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Peptide Therapy for Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism

Find out how peptide therapy could help treat your Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism.
Peptide Therapy for Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism
Last updated:
1/5/2024
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In this article

Peptide therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of many diseases and conditions, including Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. As a safe and natural method of targeting health issues, peptide therapy presents an exciting new approach to managing these conditions. In this article, we’ll explore peptide therapy and how it works and discuss its potential for treating autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and an underactive thyroid condition.

What is peptide therapy?

The use of peptides as medical treatment has a history dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The discovery of life-saving bioactive peptides such as insulin, a peptide with 51 amino acids, and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) was considered a significant scientific achievement of its time. Since that time, more than 170 peptides have been in active clinical development, with hundreds more in preclinical studies and human trials. These peptides can be used in a wide range of therapeutic areas such as urology, respiratory, pain, cancer, metabolic, cardiovascular, and antimicrobial applications.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids consisting of 2 to 50 amino acid residues, and they play vital roles in various bodily processes. Peptides are the building blocks of proteins, and naturally occurring or lab-made peptides hold promise for medical interventions. Peptides can perform several therapeutic functions, including accelerating the healing process, boosting hormone levels, decreasing joint and muscle pain, enhancing cognitive function, improving sleep quality, and promoting healthy immune function.

Peptide therapy refers to restoring the number and level of peptides to stimulate cellular regrowth systems within the body. Different treatments incorporating peptide therapy are now widely available for many conditions, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, weight loss, and anti-aging. Peptide therapy has a range of benefits for overall health and appearance, including:

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Helping with healing
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Assisting in hair growth
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving immune function
  • Preventing blood clots
  • Supporting specific goals such as weight loss and reduction of joint/muscle pain

Peptides can be administered via injections, capsules, topical cream, or inhalation, and they work by signaling the cells in the body to perform specific functions. One of the many benefits of peptide treatment is that it can be entirely customized to a patient’s unique needs and goals. Another benefit is that peptide therapy is relatively safe and well-tolerated.

Over the past decade, the development, testing, and approvals of peptide drugs have been on the rise. Dozens of peptide drugs have been approved in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and hundreds are in active clinical development and human clinical trials. In 2021, the FDA approved ten peptide drugs, making it the best year on record for peptide approvals, even surpassing 2017, when six peptides were approved. The number of peptide drugs approved has been increasing, with 21.5% of FDA-approved drugs in 2022 being peptides.

What conditions can be treated with peptide therapy?

Peptide therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • Pain management, with peptides such as substance P inhibitors helping to alleviate pain and discomfort
  • Promoting healing, accelerating healing processes, and decreasing inflammation
  • Weight loss, muscle gain, and hair growth
  • Improving hormone production, cognitive function, and sexual dysfunction symptoms
  • Enhancing immune function, reducing signs of aging, and improving sleep quality

Peptide therapy is often used in conjunction with other traditional treatments to achieve the most effective results for the specific condition being treated.

How does peptide therapy work to treat chronic conditions?

When peptides in the body are disordered, they can have far-reaching effects on various systems, impacting functions such as digestion, metabolism, weight loss, sexual desire, inflammation, neuropathy, and age-related conditions. Peptide therapy, which uses peptides to mimic the body’s own peptides and elicit specific responses, can help treat these conditions. Since peptides are naturally occurring and have specific functions, they are generally well tolerated by the body and have minimal to no side effects. Peptides used in therapy are often derived from animal or plant protein sources such as eggs, milk, meat, soy, oats, flaxseed, hemp seed, and wheat.

Peptide therapy works by signaling the cells in the body to perform specific functions, such as regulating tissue, promoting restoration, and regulating a new and healthier balance in various bodily systems. It can be administered via injections, capsules, topical cream, or inhalation and is typically customized to the patient’s unique needs.

What are the different types of peptides used in peptide therapy?

In addition to insulin, you likely already know about another popular peptide therapy and may even be using it yourself or have friends and family taking it. We’re talking about semaglutide, a peptide therapy used for treating type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss. Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Perhaps better known by its brand names –  Ozempic and Wegovy – semaglutide works by increasing the amount of insulin released, lowering the amount of glucagon released, delaying gastric emptying, and controlling appetite, which helps in reducing blood sugar levels and managing weight. Some other commonly prescribed peptide drugs you may be familiar with include cyclosporine (Neoral), which is used to prevent organ rejection after a kidney, liver, or heart transplant, and calcitonin, used for the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.

Other types of peptide therapies include:

  • Sermorelin: A peptide used for anti-aging purposes and is considered safer than human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Bremelanotide PT 14: This peptide regulates sex drive and is used in the treatment of sexual dysfunction
  • BPC-157: Known for its role in promoting healing and reducing inflammation
  • CJC 1295 and Ipamorelin: These peptides are used for promoting weight loss, muscle gain, and anti-aging effects
  • Thymosin alpha-1 (Ta1): A peptide constituent of thymosin fraction 5, which has been studied for its potential in modulating immune function and addressing autoimmune disorders

What research is there on the effectiveness of peptide therapy for autoimmune diseases?

