Easing Out of Hashimoto’s

exhausted woman

I first heard of Jill Grunewald, holistic nutrition coach and founder of Healthful Elements, when I was still working for Experience LifeOur health and nutrition editor, Anjula Razdan, was pitching a story on the hot topic of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own thyroid. She named Jill as one of the go-to sources for treating the condition because of her specialization in the endocrine system and hormones — particularly thyroid function — and focus on natural and whole-foods therapies.

That story, “Repair Your Thyroid,” came to fruition in the November 2012 issue, and since then I’ve seen Jill crop up in a number of other places.

Including the gym. I had the pleasure of meeting up with her to talk both thyroid health and physical fitness, and the below interview was the result. For more, check out Jill’s popular ebook, Fire Your Thyroid, or look into booking a consultation with her.

Jen: What are some signs/symptoms of Hashimoto’s?
Jill: Hashimoto’s is autoimmune hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and it’s estimated that 90 percent of people who have low thyroid function do, in fact, have Hashimoto’s. Having thyroid autoimmunity means that there are antibodies in the blood that are launching a “mission sabotage” on the thyroid gland. Whether hypothyroidism is due to Hashimoto’s or from iodine deficiency (the cause of the other 10 percent of hypothyroid cases), the telltale symptoms are the same: unwarranted fatigue (even after a full night’s rest), difficulty losing weight, gaining weight with no change in diet or exercise, hair loss and loss of hair luster, difficulty getting and staying warm, constipation, depression, brain fog, fluid retention (edema), poor ankle reflexes, and dry skin. You can read a lengthier list of symptoms here.

A significant difference between Hashimoto’s and iodine-deficient hypothyroidism is that in cases of Hashimoto’s, some people swing back and forth between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism — or overactive thyroid. So while the diagnosis may be low thyroid function, some experience a “push-pull” and have days where they feel hyperactive, energetic, anxious, and can have heart palpitations. This hyper state is a sign of excess thyroid hormones in the bloodstream due to increased autoimmune attack on the thyroid.

Jen: How do you get tested?
Jill:
Thyroid testing includes a full range of thyroid labs (bloodwork) or an at-home BBT (basal body temperature) test, which involves taking your basal body temperature first thing in the morning for three days, then determining the average. If it’s less than 97.8, you’re likely hypothyroid. When it comes to labwork, it’s important to work with an open-minded, functional medicine doctor who isn’t TSH-happy. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and reveals very little of overall thyroid function. (See this link for the labs I recommend.) See “Testing in the Lab” in this Experience Life article for functional reference ranges, which can more readily determine an imbalance. You can also order bloodwork on your own. There are several online sources, and the one I recommend is HealthCheck USA. The Ultimate Panel includes the thyroid labs I feel are most telling of overall thyroid function.

We live in a numbers-happy society: “Numbers don’t lie.” Or, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Yet some functional medicine doctors say that when it comes to managing hypothyroidism, the real litmus test of whether your thyroid is functioning optimally is how you FEEL. Hear hear!

Jen: Why did this happen (i.e., is it my fault)?
Jill: Many of my clients ask, “What did I do wrong? How did I cause myself to be hypothyroid? What did I do to myself to acquire autoimmunity?” For 10 percent of those with hypothyroidism, they’re simply iodine deficient. That’s an easy fix. (See below for dietary recommendations.) For those with autoimmunity, it’s more complex. There is a long list of autoimmune conditions, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, celiac, rheumatoid arthritis — the list goes on. One in twelve Americans has an autoimmune condition, making it more prevalent than heart disease and cancer. But it’s rarely talked about as an epidemic. While there are differing expert opinions on what has caused the drastic rise in autoimmune conditions, including genetic predisposition, scientists worldwide concur that the root cause is environmental — a result of our Industrial Age and 21st century lifestyles. Exposure to chemicals, toxins, pesticides, and processed foods has caused our immune cells to become confused and for some of us, to launch an attack on our own bodies. I realize this is sobering, but I don’t dwell on the doom and gloom — I like to look forward to ask what we can do today to heal and to protect ourselves. To learn more about the sudden rise in autoimmune diseases, I recommend Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book, The Autoimmune Epidemic.

Jen: What’s the way out?
Jill: Autoimmunity or no autoimmunity, thyroid drugs or no thyroid drugs, there are several things you can do to jumpstart a sluggish thyroid and start alleviating symptoms. Diet is your first line of defense. And I don’t mean “dieting” — many people who are struggling with thyroid-related weight gain go on calorie-restrictive diets, which can backfire.

There is no pharmaceutical cure for any autoimmune disease and managing autoimmunity can be multi-faceted. Generally, it’s critical to rethink what you’re eating and to eat whole, unadulterated foods (steer clear of factory-made and factory-farmed food); eat organic as often as possible; supplement wisely; address the stressors in your life; and shield yourself as much as you can from everyday chemicals, including cleaning and bodycare products.

Jen: What foods should you avoid?
Jill: It depends on the level of hypothyroidism and the adrenal fatigue that typically accompanies hypothyroidism, but more often than not, it’s a good idea to stay away from sugar and caffeine, both of which can up the ante on the overproduction of stress hormones — namely adrenaline and cortisol — that can hinder thyroid function. Goitrogens — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and turnips are the heavy-hitters — can also hinder thyroid function by causing a goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland. While there is some controversy about the degree to which cooking inactivates goitrogenic compounds, generally, I believe that cooked goitrogens are fine. They’re certainly not deal-breakers. You’ll also hear wildly differing opinions on soy, and my opinion is that it’s fine if it’s fermented (tempeh, for example), in moderation. Being 100 percent gluten free is non-negotiable if you have Hashimoto’s. Because the molecular structure of gluten is almost identical to the molecular structure of thyroid tissue (so weird), ingesting gluten can make the body say, “Invader! Attack! Attack!” and increase the autoimmune assault on the thyroid.

In addition, do not eat a low-carbohydrate diet, which can contribute to brain fog, hair loss, and can inhibit your body temperature regulation. It can also inhibit T3 production and increase Reverse T3, which can block thyroid hormone receptors.

Jen: OK, so what should I eat?
Jill: Here is my shortlist:

  • Get protein at each meal. Protein helps boost T3, your active thyroid hormone, and helps convert T4 to T3.
  • Get plenty of wholesome, dietary fat. Fat and cholesterol help build proper hormonal pathways.
  • Selenium, found primarily in Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds, helps boost T3 production. Zinc, copper, and iron are also important, as is a range of B vitamins, “the anti-stress vitamins.”
  • Vitamin D is particularly important, and most people are deficient. Not only does Vitamin D help transport thyroid hormone into our cells and help contribute to proper hormonal pathways (it’s actually a hormone, not a vitamin), it’s also an immune modulator, meaning that it can help modulate and regulate wayward immune function.

For more information, see “Nutritional Dos and Don’ts” in this article.

For those with non-autoimmune hypothyroidism, amp up the dietary iodine intake with seafood and sea vegetables, the best sources. Seasnax, roasted sea vegetables, are strangely addictive. (I don’t recommend iodine supplementation, unless it’s food-based, as from kelp.)

Jen: Can you work out if you have Hashimoto’s?
Jill: Absolutely. While severe fatigue is often the case for those with low thyroid function, it’s important to move. For those with more advanced fatigue, walking and yoga are sufficient. Some functional medicine doctors say that for people who have severe adrenal dysfunction and crippling fatigue, it’s best to not exercise at all during the healing phase. Later, people can transition to restorative exercise – yoga, tai chi, light pilates, walking, or the biofeedback approach you take at Movement Minneapolis. White-knuckling exercise and having a “I gotta do this because I’m overweight” attitude can be counterproductive. I’ve given many clients permission to take a break from exercise and they’ve broken through weight loss barriers. Why? Because non-restorative, “distress” exercise can induce a stress response, which can cause overproduction of adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol, nicknamed “the belly fat hormone,” then sets up camp around our midsection and also hinders thyroid function. So it’s a vicious cycle. “Eustress” exercise, on the other hand (thank you, Jen, and the other rock stars at Movement Minneapolis for introducing me to this term) is restorative and gets people better results.

Jen: What lifestyle changes can I make to support thyroid health?
Jill: There is a significant mind-body component to thyroid health. The thyroid gland corresponds with our 5th chakra, the throat chakra, and is between the 6th and 4th chakra, which are the head and heart chakras, respectively. Chakra means “wheel” or “turning” in Hindu and our chakras are energy centers in the body. Our throat chakra is associated with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. When there is conflict between the head and heart, we can have a thyroid imbalance. The best way to work through this conflict is to journal, meditate, pray, breathe, or practice visualization. Any spiritual practice, including yoga, which was designed to support all of our chakras, will help resolve this imbalance.

Dr. Richard Shames, author of Thyroid Power, talks quite a bit about mind-body healing for the thyroid, including the mind-body-autoimmune connection. Dr. Shames says that our brains are constantly talking to our immune system, and our immune system constantly provides critical information to our brain and he says that the triggering of Hashimoto’s is possible from stress alone. I’ve found that a regular deep breathing practice can do wonders not only for stress, but also for taming the autoimmune response.

Tags:

Author:Jen Sinkler

Fitness writer and editor, workout connoisseur, meditator, proponent of spandex, former rugby player; never, ever without lip gloss.

256 Responses to “Easing Out of Hashimoto’s”

  1. KC
    January 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    As a former vegan I’d like to clarify your definition of protein with each meal. I don’t eat meat or animal stuff with every meal. But also not eating beans, grains or nuts. So veggies only, do they count?

  2. January 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    If you’re not eating beans and nuts (Paleo diet?), and eating animal products at each meal doesn’t appeal to you (as it doesn’t to many, including myself), then this is a bit difficult to answer. Sure, there is protein to be gleaned from some vegetables, but an all-vegetable meal isn’t necessarily healthy, as it’s not a good balance of macronutrients. There is always protein powder, which can be added to some foods, not just morning smoothies. I have protein powder on occasion, but I’m not a big fan of relying on it heavily, as it’s somewhat denatured.

  3. Faith
    June 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Very interesting interview. I’m wondering what would be considered low carb. I can also say that since going wheat free back in January (and kind of as a byproduct, gluten free, too), my goiter is smaller and I am dealing with only a fraction of the fatigue these days. It really is amazing what can be done outside medication!

  4. Abbie
    October 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    This is a really interesting article, and I thank you for it! I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a few months ago, although it’s probably been going on for many years (my thyroid is already tiny and very scarred). My endocrinologist wants me to limit my carb intake to 100 grams a day or 20 grams per meal. As a vegan, this is difficult! Even lentils have 7 grams of carbs per tablespoon. Gluten-free is no problem for me, but I’m really struggling with the low-carb path. I’d love you to elaborate a bit on why you disagree with that recommendation (and, believe me, I’m willing to believe you. I miss beans and nuts)!

    Many thanks.

  5. jill
    October 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Faith, it’s great to hear that your goiter is smaller and that you’re feeling better. Wonderful.

    I still adhere — and ask my clients to adhere — to a guideline that I learned almost 20 years ago from Dr. Barry Sears, the 40/30/30 “rule.” Each meal and snack should consist of 40% complex carbs (not simple, “rocket fuel” carbs like flour-based products (i.e. pasta) or any high-glycemic food, but carbs from vegetables (including starchy vegetables) and true whole grains), 30% fat, and 30% protein. Mind you, I don’t favor some of the foods that Dr. Sears does, like soy, but this general guideline is excellent for keeping insulin and blood sugar stable. Insulin is a foundational hormone (many people are unaware that it’s a hormone) and it can be difficult to balance our other hormones when insulin is unstable, meaning when people swing from hyper- to hypoglycemic. I call it the blood sugar bungee cord.

    The 40/30/30 principle doesn’t require you to carry a gram counter in your pocket — it’s all about smart eyeballing. So my short answer is that less than 40% carbs, give or take (you need to find what works for YOU in keeping your blood sugar stable), is “low carb.” I’m sure many would disagree with me on this, however.

  6. jill
    October 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Abbie, I’m not a doctor, but I disagree with your endo’s recommendation. Most people with hypothyroidism have a difficult time thermo-regulating and going low-carb only serves to make things worse. I don’t know where you live, but if you’re headed into winter like we are here in MN, eating a low-carb diet can help keep you shivering these next few months.

    There are other reasons why I think that a low-carb diet is pretty much disastrous for those with hypothyroidism. You can read my reasoning in this post (see link below). It’s an argument against Paleo, which I know you don’t subscribe to, but if you scroll about halfway down, you can read why I believe low-carb to be, well, a bad thing. I’d love it if you commented on this post.

    As far as how many carbs (and how much fat and protein) to eat, see my response above to Faith.

    http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2012/12/10/paleo-or-not-paleo

  7. Jean
    November 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I’m a 21 year old female who was put on levothyroxine 2 years ago. It was only 35 mg, so it wasn’t much but it helped tremendously with fatigue and neck/throat swelling. I also had a thyroid gland ultra sound done at the time which revealed a goiter.
    I had blood tests done again and they upped my meds to 50 mg. The past 3 or so months I’ve been slowly getting more fatigued, having trouble swallowing liquid and solid food, my feet are always freezing, my hair is brittle and breaks easily, my eyes are dry and sensitive to light, going stairs leaves me breathless and my heart racing, and the list goes on. I had more blood tests done and my meds upped again to 100 mg and this time I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. I also had another ultra sound done which revealed a profusely enlarged thyroid gland and several small nodules on it. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist this Wednesday. I think I’m pretty young to be having this many problems with my thyroid. My mom and my sister have thyroid problems as well, but my mom is nearly 60 and my sister is 27.
    I guess my question is “where do I go from here? Are there any ‘natural’ ways to cure Hashimoto’s disease?” It feels very frustrating to be tired all the time and have low libido. (I’ve been married for over a year) Will I ever be able to stop taking the meds? I know that if I don’t take it my mood swings are awful…are there natural synthyroids to take? Thanks for your help!

    • November 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Jean, Jill here. I’m really sorry to hear about your struggles. It sucks to be so tired and have brittle hair and cold feet. Been there.

      A racing heart can be indicative of a couple of things: adrenal dysfunction and/or Hashimoto’s (which I realize you were diagnosed with). Many people have a hypothyroidism diagnosis but can have “hyper” symptoms such as heart palpitations, breathlessness, anxiety, racing thoughts, difficulty sleeping, and generally feeling “amped up” or “tired and wired” when thyroid antibodies are fluctuating. That’s the paradox for many with Hashimoto’s — hyper symptoms with a hypo diagnosis.

      Thyroid drugs, while not all bad, do nothing to heal Hashimoto’s. You can replace missing hormones ’til the cows come home, but it will do nothing to mitigate the autoimmune response and modulate/balance your immune system. So to answer your question, yes, there are oodles of natural strategies to help calm things down and get the thyroid on track. I can help you. You can contact me at: http://www.healthfulelements.com/

    • jeff
      May 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      Dont take drugs they are poison.. eat raw garlic in every food you have. if you hate the smell take kwai garlic tablets away from sugar coffee garlic will heal you i had asthma for 25 years gone for ever do not get the flue shot poison drugs poison. natural only also cut your salt allot and remember we Greeks where ahead of our time all the best you will be surprised with the power of garlic

      • Linda
        May 20, 2014 at 9:10 am #

        Jeff,

        I would like to kindly urge you to use proper grammar and punctuation.

        • Sabrina
          September 27, 2014 at 10:36 am #

          Linda, I urge you to be a little more understanding of others. My brother is a genius however has struggled with spelling and grammar his entire life. It is just the way his brain functions and he is intelligent in many other ways. People need to be able to express themselves and communicate even if it isn’t perfect. Jeff, thanks for sharing your experience.

          • September 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

            Sabrina,

            Thank you for trying to maintain a safe environment where people can express themselves freely without the fear of criticism.

  8. Louise
    November 22, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I found out that I had Hashimoto’s in 2008, so it’s been over 5 years of treating this disease with little relief. I’m a 43 year od female experiencing massive hair loss and significant bloating. I currently take 5 grains of compounded dessicated pig thyroid. I had previously been on a much higher dose, but the doctor who prescribed that passed away, and my current doctor seems to think, based on labs, that I’m optimal. I truly felt better on the higher dose with less hair loss and a better sense of well-being, but apparently my heart rate was much too high. I’ve never explored dealing with this disease nutritionally. I know deep-down that there has to be a better way, but I feel ill-equipped to find it. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks.

    • November 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Louise, Jill here. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had little relief these last few years. Unfortunately, I hear this a lot — people being “treated” for years, but not feeling any better.

      “Optimal” means different things to different doctors, and to different labs. Just like I told Jean, above, you can have a hypo diagnosis with some hyper symptoms (like rapid heart rate) when Hashimoto’s isn’t managed effectively and when the adrenals are compromised.

      As I also told her (I’ll just copy and paste what I said), thyroid drugs, while not all bad, do nothing to heal Hashimoto’s. You can replace missing hormones ’til the cows come home, but it will do nothing to mitigate the autoimmune response and modulate/balance your immune system.

      Yes, there is a better way. At Healthful Elements, we take a “three-legged stool” approach with our clients — nutrition, lifestyle (breathwork, restorative exercise, etc.), and supplements/botanicals. Mind you, we don’t sell any products or make any income from the supplements we recommend and we take a relatively conservative approach, meaning that if you can get what you need from food, then get it from food, not a bottle.

      You’re welcome to email me if you want to continue this conversation and learn more about how we help people optimize their thyroid naturally and mitigate the immune response (manage Hashimoto’s). Warmly, Jill: http://www.healthfulelements.com/

    • Jay
      July 15, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      Hi Louise,
      i had the racing heart and heart palpitations when I increased to 4 grains of dessicated thyroid and I finally found that it was caused by Ferritin / iron and vitamin D deficiencies. Low levels of either of these can cause heart irregularities.

  9. court
    December 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Hi Jill,
    I was wondering what your source is for the conclusion that the gluten structure is similar to the structure of thyroid tissue from this section: ” Being 100 percent gluten free is non-negotiable if you have Hashimoto’s. Because the molecular structure of gluten is almost identical to the molecular structure of thyroid tissue (so weird), ingesting gluten can make the body say, “Invader! Attack! Attack!” and increase the autoimmune assault on the thyroid.”

    I’d like to look more into the research before encouraging a recently diagnosed family member to go gluten free.
    Thank you!

    • December 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Court, please read the work of Dr. Datis Kharrazian, author of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Labs Tests are Normal? Please also read Chris Kresser’s thyroid series on his website. (His work is largely based on the work of Dr. Kharrazian.) http://chriskresser.com/thyroid

    • Lin
      July 27, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

      I’m not sure if there is any science that indicates that gluten is similar in structure but I’ve been gluten free since last fall and it has made a big difference in my energy levels and I also managed to lose 15 lbs.

  10. Nikki
    December 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    I’ve been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and have been taking medication. My T4 and T3 are now within the normal range. My TSH is still low. I had a blood draw for Hashimoto’s and those levels are high which suggests that there is blood evidence for Hashimoto’s. I’m wondering what I can do dietary wise to maybe keep things from getting to that point?

    • December 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      Hi Nikki, you could have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism *because* of your Hashimoto’s. I know this sounds confusing — but often times people with Hashimoto’s go into a hyper state. You can contact me at http://www.healthfulelements.com/ for more information.

