Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol
This post is an overview of possible approaches for SET-DB™ practitioners who have the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol and care for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also called autoimmune thyroiditis, is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism and is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. Studies have shown that about 90% of hypothyroid patients test positive for thyroid antibodies, meaning their immune systems are primed to attack their own thyroid glands.
It’s a complex condition that can involve genetics, diet, digestion, the immune system, and thyroid function. Correcting one’s faulty genes is unlikely, but the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol can address digestion, the immune system, and thyroid function. Getting a patient to improve their diet, permanently, is tough, so tough I never attempted it with my fibromyalgia patients. I think a strong case can be made for diet revision with thyroid patients.
The immune system is tasked with the critical job of keeping track of “self,” our own cells, and “non-self,” foreign substances. It does this primarily by “reading” the surface proteins of cells and substances it comes in contact with. (I also believe the nervous system is involved in immunity—thus the success of SET-DB™ eliminating a sensitivity) If the immune cell recognizes the surface protein as self it will move on. If it doesn’t, or if it has seen the foreign cell before and knows it’s somewhere it doesn’t belong, it releases chemical messengers that initiate an immune response.
Autoimmunity is a case of mistaken identity. Antibodies are made to “self” tissues for a variety of reasons. One that we’ll discuss here is, surface proteins of a “non-self” substance look enough like surface proteins of some “self” tissue that the immune system attacks the tissue. Besides Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, examples are multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the culprit is gliadin, the protein portion of gluten. Gliadin “looks” like thyroid tissue to the immune systems of people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. When gliadin gets into the body through a porous or leaky gut the immune system does its job and tags it for destruction (makes antibodies). Those antibodies will eventually find their way to the thyroid gland where they find cells with surface proteins that look suspiciously like gliadin, and attack.
Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to six months. That means if one wants to know if gluten is causing their hypothyroid symptoms, they’ll have to stay off it for at least six months.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis symptoms
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are typically those of hypothyroidism, such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, and depression (to name a fraction of possible hypothyroid symptoms). While there are several reasons for hypothyroid symptoms, in this case they’re due to low thyroid hormone production secondary to destruction of hormone-producing cells by the immune system—fewer cells making thyroid hormone. Because Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is progressive, eventually hypothyroid symptoms appear.
But this isn’t all. Hyperthyroid symptoms—nervousness, rapid heart rate, sweating, tremors, palpitations— may occur concurrently with hypothyroid symptoms. When the cells that store thyroid hormone get destroyed by the immune system, large amounts of stored hormones are released into the blood stream. Thus one with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be hyper one day and hypo a couple of days later. Quite a wild ride. Eventually the hyperthyroid symptoms disappear, when enough thyroid cells have been destroyed, and only hypothyroid symptoms, which are getting worse, remain.
Standard medical care for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Doctors may not tell patients their lab tests were positive for thyroid antibodies because it doesn’t change their treatment plan. In fact, most doctors don’t order antibody tests for this same reason. The standard of care is to “monitor” the patient until enough thyroid cells are destroyed to cause hypothyroidism, then prescribe thyroid hormone, typically synthetic T4. Once they start on thyroid medication, they typically have to take it the rest of their life.
A few lucky patients do well on T4, but many don’t and end up being put on other medications prescribed for things such as depression, high cholesterol, and blood sugar management, all possibly related to hypothyroidism.
SET-DB™ approach to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients are treated the same as hypothyroid patients without Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, with the possible exception that the practitioner might want to pay closer attention to autoimmune categories.
Here are some important aspects of the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol:
Leaky Gut: A leaky gut allows undigested or incompletely digested foods to get into parts of the body they don’t belong, which can lead to more food sensitivities. Seacure is given to help heal the gut wall and eliminating sensitivities helps reduce gut inflammation. Also, an OSST can help detoxify the intestinal tract and possibly reduce or eliminate infectants like parasites and Candida. Digestive enzymes are given to ensure better breakdown of foods and to take stress off the pancreas.
Gluten/Gliadin: It’s my opinion that gluten-containing foods should be avoided by everyone. However, it’s nice that once treated with SET-DB™, one doesn’t have to worry about getting a little gluten in a meal now and then. This BioSurvey doesn’t just look at gluten and gliadin. It goes deeper by looking at enzymes and fractions of gluten and gliadin. It’s a must-do treatment.
Hormones: If a patient is sensitive to a hormone it can be difficult for them to make adequate amounts of it and whatever influence the hormone should have, the reason the body makes it, it may not wield. Special attention is given to TSH, T3, T4, thyroglobulin, TRH, and rT3, but any hormone a patient is found sensitive to is put in the vial before the treatment. A must-do treatment.
Glands: When speaking of autoimmune treatments, I like to use a team sports analogy. If individual team members are quarreling amongst themselves, or are otherwise unhappy with others on the team, it’s difficult for the team to have success. There is little cohesion or cooperation. If a SET-DB™ autoimmune treatment could be performed on the team the effect would be near-instant harmony that could tip the scale toward success on the field. It eliminates the false perception that some part of “self” isn’t really “non-self.“ Glands important to consider here are the thyroid, anterior pituitary, hypothalamus, and adrenals. A must-do treatment.
Thyroid Supplement Organ System Stress Test (OSST): Supplementing with critical thyroid nutrients can help patients fell better sooner. This OSST looks for just one supplement. You can use the BioSurvey as-is and it will choose one of the two default supplements, or you can test for any supplements you like.
Thyroid Comprehensive BioSurvey: This BioSurvey contains items important to thyroid function not found in ZYTO’s library, like transport molecules and cell receptors for thyroid hormone. A must-do treatment.
Other must-do treatments include grains, wheat digestion, dairy, and endocrine disrupters. The practitioner chooses five additional SETs based on the Thyroid Eval Scan or their professional judgement.
If the patient needs treatment beyond the basic protocol, the practitioner runs the Thyroid Category Scan: Advanced and formulates a new treatment plan.
If your license affords you prescription benefits, you can monitor their medication yourself. If it doesn’t, you might need to communicate and/or work with the patient’s prescribing physician. Do NOT advise your patients in areas outside of your license; i.e., tell them to take less or more of a medication or discontinue a medication.
Your thyroid patients will likely need a change of medication as they progress through the treatment program. It’s not difficult to know when. If they’re getting too much thyroid hormone(s) they’ll start experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism. If they’re not getting enough, their hypothyroid symptoms worsen.
The SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol is already helping many practitioners help more patients feel better and enjoy improved health.
Dr. Teryl Boothe and selected guests.