Impact of Photobiomodulation / Low Level Laser Therapy for Hashimoto Thyroiditis

There have been a number of clinical studies carried out on the effectiveness of photobiomodulation / Low Level Laser Therapy for Hashimoto Thyroiditis over the last few years. This is a summary of the methods and findings, from the Department of General Surgery, Istanbul and the University of Sao Paulo Medical School in Brazil.

At Laser Medicine, we follow the therapeutic laser protocols and insight conducted in the above studies, to provide our patients with a safe and effective cold laser solution for improving thyroid function. Our patients regularly report improved energy levels, improved T3, T4 and TSH levels, with the opportunity to reduce medication (in liaison with their prescribing doctor). We also work closely with a nutritional expert in Hasmimoto’s, and functional medicine specialist Dr, Pinelopi Chrystikou in London so that our patients can receive the best approach and protocols for working with this autoimmune condition.

A summary of each clinical study for improving Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis with Low Level Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation Therapy) follows:

Low Level Laser Therapy in Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Pilot Study (Sao Paulo, 2010).

The first of three published clinical studies into the effect of using Low Level Laser to improve Hashimoto’s thyroiditis from Hofling et al, the team at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Hospital Das Clinicas, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This was a pilot study on 15 patients who had hypothyroidism caused by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT or Hashimoto’s Disease), which assessed the viability of regenerating damaged thyroid tissue with LLLT / Photobiomodulation.

The patients were given 10 applications of LLLT (twice per week for 5 weeks) – 830nm at an output power of 50mW).

The results showed that all patients reduced their LT4 dosage needs, including 7 who did not need any LT4 through the 9 month follow-up period. The conclusion to this pilot was that LLLT promotes the improvement of thyroid function.

Assessment of the Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy on the Thyroid Vascularization of Patients with Autoimmune Hypothyroidism by Colour Doppler Ultrasound (Sao Paulo, 2012).

The main study carried out by Hofling et al, the team in Sao Paolo, was conducted on 43 patients with established hypothyroidism caused by CAT between the ages of 20 and 60 years old.

The same protocols were applied and the thyroid gland also monitored using ultrasound scans.

95.7% of the treatment group were able to reduce or stop thyroid medications (47% no longer needing medication). A normalisation in the thyroid volume in 66% of the patients studies, and less infiltration of the thyroid gland on ultrasounds meaning that fewer inflammatory cells were present.

Safety and Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Long Term Follow-Up Study (Sao Paulo, 2018).

The third published study from Hofling et al in Brazil, was a long term follow up of the 43 patients involved in the 2021 study, 6 years after completion, which also took into consideration the frequency of thyroid nodules and their nature (benign or malignant). The patients selected for the trial did not present thyroid nodules, and in the follow up study no malignant nodules were observed, which the study showed LLLT / photobiomodulation had no effect on the formation of benign and malignant nodules.

Impact of Photobiomodulation on T3/T4 Ratio and Quality of Life in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (Turkey, 2020).

This independent study was carried out by Ercetin et al. on a total of 350 patients who were diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis. Patients were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 (210 patients) received photobiomodulation / laser therapy and dietary supplements, Group 2 (140 patients) received dietary supplements only. Patients needs for levothyroxine replacement levels, T3, T4 and TSH levels, T3/T4 ratio, and thyroid antibody levels were evaluated.

Results: The increase in T3 levels and T3/T4 ratio was markedly superior in Group 1. The decrease in thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO Ab) levels were also significantly different in both groups. Hormone replacement needs were also significantly decreased in Group 1 compared with Group 2. The study concluded that LLLT is 70- times more effective in increasing T3/T4 ratio and 15 times more effective in decreasing levothyroxine dosage. This was concluded to be as a result of the anti-inflammatory properties of Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT).

Find out more about the Laser Medicine Treatment Plan for Low Level Laser Therapy / Photobiomodulation Therapy for Hashimotos Thyroiditis here.