  11. Mary
    December 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Hello Jill,

    I just came from a doctors office who is willing to put me on a small dose of T3 along with Tyrosint (I believe it is Levothyroixine but in a gel form). I am 47 years old and was dx’d with Hashimoto’s when I was 28 years of age. Like some of your readers above mentioned, I too, have had similiar bouts of ups and downs with weight and most recently have gained a ton of weight. That being said, 2 years ago when I lived in PA. I decided to go on the Dr. Furhman’s Eat to Live diet. I did that for about a year and only lost 25 pounds but I did lose some…I also walked 6 miles a day and did some light lifting. I was on Levoxyl at the time as well and a small dose of Cytomel which I think helped me out by giving me a “boost” in the right direction. Right now, I’m cold…and the heat is on 95! My hands are literally shaking, my hair constantly falls out and I’ve gained 15 pounds since moving to NC last year…all is well…NOT well…I wanted to go back to the vegan lifestyle because I think it helped (unless that was the Cytomel and my combined efforts of walking). I don’t know…I’m confused at this point and I’m frustrated like many of the others on this panel…When I eat right, exercise…I don’t lose the weight…and it makes me very angry when I see others who can have a little of what they want in moderation and yet gain NO weight…it’s maddening…and yes, I’m whining now…I figure why even bother…I’ll be old before I know it anyway…and they’ll have to just buy a huge coffin to put me in it…Let me tell you I was dx’d at 28 years of age…I went from a 5’6 tall, 115 pound beautiful frame to a 215 pound enormous frame in the span of a few years and have not been able to keep all of 25 pounds of it off on an up and down level…what do I do? Do I take the Tyrosint? And if there’s a protein missing for those of us with Hashimoto’s, is there one on the market I can take to replace the missing protein component? I appreciate all your comments, Mary mbtilley@live.com

    • December 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Mary, it’s difficult for me to address all of your concerns here, but I hear your frustration and I totally empathize. Everything that you explained is what Mary and I regularly work with clients on. I can’t make any substantive recommendations without knowing more about you.

      Please know that our programs aren’t weight loss programs specifically, but the majority of our clients lose weight as a byproduct of the work we do to balance and support the thyroid and adrenals.

      And we can’t make recommendations about drugs because we’re not doctors. We educate people about the different types of thyroid hormone replacement (i.e. T4 vs. T3 vs. T4/T3 combo; naturally desiccated vs. synthetic, etc.) but we can’t tell people what to take or not take. If you want to do an intro session with me, contact me at http://www.healthfulelements.com/ and Mary will put you on my waiting list. Warmly, Jill

  12. Jo
    December 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Jill
    Please can you recommend a medical practitioner who really understands the intricacies of Hashimoto’s who is based in Sydney, Australia? I have been taking Thyroid Extract for over 10 years and I’m still feel something is not right. I read that this disease can send you mad and given the profound mood swings I’m experiencing and angry outbursts which seem to be out of proportion with the stimulus I am really scared that I’m going a bit mad as I then reflect and wonder why I reacted, it feels like bi-polar which I read is sometimes a misdiagnosis for people with Hashimoto’s. I need to work still for some years to come but this issue makes it hard. I’m actually feeling quite concerned that I may never be normal again, I was always very fit doing weight training, dance etc when younger, but was a flight attendant for 8 years and wonder if that contributed to the problem? please can you direct me to someone in my area who can help me get well again, many many thanks

    • Ebony
      February 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

      Hi Jo,

      Attached is a link to Lyn Tendek, she is based in Bondi Junction and although I personally have not seen her, she is very highly recommended by those with Hashimoto’s that have seen her.

      I would also suggest you join the FB group “Hashimoto’s Australia” where you can chat with others who can also give you suggestions as to a local practitioner.

      http://www.doctorlyntendek.com.au/index.html

  13. December 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi Jo, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been under treatment but something is still not right. There’s an intimate connection between thyroid and adrenal function and over-reactivity and mood swings are commonly — but not always — a result of overproduction and dysregulation of adrenal/stress hormones. So yes, many people who have Hashimoto’s suffer from these emotional imbalances. My advice is to not let anyone prescribe you anything for bi-polar disorder or anxiety until you manage your adrenal and thyroid health. Most likely, you’ll see huge improvements in pretty short order.

    I don’t know of any doctors in Sydney who specialize in Hashimoto’s, but you can use the link below to see if there is anyone near you. And I can help you. Yes, you can regain your health! I never claim to be a substitute for a doctor — I always recommend that our clients find a holistic/integrative doctor to work with. But I can provide you with ongoing and complementary support that will augment your treatment. We work with people all over the world. You can contact me at http://www.healthfulelements.com/ for more information.

    http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

  14. Jess Powell
    January 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Loved the article. Thanks very much for the insight! It has really reinforced my faith in nature and preventative approaches towards health! :)

    I have Hashimoto’s disease and recently (in the last few months) I began doing yoga, before I was aware of the potential benefits associated with thyroid functioning. My blood test results from only a few days ago, indicated that my TSH levels were really low, with an unusually high T4. The doctor has discussed this with me and we have reduced my medication. I am hoping that this has occured because the dis-ease in my body reduced and I was able to produce some of the hormone myself, with my gland not being under as much “attack”.

    Jess Powell.
    Vic, Aus.

    • January 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      Hi Jess, I’m glad you found this helpful. Yes, meds can drive down TSH and if your T4 is high, it may not be getting converted to T3, the *active* form of thyroid hormone. While rare, low TSH can also be a result of hypopituitarism — an underactive pituitary gland. What I’d like to know is how you’re feeling — have your symptoms subsided? Labs are important, but the real litmus test of thyroid function is abatement of symptoms.

  15. NJ
    January 10, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    This is a great article! I was diagnosed with post-partum Hypothyroid 2.5 years ago after having my second child, we had my levels under control with .75mcg of synthroid, however when I got pregnant again I was put on alternate daily doses of .88 and 100mcg. I developed a goiter just recently and have noticed a smaller pea sized lump just above my thyroid gland, so i went for bloodwork and have been told my TSH levels are high again. I have a doctor appointment next week, however, I am going to try the gluten free path and yoga along with Reiki as my Mom practises Reiki. My family and I already eat pretty much everything Organic and use natural household and personal care products. Other than the comment above, have you heard any other stories of goiters reducing in size through your recommendations? This thing in my neck is not comfortable! Thanks! :)

    • January 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      Hi NJ, many women experience the onset — or the resurgence — of hypothyroidism after pregnancy. Have you been tested for Hashimoto’s?

      Yes, it’s possible to reduce goiter size and the discomfort associated with it. We’ve had many clients see much improvement. One strategy is to address systemic inflammation, of which there can be a few culprits. Systemic inflammation not only feeds Hashimoto’s, but also contributes to and exacerbates goiters.

  16. Lori
    January 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I am happy I found this article. I have had hishimotos for 4 years. I have been to my dr several times a year because I feel I need more energy. I am a strict vegetarian, and take a general multivitamin with added vit d supplement. Lately, I’ve noticed my memory is awful. I am in my early 40s and have a young family. I struggle to ” feel” better and be more lively and energetic. I excercise several times a week and do yoga. I had never heard about the gluten link before, so my dilemma is…what do I eat, and what supplements should I be taking?

  17. January 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi Lori, I’m sorry to hear that your memory isn’t sharp and that you’re feeling lousy. The “what to eat” and “what supplements to take” questions are broad — too difficult to address on a blog, especially when every body and every situation is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healing Hashimoto’s. If you want to talk further, you can contact me at http://www.healthfulelements.com/ to schedule a conversation. You can also read this article for more helpful information: http://experiencelife.com/article/repair-your-thyroid/

  18. Ashley
    January 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    very insightful!
    I would just like to share my story and give some hope to people suffering. I was the fittest I had ever been in my life starting my career at 19 as a personal trainer at lifetime fitness.Things were going great however, As time went on I realized I was gaining weight, Every time I ate my stomach would bloat and cramp I lost all energy and became very depressed, at first i blamed it on long workdays and lack of social life.I was still eating healthy, working out regularly and the scale was going up.I lost my cycle (for about a year) and knew something was officially wrong with me.
    I went for a OBGYN visit and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and prescribed synthroid 25mg at this point I was happy to have some answers and believed things would get better. Well 4 months later nothing changed. Dr. upped my script to 50mg, another 3 months later nothing changed script was upped again to 75mg and another 3 months later upped to 100mg. I began to research and research which lead me to believe I could be proactive in this battle. I started working with a dietitian at lifetime who suggested very in depth blood testing because she believed I had Hashimotos. My Dr approved the blood work and sure enough the results came back as Hashimotos My antibodies were extremely HIGH, as well as my insulin levels and estrogen/progesterone ratio. My stress hormones were out of wack as well. Of course my Dr. prescribed me 2 more medications
    I really felt hopeless at this point, like I would never feel like me agin. I stopped working out in hopes it would help reduce my adrenal fatigue and lower my stress levels.
    I went back to the dietitian and next step was allergy testing, did the test and EVERYTHING iI ate on a regular basis I had a level 3-5 (5 is the highest level)sensitivity too, almost everything they tested for I had a sensitivity for. I eliminated everything for about 3 months especially Gluten and have slowly reintroduced it into my diet in very little amounts 1-2x a week.
    The dietitian told me it would take up to a year to feel “normal” again This was in July of 2013 it’s now January 2014 I have lost over 15l bs without working out, my thyroid function is NORMAL now and I’m able to eat without bloating and cramps. My energy levels are back to normal as well as my cycle! I’m amazed at how much better I feel!! I feel like me again!! It took almost 2 years to get to this point!!
    I sincerely believe I would still be where I started without the dietitians help. I am forever thankful for her insight and believe EVERYONE with hashimotos should work with a dietitian that understands this auto immune disorder as many DR.’s do not. Be your own advocate and the healing process takes time it is not cured overnight. Best Wishes to all!!

    • January 14, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

      Hi Ashley, this is a great story. Thanks for sharing. Yes, since 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut, Hashimoto’s will never be brought into remission without healing digestive function, which includes identifying food sensitivities. Good for you!

    • yaso
      July 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Hi ashly can you conect with me by e mail because i has your same case and with bad mode…thank you

    • Penny O
      October 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story, Ashley! It was only when I started working with a dietician that I heard of the wheat-Hashimoto’s link. Working with a dietician is great advice!!

  19. Nicole
    January 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Hello, i was feeling very tired and wondering why i wasn’t getting pregnant, finally found the right doc who diagnosed me with hashimoto’s. I went Paleo and totally changed my lifestyle. I not only felt better, but my levels were much better! Never been on meds and have researched quite a bit about the nutritional healing approach to hashimotos. Its been about 5-6 months and my most recent blood work, my Free T3 is low. I am feeling saddened and frustrated. A doc a see who was open to my paleo approach, says now that it isn’t working, i should go on Nature-Throid.
    Since we are wanting to get pregnant (btw i’m turning 40 next month, which i don’t see as an issue to get pregnant- though i do feel i don’t really want to wait another 6 months of playing around!) i am considering going on the meds. But i am still looking for more information or feedback to help me make that decision! Any feedback is helpful. I did note in your article the importance of protein at every meal for T3, as well as Brazil nuts for selenium. I do get a bit of selenium in a natural concoction I’m on to support my thyroid, but maybe its not enough!?
    Your feedback is much appreciated!

    • January 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      Hi Nicole, you’re right, being 40 shouldn’t be much of a barrier to conceiving. What concerns me more is your Hashimoto’s. When there is any autoimmune condition present — Hashi’s, Graves’, lupus, MS, etc. — the body is already in “attack” mode. Sometimes, a fertilized egg is seen as an invader and given the body’s hypervigilant state, it destroys the egg. It’s my belief that many women with Hashimoto’s are fertilizing, but the body isn’t accepting the “invader.”

      Given that I’m not a doctor, I can’t advise you — or anyone — about what to do about thyroid hormone replacement. I will say that, while sometimes warranted, they only replace missing hormones and do very little to tame Hashimoto’s. I repeat: they’re sometimes needed. And going Paleo can help a lot, but it’s not the “fix” that many people make it out to be. If you want to contact me for a conversation, I know a fair bit about holistic fertility enhancement, especially as it relates to autoimmunity. In about six months, Healthful Elements will have a new coach with this specific specialty. She’s a former client who got pregnant right after her program. She’s amazing.

  20. Nicole
    January 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi Jill, Thank you! i guess i didn’t realize that Hashis could be the problem with getting pregnant. I figured and was led to believe, hypothyroid (though caused by the hashi’s) could prevent pregnancy or cause miscarriage. It seems like I learn something new every time i think i am getting closer to making sense of it all. A conversation might be nice. thank you

    • Nancy
      April 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

      Hi Nicole and Jill,
      I was just diagnosed today with Hashimoto’s but I think I’ve been suffering with it unknowingly for quite sometime. I feel very blessed to have found this article today and all the comments. I became pregnant with our daughter at the age of 32, I’m now 49, but not without a struggle….I actually tried for a long time and about 4 days before my appointment with an infertility specialist, I found out I had conceived. It was a normal, non-eventful pregnancy. However, when my daughter was about 2 our 3, I had the first of 3 miscarriages. That was over the course of several years. After the 3rd miscarriage, my dr sent me for blood work. It came back that I was borderline for a blood clotting disorder, APL. I was told that I could conceive, but would need to be on blood thinners to carry the pregnancy. I chose to not have anymore children as the research I did frightened me. After reading all these comments, I’m convinced it was thyroid related. I could get pregnant, but not carry past 6 weeks. Prior to the pregnancy with my daughter, I remember being bloated all the time, and so much so that when I was early in pregnancy and shouldn’t have been showing, it looked like I was much further along!
      I should also mention that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease several weeks after my first miscarriage….it was an older infection, but I had strong, flu-like symptoms so I’m thinking the stress of the miscarriage brought it on? Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme 4 more times….2 of them were new infections. I do not recall getting bit by a tick except for one of those times. I am currently being treated with antibiotics for a new Lyme infection. At any rate, Lyme is a whole other story, but the pregnancy struggles rang true to me here. I was told that my body treated the fetus as an invader. I was just placed on 50 mcg of levo…my TSH is a high normal. Recheck with doc in 6 weeks. I’m seriously interested in learning more about diet. I eat well now – we operate a vegetable farm – but do get serious carb and sugar cravings. I do eat meat with at least one meal almost daily. Have difficulty sleeping, harsh menstrual cycles, anxiety, heart palpitations and a racing mind when I wake up in the night. Also a lot of fatigue and mental fog/ memory loss. I think some symptoms are crossing over with the Lyme disease. Jill, do you have any literature on Hashimoto’s linked to Lyme? Thanks for the great article…I am going to check out your website now too.

      • April 8, 2015 at 11:12 am #

        Hi Nancy, I would love to talk with you more about this. We do, in fact, have someone on our team who has suffered with both Hashimoto’s and Lyme. She is a wealth of information. Go to this link and send us a general inquiry and Blair, my assistant, will put us in touch. Don’t worry about scheduling the intro session, just email Blair. http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  21. Shari
    January 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi Jill,
    I started out hyperthyroid which ran in my family. I was first diagnosed at 14. Since I didn’t mind being thin, the doctor did not prescribe anything. When I hit 30, my thyroid tested under active but with no issues other than depression until my mid 40’s when I started taking compounded T3. I am now 54 and on 1.5mg T3 and 1 grain Armour. Does this hyper turned hypo sound like Hashimoto’s or iodine deficiency or genetic issues or what? I am fighting all of the classic symptoms really dry hair, zero libido, low temperature, etc. The symptoms are getting worse. I recently started having pulse of 90-100. I have been battling insomnia for many years and it is worsening. I also suspect adrenal fatigue. Any suggestions?

    • January 29, 2014 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Shari, I can’t say why you turned hyper to hypo. If you had Graves’ (autoimmune hyper), it’s conceivable that it became Hashi’s (autoimmune hypo). Very common. If you have a Hashi’s diagnosis, the root cause isn’t iodine deficiency. It’s an autoimmune disease. And yes, the adrenals can play a significant role. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healing Hashimoto’s. If you want to talk further, you can contact me at http://www.healthfulelements.com/ to schedule a conversation. You can also read this article for more helpful information: http://experiencelife.com/article/repair-your-thyroid/

  22. jamie
    January 30, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Hello,

    I have had hypothyroidism for 3yrs now and I am on synthroid. I had hyperthyroism and have undergone a radioactive iodine procedure. I have been working out but cant seem to lose the last 10 lbs of belly fat. Could this be due to my condition, how my metabolism is just not balance? I was on a weight loss program and during that I decided to stop synthroid and surprisingly after a lab was done, my levels were normal. I had a flat belly and i was able to see my abs. Now that I cant afford that weight maintainance program, im back to slowly gaining weight. What do you suggest I do? I am wanting to be fit again! Exercising is nothing new to me, in fact… I have been and can feel my abs…I am just able to see them. The belly fat just wont go away. :/

    • February 1, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Jamie, I can really hear your frustration. Weight gain and weight loss resistance can be multi-factorial. I’m sorry, I just can’t get into any “how to lose weight” suggestions here, especially when I don’t consider myself a weight loss expert. Most of our clients lose weight as a byproduct of the work we do to balance and nourish the thyroid and adrenals, but our programs aren’t weight loss programs specifically.

      That said, my co-coach, Mary, has lost 50 lbs and kept it off. She wrote a blog post about it and I hope that you find some take-aways: http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2013/10/24/how-i-lost-weight

  23. yogi
    February 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Try ujjayi pranayama and simple breathing exercises.
    I promise that hypothyroid patients will find relief.

  24. Joyce
    February 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Jill,

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s last year. My TSH, t3 and t4 are within normal ranges. I did find out that my ferritin was low at an 8. My doctor put me on an iron supplement and within a month, I was able to get my ferritin level up to a 29.:) we decided to stay on the iron to continue to work on my levels. I am not a big meat eater, but have recently added vegetable protein daily and working on getting more meat into my diet.I have had a great deal of hair loss. Not sure if its due to the hashimoto or low ferritin. My doctor has not put me on any thyroid medication and my thyroid ultrasound was normal. She did not have any advice for me in regards to decreasing the hir loss. Do you have any advice or recommendations on what I can do to get my hair growing back healthy or stop the hair loss??

    Thanks

    • February 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Hi Joyce, that’s great that you were able to get your ferritin to spike. I’m glad that you even had it tested in the first place — many doctors don’t know about the thyroid/ferritin link and therefore don’t test for it. While it’s common for people with hypothyroidism to lose hair, if iron and ferritin aren’t addressed, you may continue to see a lot of thinning.

      I’ve also had a great deal of hair loss, but it’s currently under control. I have a history of alopecia, which you can read a little about in the link below. Since I wrote this post, I’ve read specifically about the low ferritin/hair loss link. It’s critical to get those iron levels up, but you may not see a decrease in hair loss or thickening of scalp hair for a few weeks or months.
      http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2012/10/23/hypothyroidism-and-hair-loss

  25. Joyce
    February 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Thanks so much Jill.

    The article was very informative. My ferritin level floated between 8-10 all of 2013 due to heavy menstral bleeding. Meanwhile I was loosing my hair and had no clue why. I was not diagnosed with hashimoto till 5/2013; although I believe I had it long before than. TSH, t3, t4, normal and antibodies a little elevated. It wasn’t till I started having palpitations and restless leg that I started my own research. I realized it was my ferritan levels being low and increased my iron. I took the iron on an empty stomach with vitamin c, and lysine. My palpitations and restless leg stopped within a few days of starting this regimen. I had my doctors appointment scheduled within 30 days of me starting this new regimen that I had read about online. My ferritan was at 29 when I had my levels checked, 1/2014.:) My doctor was shocked and ask me how I raised my levels so quick.

    Thanks again for the article, I will continue to work on my ferritin levels. I am a long time user of Biotin and omega 3 supplements. I will also add EPO. I had no idea that it could possibly help with hair loss.

    Thanks,

    Joyce

  26. Carrie
    February 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I have nevered been diagnoised with Hashimo since my antibodies always come back negative but I have classic symptoms. I was put on Nature Throid in 2012 when I became pregnant because my TSH level was high though T4 and T3 were normal and it could cause pregnancy issues. (I was taking Potassium Iodide at that time by a chiropractor but stopped with thyroid meds. Since pregnancy I got worse emotionally and my thyroid has been flucuating and I was under LOTS of stress post pardem. Anyway, I have discovered that Iodine does not fair well with me. Everytime I have tried it through Naturepath or Chiropractor I feel great for about a week then I CRASH big time. Fatigue, hair loss, low milk supply for baby, aggitation. I’ve tried Paleo and have went gluten free dairy free but found it puts so much stress on my body while trying to nurse and work full time that I usually have to change and eat one or the other. I currently have no one regulating my med which is the same dose I started with at pregnancy since insurance has changed. I have about 2 more monts of meds then I don’t know what I’ll do. I feel stuck on the meds which I never wanted to be on anyway because I am nursing and not sure how going off would affect my milk and mood.
    I am fatigued all the time and I KNOW my adrenals are off. I have struggled off and on with anxiety for years out of the blue for no reason (so it seemed, there is always a reason). In the past they prescribed depression meds and I would have bad reactions so I refused this time and went with the thyroid meds instead.

