Causes and Triggers
There are many reasons what Hashimoto can cause, often the symptoms are considered as a single disease, by yourself and by the doctor. If you are “lucky”, it is quickly recognized that there is something wrong with the thyroid gland, but even TSH levels are not meaningful if the free T4 and T3 levels are not measured, as well as to confirm the reverse T3 level and the antibodies TR, TPO and TG. The TSH value does not start to fluctuate until you have had hypothyroidism for a long time.
Good family doctors check at least the free T4 and T3 values at the first signs, with the rest you usually have to go to an endocrinologist as soon as there is a suspicion, or to a good internist.
We often experience problems with hypothyroidism and therefore also with Hashimoto’s problems in the whole body.
Brain: Brain is fogged, depression, fear/ anxiety, exhaustion, sensitivity to stress
Neck: strong, problems with swallowing, broken voice
Heart: fast heartbeat, palpitations, high blood pressure
Hair/skin/nails: dry, lifeless hair or hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin/heel skin, increased sensitivity to cold
Wrist: Carpal tunnel syndrome
Digestive system: constipation, flatulence, pain, low stomach acid production, gallstones, liver dysfunction
Reproductive organs: Menstrual problems, PCOS, reduced sex drive, infertility, frequent miscarriages
Legs: edema and swelling of the legs, varicose veins
That’s because the thyroid gland affects all kinds of organs and systems in the body.
So when we try to find out the background of why we have hypothyroidism and especially Hashimoto, it turns out to be a bit difficult.
I will mention here the possible main causes, followed by all other factors that may have an influence on our thyroid.
Stress and Hashimoto’s
Stress is at the highest level as a triggering factor of a Hashimoto disease. Stress is actually a normal reaction of our body, but because of the way we live today, stress often prolongs for months and years.
Normally this is the reaction to stress:
Physical, chemical or emotional stress occurs. (Physical: hormonal fluctuations (puberty, menopause, pregnancy), serious diseases. Chemical: metal poisoning, medication. Emotional: Loss, Trauma)
- The sympathetic nervous system is activated
- The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland react with stress and are controlled by the adrenal gland
- The hypothalamus increases the heart rate and reduces the blood supply to the gastro-intestinal tract.The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to release cortisol from the adrenal gland. The thyroid gland reacts by producing energy from sugar (glucose) and resources are directed away from the reproductive organs and brought to the organs, which are important for our survival, cortisol and insulin levels are elevated and remain elevated until the stress is gone or until the adrenal gland and pancreas are exhausted.
Cortisol mobilizes and increases the amino acids. It stimulates the liver and in a separate process the product of amino acids is converted into sugar (glucose) and stimulates the formation of glycogen there. It also increases the fatty acids in the blood.
It works against inflammation and allergies, prevents the loss of sodium through urine and regulates stress resistance and also regulates mood and emotional stability.
However, long-term exposure to cortisol causes damage to the body. The body can get used to being on constant alert. But the digestive system, reproductive system and endocrine system collapse due to lack of nutrients and blood supply.
In addition, the adrenal gland becomes exhausted and then the cortisol level drops. The adrenal glands are usually the first organ whose hormone function collapses, followed by the insulin-producing part of the pancreas, thyroid, ovaries, parathyroid, pineal, pituitary and finally the autonomic nervous system.
That’s why stress is so harmful and one of the possible triggers for Hashimoto!
The consequences of chronically elevated cortisol levels are the discontinuation of glucose use. Blood sugar levels are elevated. Protein conversion is reduced and this can lead to protein loss in the muscles, which are then converted to fat and accumulate on the abdomen. It causes demineralization of the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis and it prevents skin regeneration and healing. It makes the lymphatic tissue shrink and reduces the number of lymphocytes and their function to keep the organism healthy.
The reduced production of antibodies leads to susceptibility to allergies, infections and degenerative diseases.
Stress and the Thyroid Gland
Depression, heart disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, symptoms of menopause, muscle and joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, high cholesterol, irregular menstruation, low libido, infertility Gum disease, fluid retention in the extremities, skin problems (acne or eczema), memory problems, poor stamina, weight gain, lethargy, nails and hair are brittle or hair falls out, cold hands and feet, constipation etc
Stress and the Pancreas
If the pancreas suffers from too much stress, then these diseases can develop:
diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal damage, blindness, bacterial infections, fungal infections, itchy skin, systemic sclerosis, nerve damage, foot ulcers, kidney disease, high blood pressure, gastric paralysis, hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease
Other symptoms of Chronic Stress
Our digestive system receives 4 times less blood, which slows down the metabolism, enzyme production is reduced many times over, nutrients are absorbed less, the digestive system receives less oxygen. This results in increased cholesterol levels, increased triglycerides, a reduction in healthy intestinal flora and increased susceptibility to food intolerances.
