microbiome
A vast majority of the bacteria in your body are located in your gastrointestinal tract. Your microbiome is on your side! It performs metabolic functions such as digestion and absorption of nutrients, removal of toxins from the body, maintenance of strong and balanced immunity, and vitamin synthesis.
About 70% of the microbiomes in our body live in our gut, and they play a crucial role in the proper development of the immune system.
In a study, researchers conducted a systematic comparative analysis on the gut microbiota of patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and healthy controls. According to the results of the study, a microbiome profile specific to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was observed in the gut microbiota of patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
The altering composition of the microbiome increases the prevalence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Existing gut microbiota affect thyroid hormone levels by regulating iodine uptake, disruption of iodine metabolism, and the enterohepatic cycle.
Previous studies reported that individuals had an imbalance in their gut microbiota in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and other autoimmune diseases. It was confirmed that there was an altered composition of gut microbiota in the development and progression of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disorder, and even that the microbiota had severe dysbiotic conditions. This suggests that the current condition of the microbiome can be used for the diagnosis of the disease.
Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis produce anti-gliadin, anti-transglutaminase, and anti-yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) antibodies.
According to the results of studies conducted on humans, the abundance of Prevotellaceae and Pasteurellaceae was higher, and the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae, Veillonellaceae, and Rikenellaceae was significantly lower in patients with Hashimoto’s disease compared to the healthy controls.
What Are the Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease?
Although the symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Getting tired easily
- Depressed mood and unhappiness
- Moving slowly
- Swelling in the hands and feet
- Decreased or irregular menstruation, or no menstruation in women
- Decreased sweating
- Abnormal weight gain and increased appetite
- Feeling cold
- Decreased concentration
Treatment of Hashimoto’s Disease
In the treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroid, the hormone level is checked first. If your hormone levels are normal, there is no need for treatment. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism.
Replacement therapy is initiated in the treatment of hypothyroidism. These patients are treated with medication and hormone supplements. In this way, the symptoms are eliminated, or they are prevented if there is an enlargement in the thyroid gland. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the thyroid gland. These cases include pain, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing…
In individuals with nodules in the thyroid, a biopsy is performed depending on the characteristics of the nodule, or the nodule is regularly monitored and checked in biannual or annual ultrasounds.
Hashimoto’s Disease Diet
So, what kind of diet should patients with Hashimoto’s disease have?
Hashimoto’s disease can be kept under control with a strict diet program as well as appropriate drug treatments and support. Therefore, individuals with Hashimoto’s disease should be very careful about their diet.
The use and dosage of drugs vary from person to person. The first purpose of the drugs is to regulate hypothyroidism. These drugs mimic the thyroxine hormone secreted from the thyroid glands and are effective in this way.
In addition to the medical treatment of Hashimoto’s disease, lifestyle changes should be implemented such as developing a special diet for individuals with the disease. It is very important that the diet to be followed during the treatment of Hashimoto’s disease be personalized. The amount of nutrients needed should be calculated specifically for each individual. Iodine, selenium, and zinc minerals, which are important in Hashimoto’s disease, should be taken in sufficient and balanced amounts.
If you have autoimmune disease in your family, you are also at risk! Get a microbiome analysis done to learn about the balance of your microbiome and strengthen your immunity!
Protect yourself with the microbiome diet, which is a new approach in the prevention and treatment of Hashimoto’s disease!