If you live with an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, you know the arduous lengths you'll take to avoid an autoimmune flare-up. An autoimmune flare-up is a temporary worsening or intensification of symptoms, usually triggered by additional stress on an already weakened immune system. Flare-ups can have a significant effect on your daily life and can sometimes last for days on end.
Common symptoms of a flare
A flare-up is a measurable increase in clinical signs and symptoms or a quantifiable change in lab results.
Some common symptoms of a flare include:
- Muscle aches
- Digestive issues
- Brain fog
- Mental health issues
How to manage a flare
If a doctor who you trust already manages your condition, there are steps you can take at home to manage the symptoms of a flare-up.
You can't do everything, all the time, for everyone. Prioritize what is urgent and important, and save your energy for the rest for when you feel better. This simplification will hopefully reduce stress to support your immune system's stability.
Extreme fatigue is often a symptom of a flare. Prioritize rest and limit intense movements. Overexertion may increase the duration and intensity of a flare-up.
The more dietary stress you put on yourself, the more likely you are to experience inflammation. This inflammation can cause a flare-up and interfere with your thyroid function. Nutrient-dense, plant-based foods provide nutrients that support the body's ability to detoxify harmful substances.
One-day meal plan
Try this one-day meal plan that is perfect if you have Hashimoto's disease:
Thyroid friendly breakfast
Low Carb Ham and Cheese Stuffed Waffles
Who doesn't love a waffle? But a waffle stuffed with ham and cheese is on a level above and beyond. With this recipe you get the decadence of a warm waffle combined with the protein of meat and the deliciousness of melted cheese.
What makes it great for those with Hashimoto's is that it's both grain and sugar-free. Plus, this recipe is quick, easy, and perfect to take on the go. You could easily make up several of these and just pop into the toaster each morning.
Mid-morning snack to boost energy
Sugar-Free Low Carb Granola Bars
Sometimes we get hungry before lunchtime, and that's when it's most tempting to cheat and snack on sugary processed foods that can send us spiraling right toward an autoimmune flare-up. By having these sugar-free granola bars on hand, it will be much easier to satisfy hunger without compromising healthy eating. This bar, filled with almonds, unsweetened coconut, and stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, feels more like a dessert than a mid-morning snack.
Quick and easy lunch ideas that can be eaten on the go or at the office is crucial when following a diet for thyroid health. A salad is the perfect quick meal, and the options are limitless. The key to a great mason jar salad is to put the dressing on the bottom and then layer other ingredients on top so that it doesn't get soggy. By keeping the greens separate from the dressing, you'll have a crisp, perfectly dressed salad for lunch.
Consider adding chicken, ground beef, steak, tuna, or shrimp for protein. Combined with quinoa or chickpeas, this salad will keep you full for hours. Mason jar salads are also a great way to add lots of fresh veggies to your day.
Healthy mid-afternoon snack
When that afternoon slump hits and you want to put your head on your desk for a sneaky nap, you need a boost to power through. This peanut butter ball recipe might do the trick! Not only is it quick and delicious, but it will also satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you full because it's packed with protein. There are several variations of this recipe, so that you won't get bored. Pro tip: roll these peanut butter balls in nuts, cinnamon, coconut, or even stevia-sweetened chocolate.
Simple and filling dinner
Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Mushrooms
Mixing different types of protein throughout your day is helpful to your overall health. Red meat, however, should be kept to a minimum. While some pasture-raised beef is fine, too much red meat can increase inflammation.
This tilapia recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal because it comes together in less than thirty minutes in one-skillet, making cleanup a breeze. Serve this with a refreshing cucumber salad for a complete meal.
Curb your sweet tooth with this bonus snack
This shake is so indulgent that you'll hardly believe it's healthy. With flavors of butterscotch, chocolate, and caramel you will be whipping this up more than one day a week.
Working with a nutritionist who specializes in thyroid health can help you:
- Understand a possible root cause of your autoimmune condition
- Identify dietary triggers contributing to symptoms or flare-ups
- And reverse nutrient deficiencies that are affecting thyroid function.