Peptide therapy has shown promise in treating and preventing autoimmune disorders and supporting immune function. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, leading to chronic inflammation and various symptoms. Peptide therapy offers a promising cutting-edge approach to modulate the immune response and reduce inflammation.

Peptide therapy offers several benefits for autoimmune conditions, including supporting immune function, reducing inflammation, aiding in symptom management, promoting tissue repair, and enhancing overall well-being.

Some examples of autoimmune diseases that can be treated with peptide therapy include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Peptide therapy has been explored as a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, aiming to modulate the immune response and reduce inflammation.
  • Autoimmune Skin Disorders: Peptide therapy has been used to address autoimmune skin disorders such as Behcet’s Disease, Dermatomyositis, Lupus, and Pemphigus. For instance, BPC-157 (Body Protection Compound 157) is a peptide that has been studied for its potential in treating autoimmune skin disorders.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: Research has been conducted on peptide-based treatments for type 1 diabetes, aiming to stimulate tolerogenic mechanisms, the processes by which the immune system induces and maintains tolerance to self-antigens and harmless foreign substances while preserving the ability to mount immune responses against pathogens.

While there is enthusiasm for the potential of peptide therapy in treating various autoimmune diseases, robust clinical data demonstrating its effectiveness are still being developed. Further research is needed to establish the specific peptides and treatment protocols for different autoimmune conditions.

How does peptide therapy help Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism?

When it comes to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which causes inflammation and damage to the thyroid gland – and eventually, hypothyroidism -- peptide therapy can be a game-changer. The peptides used in this therapy mimic the function of naturally occurring hormones and signaling molecules, promoting healing and balancing the immune system.

One of the key benefits of peptide therapy is its ability to stimulate tissue repair. In the case of Hashimoto’s, where the thyroid gland is under attack, specific peptides can enhance thyroid function and promote the regeneration of damaged tissues. This can improve thyroid hormone production and alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and mood fluctuations.

Another significant benefit of peptide therapy is its ability to reduce inflammation in patients with Hashimoto’s. Inflammation is a common symptom associated with this autoimmune disorder and can lead to further damage to the thyroid gland. Peptide therapy helps to modulate the immune system, reducing inflammation and potentially slowing down the progression of the disease. This can provide much-needed relief to patients suffering from Hashimoto’s.

Research has shown that peptides derived from the thyroid and pineal glands of young animals can improve the general health and laboratory indicators of patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. This treatment also reduced antibody levels and triggered positive changes in the thyroid gland, as detected by ultrasound.

Peptide therapy may also help with the lack of energy often experienced by patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. It works by forming channels in the cell membranes to help the cell internalize the peptide.

Thymosins are a group of peptides that are naturally produced in the thymus. Research has shown that specific thymosin peptides, such as Thymosin Alpha-1 and Thymosin Beta-4, effectively manage autoimmune conditions. Thymosin Alpha-1 can decrease antibodies in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and is effective in helping the immune system fight off infections. Thymosin Beta-4 is known to stimulate the production of T cells and encourage tissue repair.

Research has also shown that certain peptides can be effective in treating hypothyroidism. For example, a peptide called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) peptide has been synthesized for use in research and could potentially be used in treatment.

Thyroid TIDE PLUS is a multi-component peptide bioregulator used to regulate, restore, and protect the functions of the thyroid gland. It reportedly positively affects overall health and increases the body’s resistance to adverse external factors.

Peptide therapy may also help with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism symptoms like fatigue and depression that are not resolved by medication. Peptides can help restore the body’s energy levels by optimizing cellular processes and supporting mitochondrial function, enhancing energy levels, and improving mood in thyroid patients. This, in turn, can positively impact a patient’s overall mood and well-being, leading to a better quality of life.

Peptide therapy for Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism is generally considered a safe approach, and it can be used in conjunction with other treatments like thyroid hormone replacement medications, dietary changes, supplements, and stress relief to manage Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of peptide therapy can vary among individuals, and it should be administered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

What is the process for starting peptide therapy?

 The process for starting peptide therapy typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation and Evaluation: A thorough evaluation – including seeing a physician and possibly a blood draw  – is usually the starting point for any peptide therapy program.
  2. Customized Treatment Plan: Based on the evaluation, a customized treatment plan is developed to address your specific needs and goals. This may involve identifying the most suitable peptides and determining the appropriate dosage and administration method.
  3. Administration: Peptide therapy can be administered via various routes, including injections, oral capsules, topical creams, or nasal sprays. The route of administration depends on the specific peptide and the medical condition being treated.
  4. Loading Period: Peptide therapy often has a “loading” period of 3 to 6 months before full effects are noticed. However, benefits can start within the first few weeks, increasing synergistically with continued therapy.
  5. Ongoing Monitoring and Adjustment: Regular monitoring and potential adjustment of the treatment plan may be necessary to ensure the therapy is effective and well-tolerated.

It’s important to note that the process for starting peptide therapy should be overseen by a healthcare professional to ensure the safe and appropriate use of peptides.