  27. February 8, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Hi Carrie, I’m sorry to hear about this. Firstly, antibodies testing can be inconclusive if there is systemic inflammation present, as inflammation can mask antibodies and give a false positive (meaning the testing reveals nothing). I always take a claim of “normal” labs with a bit of a grain of salt. It depends on what reference ranges are used and many clinics reference outdated ranges. If, in fact, you do have Hashimoto’s, taking iodine is a huge “no.” My inclination is that you do have it, given that you reacted badly to iodine. Keep in mind that I’m not diagnosing you here. I’m not a doctor.

    • Linda
      May 10, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      I would read the literature on iodine and selenium, at the right dosages it may heal the thyroid even autoimmune thyroid. There is much controversy but much research on this finding for treatment of these disorders. Iodine may not be the enemy when properly supplemented with selenium.

  28. Renee
    February 10, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Hi Jill
    I have just come from my Docs Clinic and she has diagnosed me with sub clinical Hypothytoidism. My doctor said i will more than likely develop Hashimotos. The treatment prescribed is Thyroxine and when I heard this I just thought “no no no no no” I have read a lot about the side effects of Thyroxine and want to pursue more natural alternatives. The additional problem is I have is the I already have another autoimmune disease HLA-B27 which has resulted in 19 years of trying to save my eyesight. I am 37 and am trying to live a very healthy lifestyle. Jill I was wondering if yourself or any of your followers have any advice for me. I certainly do not want to go on thyroxine.
    Thank you Jill I look forward to your response.
    Renee

    • February 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Renee, I can’t provide you with all the “advice” you need here, but it’s important to know that addressing autoimmunity (like Hashimoto’s) via an immune modulatory protocol automatically addresses most other manifestations of autoimmunity. And it will significantly decrease your chances of developing another autoimmune disease. No autoimmune disease is that dissimilar from any other, as they’re all a case of a hypervigilant, overactive immune system that is attacking the body in one form or another.

      Why would your doctor say that you will “likely” develop Hashimoto’s? Why don’t they test for it instead of guessing? And don’t they know that 97% of hypothyroid cases, are, in fact, Hashimoto’s? You deserve better care than what they’re providing you.

  29. Carrie
    February 10, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks for getting back. I eat lots of eggs for protein and nursing. Should that be a problem IF I have Hashimotos? I know eggs and seafood can both have iodine in it. I don’t consume alot of fish but I do some for the omega 3 (the same reason for eggs). I tried fermented cod liver oil cinnamon fl and it threw me off the radar. I was highly aggitated, short tempered, anxious, and depressed and fatigued. All symptoms went away after stopping. I wasn’t sure if it was the iodine that could be in it or the histamines.

    • February 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

      Carrie, it’s supplemental iodine that’s the problem, not iodine you receive from food sources.

      • Linda
        May 10, 2014 at 8:55 am #

        I would read the literature on iodine and selenium, at the right dosages it may heal the thyroid even autoimmune thyroid. There is much controversy but much research on this finding for treatment of these disorders. Iodine may not be the enemy when properly supplemented with selenium.

  30. Devin
    February 14, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    Thank you for the informative, enlightening article. I have known there was a problem in my throat for over 2 years now, but when I tried to show my doctor, she said it was just my neck muscles, and she couldn’t feel anything, but she’d order an ultrasound if it would “make me happy.” Had the ultrasound, and the techs immediately found what looks like swollen lymph nodes in the thyroid area. Saw a diabetic “specialist” shortly after that, who felt my neck, said it was my neck muscles, and tried to brush me off again. When I asked about the swelling on the ultrasound, he said he had seen it, but it wasn’t enough to cause me any problems.

    Well, I’m having difficulty swallowing and breathing. The soft swelling above and between the collarbone at the base of my neck is worse now. I have intolerance to cold, dry skin, thinning, dry hair, fatigue, joint pain, difficulty swallowing and breathing, depression, weight gain, decreased libido – all of the classic Hashimoto’s symptoms, with some periods of hyperactivity as you mention. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 20 years, and my mother and sister were diagnosed with Graves’. I am also having chest pains and palpitations, as well as some sort of circulatory/vascular problem that seems to be reducing blood flow to my brain. I saw a chiropractor last week who checked out my neck, and with just a slight pressure on my carotid, made me feel like I was going to pass out. I have noticed that my clothes often feel too heavy, and that anything around my neck, even lightweight shirts, causes me to feel like I’m choking or passing out. And in the last week, I have had a couple of waves of flu-like symptoms where I threw up and had chills, aches, and fever. I would think flu, but it came and went and came back again. Both times I threw up, I had eaten a little bag of peanuts, which you list as a potential “trouble” food. And I definitely overdo the caffeine at times! Then again, I’ve been working in a house with sewer gas, and I’ve noticed over the last two years that I’m much more sensitive to car exhaust, carbon monoxide, etc., than I used to be. Have quit smoking for 5 years after doing it for 20. Still smoke pot, but that’s about it, and it does seem to help me feel better.

    I’m really stressed out, too – my life is a whirlwind that often seems out of control, and I’m suffering near-panic attacks when I start to feel like I can’t breathe. But I can’t seem to get the doctors to take me seriously here at TMC in KCMO. Do I wait until my throat closes up and I’m literally 30 seconds from dying to call an ambulance? It takes several months to get an appointment at the clinic, and I have no insurance, and Missouri won’t give me Medicaid. Should I go to the ER, try a different hospital, jump off a cliff…any ideas? Getting a little frantic here, and long overdue for some actual medical attention. And I know damn well if I walk in and say I think I have Hashimoto’s, they’ll just laugh at me and tell me I’m full of **it – same thing they did when I told ‘em I was diabetic 20 years ago, until they did the tests…
    Thanks again, and have a good one!

    • February 14, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Devin, I’m so sorry. This is mind-boggling. I’m really sorry that you’ve been “brushed off.” Please don’t jump off a cliff. There is hope.

      Perhaps your type 1 diabetes is under control? Still, I strongly suggest that you reach out to us on our Contact page (link below). Mary, my co-coach, healed herself from hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and is also a type 1 diabetes expert, as her son has it. She would be the PERFECT person for you to work with.

      Also, I’m from the KCMO area. :)

      http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  31. Jess Powell
    February 15, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    Hi again. :) Just replying to your above comment. Is there anywhere I can send my emails to so it’s more direct? I think I’m feeling okay. I can’t deny that I do feel pretty fatigued a lot of the time, cold with bad circulation in my fingers and toes and little energy. But at the same time, it depends on what I’m doing at the time; I find going on a continuous walk for instance, much easier to achieve than say sitting and reading a book. I do not have trouble with my weight however, but this may just be attributed to my lifestyle. I’m not sure if you gathered that my thyroid was underactive (I couldn’t remember if usually people with Hashimoto’s are under, with the occasional hyper symptoms.) Also, does the medication increase T4 or T3 levels pretty directly, resulting in the body needing to produce less TSH? Just trying to understand it; the doctor doesn’t usually explain too much! I didn’t realize T3 was the active form of the hormone either; I thought T4 was the final, circulating hormone.

    These were my unusual results:
    T4: 17.2 pmol/L
    TSH:0.10 mIU/L
    T3: 4.0 pmol/L
    Thanks Jill.

  32. February 15, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Hi Jess, filling out the form is a direct form of communication with us. Thanks.

  33. Gill
    February 19, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    Hi Jill. I read all of the queries and replies with great interest. I have Hashimotos and have battled the symptoms for around 20 years already. Recently (within the past 2 years) I have lost all, and I mean ALL, my hair and gained 20 kgs. Last week I went to an endocrinologist for the first time after spending a fortune on specialists, and she really sounds like she knows a great deal on the subject of the thyroid. My main concern is getting my hair back. It’s really quite inconvenient to have to wear a wig as well as draw my eyebrows on every day !
    I have stopped eating wheat and dairy (for approx. 10 years now) but still eat rye bread on occasion. Any advice on the ‘hair’ problem ? FYI : I live in Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Thanks.

    • February 19, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Gill, I’m sorry you’ve had symptoms for 20 years. That’s a long time to suffer. Are you losing your hair in a diffuse manner (all over) or in patches (bald spots)? If you’re losing it in patches, you likely have alopecia. I had it too and it’s also autoimmune in nature, just like Hashi’s. Because the root of any autoimmune disease is a hypervigilant, overreactive immune system, anything you do to address one autoimmune condition will very likely address others.

      Hair loss can be one of the more challenging symptoms to manage. It can take a few months to see improvement even after embarking on an immune modulatory program. This is because the body heals its most vital systems first — the brain, neurological system, vascular system, etc. Hair and nails aren’t needed for survival, so it takes longer to see improvement.

  34. Mariam
    February 20, 2014 at 3:45 am #

    Hi Jill,
    I have tried to carefully read the article and the discussions. But haven’t understood much. I am almost 32, married for 2.5 years, no kids and have been diagnosed with hashimoto’s. I went to the doctor, had blood tests done, and my test results had come out. TSH 0.03, My anti-thyroglobulin abs is 79 (normal 1300 (normal <61). I assume this is hashimoto's and I am in the condition called hashitoxicosis. She had referred me to the endocrinologist, now on the waiting list to see the endocrinologist. and has increased my doze of neomercazole from 20mg to 30 mg daily. She also said I have to take the inderal (propranolol 10mg)twice a day, or I could have a heart failure. After a week, I have increased the dose of propranolol to 30mg. Dr. Has done an ultrasound of my thyroid, will go back to see her tomorrow for the results. My symptoms are those standard to hashimoto's, extreme fatigue, bloating after meal, trembling inside the body, mood swings, low libido, shortness of breath, dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, palpitations and resting pulse between 100-120, sometimes higher, stress, and pain in legs and feet after standing or walking for an hour or two. I don't know what to do that can make me better. Is this disease 100% curable? Am I able to have a baby? It's frustrating. I must admit that I don't eat very healthy and don't excersize other than walk a little once or twice a week. My iron level was also a bit low, 6 and normal is between 8-12 I think. So I am taking iron supplement. Caffeine bothers me too, I can't resist chocolates and then palpitations become too much to handle. This morning, I had pancakes with icecream mad banana milkshake and I still had a lot of palpitation after that? Is it because of gluten in the pancakes? Can u help me?

  35. Carrie
    February 21, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I’m confused. I thought Hashimotos would have higher TSH numbers. I felt like I was getting worse but my TSH was 1.922 on thyroid meds which is normal. I had symptoms of being very cold, tired, highly aggitated. I was taking fermented cod liver oil at the time and once I stopped the symptoms improved. I thought for sure my TSH would have been higher due to the symptoms I was having. Even now that I’m feeling better, I am extremely cold all the time and tired. I continue to lose weight also. I’m down to 103 and I’m 5’4. I’m also still nursing a 1 year old.

    • Joyce
      February 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      Carrie I have Hashimotos and my TSH, t3, and t4 have always been within normal range. I have never taken any thyroid meds. My thyroid antibodies are elevated.

    • February 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

      Carrie, you can have Hashimoto’s and have low TSH. TSH is a crappy marker for thyroid function. Sure, it gives us some information, but it can be low in the face of raging hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. It’s a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone, and hypopituitarism could be a factor in low TSH. You can also have normal T3 and T4 with Hashimoto’s. You can read more about how TSH is a poor marker and learn more about functional thyroid testing here: http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2011/10/11/tsh-thyroid-stimulating-hooey

  36. Mariam
    February 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Yes I was wrong and mistaken. I met my doctor yesterday and she said it is not hashimoto’s but Graves’ disease because the antibodies are making my thyroid work too much as as result of which I have become hyper thyroid. Sorry about the confusion.

    • February 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Mariam, to respond to both of your comments, I feel you need a second opinion. What you’ve described smacks of Hashimoto’s. I cannot and am not diagnosing you, but anti-thyroglobulin is a Hashimoto’s antibody. Many of the symptoms you’ve described point to a low functioning thyroid and things like palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiousness, and trembling can be a result of advanced adrenal dysfunction and/or a hyper state that often and intermittently accompanies Hashimoto’s.

      If you’re eating junk, you need to change that asap.

  37. Philomena Arns
    February 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Hi Jen,
    My sister has been attempting to deal with Hashimoto’s since being diagnosed by a pathologist. I want her to find a practitioner that will examine her and take a history into diagnosis, not treat herself on the internet. She refuses to take Thyroid supplements because of the side effects and that she was told she needed this for life. However she has adopted a gluten free diet. My issue is that she is not getting any regular follow up and has lost weight, hair is dull, ect. She has never had a weight issueso she is looking malnourished. She struggles with getting enough protien and nutrients from her food. She just doesn’t look good. I have tried to tell her that not getting proper treatment can be hurting her. She is 52. Any suggestions for a practitioner in the Milwaukee area that shares the mentioned treatments for Hashimoto’s ?

  38. February 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Hi Philomena, try this resource: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

  39. Heather
    February 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    I have a question about gluten…I have been confirmed to have hashi’s…and tested for intolerance to gluten…which I am not…and my doctor says there’s no need to avoid, because of the results…so…I’m wondering who to believe?

  40. February 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Heather, your doctor is waaaay out of the loop and I suggest you find a new one. You’ll never go into remission from Hashimoto’s eating gluten.

  41. Heather
    February 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    I will do that…I’ve been thinking of speaking a second opinion, anyways…I think I just want to believe that I don’t have to give up beer…gOOd beer (though my husband is a brewer, and has sworn to create a decent gluten free, if I have no choice) Thank you for getting back to me :)

  42. Joyce
    February 25, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Hi Jen,

    I have been taking that Evening Primrose Oil for a little over 2 weeks now and my skin looks great. My hair continues to shed. I was wondering how long does it usually take for hair loss to stop on average??

    Thanks

    • February 25, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Everyone is different, but you need to give it about 3-6 months. Some see relief sooner.

  43. Kristie
    February 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    So interesting!! I hope you are still reading this forum…I have had a crazy time with Hashi and wondered what you thought about 65 lb gain of water over 8 months after treating my insulin resistance (PCOS) with metformin and byetta. (it about killed me, literally…was supposed to be temporary to lose the excess weight that was so difficult to lose). Had gastric bypass RNY 10 years ago and now am left with no pouch (shrunk cuz couldn’t eat much on byetta) and no iron. I have iron deposits on my double sized liver with no hemochromotosis and have hyperaldosteronism (keeping salt in tissue). 4.5 years have worked out 7-8 hours a week and eating 1000-1200 calories a day (with byetta as low as 700 a day) and lost for awhile meanwhile my body was shutting down. I have a hard time working out 3 times a week now cuz of iron fatigue as well as Hashi I am sure. I have terrible muscle pain or nerve pain after working out…I do it anyway. Now on 120mg Armour, 200mg spironolactone, and 1000mg metformin (apparently the IR is on the severe side) 4g Inositol (or no sleep). Many other vitamins since bypass…no absorb fats and must eat 100g of protein or more a day plus can not stomach over 50g of carbs a day (15g at a time, maybe). Please help me know how to lose the water weight and know what fitness I should be doing. I love to workout and have eaten right since bypass but can not take the extra weight.

    • February 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Hi Kristie, I’m not a fan of Metformin. It’s a diabetes drug, as you may know. It doesn’t get to the root of PCOS, which is often dysglycemic and insulin resistance. Caloric restriction can be disastrous for those with PCOS and Hashimoto’s — you need to eat more. Don’t count anything. Just eat real food to satiation. You may, in fact, lose weight. This is really all I can say here — I can’t address all that you have going on in a blog post, sorry.

      • Kristie
        March 3, 2014 at 9:58 am #

        Jen, thanks for your comments…is there another way to contact you privately? Well, that is a silly question to ask since all of us want that I am sure. I feel I need to continue to try to be patient and see if my Armour makes a difference…I am feeling a little better already but it is so hard to be patient. I liked being a normal size. I see that I probably didn’t help anything at all with all the stress I have been under for years…lots of that life changing stuff and I am working on getting rid of or learning to handle stress better.

        One more question, what exercises should I be doing right now? I find my heart and lungs can keep up well and in good shape but my muscles don’t fire right and have no endurance. I do cardio/weights/yoga in many forms…because of low iron I have had to cut that from 6-8 hours a week to 3-4 hours and sometimes less because of no energy or injury. Is it good to do very little for awhile? Should I be allowing myself to heal before I go into it head long again? Should I ever go back to doing that much? What about variety, I think it is important but maybe it is not for me anymore. I would love to lose some weight eventually but really just need to maintain my health. Thoughts? Thanks!

  44. Carrie
    February 26, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I have been eating a gluten free diet for awhile but I am wondering about oatmeal. I do still eat it on occasion and use it as an alternate flour. I buy organic sprouted rolled oats and flour that is produced in a gluten free facility. Should I not be eating oats also? Some things I read say oats have gluten in it. I would hate to give it up but I also would hate to not ever get better.

    • March 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

      Carrie, just make sure that you’re eating gluten free oatmeal, like Bob’s Red Mill.

  45. Brooke
    February 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi Jill,
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s over 10 years ago and with a low starch, high protein diet and exercise 5x a week I’ve been able to maintain a pretty normal lifestyle. In the past year which is coincidentally when I started wedding planning, I’ve been extremely tired and have gained 12 pounds doing nothing different. The tiredness has now become exhaustion and my intolerance to cold is almost unbearable (I’m the person wearing a jacket with the space heater blasting when it’s 70 outside). I think I have finally hit the time where I need thyroid medicine and my internist agrees but he’s not an endocrinologist. My endocrinologist is a member of the “just wait it out” clan and I’m clearly suffering. He just called and told me my TSH is normal and even though my T3 and T4 is on the last number considered “normal” on the scale, that I am not hypo and should not go on medicine but should maybe see a psychologist! I’m now worried about taking the T3-T4 combo the internist prescribed wondering if I can still handle this on my own. I am going to go gluten-free starting tomorrow but my wedding is in 3 months and the weight gain in conjunction with hair loss can’t wait out 6 months! I would appreciate any suggestions.

    • March 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi Brooke, I understand your frustration, but because every situation is unique, I simply can’t tell you what to do in a blog comment. It sounds like you’re not getting the care that you need from your healthcare team. If you want to talk live, you can reach me on the Contact page of my website: http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  46. Jessica
    March 1, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I really appreciate this article. I am feeling so hopeless about my health these days. I’ve had all the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis for more than a year. I’ve been to a regular doctor and an endocrinologist and all blood works comes back within the normal range (vitamin and mineral levels are low normal – TSH is high normal). My brain fog is massive. I have leg and foot cramps, my eyebrows are falling out, my skin is dry, etc. I’ve been seeing a naturopath for 6 months and she has me on B vitamins, probiotics, supplemental D, calcium and magnesium. I still feel terrible. I workout regularly and eat very well. I’ve been gluten-free for nearly a year and am low sugar/caffeine. I am very depressed and am at a total loss as to what to do. My doctor doesn’t want to give me medication because my tests are in the normal range. All the supplements, dietary changes, etc. from the naturopath aren’t making any difference. I don’t know what to do.

    • March 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Jessica, it depends on what you mean by “normal.” Many doctors and clinics use outdated reference ranges. So what’s “normal” to a conventionally-oriented doctor/endocrinologist may qualify as raging hypothyroidism to a functional/integrative physician who is using functional reference ranges. You can use the link below to compare your labs to these more up-to-date ranges.

