Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to decreased thyroid hormone production. This can cause a variety of symptoms such as brain fog, weight gain, fatigue, loss of motivation and difficulty concentrating. While there is no cure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, there are several ways to support the immune system and improve thyroid function. In this blog post, we will discuss four ways to support Hashimoto's.
1. Address Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies can be a common issue for those with Hashimoto's. It's important to address any nutrient deficiencies as they can contribute to the immune system dysfunction and thyroid hormone production issues. Some key nutrients to focus on include:
- Selenium: Selenium is important for thyroid hormone production and helps reduce inflammation in the body. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, and organ meats.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and supports healthy thyroid function. It can be found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and good ol’ sunshine.
- Zinc: Zinc is necessary for proper thyroid hormone production and can be found in oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds.
- Iron: Iron is needed to help transport thyroid hormones in the body. Good sources of iron include red meat, spinach, and lentils.
It's important to work with a healthcare practitioner to identify any nutrient deficiencies and develop a plan to address them through food and supplements. Specialty lab testing can be helpful to uncover underlying root imbalances.
2. Support Gut Health
The gut plays a crucial role in the immune system and can impact thyroid function. Inflammation and imbalances in gut bacteria can contribute to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's. Here are some ways to support gut health:
- Eat a diverse diet: A diet rich in whole foods like fruits and vegetables can support a healthy gut microbiome.
- Consider probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help support gut health. They can naturally be found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir.
- Address food sensitivities: Food sensitivities can contribute to inflammation in the gut. Identifying and eliminating trigger foods can help reduce inflammation and support gut health. Gluten is a must to avoid when hashimoto’s is certain.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact gut health. Incorporating stress-reducing practices like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can support a healthy gut microbiome. YouTube: “Wim Hof”
3. Reduce Toxin Exposure
Toxins in the environment can contribute to inflammation and immune dysfunction. Reducing exposure to toxins can help support the immune system and improve thyroid function. Here are some ways to reduce toxin exposure:
- Eat organic: Consuming organic foods can reduce exposure to pesticides and other toxins.
- Filter water: Filtering tap water can reduce exposure to heavy metals and other contaminants.
- Avoid plastics: Plastics can contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can impact thyroid function. Using glass or stainless steel containers for food and beverages can help reduce exposure.
- Use natural cleaning products: Many conventional cleaning products contain toxins that can impact overall health. Using natural cleaning products can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.
4. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can negatively impact the immune system and thyroid function. It's important to manage stress to support overall health and well-being. Here are some ways to manage stress:
- Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote relaxation and self-care such as taking a bath, reading a book, or getting a massage.
- Get regular exercise: Exercise can help reduce stress and support overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of mild-moderate exercise per day. It is important not to over do it and push excessively when hashimoto’s is in the picture.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Prioritize sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a regular sleep routine.
In conclusion, there are several ways to support Hashimoto's thyroiditis through nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental changes. By addressing nutrient deficiencies, supporting gut health, reducing toxin exposure, and managing stress, individuals with Hashimoto's can support their immune system and improve thyroid function. It's important to work with a healthcare practitioner to develop a personalized plan for managing Hashimoto's.
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