Your body is an amazing machine. When things are not right, your body will give you subtle messages that it might need your attention. Things like feeling a little run down, minor aches and pains, increased gas and bloating, mood and sleep disturbances. If you fail to listen to these messages, they will continue to get louder until you are eventually forced to listen.
Understanding what is causing these signs and symptoms and addressing the root cause is key to optimal healing and recovery. The problem is, many of us take the quick fix, band-aid approach to dealing with physical and emotional discomfort. We hope that the symptoms will go away and we can get on with our overly chaotic lives. This is where the medical roller coaster begins. A good example of how this approach fails us is with thyroid disease.
In working with hundreds of clients, mostly middle aged women, over the past several years, I have seen an epidemic of hypothyroid disease caused by autoimmune thyroiditis or hashimotos. Many of my clients have had this debilitating condition for years, and never knew they had it. They may have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on a medication, but this didn’t really help them feel much better. Some are told it is menopause, stress or old age and that they should expect to feel lousy and tired for the rest of their lives.
Hashimotos is a disease that should not be ignored. If you don’t take heed, you will receive its messages loud and clear!
Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. It is more common among women. 95% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism have hashimotos, and don’t even know they have this condition.
The most common symptoms of hashimotos are:
- weight gain despite a healthy diet and exercise
- cold sensitivity and numbness in your hands and feet
- dry hair that falls out easily
- dry skin
- low auxiliary body temperature
- loss of outermost portion of your eyebrows
- brain fog and memory lapses
- infertility and miscarriage
- high cholesterol
- raspy voice
If you are experiencing at least 3 of the above symptoms, you might have a thyroid condition. Even if you were told your thyroid it fine, there is a good chance it isn’t! Most practitioners only check TSH and T4 levels-which doesn’t provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of how your thyroid is functioning. Such an approach misses crucial information. They will also wait until your TSH level is on the higher side before they will treat you with thyroid medications. At this point, you will be having increased symptoms and discomfort and there is a risk of more damage to your thyroid gland (the typical TSH reference range is 0.5-5.0 nU/L- functional medical practitioners consider 1-2 mU/L as the optimal range).
The labs to check for an optimal diagnosis are:
- a complete thyroid panel that includes: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TPO Antibodies, TGB Antibodies
- Vitamins and minerals: Ferritin, Vit D3, Vit B12
- Sugar levels: Glucose (fasting blood sugar), HA1C, Insulin
- Lipid Panel: Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides
* check with your insurance company to see if these labs are covered so you know what costs to expect.
Once you have a better picture of how your thyroid is functioning you can take action.
What does make sense is figuring out what is causing your immune system to attack your thyroid gland and treat these underlying conditions. Remove the trigger and the attack will subside and stop if caught soon enough.
It is like stepping on a piece of glass and just putting a band aid on it and taking aspirin to alleviate the pain. The glass is still there and will eventually cause more damage to your body if not removed. Just providing thyroid hormone support to relieve some of the symptoms isn’t treating the underlying triggers that are still causeing your immune system to attack your thyroid gland. This is true with all autoimmune conditions.
The most common triggers of hashimotos disease are:
Toxic overload: we are inundated with hundreds of chemicals on a daily basis that our ancestors never had to deal with. From the chemicals in our air, water and food to toxic body care products and household cleaners we use daily.
Processed “frankenfood”: Our body can’t keep up with all the chemicalized, processed foods we are eating that put a strain on our livers and leave us nutrient depleted and starving for real food and nourishment.
Leaky Gut: Leaky gut occurs when your gut lining becomes too permeable, allowing partially digested foods and toxins from your digestive tract into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, these particles are viewed as foreign invaders by your immune system. Every time you eat these foods your immune system will react, resulting in chronic inflammation. This eventually sets the stage for the development of an autoimmune condition, like hashimotos disease, in which your immune system will attack the thyroid gland, confusing it for the undigested proteins, like gluten and dairy, that resemble the thyroid gland.
Stress and Sleep deprivation: Never before have we been so stressed and sleep deprived as a society . We are hooked up to social media and wired for business 24/7! Our bodies are not getting the replenishing and reparative sleep needed to function optimally and to deal with the stresses of daily life.
Infections: Infections can be a trigger for autoimmune thyroid disease including: herpes, Epstein-barr, hepatitis C, yersinia enterocolitica, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and H. pylori.
These are all lifestyle factors that can be addressed and changed so your body has the nourishment and support it needs to reverse the autoimmune process and stop the destruction.
Let me educate you on what is really going on and support you in becoming the expert on your own body so you CAN get your health and life back.
It IS possible!
If you are looking for a diet plan or a set protocol, there isn’t one—I do not believe that one size fits all. I do believe, however, that the more you understand and interpret what’s happening inside your very own, very unique body, the better you’ll be able to find the evolving protocol (diet, supplements, lifestyle changes) that will make the most significant difference for you. Your Hashimoto’s looks different than your friends or sisters.
If you would like support in dealing with a troublesome thyroid condition I would love to speak with you. I offer a free 60 minute health breakthrough session that allows me to get to know you better, explore your health challenges and concerns and give you feedback on what you can do to start feeling better. I specialize in hashimotos disease and lifestyle treatments along with helping you to work more effectively with your healthcare provider at getting to the root cause of this condition.
There is so much you can do to avoid waking up every morning, crawling out of bed and dreading another day of feeling tired, fat and overwhelmed.