Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Evidence and controversies within functional assessment and management

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This short course...

  • is delivered: As an online on-demand-video from a live course 
  • is for: Nutritional therapists, nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths,  other health care providers  and final year nutrition students interested in applying  functional medicine approaches to health and well-being (i.e. exploring how nutrients, other foods and lifestyle factors influence the function of the body and how to apply findings in a person–centred manner that recognises individuals’ unique differences)
  • is with: Virginia Blake
  • spans: 5 hours recording time
  • provides: BANT CPD 5 hours*

Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis accounts for around 90% of underactive thyroid diagnoses in the developed world. It can be diagnosed quite late into the disease given thyroid function may appear normal via NHS test results despite the patient feeling that there is something wrong, often over a period of many years Standard thyroid function tests do not assess autoimmune reactivity as a matter of course. 
There are key challenges that might face a clinician working with a client with Hashimoto’s Disease within the functional medicine approach. Clients might only present after a number of years of having elevated antibodies and it can be hard to identify what is continuing any inflammation. It can also be hard to know how to pragmatically monitor their progress (symptoms versus potentially expensive regular antibody testing) and to know how, given the limited evidence, to develop recommendations that recognise the long term nature of the condition and are sufficiently pragmatic and minimally disruptive that they will not limit a client’s enjoyment of life.   
This course reviews the pathophysiology and current evidence on the underlying causes for autoimmune thyroid dysfunction. It outlines the body-wide impact of thyroid antibodies on non-thyroid tissue and Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis as part of a multiple autoimmune disease diagnosis. The progression of Grave’s disease and certain treatments routinely given may result in Hashimoto’s and ways to potentially minimise this will also be discussed. The course then outlines a clinical approach for staging clients and intervening appropriately with diet and supplementation in a way that recognises the challenges related to a long term chronic condition. The course explains the strength of evidence behind interventions suggested alongside multiple real world cases.

ION's courses have a strong reputation for providing impartial and evidence- informed education.  



What will I learn?

By the end of the recording you will be able to: 

  • Explain the biochemical imbalances that may contribute to autoimmune thyroid disorders and  be able to evaluate their potential importance in person- specific contexts based on history taking, test results and other forms of evidence. 
  • Critically analyse some of the latest research findings, debates and approaches around the management of autoimmune thyroid and be able to judge their appropriateness to support personalised recommendations. 
  • Critically discuss key  dietary recommendations, tests, potential supplements and related approaches around the management of Hashimoto’s and be able to apply this knowledge to personalised recommendations 

What will be covered?

Session 1 (approx. 1hr 15 minutes)
Autoimmune thyroid dysregulation: Understanding the implications across the functional medicine matrix

  • Brief overview of thyroid hormone production and autoimmune thyroid dysfunction including the differences between Grave’s Disease and Hashimoto's, their different antibody profiles at different disease stages and how to potentially reduce Grave’s clients progressing to Hashimoto’s.
  • Thyroid antibodies and their system-wide effects including on  neuronal and  microglial function, blood sugar balancing, hepatic and endocrine effects including fertility and the menopause.
  • Q and A
  • Main symptoms
  • Session key points
  • Case studies

Session 2 (approx. 1hr 15 minutes)
Identifying underlying causes of autoimmune thyroid dysregulation

  • Use of six case studies to present a range of triggers including dietary, pathogenic (bacteria and viral), chemicals (VOCs, heavy metals) and  lifestyle factors . Discussion to explain the rationale for the tests used  and interpretation of findings.
  • Q and A
  • Session key points
  • Q and A

Session 3 (approx. 1hr 15 minutes)
Developing personalised nutrition plans to support different stages/scenarios  Part 1

  • Micronutrients (including evidence on the role of selenium, iodine and magnesium) and nutraceuticals.
  • What is the current evidence and research on gluten, goitrogens, lectins and other potential food sensitivities and diets in maintaining elevated autoantibodies? Which food sensitivity testing to consider. How to support clients to maintain an optimal  anti-inflammatory diet with a lifelong condition.
  • Autoimmune Paleolithic diets - how appropriate, practical and safe are they for different stages of Hashimoto’s?
  • Case studies
  • Session key points
  • Q&A

Session 4 (approx. 1hr 15 minutes)
Developing personalised nutrition plans to support different stages/scenarios  Part 2

  • Specific protein cross reactivity
  • Sodium intake:  what to monitor and why
  • Dysglycaemia: how to best support Hashimoto’s clients at risk of dysglycaemia to maintain  balanced blood sugars
  • Vegan versus omnivore diets and low versus high protein diets: Understanding what might be appropriate for different clinical cases and what to do with a client with multiple autoimmune diseases for which there may be differing evidence on the amount of protein that is helpful.
  • Case studies
  • Session key points
  • Q and A
  • Webinar waiting room opened

Session 1 (10-11.15am)
Developing personalised and staged functional medicine recommendations for specific oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone-related patterns

