Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that is destined to wreak havoc on people’s lives. Anyone can be affected by this disease. Young. Old. Women. Men.
What does Hashimoto’s disease do to you?
Your own immune system attacks your thyroid. Typically, it affects how your thyroid functions. As your thyroid is damaged, it can no longer produce enough T3 and T4 (active and inactive thyroid). This is how the downward spiral begins.
As your thyroid cannot produce enough T3 and T4 hormones anymore, your entire body, brain, and life are negatively impacted.
How to best describe what Hashimoto’s disease feels like?
Imagine that you wake up in the morning, and you feel like a squeezed lemon, wholly drained.
You feel extremely tired despite a good night’s sleep; you have zero energy. Your heartbeat is affected. You cannot think anymore. Your hair is thinning. You experience digestive issues. Ultimately, your most basic functions are negatively impacted by a massive slowdown.
So, how is that different from hypothyroidism?
The Difference between Hashimoto’s disease and Hypothyroidism?
Hashimoto’s disease is not a form of hypothyroidism.
They are not the same but are often mixed up. In some cases, Hashimoto’s does not trigger hypothyroidism.
However, Hashimoto’s disease can cause hypothyroidism.
Consequently, the effects you feel in your body and brain like:
- Weight gain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Foggy brain
- Memory loss
- Heart problems
- Blood pressure abnormalities
These are the result of your hormonal (thyroid) imbalance, your hypothyroidism.
What Hashimoto’s disease does is create antibodies that attack your thyroid. Your antibodies are lymphocytes in your blood – or white blood cells – that start accumulating in your thyroid gland.
Why do they do that?
They simply get the signal that your gland is the enemy, and what they have to do is fight that enemy. In other words, it is your entire immune system that turns against you.
What can cause Hashimoto’s disease?
Many factors can cause this disease, like genetic markers, environmental triggers, viruses, and the foods you eat.
Therefore, it is vital to check the medical history, understand the person’s lifestyle, and use advanced blood tests to check thyroperoxidase levels or “TPO” and Thyroglobulin “TGA” antibodies.
Some other signs may indicate that you suffer from Hashimoto’s disease in the absence of a higher number of antibodies in your blood. An ultrasound of the thyroid gland may show specific features that only appear for Hashimoto’s, like the gland’s size.
Conventional medicine usually treats patients with medications to get the thyroid under control. Yet, if you do not address the hormonal imbalance’s root cause, there is very little chance that you will ever go into remission.
Medications attempting to bring hormones back to balance can have a significant toll on your life and trigger other problems or conditions over time. Ultimately, the body and brain never really heal by ingesting pills only.
So, where to go from this point on, and what to do?
The Fundamental Role of Nutrition.
Nutrition is essential to help fight Hashimoto’s.
If foods can cause or worsen Hashimoto’s, they can also help you heal. Now, changing habits is not easy, and it is especially true with food. There is a substantial emotional component when talking about food that can trigger resistance and in turn, make Hashimoto’s worse.
Over the years, we have seen in our practice people suffering needlessly from Hashimoto’s due to being resistant to change their dietary habits.
After all, don’t we refer to “comfort foods” for the ones we love the most, that bring back sweet memories? These comfort foods could be the ones creating a bigger problem. Addressing food is an essential part of your healing path.
There are foods to avoid at all costs and some that you should eat to fight Hashimoto’s and put it to rest. Remember that your gut is the key to your wellness. It is a simple rule to remember and yet so challenging sometimes with our modern lives.
However, significant nutritional changes could naturally take care of your autoimmune disease. And this is not only true for Hashimoto’s, but other autoimmune diseases too, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s, and many more.
If you suffer from Hashimoto’s disease, here are three things you should consider:
- Typically, stay away from processed foods with soy molecules, GMOs, gluten, and high sugar content. Although they taste good or help processed foods to taste better, they are bombs that fuel inflammation in your body and brain. Your favorite comfort food may fall into that category.
- People suffering from Hashimoto’s usually have nutritional deficiencies with lower B vitamins (B-12), vitamin D, and dietary iron. Hence, based on advanced blood tests, you may ask your doctor to recommend the right vitamin and nutritional iron levels you should absorb. In parallel, increase the intake of prebiotics and probiotics to help your gut microbiome with good bacteria.
- Get tested for food sensitivities. Eating leafy foods, more veggies, or fruits may be too generic and not be the best advice. Do you have food sensitivities that you are not aware of? One thing for sure you will be amazed by the findings. You may eat “healthy” foods all the time that are not necessarily good for you and that you thought were a healthy option. Ultimately, you try to identify what causes inflammation and eliminate these elements from your nutrition.
One thing is sure, your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will be a little different, but your gut will regenerate. If that happens, things will start getting better from here.
Give Yourself a Chance to Heal.
Coming back from a disease such as Hashimoto’s requires courage and persistence. As Hashimoto’s is a complex inflammatory autoimmune disease, the response should be holistic, looking at the root cause and trying different attack angles to contain the inflammation.
The most important thing to understand is what triggers the inflammatory response in your body. If conventional doctors do not believe you or cannot help beyond the protocol they know, it is an opportunity to pivot and use nutrition to start the healing process.