What goes onto your fork and into your mouth can change your life, no matter what you are suffering from. While this can apply to every area of your life – weight loss, celiac disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and auto-immune disease of every kind – it is particularly relevant to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT). Have you discovered you are gaining weight, tired, constipated, losing your hair, have very dry skin and increasingly painful menstrual cramps – only to find your thyroid antibodies are through the roof and you have Hashimoto’s? Then I hope this post will help you. A sluggish thyroid is no fun, and is found in 10 times more women than men, generally identified between the ages of 40 and 60, but it can strike at any time.
You will most often be prescribed T4 and while it may work for a while, eventually it seems to stop working for many people. Taking more just compounds the problem as the more the body detects, the less it makes – more is not always better. Chemicals disrupt the microbiome and the endocrine system of which the thyroid gland is a part. Have a look at the following, all of which affect the thyroid:
- Any drugs you are taking
- Chemicals you are exposed to
- Cleaning products
- Cigarettes including electronic cigarettes (full of chemicals)
- Make-up and skin preparations
- Sprays and household cleaners
- Bug repellents
- Deodorants and personal products
- Washing powders
Opt for safe, natural alternatives to the above.
Genetics play a part for sure, but epigenetics have shown we can change the expression of our genes, and that lifestyle is more powerful than genetic predisposition. While the thyroid produces T4 and miniscule amounts of T3 (the active hormone), T4 is converted by the liver and bodily tissues as required by the body as every cell needs these hormones to regulate metabolism. If you have HT, tests may reveal you have an extremely low level of Vitamin D as well, which is common in those with an under active thyroid gland. Vitamin D3, like T3 and T4, is a hormone, needed by the body for many important functions including thyroid function.
THE ROLE OF THE GUT
One of the biggest contributors to any autoimmune disease is “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability – this is literally where all health and disease starts. The gut is the interface between you and the outside world, where nutrients are allowed into the bloodstream and where toxins, pathogens and undigested food are blocked. When these creep through openings in the intestinal lining the immune system mounts an attack – sadly though, it ends up attacking itself.
Antibiotics are the biggest culprit in causing intestinal permeability, but so are many medications, excess alcohol, junk food, wheat and a long list of food-like substances we substitute for real food, and which cause mayhem in the microbiome – the complex world of the 100 trillion bacteria which live in and on us to protect us. Studies show now that the microbiome is pivotal to every aspect of our health, and this includes the thyroid gland.
SOME IMPORTANT FOOD CHANGES TO MAKE
- Soy foods have been found to be the very worst of all things to put on your fork where your thyroid is concerned and studies show they are huge, powerful contributors to autoimmune thyroid disease. Get these off your fork immediately and avoid ALL forms of soy if you want to heal your thyroid.
- Stop eating ALL processed food and eat only whole, real food (following a lower carbohydrate/Paleo diet will go a long way to helping you choose the right food).
- Do your own cooking so you know what goes into your food and you can make wise choices.
- Dump ALL the junk food, alcohol, fizzy drinks, treats etc – eat only nourishing food
- Get rid of inflammatory foods like sugar, wheat, seed oils, of course soy, artificial sweeteners and a host of other food-like substances which are not food.
- On the subject of wheat, gluten is one of the worst offenders both where the thyroid and leaky gut are concerned. Gluten triggers the release of zonulin, a protein which prevents the maintenance of the ‘tight junctions’ between the cells in the intestinal lining. These cells need to be hard up against each other, but zonulin pushes them apart, allowing entry into the bloodstream of the toxic materials and whole proteins which spark the autoimmune response.
- Watch out for radiation from your cell phone at night – put it in another room never in your bedroom.
FOODS WHICH HELP HASHIMOTOS
- Seafood, eggs, and Brazil nuts, beef, chicken and sardines – rich in selenium, vital for conversion from T4 to T3
- Zinc is an essential element for the production of thyroid hormone found mostly in the same foods as those rich in selenium
- Increase animal protein and healthy animal fats, olive oil, coconut oil (as found in The Low-Carb Creed) – vegans will find they have more thyroid problems than carnivores, which is something to consider – they are also fraught with multiple nutrient deficiencies which affect the thyroid
- Make sure you cook your cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale, don’t eat them raw
- If you are going low-carb, don’t have less than 50g carbs a day. Low carb is good, but going too low carb, ketosis and intermittent fasting is not for HT sufferers
- You need a healthy microbiome – achieved by eating a whole food diet and changing your lifestyle, and for a while you’ll need to add a good probiotic
- Drop wheat and glutinous grains, seed oils, soy, sugar, even dairy for a while, alcohol and anything that may interfere with digestion or anything that does not nourish
- Do your own cooking – no more takeout food laced with additives and chemicals
- Sleep deprivation undermines immunity – you have to get decent sleep every night
- Deal with your stress levels – stress is a big factor in HT. Magnesium is a powerful stress reliever, and will help you to sleep and control stress levels
- Exercise but don’t overdo it – excessive exercise can have adverse effects
- Iodine could be considered if needed (only under the guidance of a qualified health provider)
- Pure Hydrolysed Collagen has been shown to be a powerful force in helping to regulate thyroid function – I’ve been amazed at the results I’ve
A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS
Sometimes we need extra help to get us on the right road, and the following supplements will help you to get back on track regarding your microbiome and thyroid:
- Vitamin D3 (best taken in a good supplement, it’s hard to get enough from food or sun)
- Selenium 200mcg/day (
- Magnesium Citrate – 1-1,5 teaspoons at night in water
- Pure Hydrolysed Collagen 2 tablespoons a day (a pure one free of contaminants and chemicals such as the one I bring in)
- A decent probiotic such as ProB)Plus, Acidophilus 40+ or Florafood
- Take 1 x zinc a day
All the above are available from my online store by clicking here