Over 14 million people in the United States are affected by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s for short, making it the most common thyroid disorder. Women are seven times more likely to acquire the condition, but it also occurs in men. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that can appear with debilitating symptoms. A Hashimoto’s thyroiditis diet is one of the best ways to combat the effects of this disease.
Your immune system is created to recognize foreign substances in your body, like bacteria and viruses, and develop antibodies that destroy them. If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system mistakes healthy organs and tissues for foreign substances and attacks them. For example, Lyme disease is an autoimmune disorder.
Lyme disease occurs when a deer tick transmits the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria into your bloodstream. It gets confused and will attack joints and other areas of the body, causing numerous painful symptoms. These bacteria, or spirochetes, are very good at hiding from and tricking your immune system.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of 80 autoimmune disorders. Common examples include Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C, Lupus, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, and celiac disease.
Hashimoto’s is when your body makes antibodies that attack the cells in your thyroid, mistaking them for something harmful. This causes the thyroid to become irritated and inflamed, preventing it from being able to produce the hormones needed for the body to function correctly. Specifically, it makes the thyroid slower than it should be.
Receiving treatment for Hashimoto’s and all other autoimmune disorders is crucial. The longer you go untreated, your symptoms will worsen.
What Are the Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Some symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis appear like symptoms of other autoimmune disorders. Early symptoms may include the following:
- Skin changes
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Weight changes
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
More specific symptoms of Hashimoto’s include a goiter or swelling of the thyroid, which looks like a bulge in your neck. However, it doesn’t have to be present to diagnose the disorder. These same symptoms can apply to Diabetes, Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diagnosis
To get an accurate diagnosis, your doctor should consider your unique symptoms combined with laboratory testing. The stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH) test, anti-thyroid antibodies test, and the Free T4 test should be performed to confirm a diagnosis. In addition, your doctor should look at your diet and other lifestyle factors that may contribute to thyroid dysfunction.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diet Treatment
Thyroid hormone replacement medicine is usually prescribed for those with abnormal hormone levels. Medication alone does not always offer relief. The reason is that the drug does not reduce inflammation, which significantly contributes to your negative symptoms.
Therefore, reducing inflammation is a priority in treatment.
What you eat and drink can trigger inflammatory responses. Processed foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, dairy, and red meat, promote inflammation. Avoid chemically altered foods with added ingredients or preservatives. Multiple research studies show the long-term damaging effects of consuming processed foods, like a higher risk for heart disease.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diet
Being told to cut out dairy and processed foods may leave you wondering what foods you can consume. Fortunately, there are many options. The most common diet plans include the Paleo diet, the autoimmune protocol diet, the anti-inflammatory diet, and a plant-based diet. The Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet are two more. You can also create your diet based on your symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Here are some tips for sticking with it, no matter which one you choose:
- Start substituting unhealthy foods and drinks with healthy options gradually rather than cold turkey
- Work with a doctor who specializes in autoimmune disorders
- The fewer the ingredients, the better the food
- Make your meals colorful with fruits and vegetables
- Make smoothies with fruits and vegetables to get the max servings each day
- Keep a food journal to determine which foods make you feel good or bad
- Compare lab test results to examine noteworthy changes and adjust your diet if needed
A healthy diet is one of several lifestyle changes that reduce inflammation and ease autoimmune symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes for Hashimoto Thyroiditis
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Sleep is a time of restoration and repair. Poor sleep stresses the body, leading to inflammation and uncomfortable symptoms. The way to get good sleep is to start a routine of actions before and after you fall asleep. These actions are known as sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene involves preparing for a good rest, resting, and waking up. For example, before you fall asleep, ensure the temperature is comfortable in your bedroom, turn off electronics an hour before you want to go to sleep and brush your teeth simultaneously each night. While sleeping, make sure the room is dark. Upon waking, start a morning routine.
Add supplements to balance nutrient levels in the body. An autoimmune specialist can create a vitamin protocol to meet your nutritional needs. They can also use advanced therapies, such as IV infusions, to help you get the highest amount.
Finding an Autoimmune Specialist
If you have symptoms of Hashimoto’s, Lyme disease, or any other autoimmune disorder, you want to find a doctor with extensive education and experience in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases. A good doctor will have the following:
- Training in autoimmune disorders
- Membership in national and international associations
- Modern equipment and technology
- Alternative therapies to improve symptoms
Final Tip on Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diet
Because your quality of life can be severely impacted by an autoimmune disorder, commit to seeing the best doctor, even if it means traveling outside the United States or Canada. Here at Lyme Mexico, you will work with a leader in the research and practice of autoimmune disorders. You have access to the most advanced equipment that allows non-invasive procedures on an outpatient basis.
Rather than spend time and money getting referrals to various non-specialists, gift yourself an appointment at our clinic. You deserve the quick results we can offer when it comes to Hashimoto’s disease treatment.