Many people are experiencing the symptoms of hypothyroidism in their daily lives without even realizing it. As a result, their symptoms multiply for months or years. Educating yourself on thyroid issues can make all the difference. Read on to learn my best tricks to support your thyroid!
Caroline Stahlschmidt is a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP) and is a practicing functional nutritionist at the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's but has learned to thrive with her autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle modifications. In this episode we talk about thyroid, nutrition and advanced issues about thyroid markers.
Here's what you'll hear:
Min 00:40 Results of our podcast survey
Min 06:05 Introduction to Caroline Stahlschmidt & her Hashimoto's diagnosis
Min 08:15 Factors that contributed to Caroline's Hashimoto's
Min 10:00 Unhealthy guts & your poop
Min 13:30 High TSH levels
Min 19:00 The Epstein Barr virus
Min 22:00 Caroline's evolution of symptoms
Min 26:40 Getting enough sleep & rest
Min 31:55 Nutrition & diet for good health
Min 41:05 Yoga & Caroline's healing journey
Min 47:05 Caroline's resources & work
Here's the video version of the interview with Caroline:
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis involves the body’s immune system breaking down the tissue of the thyroid gland. The possible symptoms are numerous and may include:
Cold hands and feet
Frequent colds and flu
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
I believe our modern environment has created the perfect storm for Hashimoto’s. Many, many women have a leaky gut due to growing up on processed foods and now Genetically Modified Foods. Most women would report they are chronically stressed, which thins the protective layer of the gut. And we are all exposed to a slew of chemicals from chlorine in water (a thyroid disrupter), to xeno-estrogens in plastics (makes for an increased need for thyroid hormone), to heavy metals in our make-up (linked to irregular thyroid function).
Many of our clients and women in our online community tell me they had gotten a Hashimoto’s diagnosis but have not had any improvement in symptoms as yet.
Some of them are on thyroid medication and have experimented a bit with dietary changes, but didn’t stick to it.
Thyroid medication can, in some cases, relieve symptoms because more thyroid hormone is made available to the body’s cells and systems. However, it does not address the inflammatory nature of a disease based on immune dysregulation, with a background of leaky gut. These things will never be addressed by thyroid medication!
Others have gone full tilt with major, long-term diet changes and supplements but are still not fully improved. While this will make an impact for most women and may be enough to send some women into remission, there are causes that a blanket approach to diet and supplements are not addressing.
Here are some things to consider if you aren't improving:
Do you have heavy metal toxicity from frequent trips to the sushi bar?
How about parasite shared with you by your sweet toddler?
Or is your stressful job causing a flare-up of once dormant Epstein Barr infection?
Unfortunately unraveling your own root causes of Hashimoto’s can be a long and winding road. So why bother? Here are three good reasons:
If you have one autoimmune disease, you are likely to add another autoimmune disease to your list every 10 years (reference: The Autoimmune Fix by Dr. Tom O'Bryan)
If you continue to live with a leaky gut your micronutrient levels are likely to decrease, leaving you even more fatigued
Those unaddressed symptoms are limiting you every day, preventing you from reaching goals, affecting your relationships and generally keeping you from a full experience of what life has to offer.
Getting to the root of a chronic illness, any chronic illness, takes tenacity and an investment of your time and money. Depending on your circumstances, you may have more time or money, but, frankly, it’s going to take a combination of both.
Luckily learning in the internet age is mostly free. Lately, I am trying to listen to about an hour of audio material a day and to read a health book at least once a month (I want to increase that and speed read one per week!) There are lots of ways to learn:
Directly from a practitioner
By observing your own body, journaling, and experimenting.
I really want to stress the importance of persistence. As Dr. Izabella Wentz states in her book, Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back, you need to “DIG-AT-IT.” Here’s what her acronym stands for:
Iodine, Inflammation, Infection, Immune Imbalance
Adrenals, Alkaline Phosphatase
Each of these categories entails quite a bit! I really recommend my friend Izabella’s New York Times bestselling book, Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back.
