In this post, I have decided to compose a guide to help those who have recently been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis but have not yet gone through the “detective” process of sorting out which symptoms are from Hashi’s and which are from other sources. This step was crucial for me in understanding my disease. I hope these simple steps will help someone else:
Take inventory of stimulants and chemicals in your diet.
Hashimoto’s can be positively influenced by a healthy diet. Consider what you are currently eating. Keep a journal for a week (or even a month!) and spot the culprits that might be there. Some of the more obvious ones are caffeine, sugar and preservatives. I react strongly to all three of these. It took me many years to realize what a significant burden those “foods” were to my health. The first two abuse the adrenal glands and cause all types of imbalance. Preservatives can cause further stress to the brain (especially Aspartame!). Greatly reduce or eliminate your intake of these substances. Once this step is done, it will be easier to monitor the symptoms coming from your disease and those coming instead from food sensitivities or reactions. The best way to learn how to navigate around these culprits is to consider this online eCourse on Traditional food preparation (If this article has been of help to you, clicking the link provided also helps support this blog!). Thank you! This course has been the single greatest help so far in my healing and more classes are added weekly, giving you a wealth of information to learn at your leisure.
Find the best treatment options for you.
Research all your options before you start any long term thyroid treatment! After you have established a better diet as determined in the step above, then begin to choose the right treatment for your body. If you would like to start by seeing if your body can respond to a natural body balancing approach, you can try the herbal supplement that has changed my life after over 20 years with symptoms, synthetic drugs (I would wait on this option unless you just can’t get to other solutions), and/or natural desiccated thyroid preparations like Nature-Throid and Armour. There are other natural paths including detoxification methods and finding out why so many people are finding help by adopting a gluten free diet. My series here explains why. This is such an important step. I can’t stress enough how bad I felt that I had missed this step when I was first diagnosed! I just did what the doctor told me. Reading “my story” will help you see the years of pain I went through that possibly would have been eliminated if I had only taken these first two steps!
Consider the side effects of over-the-counter medications.
Only take medications that are absolutely necessary. Just like food, all medications have side effects on your body. It is very important to know what the side effects are and if they might be influencing your symptoms. For example, I used to suffer from excruciating migraine headaches. My doctor (who was not interested in natural causes or treatments) suggested I take an over-the-counter medication. He said it was likely sinus related. So, I took Advil Cold and Sinus. I got better when I took it but did I understand that this medication had caffeine in it? Case and point: I found out that caffeine works to relieve caffeine related headaches! Why? Because our body begins to depend on the “fix” each day when we have caffeine on a regular basis. After a few days off of caffeine, a very serious withdrawal symptom can result in the form of a headache or migraine (in addition to other symptoms that are known as “die off” symptoms). Many times it can be “relieved” by eating or drinking caffeine. This can happen with other food addictions like gluten. The only “cure” for this cycle is to get off of these roller coasters; whether from drugs or caffeine in food. Be aware of each and every drug and/or substance you are putting into your body. If you can find the root problem, you can then work to overcome it without drugs – thereby eliminating their side effects.
Increase exercise as tolerated.
I believe the importance of exercise comes in many forms. It is a great stress reliever. Something about exercise just cleans out those negative thoughts in the brain. It can feel like a weight has been lifted off of you after exercise. Oh, of course I must bring up the “weight” thing. Here’s one big problem with this disease. Our metabolism is seriously compromised when there is a sluggish thyroid. If you combine exercise with the right diet and right treatment, well, you’ve got a chance. But that “right” combination is still not fully documented. What we do know is that a whole body approach has the most benefit. So find a fun exercise. Don’t make yourself do something you hate to do. Choose a variety of activities to alternate during the week to keep you interested and just “move” your body. And since we need to work with our compromised system, I find this post by Dr. Marc the very best on guiding us to the best way to exercise with Hashimoto’s.
Finally, take control of your health.
Educate yourself about Hashimotos Thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease. It has cycles. It fluctuates depending on things like life crisis, stress, seasons (especially the cold seasons when your body temperature naturally goes down), diet, attitude, etc. What I find the most frustrating about this disease is the large amount of triggers it has. Strongly consider eliminating gluten! Consider a yearly calendar specifically noting times during the year that your symptoms flare up. This might go a long way in trouble-shooting triggers that you may be able to avoid in the future. Find a functional medicine doctor in order to aggressively participate with your own healing and treatment plan. Consider the natural blood sugar balancing and weight loss supplement that changed my life over 14 months ago now after over 20 years with Hashimoto’s!
Suggested resources: The first is Dr. Kharrazzian’s book, “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When my Lab Tests are Normal?, and the second is Pharmacist Izabella Wentz’ book, “Hashimotos Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause” are both excellent resources. You can get immediate help by clicking here to purchase Dr. Wentz’ book in eBook form! I hope these resources help you on your journey! I used these methods to finally begin my healing journey!
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.