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Episode 226: 4 Steps to Living Symptom Free with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (Part 1)

I remember sitting in my college apartment listening to a woman on a podcast talking about how she healed her Hashimoto's. 

It took her years, but she did it. 

It felt so daunting, so long, so out of reach to me. 

I literally couldn’t fathom a life without crippling fatigue, without embarrassing digestive issues. I couldn’t imagine going to the gym without worrying that it would cause a flare or being happy with what I saw in the mirror.  

I couldn’t imagine escaping this box that Hashimoto's kept me in. This box that kept me small, and tired, and insecure. 

But there was this glimmer as I listened to this woman’s story, a glimmer of hope that a different reality was possible for me. 

And that glimmer is what kept me going through every healing protocol, through every setback, through every moment of doubt that I’d ever get better.

I hope and pray that I can be that glimmer for someone else.

Someone at the beginning of their journey who’s been told by doctors ‘there’s nothing you can do’’ and ‘remission isn’t possible’.

Someone who has a big, beautiful, vibrant life in front of them, but who doesn’t know how to reach it. Someone whose vitality, whose very personality has been hijacked by their own body. 

If that someone is you, I want to give you a roadmap, a sequence of events that needs to take place to live symptom free. I didn't have that, at least not in simple terms. 

My journey was filled with trial and error, winding roads that sometimes led to nowhere, hours upon hours of research, and countless coaches and doctors. Needless to say it took way longer than it had to. 

Hopefully by sharing these steps I can save you some time, but if you really want to skip all the BS of trying to do it on your own, click here to book a free consultation so we can work together to get you the relief that you long for. 

Side note: I have these steps listed in a sequence, but different people have different healing priorities, so your journey won't always happen in this order. 

Step 1: Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

One of my biggest priorities when working with fellow Hashimoto's warriors is doing whatever we can to improve their energy. Fatigue is one of the biggest, most intense symptoms I see with Hashimoto's clients and when it's present it makes any habit change feel a million times harder. 

Enter: blood sugar stabilization. 

Imagine your blood sugar is like a car. When your blood sugar spikes up it's like you're pushing that gas pedal into the floor and flying along the highway. Then when your blood sugar drops it's like you're slamming on the breaks. Not only does that make for a really jarring ride, it's going to take its toll on the car. 

Instead we want a nice, easy, consistent blood sugar level that has us cruising along the freeway at a steady 65 mph.

Now there are two big mistakes I see people make in my practice that leads to blood sugar imbalances that cause both fatigue and exacerbation of the autoimmune response.  

  1. When you don't eat enough.
    • When you're chronically dieting or are regularly skipping meals, your blood sugar takes a major dip. This causes you to release cortisol so you can break down the protein in your body to raise blood sugar, then insulin surges to carry as much of that sugar into the cells as possible. This insulin surge activates inflammatory pathways that lead to an autoimmune response.
  2. Eating too many refined carbs. 
    • When we eat a diet high in pasta, bread, crackers, cookies, and baked goods we regularly are spiking our blood sugar which not only causes that insulin surge we just talked about, it increases advanced glycation end products (AGES) which also activates the inflammatory pathway that activates the autoimmune response.

 

I go into the exact strategies for balancing your blood sugar in my e-book, The Hormone Belly Blueprint which I wrote specifically for hypothyroid women who are struggling with their weight. Click here to get your copy for just $27! 
 

Step 2: Heal Your Gut

This was by far the most important step in my healing journey (and for many Hashimoto's patients since we have a stronger susceptibility to gut issues).

When I started working on my gut health, it was the first glimpse I got of feeling normal again. My energy increased drastically, my stubborn belly pooch went away, of course my digestion improved, and my skin got significantly better. 

The relationship between your gut and your thyroid is bidirectional.

If you have hypothyroidism you know it slows down everything - your metabolism, your energy, and your digestion. Read: constipation. (Which - side note - can also manifest as diarrhea like it did for me. Basically stool sits in your digestive tract too long, clogs it up, and the only stool that can make its way through is soft and loose.) 

And when our food is sitting in our GI tract for long periods of time it begins to ferment which creates byproducts that feed pathogenic bacteria in our gut. When these bacteria overgrow they can...

  • Decrease thyroid conversion in the gut and liver (where 80% of thyroid conversion takes place)
  • Decrease T-regulatory cells (the cells responsible for calming the immune system down).
  • Cause malabsorption of nutrients needed for thyroid health like vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin A.
  • Reduce thyroid hormone absorption.
  • And cause leaky gut which is a common trigger for autoimmunity. 

And slow motility in your intestines isn't the only thing that can cause this problematic overgrowth. Many people with Hashimoto's have poor illiocecal valve control which is the doorway between the small and large intestine, and when it isn't working properly it can cause conditions like small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.

Many people with Hashimoto's have also been on multiple restrictive diets either in an attempt to heal or to lose stubborn weight. This restrictive eating starves the good bacteria in our gut, and when they die we have fewer soldiers in our army keeping the bad bacteria in check.  

Gut infections like h pylori and candida can also be triggers for Hashimoto's. I had both of these conditions and healing them gave me a big push towards remission. 

So what do you do?

First we have to identify and remove those bad guys in our gut as well as food sensitivities. This is the first step I take 90% of my clients through. We run a GI map to find out what gut bugs need to be eradicated, and we do a proper elimination diet to figure out their food sensitivities.

Then we work to repair their gut lining with restorative foods and supplements. And finally we reinoculate with good bacteria (and no, not just by taking a probiotic). 

If you're chomping at the bit to feel better and you want to dive into that process with me, click here to book a free consultation. I'll ask you a few questions about your symptoms, habits, and health history, share a bit about my Follow Your Gut program, and help you figure out if that will be the key to solving your Hashimoto's symptoms. 

If you aren't ready to take that step yet, click here to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you get notified when part 2 drops (don't worry, I will never spam you - I hate that). 

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