You can also hear Dr. Wentz speak if you purchase the online Healing Hashimoto's Summit. She’s a wealth of information, as is Dr. Datis Kharrazian, a functional neurology physician who is an amazing researcher and medical innovator. A new friend, Dr. Natasha Fallahi, DC, is co-host of the summit spoke about a more nurturing, intuitive approach to healing. (As much as I want you educated, please don't beat yourself and take an overly aggressive approach to your healing!)
TIME TO SUPPORT YOUR THYROID
Check out my free guide on simple hacks for thyroid support!
You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.
Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!
Questions? Please post below.
Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.
Peri-menopause - the 5-10 years leading up to menopause - is a common time to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition.
In this article, I’d like to address these questions:
• Why then?
• Why more in women?
• What can be done?
Peri-menopause may begin in your late 30s or early or mid 40s. You may notice that your PMS is worse. You may have spotting between periods. Over time, your periods will likely get more dramatic, with missed periods and heavy periods.
Other symptoms may be popping up too, like anxiety, brain fog and weight gain. You may be thinking, “these sound like thyroid symptoms,” and you could be right!
But before we explore the thyroid connection, let’s cover what is normally happening during peri-menopause.
What is Peri-menopause?
Peri-menopause is, in short, the opposite of puberty. In puberty your ovaries are waking up to start your reproductive years. Your brain and ovaries are learning to work together to coordinate a monthly cycle, and often the first few reproductive years are hormonally unstable.
In peri-menopause, the brain-ovary relationship is starting to shut down. The ovaries are closing up shop, but the brain keeps knocking at the door, trying to get the shopkeeper working again.
The sex hormone that needs to rise sufficiently in the first half of the month is estrogen. It is produced by the ovaries as they also grow eggs. If you produce enough estrogen and release an egg, you’ll ovulate. And if that egg is healthy and hearty, you’ll produce a good amount of progesterone in the second half of your cycle. (The egg sac, or corpus luteum, makes progesterone after ovulation.)
How Your Thyroid Could Be Impacted in Peri-menopause
Even though both estrogen and progesterone are declining in peri-menopause, progesterone declines more dramatically in this stage. This leads to a condition called ‘estrogen dominance.’
Too much estrogen can prevent the thyroid hormone from getting to where it needs to go and can prevent it from converting to its active form. For some women, their thyroid symptoms are simply a result of this high estrogen interfering with thyroid hormone activity. We’ll talk about how to address estrogen dominance shortly.
Another thing estrogen effects is the immune system. Estrogen is associated with stimulating the TH2 branch of the immune system (1). TH2 is short for T Helper cell type 2, a lymphocyte (immune cell). TH2 is part of the adaptive immune system, which mounts a specific attack against pathogens.+ Adaptive immunity is usually a good thing, but it can also lead to autoimmunity if the antigen activity is directed towards itself.
As estrogen is the dominant sex hormone in women, this helps to explain why autoimmunity and thyroid disease is more common in women.
As we age, we also experience decreased immunity, and a tendency towards TH2 response.
“In the aged, however, naive cells are less likely to become effectors. In those that do, there is a documented shift towards a Th2 cytokine response.
The elderly have impaired ability to achieve immunization but much higher levels of circulating autoantibodies, (due to the lack of naive effectors) impaired response to viral infections, increased risk of bacterial infections, and increased risk of both neoplastic and autoimmune disease.” (3)
However, there is hope and action we can take to keep estrogen in check!
What To Do
1. Improve Gut Health
If you’ve studied the thyroid, you know that gut health is key to prevent an autoimmune response and to convert thyroid hormone effectively. Did you know it’s also important to clear estrogen dominance? One way your gut helps clear estrogen is through the estrobolome, “the aggregate of enteric bacterial genes whose products are capable of metabolizing estrogens.” (4)
You can be friendly to your gut by avoiding:
• Genetically modified foods (GMO) - These kill off friendly bacteria
• Sugars - These feed troublesome bacteria
• Unnecessary antibiotic use - This kills everything, with bacterial imbalance often resulting in its wake
You can be friendly to your gut by including:
• Small amounts of fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi
• A wide variety of fibers from salad greens, fresh spices, berries, etc.
• A long period from an early dinner to breakfast - lets your gut bacteria grow in peace!
2. Boost Progesterone
Progesterone helps keep estrogen in check, so boost it by giving your body ingredients to make hormones.
