Questions about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
One of the hot topics here on the blog over the last year has been thyroid health. So many of us deal with issues regarding our thyroid, whether it’s slightly slow, hypo/hyperthyroidism, or a full-blown autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s we’re all looking for ways to get it to function better. And of all the issues, it seems that many of you are struggling to find help and resources for dealing with Hashimoto’s as most doctors don’t fully understand it (or even test for it!). You might have questions about Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism and I’ve got answers for you!
When I look for answers, I often look to people who have “been there, done that”, those who have been able to deal with the same health issues and overcome them. For Hashimoto’s questions, I always check with Magdalena, a Certified Holistic Health Coach accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, who dealt with Hashimoto’s herself and now lives a symptom-free life.
Magdelena’s 3 most common questions about Hashimoto’s:
1. “I’m already off gluten, dairy, and soy but…?”
But, you are still not feeling good, right?
It’s great that so many of us make these life-altering nutritional changes.
For many, however, they do not produce desired results and this is when frustration and doubt step in. If you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and/or any other autoimmune condition, chances are that you have had digestive issues or infections that triggered these conditions a long time ago. Integrative doctors say that we walk around with Hashimoto’s for an average of 8 years before getting diagnosed. During this time, the digestive lining gets damaged by the food we do not tolerate well (see more on this below), pathogenic bacteria, yeast overgrowth (aka candida) and parasites. Any of them can be the trigger for an autoimmune condition.
So yes, gluten, dairy, and soy are considered big food triggers but, for many people, there may be more.
2. “I eat really well already.”
This is one of the first sentences that I hear from people who contact me. It’s not surprising; after all, if they did not eat well and have a love and appreciation for good food and nutrition, they won’t be searching for diet and thyroid-related solutions.
There are a couple of challenges with this belief: what does “eating well” really mean? Many people would perceive, for example, protein powders, to be healthy food. In my practice, I see amazing results every time I switch a person from the “miracle product” marketing claims to real, unadulterated and whole food.
However, the bigger issue is this: for people with autoimmune conditions it is not so much what we eat but what our body does with the food we eat. Take eggs as an example. They are one of the fertility superfoods, in fact, they are so rich in nutrients that we can survive eating eggs and nothing else. However, if our body does not tolerate eggs well they become a toxic substance that will inflame the immune system even further.
Sadly, the list of “good food” that many people with autoimmune conditions cannot tolerate is long and can include dairy, corn, soy, nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables, legumes, and grains. A simple elimination diet would help reveal what food a person is reactive to. For a person with an autoimmune condition, it is of paramount importance to remove food that causes digestive distress.
3. “I lost my thyroid, is there anything that I can do?”
The short answer is: absolutely YES! I want to empower you with some understanding of why that is so:
a. Even if you lost your thyroid, the meds you are taking depend on your gut and your liver for proper breakdown and absorption.
b. If you are only on synthetic T4 (like Synthroid), your body still depends on the health of your liver to convert the inactive T4 hormone to the active T3 hormone utilized by your cells.
c. If you have/had Hashimoto’s Disease, you have an autoimmune condition. Why would removing the thyroid gland stop this immune mutation? This is why 50% of people with Hashi’s develop other, often far worse, autoimmune conditions like MS, fibromyalgia, lupus, RA and so many more (it’s a pandemic now).
In all three points, nutritional changes can make a huge difference. Starting with cleaning up your gut and liver to maximize the drug (like Synthroid) utilization to preventing other autoimmune diseases from developing.
Having battled Graves’, Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and years of digestive issues, I do what I do because I’ve come on the other end. I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. I received my education from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Before becoming a health coach, I had a long, fast-paced career as a strategic planner for the advertising powerhouse called WPP in both Asia and the US, working on Fortune 100 brands. I am also a regular Vipassana (insightful) meditation practitioner and a Level II Reiki healer (a form of energy healing). You can find me at www.HormonesBalance.com