Jumpstarting Your Thyroid Naturally When Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s
Being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s can be difficult to process, but learning more about the disease and effective ways to manage it can help you jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. Let’s start by breaking down the disease. Hashimoto’s presents as an autoimmune disease in 90% of diagnosed cases, with the other 10% being a result of iodine deficiency. Low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, occurs in patients with Hashimoto’s when antibodies in the blood trigger the body to attack it’s own thyroid tissue. This assault significantly affects the thyroid’s hormone producing ability therefore depriving the body of sufficient hormone levels necessary for regulating metabolism, sleep, mood, temperature, and more.
The exact cause of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s is still a medical mystery, but fortunately functional medicine offers natural solutions to jumpstart your thyroid health. Genetics, lifestyle, and environment are the three main factors influencing symptoms of Hashimoto’s. While genetics is predetermined, you still have control over the other two factors: lifestyle and environment. You can work with your doctor to identify triggers specific to your daily routine, eliminate these triggers, and correct them in the proper sequence.
One of the most fundamental approaches to rebooting your thyroid begins with wholesome nutrition at every meal. Certain foods tend to aggravate the thyroid and can intensify symptoms, so knowing which foods to avoid is the first strategy for proactively defending your thyroid from further autoimmune damage.
- Gluten: interestingly, your thyroid tissue very closely mirrors the protein in gluten. When gluten is consumed, your body goes into autoimmune mode and intensifies its attack on the thyroid. Completely eliminating gluten is a must for anyone with Hashimoto’s.
- Sugar: reduce sugar intake by eliminating added sugars, most often found in highly processed food. Read labels and determine how much sugar is contained in each serving. Sugar can be disguised under dozens of different names so learn what to look for and make the swap for a more natural alternative. Often a seemingly healthy snack, such as blueberry yogurt, can be loaded with a surprising amount of added sugar. Instead, chose plain yogurt and add your own serving of berries. And when it comes to natural sugars, such as those found in fruit, try to pair it with a source of protein to regulate glucose levels entering your system. Heres an article I wrote on the importance of blood sugar and its connection to thyroid disease.
- Caffeine: because caffeine increases adrenaline and cortisol levels, your body receives stress signals which in turn interferes with thyroid function. Additionally, caffeine is often accompanied by an unhealthy dose of sugar if consumed as an energy drink, soda, or flavored coffee. Avoid caffeine to help ease stress on the thyroid. Caffeine can throw off your adrenal function.
Now that you know what to avoid, try incorporating foods high in vitamins and nutrients specific to jumpstarting the healing process. Make an effort to increase vegetable consumption and prioritize natural sources of protein with every meal. Protein synthesis is essential to tissue repair and growth, as well as enzyme synthesis, so aiming for 60-70 grams of protein per day is a healthy range for most. Consider your source when purchasing meat and eggs: free-range and grass-fed meat will fuel your body much better than grain-fed. Eggs are also a great way to get your protein so looking for the cage-free variety is best.
Other Important Vitamins and Nutrients Needed For Proper Thyroid Function
Daily diet and lifestyle tips to Help Your Thyroid
- Make sure you always eat breakfast and do so within one hour of waking. This helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and stoke your metabolism for the day.
- Chose quality fats such as olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, and avocado.
- Eat every 2-3 hours: this maintains metabolism and fuels brain & tissues
- When consuming fruit, accompany it with a source of protein or fat so glycemic levels don’t spike
- Increase water intake over consuming calories via energy drinks, soda, juice.
In addition to nutritional changes, making exercise a regular part of your routine is an important component to jumpstarting your thyroid. When you’re already fatigued this can feel like a challenge, but the effects of exercise trigger important hormones to be released which help to rebalance and regulate your body.
Thyroid and Exercise
- Boosted immunity
- Better Insulin response to regulate glucose levels in your blood
- Opioid and endorphin release for improved mood & general outlook
- Growth hormone release for cell regeneration and reproduction
- Lower cortisol and adrenaline levels
Finally, take time to reflect on major stress factors in your life and develop ways to cope with triggers. Deep breathing exercises, mediation, gardening, yoga, and creative outlets such as painting or coloring are great ways to decrease stress and in turn lower levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body.
Dr. Hagmeyer can help you find the right course of action for getting your Hashimoto’s under control. No two patients are the same therefore a course of treatment looks very different from one person to the next. Contact us today so we can work together in finding an individualized plan to jumpstart your thyroid naturally and effectively.
A Few Points To Remember About This Article:
- -Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid.
- -Genetics, lifestyle and environment are all contributing factors to Hashimoto’s.
- -Identifying and ultimately eliminating triggers in your own life can greatly improve your condition.
- -Review your daily nutrition and eliminate inflammatory food such as gluten, sugar, and caffeine.
- -Add in vitamins and nutrients such as protein, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B, and iron.
- -Make sure exercise is a part of your weekly routine.
- -Engage in stress reducing activities.
Dr. Hagmeyer can help you find the right course of action for getting your Hashimoto’s under control. No two patients are the same therefore a course of treatment looks very different from one person to the next.
Contact us today so we can work together in finding an individualized plan to jumpstart your thyroid naturally and effectively.
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- Iodine and Hashimotos an Explosive Mix. What You Need To Know.