      Supplements may move the meter somewhat, but they won’t heal Hashimoto’s. You have to get on an immune modulatory protocol. Same with meds. I’m not categorically against them, but they’ll do little if anything to get those antibodies down. It sounds like you’re working with some practitioners who don’t specialize in hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s.

      http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2011/10/11/tsh-thyroid-stimulating-hooey

      Go to the Contact page on my website if you want to talk further. Warmly, Jill

  47. Linda (Belgium)
    March 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Good evening Jill,

    Thank you for the article. It is only since last week that I found out about Hashimoto’s. I am 53 and at the beginning of my menopause. My T4 and T3 values are normal free T4=1.01 and free T3=2.99 but T.S.H = 6.7 and ac anti TPO = 52. My regular doctor says she would not take any medicine for this as the menopause plays a roll in thyroïd problems and the results can be very unstable during this period. The specialist I met last week prescribed Levothyroxine to take for the rest of my life he said. May I ask your opinion on this please?
    Thank you. Best regards,

    • March 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      Hi Linda, yes, the changes in our reproductive hormones can trigger “thyropause” and cause subclinical hypothyroidism to become full blown hypothyroidism. But the root cause of most people’s hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s. Your antibodies aren’t that high, but according to what you’ve shared here, they only tested one? (There are two.) Your TSH is up there, indicating that your thyroid is struggling. As I’ve said in a few of these comments, I’m not totally against thyroid hormone replacement, but it’s a myth that it has to be taken in perpetuity and most people don’t benefit from it. You can replace the missing hormones all day long, but it won’t modulate your immune system and get your antibodies down. I’d be curious what your TgAb is (the other antibody).

      • Linda (Belgium)
        April 29, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        Thank you Jill for you answer. Really appreciated this. I’ll get the other antibody tested. The question ofcourse remains, what gets my antibodies down. I already have an auto-immune desease, Idiopathic Trombositopenic Purpura :)) We’ll see for this one. Have a nice day.

        • April 30, 2014 at 10:13 am #

          Linda, know that anything you do to mitigate one autoimmune condition will likely address any other manifestation of autoimmunity. It’s not uncommon for people to have more than one. There is no conventional cure for any autoimmune disease — just immunosuppressants which have a host of really s**tty side effects.

  48. Francoise
    March 5, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Hi Jill,
    Thank you for your web site and the fantastic content. I am 4o years old with Hashi. I take 50mmg of Synthroid. I am 5’8ft and weight 168. I have been stuck at the same weight for 2 years. I exercise 3-4 hours a week, I am gluten free and still can not lose the last 10 stubborn pounds. I am doing Weight Watchers. Some months I go up, some others, go down. I am scared and overwhelmed in trying the AIP diet.
    Any supplements you think I should I could try? Or any other recommendations? At this time, I just take a multivitamin once a day.
    Thank you for your advice.

    Francoise

  49. Magnus
    March 6, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    Hello! I’m a 34 year old man with hashimotos, my troat is not swollen thoght. I’m wondering if taking t4 hormones will reduce my chances of healing my thyroid? I take 12,5 mmg t4 daily. I believe my symtoms is caused by the autoimunity rather than low levels of t4 and t3.

    Thanks in advance!

    Magnus

    • March 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Magnus, I wouldn’t necessarily say “reduce” your chances, but they likely won’t help.

  50. S. W.
    March 8, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    The link for HealthCheckUSA no longer works — can you update this?

    Thanks!

    • March 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      I just clicked on the link and it works.

  51. Sarah
    March 8, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    Hi Jill, Great article. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos hypothyroidism about 14 years ago. I still really struggle with my weight. I have been able to lose 28lbs in two years but it is very slow going and extremely frustrating. I am about 250lbs still. I feel bloated and tired all the time. I am in the UK so thyroid testing is every 6 months on the NHS and as long as levels are within normal range that is all that is done. I take 75mcg levothyroxine but still have so many symptoms. I was able to conceive at 38 and had a healthy baby but unfortunately haven’t been able to conceive again and am now 44 and really disappointed. I do feel like Hashimotos isn’t helping me at all with trying to get pregnant but I didn’t know that gluten free diets, etc would help.
    Sarah

  52. March 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Hi Sarah, I understand your frustration — weight loss resistance is a hallmark symptom of hypothyroidism. If you’re still bloated, fatigued, having weight issues, and experiencing other symptoms despite being diagnosed 14 years ago, it sounds like you’re not on an immune modulatory protocol and that you’re not being treated adequately. Levothyroxine is likely doing very little for you, if anything.

    I tell my clients that my program isn’t a weight loss program specifically and that I certainly don’t make promises, but weight loss is almost always a byproduct of the work we do to balance and nourish the thyroid, immune system, and adrenals.

  53. priscilla
    March 19, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Jill,

    I have lately been diagnosed with hashimoto disease through ultrasound scan an high TSH through blood test. I am planning to get pregnant but is really lost an confused now. Do you know if someone who had hashimoto’s disease that had problem conceiving? Or if that disease has cause complication during pregnancy?

    I’m very terrify upon waiting to see a endrocrinologist in few months time. Any help would really help me to ease my mind.

    Priscilla

  54. March 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Priscilla, we have a lot of knowledge about the fertility/autoimmunity link and many women come to us because they have Hashimoto’s and want to become pregnant. Yes, having Hashimoto’s can make getting pregnant more challenging, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that you won’t get pregnant. When there is any autoimmune condition present — Hashi’s, Graves’, lupus, MS, etc. — the body is already in “attack” mode. Sometimes, a fertilized egg is seen as an invader and given the body’s hypervigilant state, it destroys the egg. It’s my belief that many women with Hashimoto’s are fertilizing, but the body isn’t accepting the “invader.”

    Go to the Contact page on my website if you want to discuss this further.

  55. Carrie
    March 21, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I really don’t want to increase my natural thyroid meds but I have been noticing hypo symptoms. I went to have my labs done and tsh, t4, and t3 are low normal. (TSH 3.32 actually high normal). I have really went strict with Gluten free for many months now except for 2 weeks agon during an ice storm and we had to eat out because we lost power for 6 days. I tried to be as careful as possible. I’ve also added vit d about a month ago to my vitamins. Besides that and “Earthing” about an hour a night, I don’t understand what has thrown it off.
    I’m nursing and there has been a very noticiable difference and it’s starting to affect my baby’s eating.
    Should I just opt to up my nature throid since I’m nursing?
    I’ve also been feeling more calm and since of well being lately but my numbers are off. I’m afraid of going up on my dose and anxiety coming back.

  56. March 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Carrie, I can totally understand your concerns, but sorry, I can’t make any recommendations about thyroid hormone replacement dosing, as I’m not a doctor.

  57. Jen
    March 25, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    What are your thoughts on oil pulling, specifically with coconut oil?

    • April 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Hi Jen, I don’t have an opinion, as I don’t know enough about it.

  58. Nazmeera
    April 7, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Hi, I came across this site today, and I must say it’s very interesting. My 7 year old son was recently diagnosed with hasihimoto’s disease. Do you think that he can out grow this disease?
    Looking forward to your feedback.
    Regards

    • April 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi Nazmeera, no, there is no growing out of Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune disease. He would have to undergo an immune modulatory protocol.

    • Ella
      February 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

      HI Nazmeera,

      do not listen to anyone… YES, there is STILL a chance for your son to out grow disease!!!

      For all children it is a chance to out grow some of diseases.

      GOOD LUCK!
      And wish you son can do it over time!!!
      Take care!

  59. Jeanette Cleary
    April 10, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    My daughter has positive antibodies ATA 65 ATP > 1300 tsh normal but has fatigue weight gain pulse rate 100 hair loss but they say there is nothing wrong with her can you help

  60. April 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi Jeanette, adenosine triphosphate? Sorry, I don’t know much about ATP. TSH can be “normal” with raging hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism). I would need to know more about your daughter to determine if I could help. You can reach me via the Contact page on my website. http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  61. Giselle lozoya
    April 13, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Hi Jill, my name is giselle and I’m 21 years old and I was diagnosed with hashimotos disease about 6-7 months ago
    I knew that there was something seriously wrong with me after soo long feeling sick and fatigued and exhausted all the time and I went from doctor to doctor but they could never find anything wrong and dismissed my symptoms
    It was the most frustrating thing in the world
    Knowing that no one truly understood what I was going through
    And so finally i got health insurance and they ran thyroid tests and sent me to an endocrinologist and right away diagnosed me with hashimotos disease
    They said I had high levels of antibodies
    And so he monitored my levels for a few months and then put me on synthroid 25 mcgs
    And the only thing I noticed was that it made me feel a little less tired but over time my anxiety got worse and worse and so they told me to stop taking my synthroid pills
    i guess synthroid can cause nervousness and now I don’t know where to go from here, my hair falls out soo much, I have really dry skin, moodyness, nervousness, racing heart
    I’ve lost 10 pounds already and I deal with anxiety and depression which were things I’ve never dealt with before and it’s really scary and really affecting me
    I used to be a happy, confident, outgoing girl and now I have no energy to do anything, I’m really moody all the time and the worst symptoms are the anxiety and depression
    And I don’t want fear and this disease to stop me from living a normal happy life and achieving all my goals please help
    I would really appreciate it if you could please give me any tips or further information on what I can do to feel better from this disease. Right now the only supplements I’m taking is vitamin b-12 and I recently starting taking selenium pills because I read they were a really good supplement to take for people with hashimotos
    And should I see a therapist about the anxiety and depression or should I wait until my next endocrinologist appointment to see what he says?
    Also I have an aunt with hypothyroid and a half brother with thyroid problems as well so I think that it runs in my family
    Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you
    Best regards

    • April 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi Giselle, “monitoring” antibodies without an immune modulatory strategy is a bad idea. I’m sorry that your doctor approached things this way. Synthroid will replace your missing T4 (not T3, the *active* thyroid hormone) but do nothing for Hashimoto’s. And yes, for some people, thyroid meds can cause anxiety. You need a strategy to get your antibodies down, plain and simple. Meds won’t do that — or they may help in the short-term, but won’t put you into remission from Hashimoto’s. I can’t make any recommendations about whether to see a therapist — that’s your call — but I suspect your anxiety is due to your meds and also the antibodies, which can make people swing into a hyperthyroid state from time to time. Giving you “tips” isn’t going to help over the long haul and I’m sorry, but this comment box isn’t big enough for me to tell you what to do. You can reach out to me on the Contact page of my site if you want to talk more. http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  62. Kap
    April 20, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    Hey Jill, I’ve read some of your tips on diets for hashimotos online and I’ve started eating alot
    more protein, omega 3 wild fish oil pills and have been taking my synthroid regularly. I’ve stopped all caffiene ,sugar and dairy but I was wondering what are some of the no risk fruits and veggies I can eat that have no goitrogens.

  63. Emi
    April 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    Hi Jill,

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 3 in 2008 and went through chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries and right now I am on Tamoxfen to cut hormone due to my cancer is hormone receptive.

    Just a couple of month ago I had an appointment with my doctor and found out that my thyroid is a little swollen. Blood test for TSH free T4 is 2.56 and I was told that is normal range so I don’t need to worry about anything.

    I have been noticed that my hair loss, weight gain, tiredness, lack of focus and depression for a year or so. I thought my joint pains are due to my cancer medication so I did not think anything special until I heard about thyroid disease.

    I was on serious healthy diet for 2-3 years for I was scared of cancer taking my life but somehow I am having hard time focusing what to eat lately. I still manage to eat plenty of vegetables each day. I love brown rice, barley, nuts and beans. I do not eat red meat but I eat seafoods and small portion of white meat.
    As I was reading your website, maybe breads ( I make home made bread from grains – hard red wheat and Rye) might be a huge issue.

    Since my doctor told me that I just need to come once a year to check my thyroid, I was giving up all my symptoms that I struggle are as a part of my cancer treatment side effect but as I read your website, I am hoping that I can get some help.

    • April 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Emi, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had cancer. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot.

      The symptoms you’ve described certainly lend themselves toward low thyroid function. It doesn’t look like you’ve had a full thyroid panel run. Sorry, I can’t provide you the help that you need on this blog. You can use the Contact page on my website if you’re interested in a conversation. Warmly, Jill

  64. Cyd
    April 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease about 2 years ago and I am 63 now. I went gluten free immediately and starte LDN. My AB’s are all normal now and that is great but i still feel really lousy. I am so tired all the time. I sleep a lot normally since starting Bio Identical hormones but I never feel like I’ve had enough sleep. I have blood sugar issues as well so I have to be on a low carb diet. Beans, grains, even fruit increase my BG levels. I have just ordered Iodoral, already take about 200 to 300 mcg or Se. per day. I was afraid to start Iodine but decided I really don’t know what else to do to help my self get out of this constant fatigue state. any helpful suggestions is really appreciated. Thanks so much. Ms Cyd Herrmann

    • April 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Cyd, LDN can drive antibodies down in the short-term, but it’s not a cure for Hashimoto’s, according to the functional medicine community. Your antibodies may be down, but your thyroid hormones may still be abnormal. If you have blood sugar issues, your adrenals are likely compromised, which can also contribute to fatigue. Don’t take supplemental iodine if you have Hashi’s.

  65. Carrie
    April 28, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Is supplementa iodine always a no no if you have Hashi’s or once it’s in remission you can add some? My naturpath says my body energetically is showing I need Iodine but I cannot take it as I have severe hypo/allergic symptoms. (hair falling out by the handfuls and fatigue). We did try some trace minerals in my water but I found that I was also more fatigue while taking them and since I still nurse low milk supply is usually my first sign of low thyroid and it got worse when I started the trace minerals. I didn’t think there would be enough in it to make a difference. I don’t understand. Iodine is a trace mineral the body needs. Depriving your body of it causes another thyroid issue and cellular shortage.

    • April 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      Hi Carrie, if your Hashi’s is in remission, it’s probably fine to take a little supplemental iodine. But I’m still a fan of getting what we need from food (safe seafood and sea vegetables are your best sources). The research is pretty clear that iodine deficiency is linked to breast cancer — we definitely need it. Are you sure your hair loss and fatigue are from the iodine?

      For what it’s worth, taking supplemental iodine is a huge point of controversy/discussion in the holistic fertility enhancement community. Many women with Hashi’s want to take a prenatal, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one without iodine. (I actually don’t recommend trying to conceive until any manifestation of autoimmunity is in remission, but that’s another discussion.) If the prenatal is food-based, the iodine is likely from kelp, which often works well for people. Still, some doctors say that the small amounts of iodine in a prenatal (or any multi-vitamin) is probably fine for those with Hashi’s. Different people are going to have different tolerances. And yes, some people feel like crap on supplemental iodine.

  66. Carrie
    April 28, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Sorry, strangly enough when I tried FCLO I also had a bad reaction. Highly aggitated, anxiety, sleeplessness, my body would be so cold after a month taking it. Everyone says it’s good for you but my body does not like it. It was like I was becoming hyper but I was also very fatigued but my thyroid numbers were normal. It gets hard knowing what to do. Since I also take thyroid meds. I didn’t know if I should cut back on my meds and just keep taking the FCLO so I just stopped the FCLO because I thought maybe I was having an immune response to it. It was also cinnamon flavor so I wondered if I was allergic because I started having severe dry eyes and itchy skin.

    • April 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

      It sounds like: 1. Your adrenals need a lot of support; and/or 2. Your Hashi’s is flaring.

  67. Carrie
    April 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Jen,

    Do you help people who are already on thyroid meds do natural treatment to help them ease off meds? If so, I was wondering how to contact someone to talk to them.

    • April 30, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Carrie, I work with people who are already on meds and also those not wanting to start meds. Because I’m not a doctor, I can’t make any recommendations re: dosing or getting off of thyroid drugs. I can educate people about the different types of hormone replacement, but overall, if someone has Hashimoto’s, they’re likely a good candidate for not taking them. Many people come to me saying, “Help me get off my meds.” But that’s a choice to be made with a doctor. Regardless of whether someone is on meds or not, my strategies are the same — reduce the antibodies and help the body better utilize thyroid hormones (naturally-produced or supplemental).

  68. ana
    May 4, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Reglarea dezechilibrului Th1/Th2 in tiroidita autoimuna Hashimoto

