What is Hashimotos Thyroiditis?
It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland that is located on the neck. The antibodies that attack the thyroid lead to chronic inflammation in the thyroid gland and eventually impairs the glands ability to produce hormones. Eventually the gland is damaged and fail to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. It is not known why people form these antibodies but it has been shown to be genetic.
What are the symptoms?
Unexplained fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, constipation, hair loss, irregular heartbeat, dry skin, depression, and difficulty losing weight despite eating well or exercising. The early signs can be hard to detect since the condition is progressive and eventually becomes hypothyroidism. Also, some people have an inflamed thyroid that is visible.
Is there a cure or treatment?
There is no cure but there is treatment. People who have elevated antibodies but no thyroid dysfunction do not need medication but they are recommended to eat anti-inflammatory foods and exercise to lower the inflammation in organs. For those who do have high antibodies with the combination of hypothyroidism have to take medication for the rest of their lives.
What types of foods/ supplements do I eat to manage hypothyroidism?
I eat an anti-inflammatory diet which consist of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish. It is important to eat an anti-inflammatory diet because people who have one autoimmune disease have a high risk of developing another autoimmune disease.
I currently use Maca root, and ashwagandha. They have helped me feel more energized and eliminate my severe acne due to the hormonal imbalances that low thyroid can affect. Studies have shown that Maca has hormone balancing potentials.
What form of exercise I participate in with hypothyroidism?
I exercise at least three times a week. I used to run long distance but after my diagnosis with hypothyroidism I was advice by my doctor that shorter high intense exercises benefit those with hypothyroidism. I now take spin classes, Zumba classes, and jump rope. I have also started to incorporate more weight lighting in my exercise regime.
What foods do I avoid or limit?
I avoid foods that are goitrogens because they disrupt the production of thyroid hormones in people who have the genetic predisposition of developing a thyroid imbalance. Some foods I limit are broccoli, even though I love it so much. If it was up to me I would eat it every day but now I just eat it cooked/steamed once in a while because it’s goitregenic effects are lessened and also because it is still a very nutritious vegetable despite it being a goitregen. I also avoid soy and gluten except these foods cannot be eaten as easily as broccoli because they give my body negative side effects. Unfortunately, soy and gluten are in almost all processed foods.
Gluten Sensitivity and Hashimotos Thyroidiitis
Most of the time if someone has Hashimotos they will have some degree of gluten intolerance but some people might have intolerances to other foods so it is best to ask your doctor first to make sure.
Zaletel, K., & Gaberšček, S. (2011). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: From Genes to the Disease. Current Genomics, 12(8), 576–588. http://doi.org/10.2174/138920211798120763
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