Endocrine Disruptors (hormone-active substances)
Estrogen excess: Elevated estrogen levels can be caused by the intake of food artificially influenced by estrogens (supermarket meat for example) or administered by the pill. The so-called xenoestrogens such as plastic packaging, plastic bottles and cosmetics are also included, as they can act like estrogens in the body. Microplastics also have an estrogen-like effect.
Medications: Steroids, barbiturates, cholesterol-lowering drugs and beta blockers can affect thyroid function.
Chemicals: Mercury, lead, phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA) are all associated with thyroid problems. If you also suffer from iodine deficiency, bromides, chlorine and fluorides can interfere with thyroid function. They also accumulate in the receptors for iodine and block the action of iodine and thyroid hormones.
In order to function properly, our thyroid gland needs important nutrients. Of course, these are not only important for the production of thyroid hormones, but also regulate many other functions in our body. If these nutrients are missing, inflammation and malfunctioning of the body can occur.
The thyroid gland itself needs the following nutrients: B vitamins, vitamin C, D, E, iron, zinc, selenium, tyrosine, iodine and proteins. The cells need vitamin A, to increase the sensitivity for absorption.
In alternative medicine there is the term “Leaky Gut” Syndrome.br>Not only 80% of our immune system is formed in the stomach, our nutrients are also absorbed in the intestines. What we often forget, however, is that our digestive system also protects us from toxins and harmful microorganisms by keeping them away from us.
Allergies, intolerances, infections and inflammations weaken our intestinal wall and holes can form in it. The result is that these toxins and harmful microorganisms enter our body. This leads to inflammations.
Such leaky gut syndrome triggers are oftentimes “gluten”. Gluten is a sticky protein from cereals, wheat is probably the best known variety. This is partly due to the breeding of wheat, which we find in almost all products today. The wheat was bred to have as much gluten as possible to improve the baking properties.
You should also be careful with the so-called goitrogens. Soy is one of them and should be avoided at all costs if you suffer from Hashimoto’s. Cruciferous vegetables, i.e. cabbage, should only be eaten in small quantities and well boiled!
Iodine is admittedly a difficult topic. Both too little and too much iodine can be wrong. Our thyroid gland needs iodine to produce hormones, but too much iodine can lead to hyperfunction and inflammation of the thyroid gland. Some patients may also suffer from an iodine allergy. That is why many doctors say that one should refrain from iodine completely as far as possible.
But, like everything else, it is not quite so simple.
Personally, I am in favour of refraining from anything that may contain iodine for the time being. Medicines, food, additives. Once you have changed your diet and “purified” your body, you can add iodine again. If you cannot afford an alternative practitioner, you can find enough information on the Internet to rebuild your intestinal flora.
Studies have shown that Hashimoto occurs more often in patients, if more Hashimoto sufferers have already appeared in their family. It doesn’t really matter if Hashimoto doesn’t occur more often than stress and the endocrine disruptors, or even the lack of nutrients, but many doctors will ask about it and say that the cause is clear. At least that was the case with me. Although I never said that there were many Hashimoto sufferers in our country. But good. The fact is that the anamnesis asks for it, so I’ll list it here as well.
Why exactly infections can cause Hashimoto outbreaks is not known, but there are some infections with an increased number of Hashimoto outbreaks.
For example with the Epstein-Barr virus (the trigger of the whistling glandular fever), called EBV for short. In a study of people living in a nursing home, 70% of those who had Hashimoto’s disease had also previously contracted EBV.
Leaky gut syndrome
In alternative medicine there is the name of the leaky gut syndrome, i.e. a digestive system whose mucous wall is permeable.
It is a digestive disorder of the small intestine, where we absorb or block nutrients so that they do not enter the bloodstream.
When we suffer from it, toxins, pathogens and allergens enter our blood and promote diseases, allergies and autoimmune diseases.
That’s why many people see health benefits when they change their diet.
There are a lot of other factors that boost the production of “Reverse T3”, for example, T3 that our body cannot use. Apart from stress and trauma, a low calorie diet or dietary habits can help. Inflammations, toxins, infections and especially liver and kidney diseases have a strong impact on our hormone production, as this is where most of the thyroid hormones are produced.
For me it was a combination of puberty and stress, so for me it’s been a long time in the past. But I never knew what negative effects my diet had on me.
I hope this information is useful to you too!