Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that causes an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Your immune system mistakenly attacks your body causing all kinds of symptoms and health problems. In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, your immune system attacks your thyroid.
The thyroid gland is an essential part of your endocrine system, a system that produces hormones in your body to coordinate and carry out important functions. Your thyroid hormones influence how your body uses energy and as a result they impact every organ in your body, including your heartbeat.
If you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, your thyroid becomes enlarged. It can not make enough thyroid hormones, which causes your bodily functions to slow down and your health becomes compromised. To determine whether you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you need a doctor to test your thyroid function. It is important to know the major symptoms and causes of this autoimmune disease.
Symptoms tend to slowly progress and you may not even have any at first. You may notice your thyroid is getting larger and your neck looks somewhat swollen. It may lead to a feeling of fullness in your throat, but usually no pain.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may include: Tiredness, fatigue and sluggishness; unexplained weight gain; joint and muscle pain; constipation; increased sensitivity to cold; dry and thinning hair; dry skin or brittle nails; puffy face; enlarged tongue; slowed heart rate; memory problems; mood imbalances; hormonal imbalances; and neck swelling, snoring or hoarse voice.
You may also increase your risk of long-term health complications and certain diseases. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may increase your risk of: Addison’s disease and Graves’ disease; thyroid goiters; infertility, ovarian failure, pregnancy or birth complications and birth defects; Type 2 diabetes; high cholesterol; heart disease; brain problems; kidney problems; neurological damage; and mental health disorders.
Hashimoto’s is definitely treatable. Conventional approaches usually involve “watching and waiting” and taking medications. Sometimes surgery is even needed. These treatments don’t solve the underlying problems. Some patients can improve significantly when taking thyroid medications. This still won’t resolve the issue of the immune system attacking itself.
Effectively treating Hashimoto’s disease includes making the following changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Remove Immune-Reacting Foods From Your Diet: You must let your system rest and your gut heal. Here are the most important steps to controlling Hashimoto’s disease using your diet. First, eliminate gluten. Second, consider going grain free which includes dairy products that are pasteurized/homogenized, plus regular unsprouted grains. Third, avoid fast foods and too much added sugar as they cause inflammation of the gut.
Consume Gut Healing Foods: Repairing your gut is vital to reversing your symptoms if you have Hashimoto’s or any autoimmune condition. The best diet is a healing diet that’s high in fresh vegetables and fruits as well as nutrient-packed foods like bone broth and organic meats. It is also good to eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt that has been fermented for 24 to 29 hours and products like kefir. Wild-caught fish, coconut oil, seaweed, sprouted seeds and beans or legumes are also good.
Supplements: The second step to helping to heal and repair your thyroid is acquiring specific nutrients and supplements that lower autoimmune reactions, help your body handle stress better and regulate activities of the immune system. These include selenium, probiotics, vitamin D, ashwagandha, B vitamins (especially B12), zinc (good sources are meat, eggs, nuts and seeds), vitamin A (good sources are cod liver, eggs, dark leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits), vitamin E (sources are dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds), magnesium (sources are nuts, seeds, avocados and cacao) and other “adaptogenic herbs.”
Improve The Body’s Ability To Detox: Detoxification and cleansing on a regular basis are beneficial for your thyroid gland to help lower inflammation. This includes reducing your exposure to hormone disruptors in the environment, chemicals in your home and heavy metals. Other ways to detox include reducing your medication dosage, replace amalgam fillings with mercury-free fillings, replace synthetic chemicals with natural products, store food in glass and ceramic containers, quit smoking, using recreational drugs and drinking alcohol in excess, and minimize your exposure by filtering your water and air.
Reduce and Manage Stress: Stress reduction interventions can have a positive therapeutic effect in autoimmune disease patients. Different things work for different people when it comes to lowering stress. Taking detox baths with Epsom salts, regularly doing adaptive exercises, reading spiritual growth books, spending time outdoors and fostering good relationships are all proven natural stress relievers.
Heal Your Infections: There are five specific infections found in people with Hashimoto’s: herpes viruses, Epstein-Barr, Hepatitis C, Helicobacter pylori, and Yersinia enterocolitica. You can test for all of these and be treated.
There are several more ways that can help. Sleeping plenty is crucial for your thyroid and overall health. Your liver is an incredibly important organ that serves an array of functions in your body. It is important to support your liver health through a healthy diet and detoxification with the above suggestions.