Wondering if it’s possible to heal from hypothyroidism? Are you thinking that thyroid disease symptoms are just part of life now? These are normal thoughts to have, whether recently diagnosed or experiencing symptoms for years.
All of the parts of our body are meant to work together. When even one portion isn’t operating at its best, other parts of the body can break down. When you are dealing with thyroid disease, there is a ripple effect occurring across various other systems in your body. This breakdown in the endocrine system causes multiple symptoms to be felt.
How can you get to the root of your thyroid’s function to help heal the rest of your body?
“All disease begins in the gut.” - Hippocrates
Chronic stress, poor diet, and environmental toxins are abound in today’s society. Many people, especially those with conditions like hypothyroidism, suffer from leaky gut. Intestinal permeability aka “leaky gut” is a condition where tiny particles enter the bloodstream through the intestines. This causes inflammation in the body and can lead to autoimmune diseases.
A report published describes leaky gut as when “the intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a “leaky gut.”
But what does leaky gut have to do with hypothyroidism?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid. Many people with hypothyroidism aren’t even aware that they have Hashimoto’s disease because many times they never received proper testing. Receiving an accurate diagnosis is vital to healing.
As particles enter the bloodstream through a leaky gut, antibodies mobilize to attack the foreign cells. Many of these “foreign invaders” can look similar to your body’s own cells, and in the process of fighting off the food particles, antibodies may accidentally attack the thyroid.
Another link between leaky gut and Hashimoto’s is the symptoms. Leaky gut causes acute inflammation in the body, which is one of the common symptoms of Hashimoto’s, as the immune system is constantly reacting to the toxins that have entered the bloodstream. This creates a higher than normal level of reverse T3 which can exacerbate hypothyroid symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of chronic inflammation include:
Finding a doctor that not only specializes in thyroid health, but also consider all symptoms that you are experiencing is an important step in receiving a correct diagnosis and beginning to feel your best. The first step in rebalancing the thyroid is receiving complete blood work that not only tests thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), but also T3, T4, and TPO antibodies.
Once a correct diagnosis is made your doctor will be able to determine the best medication for your condition.
T4 medications Levothyroxine or Synthroid – This drug contains the synthetic form of T4. T4 is the storage hormone and must be converted to T3 inside the body.
T3 medications Liothyronine or Cytomel- This drug contains the synthetic form of T3. T3 is the active thyroid hormone that supports the body.
T4 plus T3 medication known as natural desiccated thyroid- Natural desiccated thyroid is derived from the thyroid glands of cows and pigs. It provides both T3 & T4 to the body.
It’s very important to take the thyroid medication correctly to achieve optimal results.
Having a doctor that works closely with you even after receiving the diagnosis and prescription is important because dosage changes could possibly be needed, and symptoms should be closely observed.
Everyone knows that they should eliminate sugar and processed foods from their diet, but with hypothyroidism even more thought should go into a healthy diet plan.
Some common diets to consider include the vegan and keto diets. But with Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism it’s very common to have significant food sensitivities. It’s easy to think that medication may not be improving thyroid health when symptoms seem to be lingering, but it could be a food allergy causing the symptoms. Working with a knowledgeable nutritionist can be invaluable as you make dietary changes to heal not only your thyroid but your overall health.
Identifying dietary triggers and reversing nutritional deficiencies can make a huge impact in the healing process. Having a cheerleader and partner guiding you through this process can help you build healthy habits to last far beyond your thyroid illness.
To quote Hippocrates again – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
By healing leaky gut, rebalancing the thyroid with correct medication for your health, and determining a healthy diet plan, you can begin to feel your best. You will have both good days and bad with hypothyroidism, but understanding some of the first steps in healing will help you move toward far more better days.
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