Welcome to part 3 of my series on thyroid disease.
Most people diagnosed in the US with hypothryoidism have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – an autoimmune disorder in which your white blood cells (antibodies) attack your thyroid leading to chronic inflammation. Therefore it’s important to avoid things that cause your body to attack itself.
If you have already been diagnosed by a qualified professional with autoimmune thyroiditis, you may want to consider some of these supportive options (most of these are great tips for anyone to lower inflammation).
- Reduce or eliminate foods with pesticides and chemicals. If an all-organic diet is not practical for you, check out the EWG’s guide to fruits and veggies to eat organic and foods that you can get away with.
- Avoid foods that often trigger inflammation and autoimmune issues such as dairy, gluten and sugar. Also avoid artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas. Some people may need to eliminate other triggering foods. I work with clients who have often eliminated that obvious foods and are still suffering to hone in some other possible triggers. T4 and T3 get converted in the thyroid as well as the digestive system so your gut microbiota needs to be properly balanced.
- Drink the cleanest water possible avoiding plastic bottles. I suggest a good home filtration system.
- Eat foods that support thyroid such as broccoli and other leafy greens, seaweed, fatty fish like sardines and other fish.
- Have your provider check your blood for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I often see zinc, magnesium and D deficiency with my thyroid patients. These may need to be replaced.
- Consider thyroid support supplements. I would suggest that you work with a qualified naturopath or functional medicine provider to get recommendations for this.
- Work on your stress. All of the hormones in the body are affected by each other. If you want to improve your thyroid you must also balance your other hormones such as cortisol (stress hormone). Mindfulness based stress reduction, yoga, meditation, cognitive therapy or EFT can be very helpful.
- Balancing all of your hormones, including sex hormones, adrenal or stress hormones, and thyroid hormones, becomes crucial if you want to heal. They are all interconnected; they interact with one another like a musical symphony. When any instrument in the symphony plays out of tune, problems arise.
- Some patients may need to go on thyroid replacement medication. These medications are either synthetic (like Synthroid) or bio-identical (like Armour or Nature-Throid). It is important that you work with a provider who understands the nuances of each type of treatment and can find the right one for you and continues to test your levels with bloodwork to make sure you are on the right dose.
Please note that this article is for information purposes only. Always check with your medical provider before starting any treatment.