    Principalul scop in abordarea unei boli autoimune il reprezinta echilibrarea sistemului imun, iar primul pas in aceasta directie il reprezinta stimularea celulelor Th reglatoare care controleaza toate populatiile limfocitare.
    In principiu sunt 3 factori care le optimizeaza activitatea:
    • vitamina D3 (colecalciferol) – este un imunomodulator puternic ce se recomanda a fi administrat in forma emulsificata (pentru a putea fi absorbit si mai usor, si chiar si de persoanele cu probleme digestive – iar in tiroidita Hashimoto un procent important de persoane au asociate si tulburari la nivelul sistemului digestiv precum intolerante alimentare, leaky gut, etc.). In plus, suplimentarea cu Vitamina D este importanta si dintr-un alt motiv: studiile au demonstrat ca aproximativ 90% dintre pacientii cu tiroidita autoimuna au un defect genetic ce le afecteaza abilitatea de a procesa Vitamina D. Prin urmare ei au nevoie de cantitati mai mari de vitamina D pentru ca aceasta sa isi indeplineasca rolurile in organism. Defectul este la nivelul receptorului celular pentru vitamina D, astfel incat nu intra in celule o cantitate suficienta de vitamina D. Si o alta observatie ar fi ca un procent semnificativ persoane cu tiroidita acuta Hashimoto au deficit de vitamina D
    ! Sfat important: daca ati fost diagnosticati cu tiroidita autoimuna (si mai ales daca aveti dureri de oase) faceti neaparat dozarea de 25 hidroxi vitamina D
    • acizii grasi Omega 3 DHA si EPA – in afara de efectul regulator asupra balantei Th1/Th2, acizii omega DHA (acid docosahexaenoic) si EPA (acid eicosapentaenoic) au si puternice efecte anti-inflamatorii; In special daca printre manifestarile tiroiditei autoimune se regasesc simptome precum durerile de cap, deficitul de atentie, diminuarea capacitatii de memorare, se recomanda administrarea unui preparat cu concentratie mai mare de DHA, sau doar a unui preparat cu DHA
    • crema cu glutation si superoxiddismutaza – ambele substante sunt antioxidanti puternici
    Al doilea pas – in cazul in care s-a putut stabili dominanta – este contrareglarea prin stimularea partii hipoactive si eliminarea substantelor/alimentelor care stimuleaza partea hiperactiva.
    Consumul de gluten creste necesarul de hormoni tiroidieni
    Un nou studiu a demonstrat ca pacientii cu boala celiaca asimptomatica (fara simptome digestive) au nevoie de 48% mai mult T4 pentru a atinge acelasi nivel de TSH ca pacientii non celiaci.
    Dupa ce pacientii au urmat o dieta fara gluten timp de 11 luni nivelurile lor de TSH au scazut, avand acelasi necesar de T4 ca pacientii non-celiaci cu tiroidita Hashimoto.
    In acelasi timp, un alt studiu a demonstrat asocierea clinica intre tiroidita Hashimoto si intoleranta la gluten…Sunt rare cazurile in care o persoana cu tiroidita Hashimoto nu are un anumit grad de intoleranta la gluten sau chiar boala celiaca.
    Prin intoleranta la gluten se intelege orice raspuns imun la gluten.
    Boala celiaca este definita in general ca un raspuns autoimun asupra tesutului intestinal in urma expunerii la gluten, precum si ca o activare globala a sistemului imunitar.
    In orice caz, un astefel de raspun imun nu este un lucru bun pentru o persoana cu tiroidita Hashimoto si, de fapt, pentru nicio persoana cu orice alta boala autoimuna. Sistemul imunitar este deja dezechilibrat si hiperreactiv datorita conditiei autoimune. O reactie imuna consecventa la un element obisnuit din dieta face doar sistemul imunitar mai instabil, exacerband ulterior conditia autoimuna.
    Răspunde
    Tiroidita Hashimoto – abordarea ei ca boala autoimuna; dezechilibrul Th1/Th2
    Ideea de baza a acestei abordari este ca tiroidita autoimuna nu este privita si tratata ca boala endocrina ci ca boala autoimuna, in care se produce un dezechilibru la nivelul sistemului imun – afectarea raportului dintre subpopulatiile limfocitare Th1/Th2.
    In dominanta Th1 exista activitate in exces din partea celulelor NK (Natural killer) si a limfocitelot T citotoxice, si o productie crescuta de citokine Th1 (IL2, IL12, TNFalfa, IFN).
    In dominanta Th2 exista activitate in exces din partea limfocitelor B, si o productie crescuta de citokine Th2 (IL4, IL13, IL10).
    Sistemul Th1 are rol in distrugerea parazitilor intracelulari (virusi, si anumite bacterii precum Listeria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis), dar, in acelasi timp, perpetuaza si orice forma de raspuns autoimun si poate promova alergiile mediate celular.
    Sistemul Th2 are rol in distrugerea parazitilor extracelulari (printre altele si prine xpunerea lor la actiunea anticorpilor), putand induce in acelasi timp si un raspuns alergic puternic.
    Un studiu recent a demonstrat ca monocitele su limfocitele din sangele paicentilor cu Hashimoto elibereaza cantitati mai mari de citokine decat cele din sangele persoanelor fara Hashimoto.
    Lasand la o parte distrugerile celulare mediate intr-un fel sau altul (celular sau umoral), citokinele in exces se mai si leaga la receptorii celulari pentru hormonii tiroidieni blocand intrarea acestora in celule. Astefel apar semne si simptome de hipotiroidism la valori normale ale hormonilor tiroidieni.
    O serie de boli autoimune se asociaza cu o anumita dominanta:
    • Boli asociate cu dominanta Th1 – tiroidita autoimuna, diabet tip1, scleroza multipla, psoriazis, vitiligo, poliartrita reumatoida, infectii virale cronice.
    • Boli asociate cu dominanta Th2 – lupus, dermatita, astm, alergii multiple la susbtante chimice.
    Exista si exceptii si de aceea ar trebuie stabilita dominanta pentru fiecare bolnav in parte – exista si persoane cu tiroidita autoimuna si dominanta Th2.
    Stabilirea dominantei se poate realiza prin imunofenotipare limfocitara si realizarea panoului citokinelor.
    In cazul in care aceste teste nu se pot realiza, se poate determina dominanta prin observarea reactiilor la anumite alimente sau substante care stiluleaza fie Th1/fie Th2:
    • Stimulanti pentru Th1: Echinacea, Astragalus, Ciuperci Maitake, licorice, Melissa officinalis
    • Stimulanti pentru Th2: cafeina, ceai verde, extract din seminte de strugure, extract din scoarta de pin si salcie alba, licopen, pycnogenol, resveratol
    De exemplu, o persoana careia un supliment cu Echinaceea ii determina o accentuare a simptomelor este foarte posibil sa fie Th1 dominanta. La fel si o persoana careia o viroza ii agraveaza boaloa autoimuna.
    O persoana careia cafeaua ii face bine bine, poate fi de asemenea Th1 dominanta.
    O persoana careia ceaiul verde ii face rau (de exemplu simte o senzatie de umflatura la nivelul gatului, nod in gat, are transpiratii nocturne, etc…) este foarte posibil sa fie Th2 dominanta.
    Dezechilibrul se poate produce din mai multe cauze:
    • un numar scazut de celule T supresoare care, odata declansat, nu mai pot limita atacul imun
    • o productie crescuta de interleukina IL2 care stimuleaza celulele NK si limfocitele T citotoxice
    • o productie crescuta de IL4 care stimuleza limfocitele B
    • persoanele care au o dieta cu continut crescut de carbohidrati pot prezenta disglicemie si varfuri de insulina in sange care stimuleaza activitatea limfocitelor B
    • o infectie parazitara sau intolerantele alimentare multiple pot cauza o hiperproductie de limfocite B
    Exista insa si o subpopulatie de limfocite care regleaza balanta Th/Th2. Acestea sunt limfocitele T reglatoare, iar primul pas in restabilirea echilibrului Th1/Th2 se face prin stimularea acestora.

  69. Diana
    May 4, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Jen,
    I am 38yo otherwise normal and healthy female, 135 lbs. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos based on the presence of very high antibodies, after a blood test at 9 weeks pregnant. I saw an endocrinologist who basically read my blood test, said the presence indicates the autoimmune disease, and that was it. I was surprised at this news and quick diagnosis, because I have no symptoms of hypothyroidism. She prescribed synthroid 25mcg, which I have been taking 1/2 dose every day for the last 2 months. I feel some weight gain over the last few weeks and don’t “feel” any different. Through internet research and articles, I’m not convinced that a lifetime of synthroid is right for me.

    Since the diagnosis, I am no longer pregnant. My ob says I must take care of this in order to get pregnant again but….I had no problems getting pregnant naturally at 37yo.

    I made an appointment with another endocrinologist but worried I’m just going to get the same care and prescription. What are my alternatives to this go-to medication? What tests/labs should I ask for? I live in the Los Angeles, CA area and would be really grateful to receive a response from you. Thanks so much.

  70. amber
    May 7, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    Hello,
    Fantastic article, thank you so much for this. My mother has Hashimoto’s and so does her sister and many of my female cousins, so I’ve been testing my TSH, T3, T4 and thyroid antibodies regularly over the last decade. Always my TSH is high (varying between 11.4 to 9.8 uIU/m), T3 and T4 are normal, anti thyroglobulin is normal (less than 1:100) and anti thryoid microsomal is high (1:400). However, I have zero symptoms…unless I count the small loss of hair from the outer edge of my right eyebrow some years ago…but other than that, I am symptom free. I eat a primarily gluten-free diet but it is not 100%, am vegetarian for 15 years, practice yoga and meditation regularly, as well as qi gong and running…Im writing because my mother insists that I need to be on thyroid hormones (as well as the doctor that I always go to for the bloodwork) and that I am ignoring a potential problem…but I feel wonderful right now and am wondering if or what I need to be doing?

    Thank you so much for your insight!

  71. May 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi Diana, I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. So sorry.

    Hashimoto’s can be symptomless. Mine was relatively symptomless when I was diagnosed in 2008. But unaddressed, it won’t stay symptomless. Autoimmunity always progresses.

    I’m not wholeheartedly against thyroid drugs, but most people with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s don’t need them. Perhaps they’re used short-term for those with more advanced symptoms. Hashimoto’s isn’t a thyroid problem — it’s an autoimmune disease. You can replace the missing hormones all you want, but it won’t get to the root of the problem — autoimmunity. And few people feel any better on Synthroid.

    I agree that you should get your antibodies under control before trying to conceive again. Autoimmunity can cause miscarriages.

    I recommend you ask for these labs: http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2011/10/11/tsh-thyroid-stimulating-hooey

  72. Amber
    May 8, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    Dear Jill, thank you for the post above to Diana (am sorry to hear of Diana’s loss as well). I feel your post answers my question above too regarding symptomless Hashimoto’s. can you write a link or more suggestions on how to get the antibodies under control? Also, when the lab reports a range of 1:400 for anti-thyroid microsomal is this high? I have read that gluten free diet will help to alleviate auto immune disorders- do you have more recommendations? Thank you so much for all your wonderful and most helpful insight. Warmest regards, Amber (ps I am 35 and also hope to conceive a child in the next few years).

    • May 8, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      Hi Amber, addressing autoimmunity is multi-factorial and involves diet, lifestyle, and some supplementation. I don’t make the same one-size-fits-all recommendations for all of my clients. But the biggest piece of the puzzle is healing the gut.

  73. Katie
    May 8, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    Hi Jill

    I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and advised my antibodies are 5 x higher than the average persons. I was on 50MCG of Levothyroxine and now increased to 75MCG

    I am now having severe heart palpitations, tingling arms, hands unable to hold things, nervousness and feel my throat is closing (Unable to lie face down)> I have a nodular goiter with the nodules being around 1cm each and lots of them

    I am gluten free, eat well and all my blood tests come back normal. I am really struggling to cope with the feelings described above and feel i will pass out at any point yet my TSH, T3 and T4 are normal. My Dr says i am to stay on 75mcg but I am feeling scared. I feel I am being treated purely for the TSH and not the antibodies. It is taking over my life, I cannot go into work and hate my 3 year old seeing my like this. I am taking virgin coconut oil daily and eat brazil nuts to ensure my selenium is ok.

    (TSH last checked was 2.4 …originally 15 when first diagnosed)

    Any advise would be great as it is taking over my life

    Thank you

    Katie

    • May 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Hi Katie, I don’t know that there is an “average” antibody level. They can range from the double digits to four digits. A reaction to thyroid meds like you’ve described is indicative of the adrenals needing a lot of support. I take “normal” thyroid labs with a grain of salt — it depends on what “normal” means. Different doctors and labs use different reference ranges and those discrepancies can make all the difference in the world for someone’s diagnosis. I’m sorry, but I can’t give you personalized advice here. I’m sorry that you’re struggling, but there is no way for me to address anyone’s personal manifestation of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s in a blog comment.

    • Jay
      August 12, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Katie,
      I also got heart palpitations on my thyroid medications until I almost accidentally found out that I had low ferritin (iron) levels. Once i started supplementing iron (with vit C for absorption) the palpitations almost completely disappeared .
      Good Luck
      Jay

  74. Kristi
    May 9, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    Hi Jill , I was diagnosed back in 1993 shortly after I had my first child . My doctor said I had the lowest thyroid he’d ever seen and didn’t know how I was getting out of bed each morning ! He said I had “Hashimoto syndrome “. I was put on Thyroid right away and have fluctuated from .125 to .150 & recently had to go down to .112 which has caused me to be even more tired all the time , I’m needing to take naps during the day . How do know I have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity ? I have been gluten free for a few months and heard I need to eat gluten in order for the test to be accurate . Your thoughts ?

    • May 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      Hi Kristi, if you’ve been GF for a few months, then yes, theoretically, you’d need to ingest some gluten to get an accurate test. But I wouldn’t bother. I wouldn’t eat a bunch of gluten to tell you what you already know — that if you have Hashimoto’s, it’s important to be GF.

  75. Heather
    May 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    I’m just curious… I have hashi’s and hypo..and have been tested for gluten tolerance..I am not intolerant and my doctor says I needn’t avoid it…what’s up?

  76. May 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi Heather, what’s up is that your doctor is ignorant about how to treat Hashimoto’s. (Not uncommon.) Much of the testing for gluten intolerance is inconclusive. And you don’t have to have Celiac or have anti-gliadin antibodies for it to still be important to be GF when you have Hashimoto’s.

  77. Marjorie
    May 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Hello Jill, I am 34 years old I’ve been a vegan for about two years, but not completely vegan because I do eat fish and seafood. I was diagnosed with hashimoto when I was 16 so I’ve been taking medication for a long time and it’s usually take 175 I also have a pernicious anemia and it is also autoimmune and now last week my doctor told me I’m also allergic to Wheat and should definitely stay away from it. Any thoughts on what should my diet be like. Thank you

  78. lucie
    May 15, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    I am 48. At the age of 35 I experience sudden change in my heath. Severe lethargy, severe bloating and indigestion, insomnia, anemia, o. spondolitis, severe joint pain, can not stop gaining weight (by now I am 150 pounds overweigt) Also severe form of acne.
    Autoimmune issues that do not not respond to even biologic drugs like embrel . I fell extreme hot like I am on fire. this is going on for more than 10 years.

    Sun exposure made it better for very short time. I took some iodine suplements and felt better for couple of days. After 2 weeks of this iodine suplementation of 12.5 mg daily all went worse including joint pain. So I blood tested and TSH is 6.9 and TPO antibody is 240.

    What to do ??

  79. May 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Lucie, it sounds like you have major gut dysbiosis. Drugs prescribed for autoimmunity don’t treat or heal autoimmunity — they’re immune-suppressants. You don’t want them. They can cause a host of serious side effects, in addition to, well, suppressing the immune system. If you’re reacting this way toward iodine, it’s likely that you have Hashimoto’s, especially given your propensity for autoimmunity.

  80. Heather
    May 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Jenn, I have a quick question…I was reading your bio, and noticed you have hashimotos, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue, and don’t take any meds…thats great! I believe, if I understand correctly, that thru the right diet, your hashi’s is in remission…my question is, do you currently take meds for your hypo?
    Just curious.
    Thanks :)

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Hi Heather, no, I’ve never taken thyroid hormone replacement.

  81. Callie G
    May 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    I believe that I have hashimotos’ Disease. 10 years ago on my 40th B’Day I quit smoking and drinking believing my life would change for the better, my blood pressure had always been the same, 110/70 even when 9 months pregnant with my 8 lb son it was 110/70 & i suddenly developed Hypertension, I started medication for that & my overall health did improve, but at the same time something went desperately wrong. I had Menningococcal disease in 2000.I ended up with severe reflux and am on life long medication, it greatly reduces my stomach acid levels ,and an accident that resulted in two permanently prolapsed discs and a synovial spinal cyst 3 yrs later.I also have osteoarthritis in my spine , disc disease in my neck & nerve damage I became almost completely inactive and can barely walk, I expected to gain some weight because of lack of exercise but in the space of 7 months I gained 35 kilos. I was tired all the time had severe insomnia was cranky, my hair was turning grey & falling out my skin was a dry itchy flaky mess and my periods had become exceptionally heavy.
    My GP of 6 yrs had left the practice so I was allocated a new one. He suspected perhaps early onset of menopause He did some blood tests, which came back with Iron deficiency, Low vitamin B12 , elevated white cell count, but “within normal range” (i have learned to detest that phrase) thyroid and estrogen levels. Episodes of feeling really cold 7 very hot and sweaty were put down to early menopause.
    He offered me a prescription and told me to cut my kilojoule intake and remove as much animal fat from my diet as possible. When I got to the chemist i discovered the Prescription was for a very expensive appetite suppressant. I threw it in the bin vowed to get a new DR.
    I was in tears I had gone from 65 kg to almost 100kg in less than a year! My eating habits had not changed nor had my life style. I had explained that I did not overeat, I was not a glutton I did not eat much junk. I could not afford takeaways I cooked most of our meals from scratch using meat and vegetables I ate Lots of salads.
    I was a single parent of 4 on a pension and my life was Very stressful.
    I got a new DR and she did the same blood tests , the results were similar, but i had anemia ,( i had cut down my red meat intake) low B12, hormone levels within normal range and an elevated white cell count. My weight was slowly creeping up, I now weighed 106 kg. I told her the same thing about my eating habits, She put me on a Very Low Calorie diet with Iron supplement and suggested I think about gastric bypass surgery. Her idea of a “Snack” was 3 Almonds.
    I followed the diet as best I could, giving up butter, normal cheese and whole milk, for fat reduced , everything in my pantry was replaced with low fat & fat reduced (the kids hated it) and over the next year my weight crept up to 127kg. I still had all the symptoms and more that I had complained about 2 years before. I was having 2 small meals and 1 snack a day by this time.
    I moved interstate & soon after that found a GP . He was concerned about my weight (now 131 kg ) and began to badger me about having surgery ( i am Not a good candidate because of the reflux & i have esophageal erosion ) By now I was down to 1 meal & 1 snack a day. He suggested i go on a protein shake weight loss program. I did and ended up with concrete constipation, which became chronic. Bi yearly blood tests showed , Iron deficient anemia, low B12 , zinc, magnesium & calcium ,elevated cholesterol & Elevated White Cell count. but thyroid and estrogen were WNR. Eventually i was unable to climb the stairs to their offices so I had to find a wheel chair friendly GP.
    He did blood test that came out the same, I was anemic, I had raised Cholesterol, some vitamin deficiencies, thyroid in the lower range of normal & Elevated White Cell count. now every time that had been mentioned all the DRs suggested that i was maybe getting or had had a cold or flu. The new one said “oh that usually indicates some sort of autoimmune disease” I started experiencing mild swelling of my feet , ankles and legs. My red blood cells were now not forming properly because of the anemia, He looked at the Anemia, B12 deficiency and low zinc etc and decided that i have Thalassemia. That i had had it all my life and It had gone undiagnosed for 40+ years . I said that I had Never had blood tests that showed iron deficiency until recently, but he put me on an Iron, B12 and Zinc supplement. the fatigue lifted some what my weight gain had slowed but I weighed 136 kg. He decided that to strengthen my back that he would give me a series of steroid injections, mainly testosterone with others in it, after the 1st one my kids said they could see that I had gained weight, after the 2nd one I ballooned, In 3 months i reached 149 kg, My periods stopped completely and he edema in my feet and legs became severe. I refused to have the rest of the injections.I stopped all the dieting , it had got me nowhere so I started eating normally again. I have no idea how much I weigh now, he estimates somewhere between 160 & 170 kg. He says there is really nothing that can be done about it, he gave me a low dose thyroxin supplement I don’t know whether it is helping or not, I have basically been told to resign myself to being morbidly obese and dying early.
    I am desperate. my symptoms:- Unexplained weight gain, Dry Flaky skin, fatigue, bouts of very cold hands and feet, losing my hair, Iron, B12 , D & Zinc deficiency, medically induced Low stomach acid, I have frequent cold like symptoms, Raised Cholesterol, No libido, Disturbed sleep, high Blood pressure, Persistent elevated white cell count .

  82. Anne
    May 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    How can you not be on any Thyroid replacement If you have hashimoto the thyroid is long dead and not producing any hormone????

    • June 2, 2014 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Anne, I’m not sure where you gleaned from my comments that thyroid hormone replacement is never warranted. If someone’s thyroid tissue is either substantively damaged or destroyed from Hashimoto’s, radioactive iodine, or surgery, then yes, they have to take thyroid drugs.

  83. June 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Jill,
    Thank you for your article. I recenlty learned I have Hashimoto’s and Adrenal fatigue. I’ve also had Candida and I have to keep my carbs very low or my Candida issues flare up. I hope that one day I will not have to be so very low carb; would love to be able to have a potato or gluten-free oatmeal. But dealing with yeast, acne, and jock itch are no picnic, so you won’t find me eating a single grain, bean or legume, or starchy vegetable. For me it’s kind of like having an allergy, and I’d rather skip the carbs than deal with the consequences later.

  84. tina
    June 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I cannot gain weight no matter what I do! I have so many food sensitivities in the last few months that are causing me to eat less and less of the variety of foods I like. This is all happening so suddenly after I got a thyroid biopsy! I vasoconstricted many times during the biospy and then tasted blood after, which they said is impossible! So now I cannot have night shades without nighttime anxiety attacks, no grains or legumes without mud pie stools, and chicken and pork are a big no no according to eat right for your type ( I seem to have slight reactions to them as well). I am on a downward spiral of weight loss, and soon I will be extremely underweight. I’m really concerned now. I am on a soy, dairy, gluten and rest above restricted diet and am getting tired of eating just meat protein, fish, veggies and fruit. I cannot have many of the gluten free pastas or breads because they cause diarrhea as well or contain potato starch which will cause nighttime anxiety which seems to be increasing worse everytime it happens. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. I am already eating the high starch veggies like sweet potatoes, squashes, etc. but am getting tired of the same old food all the time.

    • June 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Tina, I’m sorry to hear about all your struggles. There is simply no way to make the recommendations that you need in a blog comment. I highly recommend you see a functional medicine doctor.

  85. tina
    June 14, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I should add that unlike everyone else who is trying to lose weight, many ideas and sites are not helpful to me because I am on the opposite side of the spectrum.

  86. Janice
    June 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi, thanks so much for all the info. I know just what to do to.heal now. I feel 10 yrs. Younger already. Kindest regards, jan

  87. Isabella
    June 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    I feel like I found the “holy grail” only to find a large water source in front of me, impeding me from it’s greatness.
    Jill, when do you start seeing new clients again?
    Is there a waiting list?

    • June 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Ha, well, thank you, Isabella. Indeed, I’m not working with anyone new until Oct., at the earliest. But I have some news that hasn’t yet been made public. I’m bringing three new coaches onto my team — amazing women who all have incredible experience. They’re all brilliant in their own right and I’m mentoring them this summer around my specific approach and philosophy.

