Living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) can feel like quite an adjustment. However, with a few basic changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can begin the healing process.
According to the American Thyroid Association, over 90% of underactive thyroid issues in America are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis related.
When autoimmunity occurs, the body’s immune system deems healthy thyroid cells as a threat and produces antibodies to target and destroy them.
This attack on the healthy thyroid cells causes inflammation and tissue damage and will eventually reduce thyroid hormone production. As a result, many experience a sluggish metabolism and increased low thyroid symptoms.
But have no fear. The road to recovery doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. There are things you can do right now to improve your Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Below are four practical ways to combat symptoms of HT.
1. Avoid Gluten
Gluten is a big no-no when it comes to treating Hashimoto’s symptoms for two reasons:
- Intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” a common condition found to correspond with autoimmunity, increases when gluten is ingested.
- Gluten has a similar composition to the thyroid hormone, and since your immune system is identifying your thyroid as a threat, it tends to do the same to the gluten protein creating more inflammation.
2. Get Checked for Food Sensitivities
The food you eat may be aggravating your HT. Those who have Hashimoto’s more than likely suffer from leaky gut, which puts them at an increased risk for food sensitivities. Your immune system is already on high alert and will deem certain undigested foods dangerous and react to them. A functional medicine professional can provide comprehensive testing to help you identify what foods cause your body to respond in this way. Eliminating food sensitivities and adopting a treatment plan aimed at restoring your gut health can dramatically improve your HT symptoms.
3. Incorporate Stress-Reducing Techniques
Stress management is essential for treating Hashimoto’s.
Cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, can lead to inadequate thyroid hormone conversion, increased inflammation, and reduced immune sensitivity if left unchecked.
Activities such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, support systems, and exercise have all been shown to reduce stress effectively.
4. Find a Doctor who Specializes in HT
To make life a little bit easier when trying to understand which testing is beneficial for you, find the right doctor to help create a treatment plan specific to your health needs. Skilled functional medicine doctors test for
- Free and total T4
- Free and total T3
- Reverse T3
- T3 uptake
- Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies
- Thyroid peroxidase antibodies
- Food sensitivity testing
- Microbial overgrowth
- Heavy metals
- Adrenal function
- Glucose and insulin
Medication for HT may ease your HT symptoms temporarily; however, until you address the underlying factors, your disease will never improve. Find a trained functional medicine doctor to help you identify your unique root causes of your Hashimoto’s. They can create a treatment plan designed to restore your health and get you feeling like yourself again!