By TRAVIS WADE
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis S/S
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the most common thyroid problem and it’s very commonly undiagnosed. As a personal trainer, why is that important to me? Your thyroid is the primary regulator of your metabolism. Hashimoto’s causes less production of thyroid hormone with transient bursts of way too much. The hypothyroid (not enough thyroid hormone), slows your metabolism causing weight gain and the transient surge of hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone), causes the anxiety symptoms.
Here’s some of the functions of the thyroid hormone. It regulates:
Central and peripheral nervous systems
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Looking at the above functions may make it easier to understand some of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Fatigue is the most common symptom followed by weight gain or inability to lose weight. Some other common symptoms are anxiety, palpitations, hair loss (eye brows), feeling colder than others around you, gut issues, IBS, brain fog, and memory loss. I’m afraid it’s much more common in women.
If you have any of these symptoms, then maybe you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Here’s the cause, what to do about it, and how to test for it. Again, we have to talk about the microbiome and Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are relatively new. The cause of most autoimmune diseases is Leaky Gut Syndrome which is also relatively new. Some of the causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome are GMOs, pesticides, plastic, pollution, preservatives and all the other toxins in our food which are relatively new as well. For the full list of culprits see my article on Leaky Gut Syndrome.
An autoimmune disease is when your body attacks itself. In Hashimoto’s disease your body attacks your thyroid. You might be producing antibodies attacking your thyroid for up to 10 years before any symptoms kick in. When your body produces antibodies against your thyroid, it can cause fibrosis (scar tissue), which can be painful and cause the thyroid to swell up. In this process you will eventually produce less and less thyroid hormone.
The test for Hashimoto’s is to test your blood for the antibodies against your thyroid. Conventional testing tests for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), or T4 and T3 in some cases. However, the T3 and T4 will likely be normal as well in Hashimoto’s disease. That partially has to do with the adrenal glands. If you have chronic stress you will produce a substance called reverse T3. Reverse T3 is a cousin of T3, but reverse T3 doesn’t activate the receptors for T3.
The Symphony of Hormones
Another problem with being constantly over stressed is you will burn out your adrenal glands causing Addison’s disease. A less severe condition is called adrenal fatigue, which conventional doctors say doesn’t exist, but you can get a saliva test done with a functional medicine doctor. In Addison’s or adrenal fatigue you won’t be producing enough cortisol or DHEA. The symptoms are the same as hypothyroidism.
Cortisol is an amazing anti-inflammatory. With not enough of this anti-inflammatory there will obviously be more inflammation in the body which causes all kinds of problems; one being Leaky Gut Syndrome and another being weight gain.
There is a symphony of hormones going on in your body. To treat the thyroid without looking at the adrenals may cause more problems. One doctor, actually Dr. Axe, categorizes Leaky Gut Syndrome. “Stress Gut” is when you have certain stress issues, one being thyroid problems due to leaky gut. He talked about cortisol levels, and again, there is a balance going on; the more cortisol, the less thyroid hormone being produced.
There are different levels of Hashimoto’s starting with non-symptomatic progressing to full hypothyroidism and other autoimmune diseases present. Again, this is another disease caused by a crappy diet and all the toxins in our food/environment which can be helped with a proper diet and exercise plan.
How To Fix Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
The first thing you want to do to fix an unhealthy thyroid is to eliminate the toxins and get the nutrition your body needs. This alone can turn symptoms around. I recommend the 10 Day Detox Diet Cookbook by Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s a great resource and it is where I try to get all my clients to start because it teaches proper eating habits and what proper nutrition really looks like as opposed to what you’ve probably been taught by the media and government.
The next step is to fix your leaky gut. I am talking about the GAPS diet. It starts with soup for breakfast soup for lunch, soup for dinner, and soup in-between. Lucky for us there is no end to the variety of soups that can be made. You start by boiling bones and organ meats for a day. The bones and meat goes into the pot and just enough water to cover the meat and bones. Simmer that for at least 12 hours minimum. Separate the bones and other undesirables out of the pot, then add what you want.
Having said that, squashes are a great food for the spleen which is the immune system organ and in many cases helps with the problems that cause Leaky Gut Syndrome. Garlic boosts the immune system, ginger does as well, turmeric is really great for the leaky gut as well. Salt, pepper. Mmmm. Sea salt or Himalayan of course.
If you have a thyroid problem you might have a lack of iodine; or too much. T3 (active thyroid hormone), triiodothyronine has 3 iodine molecules, T4 is tetraiodothyronine, which has 4 iodine molecules. Some of the other nutrients that are necessary for a healthy thyroid are Vitamin D and B12, selenium, and iron. You need to be tested for everything. If you have too much of something, it can be just as detrimental in some cases as having not enough. Iodine comes to mind. Do you need iodized salt or is it killing you? Talk to your doctor and get a full blood panel done.
Then there is the absorption of nutrients. Do you have low stomach acid? Having low stomach acid can mimic high stomach acid and is sometimes treated as high stomach acid and happens very regularly. (I am not making this up; iatrogenic damage [damage caused by medical practises], may be the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Our neighbors that pay for doctors who might want to do a good job for more business… our doctors are free… Just so you know this happens and I’ll stop there… for now). Of course that exasperates the issue.
Low stomach acid and dysbiosis (improper balance of bacteria in the gut), prevents proper absorption of a lot of nutrients creating a lack of nutrients no matter how much nutrients you eat. With dysbiosis you might have pathogens using up the iron causing the iron deficiency. Low stomach acid prevents iron from being absorbed. A fix for the low stomach acid is lemon water or apple cider vinegar water to produce more stomach acid. A doctor can put you on medications for better absorption as well.
The last part is fixing your microbiome (the bacteria in the gut), which is an art. A conventional doctor will likely not help you with this. Conventional medicine can help you with some of the above tasks, but our free health care will not cover a lot of needs. You have to learn to take care of yourself these days. True Balance will test your microbiome to see what you have in your gut and they are extremely thorough.
SIBO is small intestine bacterial overgrowth. 50% of hypothyroid patients have SIBO which is one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome. Remove the source. This might be a herbal protocol, antibiotics, or elemental diet.
It’s a different day and age in medicine my friends. You need to do research on your own and let your doctor know what you want. I know people that are dying, and you probably do too, because you have to take responsibility for your health these days instead of asking a doctor or anyone else to take care of you.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.
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