      At least two of them will be ready Aug./Sept. The third will be on maternity leave at that time. No matter who you’re interested in working with, you can go to the Contact page on my website and have Shari place you on our waiting list for an introductory consultation.
      http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  88. Jamie
    July 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Hi, I was just officially diagnosed with Hashi’s and I have a feeling this has been going on for quite a few years… I’m on 60mg of Armour now, and honestly it has been so long since i felt the way i do that i’m not sure what feeling good feels like. Do i have to go gluten? Is Paleo better? I’m so confused, there is way too much info out there…

  89. July 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi Jamie, unfortunately, that’s usually the case — Hashimoto’s can take a few years to diagnose. Many in the functional medicine community say that you’ll never get your Hashimoto’s into remission continuing to eat gluten. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all diet — we take an individualized approach with each client.

  90. Dawn
    July 29, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Any suggestions as to how to encourage new hair growth? Thank you:)

  91. Saundra
    July 31, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    I’m newly dx Hashimoto’s with confirmed DNA markers for the predisposition. My only symptoms are constipation and belly fat (190 lbs.). I had already been reducing gluten and dairy. After the diagnosis went “all out” and added exercise and supplements for 3 months, with not one ounce of wt. loss. Very depressing!

    Then last month my physician added “Methyl Folate” 5-MTHF (Folate as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate by Thorne Research) 5mg capsule twice a day….and I’ve lost 5lbs!!

    I’ve searched this site and find nothing about Methyl Folate. Apparently my body can’t convert Folic Acid.

    INTERESTING NOTE: My physician believes that all 130 auto-immune diseases originate with “leaky gut”, and that is why gluten free and dairy free improves a lot of symptoms by taking the load off my haywire immune system.

  92. Roja
    August 4, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    HI,
    I have been on thyroid medicaton since 2 years.At present I am on synthroid 75mcg.
    I have been tested for hosimoto’s positive 1 year back and still they didn’t got controlled and they are increasing at present my TPO is 413. I am facing constipation and gastric problems. the medcine I am taking is not alleviating my problems. Please do help me on what should I do to get my antibodies normal. I don’t want to continue medicine for life long.. Please help me. Thanks

    • August 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Roja, I can understand your frustration. Thyroid meds, while perhaps helpful in the short-term, won’t address the Hashimoto’s/dysregulated immune system. Gut problems are typically the case for those with autoimmunity, as 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut. Sorry, but I can’t tell you what to do in a blog comment. Immune modulation is multi-factorial and we take an individualized approach with each client. You might want to read this article: http://experiencelife.com/article/repair-your-thyroid/

  93. Susan
    August 11, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Hello
    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos 16 yrs ago.even though I was diagnosed I was told that I was within”normal’ range. I don’t eat much have a physically demanding job and come home exhausted every afternoon. Actually I’m always exhausted. I’m tired of overweight male doctors telling me to eat less and exercise more.I have the majority of symptoms, If you could give me the name of the tests I should have done and if you know of any good Docs in the Cleveland Ohio area I would be forever grateful. I like what i’ve read so far on your site. I just want to feel alive again!

  94. Glenn van Nijevelt
    August 14, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    I wished more American understand why the 40/30/30 ratio introduced by DR Barry Sears was (and is) the most sobering aspect of healthy eating.
    Just like you, I learned that 20 years ago.

    Fast forward 5 years ago, I was put on a Paleo Diet by my cardiologist to improve Vagal Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrilation (healthy heart but lousy Vagal nerve!) the transition from Dr Barry Sears’ Zone Diet to Paleo Diet was so smooth that my doctor was so impressed with the result.

    A year ago I, at 44, I was diagnosed with Hypothytoidism. It runs in my family. This is where I want to stress to other Hypothyroid patient: Diet alone is not enough. We have to take our medication. But most importantly you need to find a doctor who can read and interpret out “Free T3″ and “Reverse T3″ with clarity, and incorporate the T3 component in our med in addition to the usual T4. Balance is the key.

    So far, I don’t have even the slightest problem in adjusting to my current Thyroid med. And I owe that to good doctor and my healthy eating habit.

  95. Abhishek
    August 20, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    Dear Jen Sinkler,

    Love your article, suffering from Hashimatos, and was recently discovered by this condition. It took me a while, after realizing that I need to be on medication through out my life.

    But, Its been a month since medication, I am feeling a little better, and seeing some hope, but still don’t like the idea of medicating my daily.

    Main point is, I love the way you have mention about the 4th Chakra, where there is a imbalance between Mind and Heart, I often feel that way, and always wondering what was wrong with me. Now, i realize there are other people who have faced the same problem, I can realize the situation, and calm myself down, and also humbled by the fact that i felt the same. That was the most important thing, that was bothering me.

    Thank you for the brilliant article, appreciate your effort.

    Thanks
    Abhi

  96. Peter
    August 26, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    I was diagnosed a few years ago and was on 240mg dessicated thyroid for 2 years. About 50 symptoms vanished; a few more were greatly reduced. I gradually switched to a raw vegan diet, and was completely cured after about one year. I’ve heard water fasting for a prolonged period (I.e. weeks) can cure autoimmune diseases even faster..

    • August 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Peter, I’m glad that you’ve found relief. But your suggestion of water fasting makes my hair stand on end. I can promise you — promise you — that’s it’s not a cure for autoimmune disease.

      • Peter
        August 27, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

        Hi Jill,
        I’m not sure why water fasting hits such a sore spot with you. I’ve met several people who have been cured of other chronic conditions this way,and one of the benefits is normalization of gut permeability which is a contributing factor to the aggravation of autoimmune disease. Also a leading water fasting medical facility cleans autoimmune benefits, and I found many studies backing up some of their other claims. Are you just opposed to fasting, or its autoimmune benefits?
        As a scientist, I like to read the data of medical studies since I find it often conflicts with the abstract. Do you know of any studies supporting your claim? I’m currently investigating prior to recommending to any family members. Thanks.

        • Ella
          February 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

          yes, Peter, you right. I know such examples when people with fasting and drinking water only get rid of some health problems.

          Bug person must be mentally prepared to it and ready to keep fasting.

  97. Sarah
    September 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    I really enjoyed this article, but I have to add that I supplement with iodine, iodoral to be exact, and it really makes me feel much better, not cured but better. If you research iodine supplementation for thyroid, you will find that a lot of people supplement with high levels of iodine. I’ve been on it for four years. Before I got on it, my hair was thinning and all kinds of things were out of whack. Now my hair has grown back. My 2 sisters and a few friends are also on iodine, we can’t function without it. Research it, it’s amazing. I don’t take any kind of thyroid medication, just the iodine, so I can’t tell you how it will react with thyroid medications. Research all of that before just jumping in and taking it, also start of slow with iodine supplements, because they can cause a cleansing affect, as iodine takes the bad fluoride out of the body. As with anything, research is key. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

    • September 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

      Hi Sarah, my team and I have been researching the iodine controversy quite a bit lately. It’s any practitioner’s responsibility to stay on top of recent findings. I can tell you that over the years, I’ve had more clients than not react poorly — very poorly — to iodine supplementation. But some do well with Lugol’s or homeopathic iodine drops. Everyone is different.

      Iodine is a critical mineral but I still recommend that people get most of their needs from food sources. However I’m no longer 100% against iodine supplementation, as long as it’s not synthetic. The functional medicine community is quite dichotomous on this topic. There is no “one answer.”

  98. Sarah
    September 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Thank you, Jill. I agree completely, each person is different. I started off with a low low dose and slowly built the iodine up in my system. I would never recommend synthetic either, natural is always better.

  99. Carrie
    September 10, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I lowered my dose of Nature Throid to 1 16.25 tablet in am and 1/2 16.25 tablet at lunch 4 months ago. I am hoping to get off my meds. However, I just had labs done and my TSH, T3, and T4 were showing going hypo. The TSH is 4.21 which is not horrible but I guess that would be considered elevated since I am already taking replacement hormones. I’m wondering what else to do before going back up to the full 2 tablets a day. I already don’t eat dairy, and gluten (unless accidental exposure) for a year or more now. Grains are limited and are sprouted and whole grains when I do eat them. I have been extremely stressed for some time (years) but I feel like I am just now learning to distress and gain some extra sleep and relaxation. I was surprised to see my numbers elevated. I have been having some mild symptoms and that is why I went and got tested. I’m wondering what I am missing.

  100. September 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Hello, I am so grateful there are people who believe in the Holistic approach. I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s THyroiiditis. My question is whether I should take Thyroid Hormone Medication or not. I am seeing a regular medical doctor and he doesn’t believe in Holistic medication and says that I can eat Gluten. I am slightly discouraged but I believe that going Gluten Free can help me and I want to integrate holistic therapy into my health plan. I am 28 now and realized I had symptoms when I was 17yrs old. I was very fatigue in my youth and suffered from critical depression which went also diagnosed. I have always been an athlete and to not have energy to enjoy my passion made me feel like a prisoner in my own body. My energy is better now but have suffered major hair loss over the duration. I am wondering if I would take Thyroid Meds but still use the holistic approach to bring down the anti-bodies that my body produces. I am still working with my medical doctor but would also love to have some guidance from an holistic doctor. Please help and respond ASAP. Question is specifically directed towards the editor of this article. Please help, thanks.

    Sincerely,

    B. Joshua Munoz

  101. September 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Hi Josh, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling. Because I’m not a doctor, I can make no recommendations as to whether you should take thyroid hormone replacement but I can say that you can do both — take the drugs and couple that with a holistic approach to lowering your antibodies. And sheesh, find a new doctor. ASAP. http://www.functionalmedicine.org

  102. September 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    Thank you so much Jill for your prompt response. I been reading some of the articles on your site about Gluten, gut check and Pros and Cons of the Paleo diet. I find this page very informative and helpful. I will look at the link you attached and look into other alternatives. For now I will began thyroid medication supplementation to balance my TSH but also continue with Gluten Free diet, searching for good protein and fats to lower the attack on my Thyroid gland. Hoping to find a Holistic doctor that could help me. I appreciate this site, almost feels like a support site, reminds me that I am not alone. Thank you Jill for being a leader and making this site.

    • September 21, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      Hi Josh, thank you for your kind words. Very appreciated.

  103. Annie
    October 1, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    Hi Jill! My daughter was diagnosed at the age of 9 with Hashimoto’s…she is now 14. I have been feeding her organic, healthy,high fruit and veggie, limited glutten, low glycemic, low carb meals since then. She is a talented ballet dancer and exercises intensely 5 days a week. She is thin and seems to have the energy to dance but has had trouble in school concentrating and remembering things for tests. She was put on Synthroid 25 mg and has worked her way up to 88mg.Recently she has been having other symptoms pop up.( Her Synthroid was increased about 6 weeks ago to 88mg.) Her hair is falling out…eyelashes, head, eyebrows! Her acne is a little worse. Her hair and skin is dry. She’s very careful to stay away from “treats” at school and brings an apple and nuts to snack on. She’s also been waking up all week with a slightly swollen eyelid. I recently read some blogs that say that eating things like millet, walnuts, beans, spinach, kale, broccoli rabe and even strawberries and peaches can be bad for you if you have Hashimotos! Is this going overboard…these are some of her favorite foods so don’t want to eliminate them unless it will help her. Can you make some suggestings on diet and food? I will be taking her for a blood test and will be sure to include your suggestions. These are the things I will test her for: Let me know if I should add others. T4,T3 ,Free T4 and T3, Reverse T3, Iron, Vit D, Cortisol. Her doctor recently checked for celiac through her blood test and it came back negative. Can they check for a wheat, dairy or corn “allergy or intolerance” with the blood test? I will heed your advice and take her off gluten completely regardless. What grains can I add to her diet and besides rice so that she has adequate carb intake? I think recently she has almost eliminated carbs almost completely. Can you suggest any websites that might be helpful? I am feeling frustrated that she has to deal with all this at such a young age and I am sad to see this take a toll on her physically, emotionally and psychologically. Many thanks for helping so many people…

    • October 4, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Annie, this is too much to address in a blog comment — she could really use some individualized coaching/guidance. Her collection of symptoms represents a complex condition that cannot be answered responsibly on a blog, but I can make a couple of suggestions. The intense exercise five days a week concerns me, big time. Thyroid drugs will do little if anything to address the Hashimoto’s — I feel this approach is barking up the wrong tree. One of the side effects of Synthroid is hair loss (read the fine print). If you’re talking about “goitrogenic” foods (most, but not all of the foods you indicated are considered “goitrogens”), read the link below. Make sure you get BOTH antibodies tested. http://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2013/07/goitrogenic-foods-thyroid-busters-or-thyroid-boosters

  104. Jay
    October 1, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Hi Annie,
    Synthroid does not work on everyone and often it stops working after a time. All my symptoms began to come back on it so I told my Dr. that i wanted to go to Armour. All the symptoms went away and I am back to 90% of where i was before I got Hashimoto’s. That was 3 years ago. I strongly recommend going to naturally dessicated thyroid medication. It has all the ingredients that your thyroid normally produces: T1 – T5. The pharmaceutical companies developed Sythroid and levothyroxine, which are synthetic T3 and T4, as a way to cash in on the market. They told doctors that the Armour was natural so it is inconsistent in dosage. This is not true as it is regulated through the FDA just like any medication and the dosages are very consistent.
    Good Luck

  105. Bright Miller
    October 7, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    My wife is pregnant and Dr detect she as hoshimoto’s any advice

  106. October 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi Bright, the advice I would give her is far too involved to address in a blog comment. I recommend that she get the Hashimoto’s under control as soon as she can.

  107. Teresa
    October 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Hi. I went to the doctor at 10 months postpartum because my hair was drastically falling out and my production of breast milk started to decline drastically as well. I was diagnosed hypothyroid and put on synthroid. I’ve been at 50 mcg ever since, which has been for 15 months now. My endo says she does not know why I am hypo as I do not have autoimmune. I desperately want off synthroid. My hair loss is worse than ever and milk production never did bounce back. I exercise regularly, eat organic, mostly paleo, and have reduced chemical exposure. Is it possible to stop synthroid and supplement naturally? I’ve heard my thyroid will now not work on its own due to synthroid, is this true? I’d like to give it a try but wonder if there have ever been success stories? Thank you, in advance, for sharing any insight.

    • October 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Teresa, well, you could be one of the very few who have non-autoimmune hypothyroidism. Or your antibodies may not be present in your labs. You could have Hashimoto’s, but sometimes, the antibodies are masked when systemic inflammation is high, so people get false negatives. The testing is not perfect.

      Did you know that hair loss is a potential side effect of Synthroid? It could be making the situation worse. It’s absolutely not true that your thyroid will never work again if you get off your thyroid drugs — especially if you do, in fact, have Hashimoto’s. There are many success stories, including many of our clients. But because we’re not doctors, we can’t make any recommendations as far as dosing, what thyroid drug to take or not take, or whether or how to stop taking them. That’s something you’d have to work with an open-minded, functional medicine doctor on.

      • Teresa
        October 14, 2014 at 12:30 am #

        Thank you so much for the response! My original testing by the endocrinologist showed no auto-immune and they tested for it twice about 8 months apart. I then went to see my general practitioner about six months after that and she did a bunch of new labs because I told her my symptoms had not improved after 1 year on synthroid. She came back and said my blood work was showing tendency of an auto-immune, specifically sjogren’s, and referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist then ran a slew of blood work and said nothing showed signs of any auto-immune and that the first test must have had a false positive. Ugh! Regardless, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even take an aspirin and had a completely natural childbirth so to be on a synthetic drug is not my thing. I’ll do what I have to do to be healthy, but really want some natural alternatives. And it sounds like there are some out there! Today, I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor who specializes in thyroid disorders and I’m so excited (although I cannot get in until January and the visit will be expensive because insurance doesn’t cover it!) Regardless, I am thrilled. I am also super encouraged after reading all these stories and your replies. Thank you so much. Great things are happening!

    • Carrie
      October 13, 2014 at 7:40 am #

      Teresa,

      I feel your pain. I too have been on thyroid meds for about 3 years now however, my are natural. I was put on it when I became pregnant. I also have struggled with low milk supply. I became so obsessed at wanting to come off my meds that I was stressing myself out. My antibodies have been negative for 3 years but I still had elevated TSH. I always suspected low adrenals and that was just confirmed 2 weeks ago. I also believe I have a gut issue that is being addressed. The point is. It’s usually not just one thing. It’s a combination. Don’t do like I did, the stress I put myself under just made things worse. The body heals slowly I’ve learned. Try just focusing on one thing at a time. Once you get that down, then move on to another area. A functional doctor, Naturopath, Integrative, or Chiropractor doc are very helpful in your healing and finding out what YOUR trigger is. Everyone’s is different. That used to frustrate me because I wanted a simple answer and fix but the truth is EVERYONE is different. Take this journey as a learning tool in life. You’ll be better, stronger, and wiser on the other side. Good luck. I am also still on my meds but I too hope to go off one day. I just CAN’T stress about it anymore. The stress will get you first.

      • Teresa
        October 14, 2014 at 12:34 am #

        Carrie, thank you for sharing your story with me. I have definitely stressed out at times over getting off my meds. I also have a very stressful marriage which I believe to be the ultimate culprit of my thyroid problems. I’ve been seeing a homeopathic for a year now and have been addressing gut issues and low adrenals as well. I was sick when I first walked in there and have only just started to feel better in the past two months. And my constantly declining milk supply has actually been increasing! (I wonder if this baby will ever wean, ha!) Anyway, thank you so much for sharing and for the encouragement. I believe you are spot on about the stress and I will remember your words when I start to head down that path and take a deep breath. I wish you the best! :)

  108. Pamela
    October 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    I was on compounded Armour for 8+ years and it caused me to have a painful ear condition called Meniere’s Disease. I switched from Armour to 120 mg. Synthroid/daily last June 2014, and I have struggled with terrible depression ever since. I am 60, female, post menopausal. I have scheduled to see a bioidentical hormone doctor, but cannot get in to see him until November 20, 2014. I have taken prescription Pristiq and 20 mg. daily of Escatalpram daily, and they don’t help. I’ve tried Maca, Holy Basil, Adrenal combos of schizandra, Holy Basil, ashwagandha, no help. A teaspoon of ashwaganda every 6 hours does help, but makes me terribly sleepy. St. John’s Wort helps, but I have to take one every 4 hours. Has anyone experienced this?

    • Pamela
      October 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      I should also say that I am gluten free, supplement with C, the full range of B, selenium, Thorne Ace adrenal complex, and do not work outside the home (resigned from my job last April to reduce stress.) My husband is very understanding, we have no kids, no terrible problems, so stress is as low as possible.

  109. Ella
    October 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I complained to my doctor that I feel weak, I need about 12 hours to sleep, and she checked my vitaminD level and it was 9. So my doctor started working on me to increase Vitamin D level. My vitamin D was checked again and level did not increase. I’m 47 now, but I started complaining about my weakness about 3 years ago… until one year ago I told my doctor that I hear my voice started changing when I speak… I feel that my throat gets itchy that makes me cough.. So, doctor did blood-work and found I got Hashimoto’s disease. I was so enthusiastic and optimistic person, I was willing always to meet my friends….. but now, I do not want to see anyone, I want to stay alone… I go to work, and go back home, and this is my life now… I do exercises, and I feel that I want to sleep, my eye closing itself… ALSO!!! my face got “butterfly” redness around eyes and forehead… I diagnosed now with Rosacea (I saw some people say here they got Lupus, which is similar redness on face). I was taking antibiotics for this issue, 2 month in row, and some creams = NOTHING HELPS. My hair falls out like crazy, and now i got very fine and thin hair on the top of my sculp. and my perimenopause started, that’s why HORMONAL changes got ATTACKED!!!! Yes, I got very dry skin… my joints in fingers falangs ache and swollen.. I was eating green salads only for 3 weeks and I did not loose any pound!!!
    People, please STOP SELLING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD!!!!!!! i believe it must be a LAW now!!!! we have to eat all normally grown food without hormones, antibiotics , etc… like if was in the beginning or the last century!! Lucky those people who lived at that time and ate that REAL FOOD!!!!!

