Zoe Saldano of Star Trek fame recently revealed in an interview that she has Hashimoto’s low thyroid, an autoimmune thyroid disease. But she’s a little misguided about how Hashimoto’s works.
In an interview she said, “Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it’s always inflamed.”
This is an unusual explanation for autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
What Zoe Saldano should know Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Hashimoto’s is a thyroid disease affecting millions of women. Symptoms include depression, brain fog, weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, constipation, and many other symptoms.
It is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, affecting an estimated more than 23 million people.
The most important thing to know about Hashimoto’s is that it is an autoimmune thyroid disease. This means the immune system causes hypothyroidism by attacking and destroying the thyroid gland.
Research shows 90 percent of hypothyroidism case are caused by Hashimoto’s.
Many cases of Hashimoto’s low thyroid go undiagnosed
Many patients suffer from symptoms of Hashimoto’s low thyroid for years or even decades before receiving a diagnosis. If they do receive a diagnosis, many also find they do not feel better on thyroid medications.
As you’ll see in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid patients suffer needlessly for years or decades without a diagnosis. Instead, they are dismissed by doctors, given antidepressants, or told it’s all in their head.
Meanwhile, they continue to lose energy and function. The thyroid gland governs metabolism in the body and produces thyroid hormones, which are needed by every cell in the body, including brain cells.
This is why unmanaged Hashimoto’s causes a person to continually lose function, feel run down, lose brain cognition, and find it impossible to lose weight.
Suffering so long without relief or being believed by doctors is very demoralizing for these patients, the majority of whom are women. When they come to my office, they are often spiritually broken and hopeless.
Why do people get Hashimoto’s low thyroid?
Studies show many factors play a role in the development of Hashimoto’s low thyroid, including:
- Genetics (Saldano has family members with Hashimoto’s)
- Immune imbalances
- Food intolerances
- Environmental toxins
- Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability
- Chronic stress
- Being female (Hashimoto’s affects mainly women)
- Imbalanced hormones
- Imbalanced blood sugar
- Chronic inflammation
- Viral or bacterial infections
What often happens is a number of chronic health issues that go undiagnosed continue to escalate until the immune system becomes overburdened and tips into attacking the body.
What Saldano is doing right for her Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism condition
Although Saldano doesn’t appear to fully understand how Hashimoto’s low thyroid works, she nevertheless advocates some good lifestyle examples.
For example, she follows a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. Research links these foods with Hashimoto’s.
She also talks about reducing stress, not being too hard on herself, and surrounding herself with the support of loved ones.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice.
Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid.
For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.