  • From menarche to menopause – pattern overview with a focus on oestrogen and progesterone
  • Managing oestrogen-progesterone balance and supporting healthy hormone metabolism
  • Case study reflection
  • Managing testosterone patterns in women
  • Monitoring progress using testing and clinical assessment and modifying your plan accordingly
  • Session key points
  • Q and A

Session 2 (11.30 am - 12.45pm)
Developing personalised and staged functional medicine recommendations for managing the menopause

  • Common themes in menopause management – nutrition, lifestyle and mind-body interventions and considerations around HRT, including recent evidence
  • HRT options (synthetic, body identical and bio-identical) – what’s the difference; which are available on the NHS and how best to support clients access these
  • Sexual health and contraception around perimenopause
  • Case reflection
  • Important considerations in post-menopausal health, including neglected areas such as addressing increased risk of cardiovascular disease and  certain cancers and cognitive support
  • Session key points
  • Q and A

Session 3 (1.45pm- 3pm)
Practical applications:  HPA-HPG axis case studies

This session will bring our earlier learning to life, looking at case studies in HPA-HPG axis management from the award-winning Synthesis Clinic. We will cover timeline and matrix consideration in each case and management plans, including nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle and mind-body approaches, as well as integrative medicine options.

  • Case study 1
  • Case 1 Q &A
  • Case study 2
  • Case 2 Q&A

Session 4 (3.15pm-4.30pm)
Complex women’s health cases and extended care team working

This session will cover different options in women’s healthcare, including medical, psychological and integrative modalities and potential indications for additional input. We will discuss how to work more effectively within extended care teams to support your client and successfully communicate your approach to GPs and other healthcare professionals.

  • The role of different professionals in women’s health and when/how to refer
  • Working with medical professionals effectively and guidelines for communication
  • Case study 3
  • Case 3 Q &A

Who is leading the course?

Virginia Blake MSc, DipBCNH, BANT, CNHC

Virginia is a registered nutritional therapist and registered nutritionist. She graduated from BCNH in 2008 and went on to complete an MSc in Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey in 2018, graduating with distinction. 

She has worked in clinical practice since 2009, recently working at the London Clinic of Nutrition and now the Optimum Health Clinic. She specialises in chronic and complex illness, particularly autoimmune thyroid disorders.  As well as seeing dozens of clients with this condition, she has also completed additional training with the Kharrazian institute on autoimmunity generally and Hashimoto’s particularly. 

Virginia began lecturing in nutrition in 2009 for BCNH on the BSc programme in Nutritional Therapy and continues to lecture at BCNH and mentor several of their recent graduates.  She joined the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2011, where she leads modules and delivers lectures at Level 4 and 6.  At post-graduate level, she has worked  at the Northern College of Acupuncture and developed MSc courses online for the College of Contemporary Health, validated by London South Bank University. She has delivered sessions at the ‘Primary Care and Public Health Conference’ to large groups of NHS professionals.

How will I be taught?

ION’s short courses reflect best practice for online teaching and learning practice.  This is an edited recording of a live course. It contains presentations interspersed with anonymised case study data and recorded Q and A sessions. 

How much does it cost and what’s included?

The course price is £89.00. 

  • PDF of presentation  
  • Approx. 5 hours edited recording 
  • Viewing access for a least 90 days. You can access the course up to 10 times. 
  • BANT CPD 5 hours 

Important information

  About this on-demand recording

  • The speaker is not present on this recording and you will not be able to ask them questions but you will be able to see the recorded Q and A sessions.
  • This course was recorded in June 2021. All recordings are removed approximately one year after they are recorded so that we can ensure our courses contain up to date information. You will be able to access the course for at least 90 days and view it up to 10 times before the materials are taken down.

    How do I book?

  • Please check you have read ION’s FAQs including our cancellation and refund policy before booking
  • Click the "BOOK" button at the top or bottom of this page - you will be taken to our webinar platform 'Big Marker.' 
  • Please ensure you use the same name and email to register, login and purchase tickets on our website and any partner platforms. You are responsible for providing your correct email address across all ION and ION partner platforms.

Registration links and materials

  • You will be automatically sent a link to the course when you register. Please do not share this with anyone. This is set up to only allow entry to the first user that clicks it. Further links cannot be generated. 
  • Your booking confirmation email contains the password needed to access course materials (where applicable). Please type (rather than copying and pasting) this password when prompted and please ensure there are no spaces at the beginning or end. 
  • To download the course materials, click the HANDOUTS button in the video player (situated between the VOLUME and QUESTIONS buttons).  


  • Participation in an ION CPD course forms part of a practitioner's or individual's ongoing learning. It does not qualify a non-clinically trained practitioner or individual to work in a clinical setting. Individual’s boundaries of safe work, advice or practice are primarily determined by their formal qualifications and related personal insurance. 
  • This on- demand recording is recognised by BANT for 5 hrs CPD  (applicable to BANT members only) 
  • Non BANT registered practitioners may use this course for their CPD depending on the requirements and guidance of their professional body. 

If you have a queries, please email [email protected] 

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