    I WISH to ALL who sells !!!”BAD”!!! food to get HASHIMOTO DISEASE!!!!!!!.

  110. Ella
    October 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    if all this known, why no cure for it? I’m not talking about supporting and hiding the symptoms, I’m talking about real cure!!!!

    I believe Germany should have some solution for this problem. why not to get that remedy from them for US people?

  111. Ella
    October 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Also, I forgot to mention, my vision started dropping down quickly. every year I change my glasses because of sight power change. I have dry itchy eyes, that may cause blefaritis… Also, i have BAAAD headaches before menstrual periods…

  112. Kelly
    November 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Jill,
    Want to share a quick story if I may.
    My twin and I have had Hashimoto thyroiditis as they called it science we were thirteen. I recently had my daughter tested at thirteen. The doctors of course said it was not necessary as she has not hit puberty. Well, I listened to my gut as I saw a goider developing on her. Guess what?! I was right. I guess my point is a simple blood test can rule out these questions. For those suffering and not sure, be an advocate for yourself.
    Also, I have a question on the gluten aspect, really serious about being gluten free? Now I should be as we have celiac in our family and my mom is allergic to wheat, gluten, msg and chocolate…..I will cut back on the gluten and see if helps my daughter and I.

    One interesting fact for my twin and I….I am very muscular and have a lot of energy and always warm. She is very thin and is always tired and cold….twins, same diagnosis, different results. See not always same for everyone. Thank you for the insight on the article. Very helpful

    • November 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Kelly, nice sleuthing on your daughter’s behalf! While I agree that it’s best to “test, not guess” and to absolutely be an advocate for yourself, the testing for Hashimoto’s isn’t perfect. In other words, it’s possible to get a false negative. Negative thyroid antibodies labs don’t, in fact, always rule out Hashimoto’s.

  113. Jim
    November 19, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Great article!! Thanks.
    Some good googles…Leaky gut syndrome…kefir from raw milk….nascent iodine….magnesiumforlife….www.slweb.org…what is a naturopath?
    Sea vegetables are more nutritious when “low temperature dried” (as opposed to toasted). In particular, Kombu kelp is an excellent natural source of iodine, as well as B6, B3, Magnesium, Potassium, Chromium…
    I probably wouldn’t be recommending soy sauce to these readers…and not just because of GMOs but because they contain de-natured proteins (“hydrolyzed protein”), which is especially high in free glutamates (same as MSG).
    Soy should be non-GMO’d, and prefereably sprouted, or better yet fermented into “NATTO”, because natto (also a probiotic) is rich in one of the most overlooked of all vitamins… K2!!

  114. Annie
    November 21, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Jill,
    You mentioned that it’s important to have enough carbs in your diet or it can throw your thyroid for a loop. Are carbs from veggies enough or do you have to add grains? I know some automimmune diets recommend staying clear of any grains. What’s your take and what have you seen work? Once my daughter(Hashimoto’s), was gluten free, I added lots of pumpkin, butternut, sweet potatoes and carrots to make up for the lost carbs.. I also add quinoa to her diet once a week.
    Also, noticed even after going gluten, soy, nightshades and dairy free for a month, she still has diarrhea once or twice a week…yesterday she started with red dots on her skin…hives I think. Hair falling out most likely from too much Synthroid! What could I be missing?
    She going for a blood test tomorrow…last test TPOab over 6000, TSH .4. finally convinced doctor to test reverse T3 and selenium. Refused to test for Ferritin.
    Living over seas, but will be home for Christmas. Already scheduled with immunologist and holistic doctor.
    Thanks for your help!

    • December 2, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      Hi Annie, it depends. We all have different carb requirements. But I believe that carbs from non-starchy vegetables aren’t enough. You don’t have to add grains, although I’m not against whole grains (vs. flour). All of the starchy vegetables you mention above are great because they provide Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, which is important for thyroid and immune function.

      It’s hard for me to say what she’s missing. Her condition represents complexity that’s difficult to address in a blog comment. But antibodies of 6000 are quite high. And even though she’s removed some foods from her diet, it sounds like she needs some healing of the intestinal lining. We could help her.

  115. Jo
    November 21, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    Hi Jill,

    This is a great article and a very informative scroll of comments and replies! I’m impressed.

    I’m vegan, gluten and processed sugar -free for many many years, but I was diagnosed with systemic candida and Hashi’s last month (wish someone had suggested it before my symptoms took over my life). Too much stress, too much fruit, I suppose. I know that diet alone is never enough, but I am struggling a bit with following nutritional guidelines for Hashi’s and for candida on a vegan diet. Removing grains and beans is just not an option for me at all.

    You mentioned hydrochloric acid in one of your replies and I’m wondering whether there are any natural ways of increasing it. Hair loss, acne, and severe depression are my worst symptoms and make this journey a long and daunting one…Thanks for your help! Jo

  116. Carrie
    November 21, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Annie,

    I know they are expensive (trust me I know) but a food sensitivity test may be beneficial. Especially if she is breaking out in a rash. I had to do the MRT Leap test recommended by my Naturopath. Who would have known her issues were bananas, pinto beans, mushrooms, celery, corn, and sweet potatoes. She ate bananas, sweet potatoes, celery, and corn very often sometimes daily. One week eating to the plan and her rash is pretty much gone. She had also been under some gut healing protocol that had improved the reash alot but I believe this was the final puzzle piece. Everybody is different so hers could be completely different from your daughters. If you think you can afford it you don’t have to go through a physician for the test. Just order the test and go to an independent lab for the blook work. The company will send you the results and the eating plan. It won’t be a complete fix but it will give you a better idea on what foods to eat to optimize her specific body and immune system and take the stress off of figuring out what foods not to eat.
    Also, my 2 yr old has a prickly rash from time to time and she doesn’t eat a lot of grains and no gluten but lots of winter squash and sweet potatoes. I’m currently changing her to a rotational diet to see if I can figure hers out without having to do a food sensitivity test.

    • December 2, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Hi Carrie, I respectfully disagree that food sensitivity testing is warranted. An elimination/provocation diet is the “gold standard.” Blood tests (including skin testing) have been proven to be largely inconclusive. I hear you when you say that her rash subsided, which is wonderful, but it was likely the gut healing protocol vs. not eating the foods you listed. Sure, she may have had sensitivities to those foods, but the functional medicine community says that when the gut is in need of serious repair, you can react to all kinds of random foods that aren’t necessarily considered irritants. Of the foods you list, corn is a common irritant.

      Here is an explanation/clarification from Dr. Andrew Weil:

      “I discussed the issue of testing for food intolerances with Randy Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, who specializes in immunology. We agree that the only reliable approach to determining food intolerances or sensitivities is to use avoidance and provocative testing – in other words, an elimination diet followed by a ‘challenge’ to see whether a suspect food really does set off a reaction.

      “Dr. Horwitz notes that when food sensitivities – not true allergies – are a problem, traditional allergy tests such as the IgE RAST blood tests or skin prick tests often yield negative results. He says that in his practice, he has not seen uniformly good results with IgG anti-food blood tests, applied kinesiology (muscle strength testing), or ‘live blood’ microscopic analysis, all of which have been advocated by some practitioners as ways of determining food intolerances. Dr. Horowitz said that results ‘go all the way from questionable to downright useless.’”

  117. Virginia
    November 26, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    Jill, I was diagnosed with hashis over 7 yrs. ago. I tried to go gluten free but felt really terrible. I have a nightshade allergy and corn allergy so I believe I wasn’t getting enough carbs. Can you suggest a way to help add more carbs. I am extremely underweight already. (5.2 and only 94lbs.) I am taking probiotics and try to eat fermented foods.

    • Annie
      November 26, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Hi Virginia,
      I know it’s really hard to be gluten free and have enough carbs without overloading on fruit. My daughter has Hashi and she has a green smoothie for breakfast but I always make sure she has a small baked sweet potato, butternut squash, etc. on the side. They are delicious right out of the oven! It keeps her full until lunch at school but you can have this any time of day. Hope this helps.

    • December 2, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      Virginia, you likely felt terrible from going GF because you were detoxing from it. You’ll never go into remission from Hashimoto’s continuing to eat gluten. Do you have a true allergy to nightshades and corn or a sensitivity to these foods? There is a big difference. A sensitivity is the likely scenario. I recommend starchy vegetables like squash, carrots, pumpkin, yams, etc.

  118. Jim
    November 26, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Research FLUORIDE and Hashimotos…. also leaky gut, nascent iodine, transdermal magnesium therapy, probiotic foods (ie. kefir from raw milk).

  119. Florence
    December 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks for the article. I just wanted to share what has been working for me in case it might help others. I have sub-clinical hypothyroidism (diagnosed March 2014, TSH 8.89, 32 years old) and was immediately prescribed Synthroid. I didn’t want to start taking any medication that I would have to take for the rest of my life.

    Instead, I thought I would try to change some things in my diet and lifestyle. Over 6 months, I have been slowly getting my TSH down naturally, so far it has moved from 8.89 to 5.87. I made a lot of changes in my life all at once, so it’s difficult to pinpoint what combination of things actually worked. Nevertheless, something seems to be on the right track.

    What I changed:
    -switched to fluoride-free toothpaste
    -tried to avoid non-stick cookware (Teflon)
    -stopped taking birth control pills
    -gluten-free diet (mostly-I cheated occasionally)

    -started taking an organic multivitamin
    -incorporated more protein in my diet than before (eggs, protein smoothies)
    -ate a couple of Brazil nuts everyday (for selenium)
    -ate additional cilantro and a chlorella supplement (can help to remove chemicals-research this before you do this)
    -ate mostly organic foods (especially meats/eggs)
    -no soy
    -limited intake of goitrogenic foods

    -used better shampoos/products (ex: no SLS, no parabens, no aluminum antiperspirant, no anti-bacterial soaps, etc.)
    -moderate exercise

    I don’t know if any of this will help, but somehow, my TSH level is better, and I’m attributing it to the changes I made. I hope to get it even lower over the next several months.

    • Hope
      January 30, 2015 at 5:16 am #

      Hi Florence,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story so far – I have been looking for some sort of anecdotal evidence that these changes do sometimes work, as all I seem to come across is articles suggesting lifestyle and diet changes… not many people seem to have stepped to say “Yay, this worked for me!”

      I am in a very similar situation to yourself – aged 28, diagnosed with subclinical hypo (TSH 11) earlier this week, and have been prescribed thyroxine replacement (100mcg dose), which I have decided to postpone taking until I can see if these changes will lower my levels. Were you tested at all for Hashimoto’s/antibodies or was your diagnosis from a standard hormone blood test? My doctor was very reluctant for me to delay taking the tablets, so I daren’t even ask about the more in-depth blood tests to identify the cause – am considering getting it done privately tho.

      Good luck with the rest of your journey, glad to hear of your success so far!!

      Regards,
      Hope

  120. Violet
    December 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Hi, I have Hashimoto’s and Raynaud’s for several years, since I was in my late twenties. My TSH fluctuates from 4-5. Of recent, my health took a downturn with hair loss, more Raynauds attacks, dizziness, skin rashes etc. I think it was the report of my thyroid ultrasound indicating that there was ” no normal tissue” left that really made focused on actively trying some alternative treatments. I decided to try gluten free diet. I think I did well –eating exclusively gluten free for 5 months. I was really disappointed to find out that my thyroid peroxidase antibody levels went up from my already very high level of 500 to over 700. I am looking for thoughts on why this appears not to be working. Your article and feedback herein is great. THANKS!

    • December 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Violet, many of our clients have also had Raynaud’s in addition to Hashimoto’s. Being gluten free is a big piece of the puzzle, but it’s not everything. I can’t tell you exactly why your antibodies increased, but it sounds like you’re not doing all you can to modulate your immune system.

  121. Annie
    January 5, 2015 at 3:52 am #

    Hi Jill,
    Since my last post, my daughter has been grain, soy, nut, dairy, mushroom, nightshades and egg free for 6 weeks. TPOab went from over 6000 to less than 3000…still crazy high but improving! Eating lots of veggies, fruit, fish and meat, coconut butter and oil. Trying relaxation techniques.
    Down side…TSH went up to 2.6 and T3 is low. I asked her doctor if we should add T3 to her Synthroid. Her pediatiric endocrinologist never heard of putting a teen on T3 meds. Maybe natural thyroid? Can you shed some light?
    Also,what foods would you recommend to boost T3? Sunflower seeds? Some diets recommend being seed free so not sure what to to do.
    Thanks.

    • January 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Annie, 6000 to 3000 in six weeks is fantastic. TSH of 2.6 is nothing to worry about (although it’s not a great marker of overall thyroid function in the first place). Sorry, but I can’t give personalized coaching via a blog and I can’t make recommendations around thyroid drugs, as I’m not a doctor. If you want specific thyroid- and immune-supportive nutrition information, download our detailed chart from this page: https://www.healthfulelements.com/cookbook

  122. melissa
    January 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    I barely agree with anything this article says. If you have read Eat Right for your blood type, it basically directs you to eating a Paleolithic diet, while having hashimotos such as myself. What body doesn’t need broccoli? stay away from glutens especially wheat. We should take omega 3 and flaxseed supplements . uh duh you should have a low carb diet. That’s what makes us groggy besides gluten . I’m just saying I went down from 150lbs to 125lbs by major diet changes and exercise. Mostly diet changes. Eat fish eat salt. Avoid dairy and grains.

  123. January 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    That’s okay — you don’t have to agree with it. Do what works for you, certainly. But Dr. D’Adamo’s book has been debunked repeatedly. And it’s definitely not Paleo! Depending on your blood type, he suggests legumes, soy, grains, low fat dairy, and even vegetarianism. How could that be Paleo?

    And just because you lost weight doesn’t mean your Hashimoto’s is in remission. A low carb diet put you in ketosis which can make anyone lose weight quick-like.

    Long-term, low carb diets are a disaster for those with hypothyroidism.
    https://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2012/12/paleo-or-not-paleo

    And you’re right, there’s nothing wrong with broccoli.
    https://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2013/07/goitrogenic-foods-thyroid-busters-or-thyroid-boosters

  124. Jess
    January 14, 2015 at 2:10 am #

    Hi Jill.
    I respect your reply to the last post. I have had much experience with the blood type diet too like Melissa and was introduced by a friend many years ago, who told me it is not always 100% correct. I have heard many perspectives about it and while I too feel it helps, I know like many things in science, it may not be gospel but just something there is some evidence to support.

    I was just hoping you might be able to offer me some advice :)
    I have hashimotos and my thyroid levels have been consistently good for the last year or so now which is great (TSH, T3, T4 all within normal ranges), however I do find myself experiencing some of the side effects that can occur with taking my medication including shortness of breath, anxiousness, iritated skin, etc. (And I still feel pretty tired, though I know this could sometimes just be lack of sleep.) Therefore, I would like to be able to reduce how much I need to take, but I am wondering when I will know this? Is it only through blood tests that you know?…I read that ensuring you have adequate selenium in your diet can decrease the level of thyroid antibodies and for some time now I have been trying to include more brazil nuts and stuff in my diet and was wondering how I will know if this has had a positive effect? Ie do you know that if you were to reduce medication of your own accord, is it possible TSH could again rise with more antibodies firing away at the thyroid and putting my body under more strain?

    I apologise for all the questions, but my own doctor doesn’t know much about Hashimotos unfortunately.

    Your help’s greatly appreciated :)

    • jill
      January 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      Hi Jess, sorry, but I just can’t address all of these questions in a blog comment. If you’re reacting to the thyroid drugs, it’s likely that your adrenals need support.

      If you’re not working with a doctor who knows much about Hashimoto’s, then I suggest finding one who does. http://www.functionalmedicine.org

  125. shelly
    January 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 25 years ago. It’s progressively gotten worse. I’m now on 250 mcg and it still doesn’t seem to be enough. I bumped it up myself to 300 mcg for a short while and did feel enormously better, but started having heart palps, so I’m back down to 250 mcg, but spend most of my days with my chin in my hand staring at the computer when I should be working. I’m chronically low in vit D, iron, and B-12. There are days I don’t think I can put one foot in front of the other. I’m just exhausted. Do you think a more natural hormone like Armour would be better than levothyroxine? I take handfuls of vit D every week, iron periodically for the anemia, and decided I can’t take the B12 because it makes me sleepy. In order to make it through the day I tank up on black coffee and Spark by the gallons. Tea as well. Eating is difficult as everything makes me sleepy. I need some kind of relief as my lifestyle needs a very active soul to complete the days work. Thanks for the help.

    • jill
      January 20, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      Hi Shelly, I can’t make any recommendations around thyroid drugs, as I’m not a doctor. What works for one person may not work for another. But I will say that for most people, taking thyroid hormone replacement is barking up the wrong tree when you have Hashimoto’s. It’s supposed to replace the missing thyroid hormones, but does nothing to modulate the immune system. You need to walk through an immune modulatory protocol.

      • shelly
        January 20, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

        I must do something soon. There are days I honestly think I’m dying. I’m a shell of my former self and I hate it. I don’t know what an immune modulatory protocol is but if it makes me normal, I’m interested.

        • jill
          January 21, 2015 at 10:39 am #

          So sorry about how you’re feeling, Shelly. My co-coach, Claudine, can certainly help you. You can go here to schedule an introductory consultation, with no obligation to move forward after that conversation. http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  126. Kelly
    January 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    I have been told by a natural doctor that I have Hashimoto’s. I have suffered for over a year with terrible abdominal swelling. I will swell 2 to 3 inches in a days time. The more I do the more I swell. Standing, walking, sitting upright with pressure on my stomach all cause the swelling. I’m struggling with edema as well. My weight will swing 5 pounds some days. The fluid and pressure eventually get to be to much and they take my breath away. I felt like I was slowly dying inside and no one cares. All western doctors did was give me antidepressant and tell me it was IBS or Fibromyalgia. It’s so frustrating to know your sick and everyone just passes it off. Finally, I believe I have some answers. She is following along with your beliefs. Has anyone suffered with the extreme swelling? I promise I look pregnant by the end of theday Oh, one other thing, she put me on house rest for nine weeks. She said my body needed rest in order to start healing. I also had a complete hysterectomy because of severe endometriosis. Do all of these issues seem like thyroid? Thanks for any replays. I fell so alone no one understands how hard it is just to get up and ready. Exhaustion is a beast!

    • January 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

      Hi Kelly, I’m really sorry to hear this and to hear that you’ve been dismissed. Since 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut, the vast majority of those with Hashimoto’s (or any autoimmunity) have digestive/gut imbalances. It can look differently for different people — some get extreme swelling. This type of distention is also common with candida/intestinal yeast.

  127. Kristie
    January 20, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    OH KELLY!!! I have had the exact same thing you described and according to docs should have had a hysterectomy too!! I have Hashimoto’s and severe iron deficient anemia…those are the things that cause my swelling more than anything. I also suffer from secondary Hyperaldosteronism so I must watch my sodium intake but I can promise this is secondary with the PCOS I have. The PCOS is also with moderate insulin resistance. Oh, and I had RNY gastric bypass 11 years ago so I have a whole host of things going on. HOWEVER, what I have learned is the swelling is specific to my Hashimoto’s-my thyroid. Remember, everything moves down stream from the hypothalamus to the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, liver, kidneys…sex organs being involved in hormonal response from hypothalamus. Get your thyroid under control (check that iron and hormones too) and you will feel better. Remember now that you have had that hysterectomy that could be a little tricky but resting is NOT a bad thing. Most likely your adrenals are suffering too and rest is the main thing for that. I have visited 13 docs after gaining 65 lbs of water in 8 months. You know its water when its coming on 2-5 lbs over night and doesn’t go away the next. Remember it takes 3500 calories over your usual to gain a pound…most people don’t do that! Don’t forget a little 5-10 mins a day of walking can help clear your head, help your adrenals function and keep you feeling like you haven’t died. I felt the same way you described, as if I was dying on the inside!! No one would listen…even my bypass doc thought I was nuts! Be your own advocate, do your research, ask for all the tests…there is a lot of great info out there on the web…I use Mayo Clinic as a rough guide to learn how the body works first then go to your non traditional sites and learn the truth. There is a such a thing as adrenal fatigue BUT your thyroid has to be good first to go from there treating what other symptoms are left. Don’t forget good thoughts quality food (low/no gluten has helped me too) garbage in, garbage out!!! Hope that helps a little…you are NOT going crazy and you are NOT alone!!

