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.

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Author:Jen Sinkler

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

143 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.

  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/

  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

  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

  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!

  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

  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.

  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.

  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

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