This single test can make a huge difference for hypothyroidism
Today I want to jump into thyroid health a little more closely. In part, because having a low functioning thyroid (hypothyroid) is increasingly more common, but also because about 60% who have low thyroid don’t even know it.
And, even more importantly, most people who are experiencing hypothyroidism aren’t being tested for its most common cause: Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune cause of hypothyroidism which means that the thyroid is functioning sub-optimally because the body’s immune system is attacking the thyroid gland. This is different than hypothyroidism caused by a medication, nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in the adrenals or ovaries.
Instead, in Hashimoto’s, low thyroid is a symptom of an underlying immune process that is out of balance. In other words, you’re seeing hormonal symptoms caused by an immune system imbalance.
The best way to start to get answers is to look at thyroid antibodies. In particular, anti-TPO and antithyroglobulin. If these are elevated, it indicates autoimmunity and helps clarify what is causing the hypothyroidism.
Because a significant part of treating Hashimoto’s, therefore, focuses on the immune system I’ve got three tips to start supporting a healthier immune system:
Eliminate dairy and gluten: both can cause cross reactivity, meaning they drive the body to continue attacking the thyroid. For autoimmunity, I suggest a 100% removal of these foods.
Get your vitamin D levels checked: vitamin D is a huge player in the immune system and deficiency is associated with the development of Hashimoto’s.
Bulk up on fermented food: an impaired intestinal tract or leaky gut is going to negatively affect immune function and one of the chief ways to support intestinal health is via good gut bacteria. Eating traditionally fermented foods like sauerkraut, coconut kefir, or kimchi help inoculate the gut with the good guys.
Before closing, I want to dispel one of the most common myths around Hashimoto’s and autoimmunity: that there’s nothing to do.
This is incredibly disheartening and frustrating because so many women don’t know there’s another way to approach this diagnosis. If a future possibly dependent on medications or feeling "ok-but not great," doesn’t quite align with you, what I most want you to know is this:
The truth is that with a good diet, individualized lifestyle changes and natural interventions, change is possible. Even for autoimmunity. Even for Hashimoto’s.
It’s possible to commit to yourself and transform your health and well being.
With so much warmth,
Dairy and Hashimoto's PubMed
Gluten and Hashimoto's PubMed
Vitamin D Green Med Info