Case Study: Treating the Root Cause of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis | Beyond Pills

Do you or someone you love have a thyroid disorder? This disorder, often diagnosed as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is becoming more and more common. I have written extensively on Hashimoto’s (linked below) and how to treat the root cause since it is a specialty of mine:

Understanding Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis 

When someone is diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, it's common for them to seek out natural treatments, such as nutritional supplementation, because just giving synthetic or bioidentical thyroid hormone is not the perfect remedy doctors would like it to be.  

One of these people, a 50-year-old woman named “Denise,” came to see me for her persistent Hashimoto’s flare-ups. She was incredibly burnt out and tired all the time. She wanted answers. Because I knew she was already diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I was able to act quickly and begin a gut and immune system healing protocol.

We did additional testing and found high levels of arsenic and mercury levels. The biggest sources of arsenic and mercury poisoning are derived from a diet rich in fish, poultry, arsenic, red meat, and dairy products since these heavy metals are at extremely high levels in the soil and water and not easily excreted from animal protein. “Denise’s” diet had also caused severe damage to her stomach lining leading to poor absorption of critical vitamins (ie., Vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron).  Her cells were working so hard trying to clear out these toxins but could not keep up with the excess level of exposure from a regular consumption of animal protein.

This led to increasing cell damage from the toxins and hence, an increasingly damage to most organs in the body.  Since the liver becoming increasingly congested from these toxins, it was unable to easily manage its other critical functions. For example, less estrogen was being broken down in the liver and instead converted to a toxic form associated with causing cancer cell growth and cardiovascular disease.

Takeaway: micronutrient supplementation as the only form of Hashimoto’s treatment does not work for everyone as the complete remedy. This discrepancy is likely due to varying levels of stress being one of the largest contributors to Hashimoto’s onset and flare-ups.

We know that the onset of the immune system being unable to differentiate between healthy and foreign tissue often begins years to even decades before the diagnosis of autoimmune disease. 

The biggest reason is the digestive tract often endures chronic damage causing microscopic “open doors” between the gut wall and the bloodstream.  This intestinal permeability (aka., “leaky gut”) causes antibodies and toxins to leak out into the bloodstream. 

One of the biggest reasons for this frequent damage to the digestive and immune systems is caused by overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system from STRESS. This fight-or-flight stress response causes poor blood circulation to the gut leading to increasing cell damage over time. 

Future studies should assess gut barrier function in the individual and in combination with the synergy of dietary components tested. Otherwise, the time and energy spent on these studies is wasteful given the growing knowledge and body of evidence of stress and leaky gut’s connection in autoimmunity.  

“Denise” had lived with extremely high levels of stress for decades.  We realized that throwing all the supplements in the world would not improve her disease. She had to first address her toxic relationship with her spouse, her biggest stressor. By setting boundaries with her partner and releasing herself from their deep co-dependence, “Denise” was finally able to sleep better.  She was investing more time in her self-care, and shifting her future goals to be better aligned with herself versus dominated by her spouse.  

Over just a few years of working together “Denise” now has complete remission of her Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The biggest reason why her thyroid disease had persisted for years was no other physician had actively  addressed the biggest source of her disease: stress

The further along one is in the depths of their disease, the harder it is to correct and treat. This was really challenging for “Denise” to admit, but she knew that healing herself wasn’t going to be easy at first. After many years, she was finally allowing her parasympathetic nervous system to work  optimally so that normal cell functions could occur. “Denise” was shifting away from frequently signalling a stress response and placing her sympathetic nervous system into overdrive.


Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health During the Winter Months. Our team is one of experts who work to help patients suffering from chronic pain improve their bodies, allowing them to live healthier, fuller lives. We are always ready to share their expertise. To book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to

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