  128. Teresa
    January 21, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    Jill, would you explain what you mean by immune modulatory protocol. I see a naturopathic endocrinologist. Is this something I can ask of him? Thank you, in advance, for the clarification.

    • January 21, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Teresa, it’s too involved to explain here. Not complicated, just involved. And it requires an individualized approach. A significant piece of it is healing digestive function.

  129. priscilla
    January 21, 2015 at 5:02 am #

    Hi Jill,

    I have Hashimoto and i am taking thyroxine now. my level is normal – TSH= 1.25.

    Could I please ask if you know people with Hashimoto tend to have longer period? My thyroid is good after taking the oroxine but I tend to get period which last as long as 25 days.

    Is there anything that i missed out about period and hashimoto? please advise. I am trying to get pregnant but it has become really hard with long period.

    Thanks.

    • jill
      January 21, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Priscilla, some women have longer periods, some shorter. A 25-day cycle is quite long. Are you under the care of a functional medicine doctor?

      • priscilla
        January 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

        Hi Jill,

        Thanks for your swift reply. When you mean some women can have longer period, do you mean people with hashimoto?

        Ya,I have been to the gyneacologist and had Ultrasouind done.

        He told me that my reproductive organs are good (i.e. no fibroids, no cysts. normal PAP smear). But he told me that long period is not 100% related to thyroid. But I am not sure how true that holds because i read through some articles about Hashimoto that apparently bad thyroid functioning can cause prolonged period.

        That’s why i was asking you if you have any problem with period when you were first diagnosed with hypothyoidism?

        Thanks again for reading my comments.

  130. January 22, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Any woman, but Hashi’s can affect a woman’s cycle in varying ways. Long, short, heavy, light…

  131. Rachelle
    January 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    My heart is breaking reading all these stories. My husband has hashi’s and we have seen so many doctors of all kinds, promising that they can help get him back on track. problem is nothing is working. He is on the Armour Thyroid 150 mg. each time we go to a doctor, they tell us there is no cure and he will forever have this condition. I don’t care what it cost, or what it takes to help him, but I am tired of being jerked around. Now, I ask you, is there a cure for this terrible condition or is it all a bunch of smoke and mirrors? Is he better to just have it removed and get back to feeling some what normal? I know he would have to take 1 pill a day……

    • January 26, 2015 at 9:39 am #

      Rachelle, my heart breaks reading your comments. It’s staggering to me how little doctors know about managing Hashimoto’s — or any autoimmunity. Once you have an autoimmune condition, you’re always thought to have it, but it can be put into remission. Some prefer to say having it “managed.” I agree that you and your husband have been jerked around.

      I’m not a doctor, but I only recommend a thyroidectomy under extreme circumstances. With a thyroidectomy, yes, hormone replacement needs to be taken in perpetuity. With Hashimoto’s, we are of the strong belief that thyroid drugs aren’t warranted — for most people. Modulate the immune system, get the antibodies down, and people find themselves in remission/managed. We can help him. We aren’t the only ones who could help, but we’d love to at least have one conversation with him. http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  132. Toni Kimmel
    January 25, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Comments: Hi Jen. I came across your article about easing out of Hashimoto’s. I have seen over 31 doctors. I have gone from a size 2 to a size 12. (I am only 5’3″ and my normal weight has always been 115-118. I have been told not to eat anything but chicken and sweet potatoes 4 times a day. This has been for the past year. Can I tell you how much I hate sweet potatoes and chicken! This problem I have been having all started because a trainer that I trusted put me on a high fat, high protein diet. All cardio. 800 calories. I didnt know how many calories nor did I know anything about keto. I just knew my body hated it. I do not have a gall bladder. Once, I ditched all protein from my diet for 2 weeks. I ate whole wheat pasta, fruit and veggies and quinoa and other sources. My clothes started to fall off, the fat in my back was gone.I was gaining muscle Then I was told I HAD to eat animal protein for adrenals. I gained 20 lbs. My hormones are out of whack. I was told
    to eat 5 meals with protein in each meal. I was then told to eat three meals no snacking and run each day. I was also told not to exercise and eat 2200. Im lost. COnfused. I am a skinny woman waiting to get out of this hell. I have energy, I sleep great, I get up with energy. But no one seems to know what is going on. I wish you could help or recommend someone. I did work with one dr and spoent over $30,000 on tests and supplements and found out he lied about everything. He pretended to send tests in and pocketed the money. I did work with Dr Jade but he stopped seeing clients. So for three years, I have been on my own. I dont know what to do or where to go. I went from a 32B bra to a 46DD. YUCK! I now have high insulin and high cholesterol. I miss working out badly. Suggestions? Thoughts?

    • January 26, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      Toni, you’re right, it’s not good for those with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s to be put on a ketogenic diet. But it’s also important — critical — to get adequate protein. If your blood sugar is unstable, that can derail your efforts to balance any hormones. And it depends on what “high cholesterol” means. Just like with thyroid testing, many doctors are using outdated ranges for what’s acceptable. Many with “high cholesterol” don’t have anything to worry about, especially when cholesterol is the precursor to all of our hormones.

      We’ve worked with a lot of clients in a similar situation as you — they’ve tried a million different diets and haven’t found their sweet spot. If you’re interested, we could help you find that spot. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and that’s why our clients get such good results. We’re certainly not the only ones who could help, and I don’t want to turn this blog post into a “come work with us!” scheme. But I get ants in my pants reading so many of these comments because it’s all stuff we’re familiar with.

      • Toni
        January 26, 2015 at 9:55 am #

        How would I learn info on working with you? I would love to hear more as I just want my life back and not hide behind ponchos every day. I would love to get into my beautiful clothes

  133. Anne
    January 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    I see so many people not feeling well on T4 drugs Ive been on NDT for 14 years and felt great. I have Hashimoto’s Celiac, and Hypo. Added LDN 7 months ago .

  134. January 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1596726483887657/?notif_t=group_added_to_group

    great iNFORMATION ON THYROID AND HASHIMOTOS

  135. Tia
    February 10, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Hi Jill,
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about a month ago now. I keep reading about how eating a gluten free diet can help, but here’s the thing. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 20 years ago and have been following a strict gluten-free diet since then. Do you have any insights about this and how else I can moderate my diet for Hashimoto’s? I’m taking 50 of Synthroid and it feels up and down so far, yet the good days I’m like. WOW. I forgot what it was like to feel this good! My endo said it won’t be in full effect for 6-8 weeks, after which I have another appointment with him to go over more blood work and do an ultrasound of my thryoid. I am 38 and want to have a baby, and from what I’ve learned, you really should be on supplements not just to prevent miscarriage, but also to prevent damaging the baby, as they don’t have their own thyroid for nearly half of pregnancy and are dependent on the mother. I’d love some diet/lifestyle insights for a Celiac who has developed Hashimoto’s.

    • March 3, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      Hi Tia, being gluten free is a big piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the only piece. Getting Hashimoto’s into remission is multi-factorial. With Hashimoto’s, I feel that taking Synthroid — while potentially helpful in the short-term — is barking up the wrong tree.

      Sorry, but I can’t give you the personalized attention you need in a blog comment, especially if you want to get pregnant. We have a thyroid/autoimmune/fertility expert on our team, but she isn’t working with new clients until the end of the year. You could email inquiries [at] healthfulelements [dot] com to get on her waiting list.

  136. Tracey
    February 19, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    I am a 47 year old female . I was diagnosed with hashimotos thryroiditis when I was 21. I have tried every diet on the market to no avail. I am 5ft 2 and weight 180 which of course is very depressing. To date I work out 5 days a week and follow a very healthy high protein diet and I have not even lost an ounce. Actually Ive gained weight which the gym says is due to gaining muscle.. Don’t care about muscle, I desparately want to lose weight. I eat nothing I gain weight, I eat 3 meals 3 snacks, I gain weight, I eat wholesome clean diet, I gain weight. This I do know, there is something definitely wrong with my stomach as everytime I eat I bloat terribly so I started taking probiotics but now read where that makes you gain more weight. So depressing. Can put a man on the moon but cant figure a way to help ppl lose weight. I also know I have inflammation in my body because I am constantly tested every 6 months for arthritis like symtoms which show inflammation but doctors cant seem to figure out what the problem is . So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ella
      February 23, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      HI Tracey,

      I also got Hypo Hoshimoto’s diagnosed 2 year ago (.. I believe it started about 3 year earlier when I complained to my doctor that I feel no power and I want to sleep all the times, and my doctor said to eat well and exercise more, and only when I pointed her to my voice may sound like horse-voice, only then she paid attention and tested for thyroid).
      I feel inflammation in fingers joints of my arms and complained to my PCP, but she took my blood test for arthritis and said that no arthritis detected. When I swallow I feel something like a stone in my throat sometimes, and it goes away after. I gained weight easily (I also have diabetes insipidus and taking hormone pills every day for this one too).
      I’m 47 and my body started changing with pre-menopause symptoms, so when no periods I sweat every hour and become all wet and it drips on my face and chest. Also rosacea starts when I sweat.. So, I got a big bouquet of health problems with aging…
      I’m taking pills and they do not help much.. but doctor says she gave me right amount of Levothyroxine based on my blood test. How can I exercise if I feel sleepy always? I need about 13 hours to sleep to get more less a power to live. Oh, I love meat, so I’m all kinds of meat eater. I also crazy about seafood, eat different kinds of fish. I like green salads, but article says that uncooked green staff is not good for goiter, and only cooked way is good. I took it to my attention.

    • March 3, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Tracey, sorry to hear about your struggles. A lot of our clients have been in the same boat. If you have gut issues, your digestive systems needs healing. Digestive disorders are one of THE biggest factors in weight loss resistance. The inflammation also needs addressing, as autoimmunity and inflammation are kissing cousins.

  137. February 22, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    Thanks for a good article!

  138. Suzy
    February 24, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    I had Hashimoto’s 20 years ago, with one of the highest antibody readings the thyroid specialist had seen, and also had a goiter and nodules on my thyroid. I could barely get out of bed for months and was always freezing, and so tired I couldn’t get any work done.
    Before I got sick, I had switched to a macrobiotic diet with a lot of gluten and seaweed, and I also supplemented with kelp tablets. My doctors said (verified with American Thyroid Association) that Hashimoto’s is an iodine excess disease from getting too much iodine, as one cause, particularly from iodized salt that is in so much food.
    I found an acupuncturist with traditional Chinese training who specialized in woman’s hormones and I saw her weekly for over a year for acupuncture. I also boiled and drank the herbs she prescribed. She said that that Chinese medicine has a successful treatment for Hashimoto’s, and many clients she had cured had come after they had not been helped by traditional medicine.
    I also realized that I had way too much stress in my life, it was pedal to the metal all the time. I made a lot of changes to reduce the stress. I changed to a gluten free diet as well. The Chinese doctor said I had to get 50 grams of protein at least every day. I had been a committed vegetarian for many years, and it was difficult getting back into a non-vegetarian diet, however my body really responded to increased fish and chicken protein and I got a lot of my energy back.
    The doctors told me that if I didn’t get on the thyroid medication I would lose my thyroid as time went on. I could never take any thyroid supplements, natural or synthetic, as every time I tried them even in small doses I would almost have a panic attack, so I needed to find other approaches.
    I will say that today, 20 years later, I have a thyroid that functions very well, my antibody count is normal, and I have a lot of energy most of the time. The goiter and nodules on my thyroid disappeared. I still have to watch stress, eat enough protein, and stay off gluten, but if I do my thyroid is normal.
    I hope this helps.

    I

  139. Linda
    February 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Okay, my history with this is quite lengthy. I am 65 and have dealt with low thyroid since my 40’s. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. At first Dx I was put on Armour Thyroid, numbers did fine, but symptoms persisted. Then you couldn’t find it any more for quite a few years and I was put on Levothyroxine. Let me state here that I read that this drug can cause Osteoporosis and it did me. So I insisted the doc put me back on Armour Thyroid about a year ago. Throughout this time, my numbers have been great, but I have no relief of symptoms. SOOOO…I took a trip to Arizona to see the “Wizard of Thyroiditis,” Dr. Mark Starr. That didn’t help either. About two years ago a holistic RN was working with me, and because of other health problems going on, she wanted me to get off gluten and see if I felt better. Within two weeks I realized I was ten times better, almost no bloating, and far less gut problems. So I’ve been gluten free for 2 years. AND STILL I get no relief from the low thyroid symptoms and Hashimoto’s. I eat almost all foods that are whole and from local Amish farms, including milk, eggs, butter and meats. I take Vitamin D, but quite the B12 as I was being overdosed by Dr. Starr. Basically, I am following almost everything you mentioned, but continue to be freezing all winter, intolerant to summer heat, have hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, and occasional gut problems (even though it’s MUCH better after staying gluten free.) What more can I possibly do???

    • March 3, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Linda, yes, that temporary unavailability of Armour was devastating to a lot of people. But if you have Hashimoto’s, it’s not the panacea. Being gluten free is only part of the solution. Each Hashimoto’s sufferer needs a personalized dietary approach.

  140. Annie
    February 27, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Hi Jen,
    Latest blood test showed a reduction in my daughter’s TPOAb from over 6000 in October’14 to 2400 last week!!! but her TgAb went up from mid 300’s to mid 400’s:/
    Eczema has flared, hair loss continues yet labs are in normal range for iron and ferritin. Why are two antibodies reacting differently? (She is grain, dairy, soy, nightshades, nut, seeds, legumes, free. We have not used iodized salt since Oct.’14…just sea salt. Takes excellent quality probiotics, enzymes and vitamin supplements.)
    The increase in TgAb has me puzzled especially since her TPOAb are reducing at a nice pace. Can you shed some light and explain the differenece between the two?

    • March 3, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Annie, TPOAb is dominant — it’s the antibody most prevalent. But I always asking clients to get both tested. I can’t say why her TPOAb decreased and her TgAb increased.

  141. Carrie
    February 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Annie,

    I know Jen doesn’t completely agree but my daughter’s eczema completely cleared a couple of months after having done her MRT food sensitivity test. Taking out the foods that HER immune system highly reacted to has made a big difference. Her highest were Bananas, Pinto Beans, and mushrooms. We had already done the no gluten, dairy, soy, egg thing and no change with eczema. She can now have eggs and dairy with no eczema flare because those were never her issues. The MRT is about removing foods that cause inflammation with the immune system. Careful, if she is eating such limited food you could create other food sensitivities in the future. Rotate as much as possible.

    • Annie
      March 2, 2015 at 3:26 am #

      Carrie,
      Thanks for the advice and glad to hear your daughter’s eczema completely cleared. Living overseas at the moment but will be home in a few weeks. MRT will be done as soon as we arrive. Is there a particular type you recommend?
      I have journaled a complete notebook full and can’t figure out what she is reacting to… the test makes sense at this point. The eczema actually started after we eiminated all the gluten, dairy etc. which has me puzzled.

  142. Paula
    February 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Hello,
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 22 years ago, and understood very little about it, except that I needed to take my meds, and I has always been tired.
    On May 24,2013, I entered the E.R. with chest pain, and to my surprise, I entered the Cath Lab, and was told they can’t stent me, and I needed open heart surgery, a triple bypass. I never knew the effects my thryoid has had on my heart. My doctor never explained about so many side effects that come with this desease.
    I take meds for my blood pressure, and I’m on a statin to lower my cholesterol.
    I want to learn about nutrition to help my thyroid, so that I can feel better, and enjoy life with my children and grand children.

    • March 3, 2015 at 10:20 am #

      Paula, we have a Hashimoto’s group class/teleclass series starting in April. You can participate from anywhere and the classes will be recorded. You can go to our homepage to sign up for our newsletter, whereby you can stay abreast of the class dates/schedule. And when you sign up, you get our super helpful Hashimoto’s Credo. :)

      Scroll down a bit on our homepage: http://www.healthfulelements.com

  143. Carrie
    March 2, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Annie,

    You can order the test yourself and go to an independent lab to have the blood drawn. There are a couple you can choose from. I did the MRT 120 for my daughter who was 5. You may want to choose the MRT 150 or 180 (newer with more coverage). They will send the results straight to you with a full book on understanding the lab results and how to implement her specific diet. It’s not difficult to understand. I did it through my Naturopath but you don’t have to. You may find this is less stressful then what you are trying now because you will at least have some type of understanding what foods cause inflammation for your daughter and which ones do not. I don’t believe it to be a cure all but I definitely believe it will be a vital tool for you in your daughter’s case.
    I would definitely do the leap MRT over other blood tests as this one focuses on foods that cause inflammation in the body. It will not tell you if she is gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant. You will have to make that decision if you want her to remain off those items if you feel she is. I do think removing inflammation is vital right now. Then as you implement other methods to heal then her body can respond positively.
    Also, the more I removed from my daughter’s diet the worse she got also. That is because I was actually replacing it with things her body reacted to and didn’t know it.

    http://nowleap.com/mediator-release-testing/the-patented-mediator-release-test-mrt/

    I would love to have it done myself as I also have thyroid/adrenal issues but at the time I felt my daughter needed it first. I continue to just try the elimination diet for myself.

  144. Susie
    April 1, 2015 at 6:48 am #

    I’ve been doing the LEAP/MRT protocol now since November, I have Hashimoto’s. While the LEAP MRT begins with a blood test to discover food “sensitivities” (not allergies), the Registered Dietician guided me through discovering which foods out of the 180 foods/chemicals in this protocol needed to continue to be eliminated and then added in. So this is not just about a blood test – it is also an elimination guided protocol – but based on my own body – not just a guess at “least sensitive foods.” It has been very helpful, and even though I went for Hashimoto’s, after six weeks into this protocol I had eliminated any kind of gut aches that would occasionally occur — a great side benefit! As we went forward with this protocol and the dietician would help me with each stage, we would try adding in more foods. Under the guidance of an RD, she was able to help me identify that when a food was giving me phlegm for example, we removed that food – even though it had not personally tested high — thus — we not only had a food test based on my own body, we now further eliminated suspect foods. Going forward, the most difficult thing to do is after six weeks in – is to rotate the allowed foods so that every fourth day I can repeat food families — this is just the most difficult part of this protocol – which is in place so as not to develop new food sensitivities. Since doing all this — and some other things as well — I have also had an infected tooth problem resolved and as well — the 40 year old crawlspace insulation was replaced (that week I felt as though something had been “lifted” from me) — my TPO ab has dropped by 1/2 !!! I’m at the five month mark now, and yes, I have to recommend this protocol to other hashimoto’s people. Some say to do AIP — however, for me, for example, chicken was one of my “highest” triggers — and yet that is on the “AIP” list — so were some other foods I’m sensitive too… And on the other hand, I’m enjoying goat milk and various nuts… This was an indepth and great help on a real “individualized” basis. I’m looking forward to the next tpo ab test in six months.

  145. April 7, 2015 at 5:32 am #

    Jill,

    Such an interesting article. Ive been looking up more and more information about hashimotos disease as I was diagnosed about 6 months ago. I’m currently 26 and have lived a very healthy life so it was quite a shock to me to hear I have to take medication for the rest of my life. I would love to avoid being on any medication and heal naturally.

    Your information about nutrition interests me the most. I would love to speak more with you and gain any type of help possible. Do you have any contact information?

    Brittany

  146. April 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Hi Brittany, go here: http://www.healthfulelements.com/contact

  147. Marta
    April 13, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Check this book. It helped me a lot!!!
    http://www.thyroidpharmacist.com/book.html

Leave a Reply