If you are living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you already know that it can be daunting to decide where to start. However, a few basic dietary and lifestyle changes can work wonders for starting the healing process.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is responsible for over 90% of underactive thyroid problems in the US, says the American Thyroid Association.
For patients with this autoimmune disorder, immune cells inaccurately “tag” healthy thyroid cells as problematic and destroy them by producing powerful immune cells called antibodies.
Over time, inflammation and tissue damage cause a significant drop in the production of thyroid hormones. As a result, your metabolic processes become sluggish, and low thyroid symptoms progress.
If you have been diagnosed with low thyroid, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or if you suspect that you are suffering from symptoms but are currently undiagnosed, these four essentials for living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can put you on the right track and help you regain your health.
1. Avoid Gluten in Your Diet
Saying NO to gluten is key to treating Hashimoto’s for two reasons:
- Gluten increases intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” a condition that allows undigested foods and pathogens to enter your circulation and cause an immune response. Those with autoimmune diseases suffer from leaky gut.
- Gluten is also a similarly structured protein to the thyroid hormone. If your immune system has learned to attack your thyroid, it is more likely to respond to the gluten protein as well.
2. Identify Food Sensitivities and Clear Them
Because those suffering from Hashimoto’s have leaky gut, there is an increased risk of mounting food sensitivities. As undigested foods enter circulation, the immune system tags them as dangerous and learns to react to them. Advanced testing with a functional medicine provider can help you identify the exact foods that your body is responding to. Removing those foods from your diet alongside a thorough treatment plan aimed at healing your gut can be extremely effective in reducing HT symptoms.
3. Find Your Own Way to Reduce Stress
Chronic stress increases cortisol, which leads to poor thyroid hormone conversion, increased inflammation, and reduced immune sensitivity.
Learning stress management skills is critical to healing from HT. Mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, support systems and exercise have all be shown to reduce stress.
4. Reap the Benefits of Proper Tests
It can be really overwhelming to navigate testing and treatment without the right doctor. A skilled functional medicine doctor should be testing
- Free and total T4
- Free and total T3
- Reverse T3
- T3 uptake
- Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies
- Thyroid peroxidase antibodies
- Food sensitivity testing
- Microbial overgrowth
- Heavy metals
- Adrenal function
- Glucose and Insulin
Like all autoimmune conditions, medications may ease the symptoms temporarily; however, the root cause of the disease will never be remedied. Instead, working with a trained functional medicine doctor will help you identify the unique root causes of your condition and create a treatment plan that will restore your health and vitality!