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  • Writer's pictureNicola Hodges Nutrition

Exploring natural approaches for managing Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism

Updated: 6 days ago

In this blog I'll be offering a guiding light, exploring natural approaches to combat Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is actually an autoimmune disease!


Lighthouse shining in the dark

In the realm of autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto's thyroiditis stands out as a prevalent yet often misunderstood condition thanks to our healthcare system treating it as a thyroid malfunction in isolation and often not informing patients that it is most likely an autoimmune disease. Why do GP's not mention this fact? -Because it won't change their treatment approach, which is to wait until thyroid destruction is bad enough to warrant thyroid hormone replacement.


The immune system's attack on the thyroid gland leads to a cascade of symptoms that can severely impact an individual's quality of life. Conventional medicine has long been the cornerstone of treatment, focusing only on thyroid hormone replacement therapies (which is of course necessary). However, a growing body of evidence suggests and my work with hundreds of thyroid clients shows that natural approaches can offer significant relief, particularly with fatigue, mood, maintaining a healthy weight and addressing hair loss associated with Hashimoto's.


The Rising Tide of Hashimoto's


Recent statistics underscore the urgency of addressing Hashimoto's, with an estimated 1 in 8 women affected. Notably, women are up to eight times more likely than men to be diagnosed with this condition, according to the American Thyroid Association. We know that oestrogen dominance can be a risk factor for developing Hashimoto's- more on that in my next blog! Despite the prevalence of Hashimoto's, the journey to a proper diagnosis can be fraught with challenges, as symptoms often mirror those of other conditions. Anecdotally, here in the UK, I've heard of many situations where a client with subclinical hypothyroidism has complained of chronic fatigue to her doctor, along with unjustified weight gain and low mood and are simply told to eat less and move more and take an anti depressant. This is exactly what happened to me over 10 years ago. My functional medicine training now tells me that I had Hashimoto's back then and my historic blood tests told me so (albeit subtly).



A Natural Path Forward


In response to the limitations of conventional treatments, many individuals are turning to natural approaches to mitigate their symptoms. These methods aim not only to address the symptoms of Hashimoto's but also to tackle the root causes, including immune system dysregulation and hormonal imbalances.


Dietary Adjustments: A cornerstone of the natural approach to Hashimoto's involves dietary modifications. Research suggests that gluten-free and anti-inflammatory diets such as the Paleo diet can significantly reduce symptoms by lowering immune system triggers. Furthermore, incorporating mineral rich foods such as pasture raised meats, fish and organ meats and adopting a low-glycemic diet can help in weight management, a common struggle for those with Hashimoto's.


Supplemental Support: Whilst no supplement can help if someone's diet is devoid of adequate protein and full of ultra processed foods, supplements can play a crucial role in filling nutritional gaps that may exacerbate Hashimoto's symptoms. Vitamins D and B12, zinc, magnesium and selenium have been shown to support thyroid function and immune health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties that may support the immune system and the symptoms of Hashimoto's such as dull skin, hair and brain fog. Addressing nutrient deficiencies is also crucial- especially iron deficiency which can be tested with a simple blood test.


Stress Reduction Techniques: Chronic stress is a known trigger for autoimmune flare-ups. Mind-body practices like yoga, meditation, and tai chi can reduce stress levels, thereby improving energy levels and reducing fatigue. Rewiring how you talk to yourself and manage anxious thoughts can have a profound effect on wellbeing- our immune system will respond to our thoughts in the same way as a real life threat.


Physical Activity: Regular, moderate exercise boosts energy and supports a healthy metabolism and hormone balance, which can be beneficial for weight management. Activities such as walking, weight training and yoga can all be beneficial for brain and immune health. Maintaining a healthy muscle mass is key metabolic health, immune health and longevity!



The next step with the Natural Approach


The journey to managing Hashimoto's is deeply personal, with no one-size-fits-all solution. Yet, the integration of natural approaches provides a promising adjunct to thyoird hormone replacement for those seeking to reclaim their health, I have put my Hashimoto's into remission this way. By addressing dietary habits, incorporating supplements, managing stress, staying active can work towards mitigating the impact of Hashimoto's on their lives.


For those navigating the complexities of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the opportunity to explore natural approaches offers a ray of hope. To delve deeper into how these strategies can be tailored to your unique health profile, I invite you to book a free 15-minute discovery call with me. Together, we can chart a path toward wellness, harnessing the power of natural approaches to address the symptoms of Hashimoto's.

Let's embark on this journey to wellness together. Your path to managing Hashimoto's symptoms naturally begins with a single step.


Nicola





Disclaimer

The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.


Individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis should always consult their healthcare provider before making any significant changes to their exercise routine or diet. Every person's body is unique, and what works well for one individual may not be suitable for another.

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