Hashimoto’s Disease is a ruthless autoimmune disorder that wreaks havoc on your emotional and physical body. If you suffer from this disease you know how miserable your life can feel, often leaving sufferers with a sense of hopelessness in their ability to battle the hormone war going on in their body. I’m here to tell you that there are many steps that can be taken outside of conventional medicine that will help you begin to win the battle and start to feel like ‘YOU’ again!
If you’re new to the word Hashimoto’s here is a brief explanation. Hashimoto’s Disease is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and it is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to produce antibodies that attack your body’s healthy tissues and negatively impact the thyroid gland. In the case of Hashimoto’s Disease the thyroid becomes under-active, also referred to as hypothyroidism. In this state the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones to meet your body’s needs. This deficiency leads to changes in your health, resulting in symptoms like: fatigue, depression & anxiety, weight gain, infertility, muscle and joint pain, hair loss, low sex drive, constipation & bloating, and body swelling … to name a few.
It is estimated that 90-95% of hypothyroidism diagnoses are due to Hashimoto’s, with or without an official positive test result for Hashimoto’s. This is where things get very confusing for patients suffering from this disease. Even though conventional medical practitioners will test thyroid levels and for Hashimoto’s, there is often a false negative for Hashimoto’s because doctors will fail to do appropriate testing for all the indicating antibodies in your system. This can result in a conclusion that though you may test positive for hypothyroidism you do not test for Hashimoto’s. Ultimately hypothyroidism can precipitate Hashimoto’s disease which is why knowing and treating your hypothyroidism along with Hashimoto’s symptoms correctly is so important.
I am always a proponent of opting for natural and non-chemical /non-pharmaceutical remedies whenever possible. From my own experience battling autoimmune disease and hormone imbalances I can speak from my truth that lifestyle and diet change is the best place to start when facing health concerns like Hashimoto’s Disease.
The first step in attacking Hashimoto’s is to address the health of your thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is apart of the endocrine system and works to produce, store and release hormones in to the bloodstream. It uses iodine from the foods you eat to maintain two main hormones: Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). The three primary contributing factors for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease are: 1. genetic susceptibility, 2. immune stressors (such as hay fever, chronic infection, Epstein Barr Virus, pregnancy), and 3. environmental toxins (in particular poor gut health and excess heavy metals in your system).
1. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
Gut health is crucial for assisting your body in maintaining healthy thyroid levels and managing inflammation. Below are recommended dietary changes you can begin today to kickstart your road to recovery:
*See reference links below for more information.
I also highly recommend you read Dr. Christianson’s book The Adrenal Reset Diet
2. Be your best ADVOCATE
Ask questions and research your symptoms and condition independently AND with medical professionals. Knowledge is power. Hormone imbalance and autoimmune diseases are complicated and you want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of what you’re dealing with. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional tests to be done if you feel you are not being thoroughly examined, and if you feel you are hitting a brick wall with your doctor … change doctors! You are your best advocate!
3. Manage your immune stressors
Allergies and chronic infections will hinder any progress you make with lifestyle and diet changes. Be sure to address these stressors so that you can insure success in your recovery.
4. Get your Sleep!
Any person suffering from autoimmune disease and hormone imbalance will tell you that one of their biggest struggles is getting enough uninterrupted sleep every night. It is recommended that we get 8-10 hours daily, but let’s be honest … people with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases will be hard pressed to admit to 5-6 hours at best. This accumulation of sleep deprivation will inhibit your body’s ability to heal from and fight disease.
5. Detox and SWEAT, SWEAT, SWEAT!!!
You knew I would say that … but IT’S THE TRUTH! Detoxing the heavy metals from your body is crucial for thyroid health and one of the very best ways to do this is through natural infrared sauna use and SWEAT. Sweating is a rapid way to rid your body of toxins and heavy metals that build up in your body like cadmium and nickel which are more concentrated in your sweat than in urine. Infrared Sauna use is also a more clean and organic form of detoxification and is recommended by integrative doctors for patients who are not able to tolerate chelation therapy.
I will be discussing more with you about thyroid health, diet, and how you can #FeelHealth today in future posts, but in the meantime be sure to check the links I have provided below for more guidance.
Founder, The Sweat Shack®