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Spotlight on Hashimoto's

The Interplay between Low Dose Naltrexone and Hashimoto’s

Hypothyroidism: Causes and Effects:

Thyroid hormones are important because they regulate metabolism, cardiovascular health, digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood, and bone maintenance.

Therefore, it is crucial to have sufficient levels of active T3 in not only the thyroid but all systems in our body to maintain optimal homeostasis.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism due to a dysfunction of the autoimmune system, which in turn leads to chronic inflammation and the destruction of the thyroid gland. In cellular hypothyroidism, although the pituitary is working sufficiently to convert T4 into active T3 (thereby showing normal thyroid ranges), there is deficiency in mitochondrial energy that is required to transport these active T3 into the cellular tissue. In addition, an enzyme called Deiodinase Type 3 found in cellular tissue is furthermore converting T4 into inactive Reverse T3. Therefore, standard thyroid blood levels are often not indicative of thyroid function due to impaired cellular thyroid transport.

Hashimoto’s and cellular hypothyroidism are both exacerbated by the following:

- Fibromyalgia

- Physical and psychological stress; depression

- Chronic infection

- Cancer

- Obesity and weight gain

- Diabetes

- Leptin resistance

- Chronic fatigue

- Inflammation

- Autoimmune disease (Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis)

- Exposure to toxins and plastics

The symptomatic result of Hashimoto’s is congruent with the effects of cellular hypothyroidism, in which those with decreased levels of T3 will experience:

- Fatigue

- Low mood

- Heart disease

- Muscle weakness and pain

- Constipation

- Dry skin

- Hair loss or thinning

- Poor concentration

- Weight gain

- Fertility issues

- Menstrual irregularities

How Low Dose Naltrexone Play a Role in Treating Hypothyroidism?:

For many years, low dose naltrexone (LDN) has been used in adjunct with thyroid replacement therapy in patients with Hashimoto’s. LDN has anti-inflammatory properties which can negate the symptoms mentioned above (i.e. emotional stress, diabetes, toxins, obesity, etc.). Increased endorphin function also helps in modulating the immune system. By decreasing inflammatory cytokine concentration, reducing interleukin activity, and lowering IFN-a and TGF-a (inflammatory markers), LDN improves thyroid function both in the pituitary and out in the periphery cells. These physiological mechanisms have been shown to further improve T4 conversion into Active T3. Moreover, LDN has been shown to inhibit cells that cause the autoimmunity process.

LDN is normally taken orally with starting dose of 0.5mg once daily at night and is titrated up every week to the optimal dose of 4.5mg or 6mg, depending on the individual.

For more information or advice, contact Elixir Compounding Pharmacy today!

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