• Hemp Oil - I’ve been very impressed with how 1 T of hemp oil a day helps my own peri-menopausal hormones
• Borage Oil - This oil, usually in pill form, has gamma linoleic acid (GLA) to spark hormone production
• Maca- This adaptogenic root herb helps boosts hormone production and can benefit your energy levels and sex drive
3. Help Out Your Immune System
If aberrant immunity could be a problem in your case, add some components that can balance your TH2 activity:
• Fish Oil- Fish oil has a balancing effect on the immune system and decreases inflammation. (5) Quality matters with fish oil, so do research to find a good brand.
• Vitamin D- Vitamin D deficiency is found at higher levels in people with autoimmune thyroid disease. (6) Talk to your doctor about getting your vitamin D tested and restoring it to a level around 60-80 NG/DL through sunshine and vitamin D3 supplementation.
Learn more about the thyroid at perimenopause from experts like Dana Trentini, Dr. Tom O’Bryan and Heather Dubé at the free, online Hormone Balance After 40 Summit!
The summit happens live June 5-11, 2017, but recordings will live on after the live summit.
Hormone Balance After 40 Summit
Andrea Beaman did not always eat so well. Microwave dinners and toaster pizzas were on the menu. Eventually she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Also her dear mom had breast cancer that had spread, and she was given not long to live. In looking for solutions for her mom, she turned to whole foods and healthy mindset.
Andrea later went on to be on the first season of Top Chef, after being encouraged by one of her cooking students. Andrea did not own a TV, and had no idea what she was getting into, so it turned into quite an adventure!
Some of Andrea's many get quotes:
"Autoimmunity can be healed."
"Don’t wait till you’re in the grave to make a change."
"Cooking at home and feeding others is so valuable."
On pesticides..."the difference between the bug and us is size."
"This century is about thyroid. 50 years of women not eating fat, not getting minerals carried by fat got us here."
"I value the doctors. If I go outside and get hit by a bus, please take me to the doctor, don't take me to the health food store."
"Fad diets are always missing some food group."
Vegans- Get adrenal exhaustion.
Paleo- Missing starches needed for microbiome, which backs up liver. Starches feed the mitochondria.
Nourishing Thyroid Health is Andrea's online educational program on the thyroid. Learn about:
- Preparing foods
- How the endocrine system works
- Environmental toxicants
- How to heal the digestive system
- How to heal the adrenals
- The emotional and spiritual aspect of thyroid health
- Guest expert modules
- Live coaching calls
Please check out the program here: https://tinyurl.com/thyroid123
Andrea's Top Five Take-aways:
- Eat clean- get toxins out
- Support your energetic body with exercise of some sort, inc. tai chi, yoga
- Destress- set boundaries
- Get some sun- get outdoors
- You’re worth it!
Andrea and I also recorded a short video on youtube that is super fun. You can access it below, for your own mini-cooking lesson with Andrea.
The two books that inspired Andrea in those early days are:
Physician Heal Thyself by Hugh Faulkner
The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
If you enjoyed this episode, please support us by rating and reviewing us on iTunes!
You can also get subscribed to this weekly show on iTunes and many Android podcast players.
Dr. Anh Nguyen always wanted to be a pharmacist, and enjoyed many aspects of the work. But she realized people were just getting on more and more medications, and were never really coming off of them.
She was curious about how she could help people come off medications safely, and how to use food as medicine instead.
This led her to study health coaching and functional medicine. She also got interested in bodybuilding and started to train for competitions. Meanwhile she was dealing with illness in her family, which led to her own compromised health.
She shares some of her learnings with us on this interview. Here's what we talk about:
- How to approach pharmaceuticals in a safer way
- How pharmaceuticals can cause nutrient depletions
- How pharmaceuticals can cause thyroid symptoms
- Which nutritional supplements she recommends to restore thyroid health
and much more.
Dr. Anh hosts a popular weekly podcast called Food As Medicine that you can find on iTunes or through her website, Dranh.com.
I was her guest on episode 49, talking about Fertility After Age 35.
Thanks for checking out the show! If you like it, we really appreciate you telling a friend. If you're not yet subscribed, please take a moment to do so through your podcast player.