What are the side effects of peptide therapy?

It’s important to note that peptide therapy is generally considered safe when administered under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. However, as with any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects to be aware of, including:

  • Physical Discomfort: This can involve skin reactions at the injection site, such as redness, itching, and swelling. These symptoms are usually mild and transient but can become problematic if the injections are not administered properly.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Overuse of peptides can lead to hormonal fluctuations, with potential side effects including mood swings, fatigue, and reduced sexual function. Long-term misuse of peptide therapy can lead to pituitary damage, impairing the body’s ability to produce certain hormones naturally.
  • Fluid Retention: Some individuals using peptides report increased fluid retention, leading to a bloated appearance and may worsen conditions such as high blood pressure.
  • Increased Hunger: Certain peptides can stimulate the release of ghrelin, a hormone that induces hunger, leading to increased calorie intake and potential unwanted weight gain.
  • Other Potential Side Effects: These might include discomfort from nausea, frequent headaches, joint discomfort, and potential for insulin resistance.

Working with a qualified healthcare professional experienced in peptide therapy is essential to ensure the treatment is safe and effective for you.

While peptide therapy for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism is generally considered safe, like any treatment, it can have potential side effects. These can vary among individuals and depend on the specific peptides used. Some of the other possible side effects associated with peptide therapy for Hashimoto’s include:

  • Itching, numbness, or tingling at the injection site
  • Dry mouth and increased hunger
  • Changes in skin pigmentation, such as darkening of moles or increase in freckles
  • Water retention, high blood pressure, severe kidney pain, joint pain, and weight changes
  • Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, particularly with peptides affecting the digestive system
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Swelling in the extremities

In some cases,  abuse of peptide hormones can lead to more serious health issues, such as motor paralysis, skeletal muscle damage and loss, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, arterial hypertension, and increased risk for atherosclerosis, blood clots, osteoporosis, and cancer. However, these severe side effects are typically associated with misuse or overuse of peptides, not with properly administered peptide therapy.

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A note from Paloma

Peptide therapy offers several benefits for patients with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. It provides a natural and safe approach to managing these conditions, reducing inflammation, improving thyroid hormone production, and enhancing energy levels and mood. As more research is conducted, peptide therapy is likely to become an increasingly popular and effective treatment option for patients with thyroid-related disorders.

When you’re a Paloma Health member, you can be assured that your practitioners are committed to staying at the forefront of innovative and promising treatment approaches for Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, including peptide therapy. Paloma’s thyroid care team continually updates their knowledge and skills through ongoing training and support from leading experts in thyroid medicine. Utilizing an integrative approach, Paloma’s doctors, nutritionists, and health coaches can work with you to create a plan that incorporates lifestyle changes, nutrition, and cutting-edge technology combined with traditional medication management. This commitment to staying updated on treatment approaches and providing personalized care enables Paloma Health practitioners to help you manage your condition effectively and improve your quality of life.

References:

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Baradaran M. Current Status of Peptide Medications and the Position of Active Therapeutic Peptides with Scorpion Venom Origin. Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products. 2023;18(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.5812/jjnpp-134049 https://brieflands.com/articles/jjnpp-134049

Gorgiladze D, Pinaev R, Aleksandrov V. APPLICATION OF PEPTIDES FOR COMPLEX TREATMENT OF AUTOIMMUNE THYROIDITIS. Innov Aging. 2017 Jun 30;1(Suppl 1):324. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igx004.1194. PMCID: PMC6243877. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6243877/

Wang L, Wang N, Zhang W, et al. Therapeutic peptides: current applications and future directions. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. 2022;7(1):48. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-022-00904-4. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-022-00904-4

What Are the Different Types of Peptide Therapy? Healthgains. Accessed December 15, 2023. https://healthgains.com/faqs/what-are-the-different-types-of-peptide-therapy/

Pugliese A. Peptide-based treatment for autoimmune diseases: learning how to handle a double-edged sword. J Clin Invest. 2003 May;111(9):1280-2. doi: 10.1172/JCI18395. PMID: 12727917; PMCID: PMC154453. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154453/

Tomazic VJ, Novotny EA, Ordonez JV. Thymosin alpha 1-induced modulation of cellular responses and functional T-cell subsets in mice with experimental autoimmune thyroiditis. Cell Immunol. 1985 Jul;93(2):340-9. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(85)90139-x. PMID: 3873993. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3873993/

Human Synthetic Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Peptide | ABIN5666384. www.antibodies-online.com. Accessed December 16, 2023. https://www.antibodies-online.com/peptide/5666384/Thyroid+Stimulating+Hormone+TSH+peptide+Ovalbumin/

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Mary Shomon

Patient Advocate

Mary Shomon is an internationally-recognized writer, award-winning patient advocate, health coach, and activist, and the New York Times bestselling author of 15 books on health and wellness, including the Thyroid Diet Revolution and Living Well With Hypothyroidism. On social media, Mary empowers and informs a community of more than a quarter million patients who have thyroid and hormonal health challenges.

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