Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this article is not meant to prescribe any form of treatment. It is always advisable to talk with your doctor before making any changes to your routine.
Chances are if you are reading this post, you have felt a bit overwhelmed by the symptom flare-ups from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. While everyone is little bit different, we can all agree that these symptoms are extremely uncomfortable, if not downright painful. I set out on a journey to heal my thyroid as best as I could and I am going to share some of the things that have been successful for me so far. It is my hope that I can provide some relief for others out there who are going through a similar experience.
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I am assuming you have done your research on Hashimoto’s, and understand the basics for keeping this autoimmune disease at bay. If not, here are the absolute basics that I had to follow.
Figure Out Your Triggers
Knowing what triggers a thyroid flare-up is essential to living a comfortable daily life. The very first thing that I had to do was entirely change up my diet. Personally, my antibodies attacked my thyroid after eating anything with gluten, soy, dairy or nuts. How did I know this? Whenever I would eat something with one of those ingredients, within two hours my throat felt swollen, I would get a SEARING headache that made me irritable beyond belief and my neck muscles would ache as if I had overdone a workout times ten.
I removed all of those from my diet, and within three days the “globus sensation” I kept experiencing in my throat nearly disappeared. My headaches became minimal and my neck aches were just a dull throb.
If you’re not sure where to start with creating a hypothyroid-friendly diet, try the Thyroid Cookbook. I can’t recommend any cookbook more for this disease. Not only did this one guide me on the right foods to eat, but each meal was designed to provide my body with the different nutrients I was probably lacking. Love, love, love this as a starting point for changing your diet.
Begin to Heal Your Gut
Most Hashimoto’s (and other autoimmune diseases) are set-off from an imbalance in our gut bacteria. Most Americans have an issue with their gut health and experience bloating that can lead to Leaky Gut syndrome. Nutrients leak through the stomach lining, which your body identifies as foreign bodies and attacks it. Unfortunately, if this isn’t healed, the body can begin to attack its own tissue (like the thyroid) when it becomes confused as to what is the true foreign body.
My first step in healing my gut was to start eating foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory. This really aided in calming the swelling I was feeling in my thyroid, and my body was getting a ton of nutrients that I was missing.
Secondly, I began taking a Turmeric & Bromelain supplement twice daily (1200 mg). This was a life-saver for anti-inflammation and has become a staple in my life. There are many options, but I use NOW Turmeric and Bromelain due to its clean ingredients.
If you suspect you have SIBO (small intestine bacterial growth), you need to begin the healing process by taking care of this FIRST. Otherwise, no amount of healthy eating is going to fix what is happening in your gut. The absolute best probiotic for healing SIBO quickly is FloraMyces Saccharomyces Boulardii (500 mg). This aids in stabilizing the gut environment so that the good bacteria outweighs the bad bacteria (causing your bloating and Leaky Gut issues).
Lastly, if you’re having trouble with your regularity which is common with Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism, your body may be lacking magnesium. I use Thorne Magnesium Bisglycerate in powder form (no flavor). I take one scoop in a glass of water about an hour before I head to sleep. I have found that this helps immensely with my regularity AND it has aided with helping me fall asleep. It took about three to four days for this to take effect fully, so stay patient.
Check for Adrenal Fatigue
Brain fog, anyone? Not many people know how important the thyroid is until it starts to become compromised. Yet, the thyroid and the adrenals work closely together to produce hormones that your body needs to function. When one is down, the other must work overtime. For those healing their thyroid, they must give added support to the adrenals to ensure they are able to keep up during this time.
In order to support my adrenals fully, I take Natural Sources Raw Adrenal twice daily. Within three days I went from foggy to focused, which was critical for my daily life. I felt like myself again after this, and found myself enjoying conversations again.
Supplement Lacking Nutrients
Mostly due to Leaky Gut, your body has not been absorbing the nutrients it critically needs to function at its best. You must now take the precautions to supplement and renew those stores as your thyroid begins to heal. It is best to ask your doctor to run blood work to test what nutrients you are lacking. However, most Hashimoto’s patients are lacking Vitamin A, B6 & B12, D, E as well as selenium (and a few others). If you are a menstruating female, you will want to check your iron levels as well, to be sure you are not anemic.
I chose to find a Woman’s Multivitamin to supplement for these deficiencies. This is where you need to be careful. You must find a multivitamin that does not contain wheat (or any of your other triggers). Yes, I’m speaking from experience, and this is actually how I found out one of my triggers was soy.
I personally use MyKind Organics Women’s Once Daily and I notice within an hour of taking it each day that I feel even more relief from any symptoms or slight flare-ups. I take this in the afternoon, since it contains calcium which can interfere with my Levothyroxine absorption in the morning.
You will want to take some form of Omega’s as well. Since one of my triggers is soy which is commonly used to coat omega capsules, I take Flaxseed Oil which provides my body with Omega 3, 6 & 9! Everything you actually need, and this is plant-based.
Fix Your Hair
Admittedly, hair loss was the hardest thing for me to accept after being diagnosed. I never knew how attached I was to my eyebrows until they started thinning. To anyone else, that may sound ridiculous, but if you also experienced hair loss, I’m sure you understand.
My greatest hair loss was when I had not taken gluten out of my diet. My flare-ups were constant and I felt like I had the flu almost daily. When I cut gluten out of my diet, I noticed my eyebrows starting to return (and my flu-like symptoms abated). However, the hair on my head had thinned considerably, which was unacceptable to me. So, I began taking a scoop of Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides (unflavored) in my coffee each morning. Within a few weeks, I noticed my skin became vibrant again, my nails were pretty and… HAIR GROWTH! This was significant since my TSH and T4 levels weren’t even optimal yet. This could also help those of you who are feeling joint pain.
The difference between Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein is something that may come up. It’s simple. Collagen Peptides are more bio-available for your body, meaning they can be used by your body quicker than the Collagen Proteins. However, the Collagen Proteins have different flavors. So, it’s really up to you!
I have found that doctors are not well-researched in this disease, and often believe that placing the patient on thyroid medication is enough. We know, however, that thyroid medication often ISN’T enough – not if we want to truly enjoy life! If you also have success with these methods, please don’t hesitate to share your experience with our readers!