Living with Hashimoto’s is a mixed bag. Symptoms and triggers are not the same for everyone. Despite this news, there are foundational things each person can do to tackle this disease in order to enter remission. I have been on my own journey to fight this thing for over 5 years now. It is difficult at times, but there is hope! The following tips have been key for me as I have worked on managing my Hashimoto’s.
Ditch Gluten Immediately
Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, bread, and burgers are standard American foods. Statistically, most people with Hashimoto’s either have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. This is why the first item on the tip list for managing Hashimoto’s is to avoid gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat. With Hashimoto’s, this protein doesn’t digest properly. It can become a foreign invader to the point of the body attacking itself, specifically the thyroid gland.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to eat gluten-free these days. We don’t have the time or space to discuss this thoroughly here, but sticking with a whole foods diet (not packaged or boxed) is the best approach. It can take six months to a year for gluten to fully leave the body, so 100% avoidance is the best way!
Trust Your Gut
Along with staying away from gluten, overall gut health cannot be missed when managing Hashimoto’s. It’s not enough to just remove gluten for your gut to heal. Other factors need to be addressed. Some quick tips for caring for your gut health are:
- Drink bone broth which helps heal stomach and intestinal lining (as well as support hair, skin, and nail growth).
- Take probiotics which arm your gut with bacteria to fight off things your body doesn’t want.
- Include fiber in your diet to help with mobility.
- Eat a whole foods diet with low inflammatory foods to help maintain a healthy gut.
- Get stool testing to check for parasites and bacteria overgrowth.
Check Your Blood Sugar
I have mentioned a whole food diet a couple of times now and for good reason. A well balanced, whole food diet promotes well balanced blood sugar levels, which is a big player when managing Hashimoto’s. When your thyroid hormones are not working at their best, other hormones will be thrown off as well. This could lead to some form of insulin resistance. Having insulin levels checked by your doctor is a must. If they are off or you experience blood sugar related symptoms (high or low) then I recommend that you get a glucometer and seek help from a nutritionist or doctor who can walk you through testing your levels and adjusting your diet. Insulin and glucose levels regulate everything in your body, so making sure you are keeping up with that is a necessity.
Simple rules to follow: eat lots of vegetables, quality protein, healthy fats, and less carbohydrates and sugars while cutting out processed food.
Take the Right Tests
Since Hashimoto’s can affect almost any area of the body, getting properly tested is a must. Hormones affect hormones. So, most likely, you’ll have other hormones that need attention with the thyroid being underachieve. Doing a Dutch Test is highly recommended. It can show the patterns of your body related to sleep, progesterone, estrogen, and sex hormones. Low estrogen and progesterone are common with low thyroid/Hashimoto’s and would need to be addressed. Also, having regular blood work done to check for proper liver function, magnesium, iron, and vitamin D levels, and common side effects. Additionally, measuring TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) will reveal how well the thyroid is functioning and whether it is being attacked.
Know that You are Not Alone!
All that being said, know that when managing Hashimoto’s, you are not alone! It is the number one cause of low thyroid today. Getting it to a place of remission can happen, you just need the right tools and support.
While Hashimoto’s symptoms vary and protocols are not one-size-fits-all, there are some staple things you can do right now to help manage Hashimoto’s. In summary:
- Cut out gluten (and dairy)
- Eat a whole food diet
- Get proper testing
- Take quality supplements (including probiotics, vitamin D, fish oil, vitamin B, glutathione, magnesium, selenium, liver capsules, collagen, and bone broth)
- Exercise regularly
- Sleep properly
- Manage blood sugar
- Manage stress
- Rid your environment of chemicals
- Seek professional help from a nutritionist and/or doctor
Managing Hashimoto’s isn’t easy, but I can testify that it can be done successfully!