Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that leads to an under-active thyroid. It is most common in middle-aged women. It is estimated that 27 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and many are not aware of their condition. Autoimmunity occurs when your own immune system attacks the thyroid in a case of mistaken identity.
The typical symptoms include an enlarged thyroid (goiter), unexplained weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails, sensitivity to cold, muscle and joint pain, constipation, memory lapses and depression.
If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is important to have a full thyroid panel done which includes TSH, free T4, free T3, and the antibodies TPO and TG. It is also advisable to check Vitamin D levels and CRP.
The most common causes of Hashimoto’s include a poor diet, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, chronic infections, leaky gut syndrome, toxin overload, chronic stress and poor sleep.
Strategies to Improve Hashimoto’s
- Eat thyroid healthy foods
Some of the best thyroid healing foods include sea vegetables, cooked cruciferous vegetables, bone broth, lemons, organic grass fed butter/ghee, coconut, avocados, fermented foods, Brazil nuts, olive oil and wild-caught fish. You may want to explore an Autoimmune Paleo Diet.
- Avoid wheat/gluten
It is recommended to avoid wheat/gluten, grains, and flour products. The proteins in wheat/gluten are similar to those in the thyroid, and can trigger an autoimmune reaction.
- Reduce your stress levels
Stress may trigger autoimmune flares. Meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, spiritual practices, and adaptogenic herbs (Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Tulsi) may help to reduce stress.
- Correct nutritional deficiencies
The most common deficiencies affecting the thyroid include B vitamins (especially B12), selenium, zinc, Vitamin A, E and D, magnesium, and Omega 3s.
- Prioritize good sleep
Not getting adequate sleep puts your thyroid under stress. Practice a healthy sleep cycle, avoid caffeinated drinks, and turn off electronics a few hours before bedtime.
- Reduce your toxin exposure
Toxins are absolutely everywhere- in your food, household products, beauty and body care, cleaning materials and in the water and air you breathe. Avoid plastic bottles, buy only natural household and beauty products. Always drink clean, filtered water. Avoid chlorine and fluoride.
- Heal a leaky gut and support digestive health
Eat pre- and probiotic foods, fiber rich greens, vegetables and fruits.
- Calm your immune system
Avoid sugar, processed carbs and grains. Become a master of your blood sugar. Eat foods high in antioxidants such as berries, spices, herbs and sprouts.
- Continually educate yourself so you really understand your triggers and symptoms. You are your best health advocate!
- I recommend reading these two books and scheduling a visit at our clinic!!!
Hashimoto’s Protocol by Izabella Wentz
The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers
Give us a call 262-251-2929 to schedule a no-charge 10-minute phone consult with a natural health practitioner to see how we can help!
You can also learn more at one of our Free Seminars!
Contributed by Mona Eberle, Naturopathic Practitioner, Nutritional Therapist, NFB Clinician