Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is one of the conditions that I most frequently see clients for. Simply explained, it is an autoimmune disorder caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissues. The immune-system cells can actually lead to the death of the thyroid's hormone-producing cells and it usually results in a decline in hormone production over the years. The symptoms of Hashimoto’s can slowly increase over the years, growing progressively worse as time goes on. You might feel fatigued and sluggishness, brain fog, increased sensitivity to cold, increased sleepiness, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, joint pain and stiffness, irregular or excessive menstrual bleeding, depression, problems with memory or concentration, swelling of the thyroid, a puffy face, brittle nails, and hair loss. These are just some of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Needless to say, if you’re experiencing life with Hashimoto’s, your body is not a pleasant place to live. The same is true for all chronic illnesses and autoimmune disorders. But there are many ways to naturally manage your symptoms to get back your quality of life.
Here are my recommendations for managing symptoms naturally - the first in my 2-part blogpost series on the subject!
Address Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. A few of the most common ones are:
Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for the conversion of T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form). Without enough selenium, the thyroid hormone remains inactive and Hashimoto’s symptoms may develop. Studies have shown that Hashimoto’s patients who take selenium have reduced thyroid antibody levels. Selenium is also an antioxidant that can help protect the thyroid gland from oxidative stress.
It is wise to seek the guidance of a functional practitioner to ensure that you are receiving proper doses of selenium.
Zinc is another important nutrient for the normal function of the thyroid gland. Low zinc levels compromise T3 production because zinc also factors into the enzyme conversion of T4 to T3. Without enough zinc, your hypothalamus has difficulty measuring thyroid hormone levels as well.
Zinc is also essential for the immune system. It helps to regulate the production of cytokines, which are important for immune function. Zinc deficiency can lead to increased inflammation and oxidative stress, which can exacerbate Hashimoto's Thyroiditis symptoms.
In addition to selenium and zinc, there are other nutrients that are essential for the normal function of the thyroid and immune system. These include iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to autoimmune diseases, making it essential for immune function. It can also help to reduce inflammation.Vitamin B12 and iron are also essential for the normal function of the thyroid gland. Low levels of these nutrients can lead to anemia and fatigue, which are common symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
Eliminate Trigger Foods
The other most important way to manage Hashimoto’s symptoms is to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. One of the most powerful ways to do that is by eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet.
Foods that are commonly known to cause inflammation in the body include gluten, sugar, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners or preservatives, certain components of dairy (e.g. lactose or A1 beta-casein protein), soy, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, and mixed vegetable oils. These foods can trigger an immune response in people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, leading to inflammation and exacerbating the symptoms of the condition.
One way to determine which foods may be causing inflammation in your body is to get a blood test for food allergies and sensitivities. This can help you identify any foods that you are sensitive to so that you can avoid them. However, you may also choose to go through an elimination diet to figure out your food sensitivities on your own or combine both testing and elimination diet discovery for maximum results.
For an elimination diet, you would start by eliminating all potential trigger foods from your diet for approximately 28 days such as gluten, dairy, or any other food that you suspect may be causing inflammation. After the body has been thoroughly cleansed and detoxed, you can try adding the food back into your diet and observe any symptoms or changes in how you feel. If you experience symptoms, it may be an indication that you are sensitive to that particular food.
Reducing the amount of inflammatory foods in your diet can have a significant impact on your Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis symptoms. By identifying and eliminating trigger foods, you can reduce inflammation in the body and help manage the condition. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory diet should be part of your Hashimoto’s treatment plan.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll take a look at a few more of my top recommendations for managing Hashimotos. In the meantime, here’s what I want to tell you: Maybe your diagnosis is set in stone. But your experience of living with it is not. There are so many ways to bring your body into remission, relieve and manage symptoms, and in some cases set your body completely free from feeling the effects of your condition.
But this requires you to accurately define the root cause of your symptoms and form an effective strategy to treat the problem. That’s why I’ve devoted my Functional Medical Practice to specializing in patients with autoimmune disorders. This hits close to home for me because it’s something that my wife has dealt with, giving me a front row seat to the challenges that the condition causes.
In my Detox and Wellness Program, I work one-on-one with my clients to put together the clues that their bodies are trying to give in the form of symptoms. Then we carefully analyze their test results from my comprehensive blood analysis to understand exactly which enemy they are facing and then we plot an effective strategy to beat it using natural methods.
Your body is a remarkable thing. It is wise, knowledgeable, and, if given a chance, will heal and repair itself.
If you’re interested in my Detox and Wellness Program specifically designed for individuals dealing with Hashimotos, I invite you to click here to set up a free consultation!