Treating symptoms related to hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease isn’t simply about the medication. It’s about looking at the reason behind your symptoms. In this episode, I share how you can begin to heal.
- Why thyroid medication does not fix or heal your thyroid
- The two-part strategy I use with my clients to begin to heal symptoms
- Examples of common autoimmune attack triggers
- Free 5-Day Event with Michelle starts 6/6/21: Get a Personalized Plan to Dial Down Post-Pandemic Stress
- Download my Maybe It’s Your Thyroid Solution Kit: https://shesgotpower.com/thyroid
- Miss earlier episodes in this thyroid series? Here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
Connect with Michelle:
The (silent) struggle is real
It’s interesting how much women will be going through – and no one knows.
They’ll never mention how crappy they’re feeling. Or that they’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. They put on a happy face and they get through the day and you think they’re just fine even though they feel like they’re dragging themselves through life.
My friend Sylvia was like this. I had no idea Sylvia was taking Synthroid for hypothyroidism, or that she was feeling so exhausted during the day, or that she struggled so much with her weight.
We were able to fix all of that.
And I figure…if you have these types of symptoms, you’d probably like to know how we did it. Yes?
Understanding your thyroid starts with understanding your story
The first thing I talked to Sylvia about was her story – her history.
Not just her medical history either.
We talked about the learning disability she dealt with as a child and some traumatic events that had happened within her family.
Looking back, we could pinpoint that her hypothyroid symptoms started about a year after her father died.
But it wasn’t until a decade later that the symptoms got bad enough for Sylvia to visit her doctor. That’s when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune thyroiditis) and given a Synthroid prescription.
Thyroid medication doesn’t heal your thyroid
Let’s start here.
It’s really common to continue experiencing symptoms while taking supplemental thyroid hormone like Synthroid or levothyroxine.
Most women don’t know that. They think, oh, I’m on meds, my thyroid must be fine.
Not the case.
Thyroid meds provide the hormones your body is not producing but it does not heal or fix anything. That’s why it’s common to continue feeling the effects of chronic inflammation.
Sylvia’s main symptom was her weight. Despite the Synthroid, she’d experienced recent weight gain that wouldn’t budge. She was also extremely tired, requiring a daily nap to get through the day.
The weight/dosing issue
If you’re on medication for your thyroid, you need to know that the dose is measured based on your weight. So if you gain or lose weight, it’s important to talk to your doctor. You may need a new prescription because the dose that was appropriate earlier may need to be adjusted.
But it’s not just about medication
Since Sylvia’s hypothyroidism was due to autoimmunity (and MOST cases are) that meant that her body had been attacking her thyroid gland & killing thyroid cells for years.
Remember how she started having symptoms 10 years before getting diagnosed?
A diagnosis or prescription doesn’t change the fact that an autoimmune response is going on in the body.
That means Sylvia’s body had been in a state of constant inflammation for the better part of two decades. No wonder she was so tired!
A two-part strategy
The strategy I like to use with my clients is two-fold.
First, let’s get the symptoms under control. If that means meds, fine.
Then…we have to look at the cause or reason behind the symptoms. Why isn’t the body producing thyroid hormone properly?
In this case, we needed to get Sylvia’s body to stop attacking itself.
There’s a difference between suppressing symptoms and actually healing
The first step to healing from autoimmune thyroiditis is removing triggers.
What’s setting off that autoimmune attack?
Stress and lifestyle issues are a major trigger
Stress from work, stress from relationships, the stress of not getting enough sleep – these things are a serious trigger for autoimmunity.
I have another client who always feels better when she’s singing. She’s a performer. We mapped her healthiest thyroid labs to the time in her life when she was singing and performing and living her purpose.
See, it’s all connected. You heal your thyroid by healing…overall.
This is why a 10 minute visit to the doctor will never do the trick. There’s no time during a doctor visit to tell your story or connect the dots between your lab values and life events. There’s only time for a prescription.
Chronic stress has been at an all-time high
Speaking of stress…right now we’re coming out of a pandemic (as if I have to remind you!)
Chronic stress has been at an all-time high. If you’re feeling more anxiety than usual, if you’re having a hard time relaxing, if your body is showing signs and symptoms…
I’m running a free event starting 6/6/21 to help – you’ll walk away with a personalized plan to dial down that post-pandemic stress. It’s an easy 5 day event, delivered straight to your inbox each morning. And you can sign up for free at ShesGotPower.com/5day.
We also want to look at food triggers
Specific foods may be causing your system to mount an autoimmune response. With minimal diet changes, many women feel 100% better – sweet relief!
Food triggers vary from person to person, but we always start with gluten.
Who knew that gluten and your thyroid had anything to do with each other??
It JUST so happens that the molecules of your thyroid cells look a heck of a lot like the molecular makeup of gluten. This is called molecular mimicry.
Since your body has built up an army to attack your thyroid…when it sees gluten it goes ahead and mounts that same attack.
Gluten isn’t the only possible trigger but it’s perhaps the most important. Sylvia and I worked through how to effectively remove it from her diet.
Gut health has everything to do with autoimmune thyroid health
Since most hypothyroidism is autoimmune in nature…it’s really NOT a matter of healing the thyroid. It’s not a thyroid problem, per se.
It’s an immune system problem.
To help your immune system see straight again and calm the inflammation that’s causing the weight, brain fog and exhaustion…
We have to look at where your immune system primarily lives – your gut.
Here are the two aspects of gut health to consider:
- The integrity of your gut lining (physical structure)
- The microbial balance within your gut. Which microbes are living there? How many and in what ratio?
As mentioned earlier, removing trigger foods is the first step.
Next, there are some specific nutrients that your body needs. For example, zinc. (Zinc also helps a lot of my hypothyroid clients with acid reflux, by the way.)
Then we want to repopulate gut flora with a high-quality probiotic and probiotic-rich foods.
Hormone health has everything to do with thyroid health
It’s often overlooked that hormone-disrupting chemicals in plastics, makeup and personal care products impact your thyroid hormones.
Here are some easy steps towards reducing your exposure:
- Replace plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel
- Replace makeup and personal care products with more natural alternatives (this is a favorite brand of mine)
This is how Sylvia healed
Within a few weeks of implementing the changes I’ve just written out, Sylvia’s energy was back. The weight started to drop.
She felt back in control of her life.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of hypothyroidism, or taking thyroid meds but still feeling terrible, take the first step towards healing and download my Thyroid Solution Kit. This will be a game changer for you and your health.
If you enjoyed the audio version, be sure to subscribe to the She’s Got Power podcast on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. Love what you hear? Please share with your friends and leave a review on Apple so more women can finally overcome the health issues associated with chronic stress and burnout.