The idea for this post came up when I had a long conversation with my doctor the other day. Yes! I said long! It sounds crazy but this man is so caring, we got to talking about how the Hashimotos Thyroiditis community could be helped in a great way. We spoke about my Facebook Page as well as how he is reaching out to help as many as possible to minimize the symptoms brought on by this condition.
One of the most important parts of the conversation for me was that I found myself commenting on how important it is for the patient to take control of their own success. A doctor is not going to fix us. Once this is firmly planted in our heads, the best change can begin. Don’t get me wrong, we need good doctors for guidance but their job is to guide us with their knowledge. It is up to us whether we take the steps and take them seriously.
I’m not going to lie to anyone, this journey is tough! It is not something that is done real quick and forgotten and it is rarely taken care of simply by a “pill.” In fact, for many, this journey is a long, hard one. There are reasons for this and I am hoping soon there will be even more support coming to my blog and Facebook page from other experts who can help us figure how we can help ourselves tailored specifically to our individual needs.
As my last post pointed out, what is good for me may not be good for you. For example, coconut products can be a wonderful addition to a thyroid healthy diet, but for me, it is a serious food sensitivity. I haven’t figured out why yet, but I don’t have to know this right now, I just need to know to keep away from something that is obviously causing me unbearable symptoms.
For some, a little chocolate can cause serious mood swings and damage the gut pretty quickly. For me, a little chocolate has not been shown to bother me anymore. I say “anymore” because just 9 months ago I had severe acid reflex when attempting to eat cocoa, even the natural organic cocoa powder in a GAPS allowable context. But after being on the GAPS Diet for 10 months, I was able to add it back in. I am fully aware I can overdo my exposure to it and that is something I watch. But, a little treat here and there can keep a strict diet more tolerable. Pictured is a GAPS friendly version of my homemade “chocolate bars” with chopped almonds and dates. I just soften organic butter from grass fed cows and add enough cocoa to make it as dark as I want, a bit of alcohol free vanilla and a dash of salt. Sometimes I use whole or almost whole pre-soaked and dehydrated almonds and just put enough mixture over them to make almond clusters which cuts back on the amount of butter/cocoa mixture I am eating although I recently figured out that for some reason the certain fats in this special butter helps my lungs so I like to include it in my diet as much as possible! You can read about these fats in the book from Mary J. Enig, Ph.D entitled, Know Your Fats.
But the point here is that if you are waiting for the doctor to fix you, from my experience, you will be waiting in vain. A pill cannot completely take care of this condition. It does not do anything to slow down the destruction of the thyroid. It is treating the symptom. The symptom is a slow acting thyroid or for some people it can be opposite, or both! The root issue is still out for debate but it is clear that there are triggers to the antibody attack, the most known and significant for minimizing this onslaught is taking gluten out of the diet (see my 8 part “Let’s Go Gluten Free Series” for the specific steps you need to take to make 100% sure you are getting it completely out of your life). Another known contributor is having a leaky gut. This is where the intestinal wall lining is damaged (by gluten consumption most commonly) and this allows undigested food to get into the bloodstream causing food sensitivities as well as allowing food particles that may be mistaken for invaders causing the immune system to attack the thyroid. This process is called autoimmunity which is what Hashimoto’s is….an autoimmune disease which is causing the body to attack it’s own thyroid.
So although I used to be asking the question, “Who’s going to fix me?” I finally arrived where I thought instead, “I better start figuring out how to fix myself” which is where I am now. And when I say this, I mean how to fix myself the best I can. I am not suggesting a complete life long reversal is possible due to the many stresses in life and the fact that once the immune system is alerted to these foreign particles and if the gut is not healed and maintained fixed throughout the rest of my life, I expect to have a few ups and downs in the future. But I also believe I am gaining knowledge enough to minimize my brushes with these attacks now that I have seen such progress on the GAPS Diet.
If you have successfully made dietary and lifestyle changes which have significantly changed your quality of life for the better, please leave a comment below or comment at our Facebook Support Group. We would love to hear your positive feedback and journey!
Have a great, healing day!
Disclaimer: All posts are describing my personal journey through health issues and are in no way meant to guide anyone towards any method in particular. I am not a medical practitioner or have a dietary or medical license, and this blog is not intended to be taken as authoritative advice. Please see your doctor, or health professional before making any drastic diet changes! Also, occasionally I find others to partner with whom I have had tremendous help from and therefore, there may be paid advertisements and links to support them and help me financially run this website.