* My current health protocol, listed below, has been updated (9/7/2020)
If you are reading this, it’s because you ARE or you LOVE my people, those of us who suffer from a thyroid disorder. My specific disease is Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
And I am taking back my life, one step at a time.
What Is Hashimotos Thyroiditis:
Some people who have a thyroid disease, have a simple explanation… their thyroid is working too hard or not hard enough. They take medication daily to manage it. Others, may have NO thyroid at all because of cancer or by removing the thyroid to manage the symptoms better. These people also take medication daily to manage it, but at a higher dose because there is no thyroid function at all. Then there are people like me, who have an Autoimmune based thyroid disease. This basically means that my body is actively trying to KILL my thyroid. Some days, it is a more brutal assault than others. Unlike other thyroid diseases, I can swing between being HYPER (too much) and HYPO (too little) thyroid from day to day. I am given the same medications as other thyroid conditions, because honestly modern medicine has no clue how to treat my disease. They treat the thyroid the best they can, but ignore the autoimmune aspect.
How Does Hashimotos Thyroiditis Affect A Person:
In the years since I have been diagnosed I learned a hard, cold, truth. Hashimotos Patients and their symptoms are like snowflakes. There are no two alike. My sister and I, both have the disease and our symptoms are VERY different. I chose the image above, because it’s a good start. Hashimotos sufferers will fluctuate between hyper and hypo, so you can have symptoms that fall on either side, or both of that graphic.
Additionally, it is becoming more recognized that once you have an auto-immune disorder, you are more likely to develop MORE AI diseases over your life time.
Hashimotos alone has over 300 symptoms that can affect a person, on any given day… at any given time. To most, Hashimotos is considered an invisible illness. We look ok, but we are very much NOT. We struggle daily, it’s just that some days the struggle is easier than others. The following chart has the most common:
What Are the Biggest Obstacles for Someone with Hashimotos?
- Lack of Adequate Medical Care – due to the general lack of information and research on our disease, most Hashimotos patients are receiving sub-par care. Doctors will look at our blood work results, adjust our medication, and send us on our way. They do not look at the root cause, the auto immune disorder. Unfortunately, most of the doctors that will are not covered by insurance. This puts many Hashi’s patients at a disadvantage for getting proper care.
- This Disease is, in Many Ways, Totally Out of My Control – many Hashi’s patients will suffer from symptoms that come and go as they please, which can lead to us canceling plans last minute because we are having a flare up. Other symptoms stick to us like glue and are at times an impossible hurdle to overcome, like our weight or fatigue. The medications that are currently on the market are not curing us, and often not even making us remarkably better. They are really just helping us get by from day to day.
- This Disease is Invisible, Which Means We Get Judged A LOT – by family members, friends, coworkers, and even health professionals. You would be amazed at the cruel things people will say to us, because they lack any understanding of what we go through. We get accused of cheating on our diets, or mocked for changing our diets, accused of being lazy, making excuses, blah blah blah. These judgments hurt us to our core because, see number 2.
- This Disease Affects My Entire Body – head to toe, it is apart of my every day life and nothing is left untouched. Hashimotos will affect your mental faculties, your hair may fall out, you will have issues with your dental health including bone loss in your jaw, you will experience swelling and discomfort in your neck, heart palpitations, your body will swell and diuretics won’t stop it, you will most likely suffer from some sort of food sensitivity, your libido will decrease, your muscles will ache, your skin will hurt to be touched, you may end up with balance and coordination issues, it can impact fertility, and the list goes on and on. In fact there are over 300 possible symptoms and no two hashimotos patients are alike.
What Are We Learning About Treatment?
- Integrative, Functional, and Holistic Doctors seem to have the best approach, because they look at the whole body. However, most insurance companies do not cover these doctors leaving patients to foot the bill. I have been fortunate that our insurance covers my doctor.
- We need to ensure the proper blood work is being done which includes testing for thyroid antibodies, food allergies, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal changes, adrenal fatigue, and other autoimmune disorders.
- Every patient will be different in regards to severity of disease, deficiencies, food allergies, symptoms, etc. Thus our treatment will differ from each other, and this is figured out one step at a time. Often we are throwing things at it, simply to see what sticks. Therefore patience through the healing process is imperative.
- Exercise affects our body differently, high intensity work outs can actually be detrimental to our weight loss because it puts our body under stress, which increases our cortisol levels, which affects our thyroid function.
- Most Hashimotos (and autoimmune sufferers) will have LEAKY GUT and repairing the balance and health to your gut will help you feel better. This often involves the removal of gluten, sugar, dairy and sometimes soy, corn for at least a year. Your doctor (and your body) will help you know when you have healed. Additionally the addition of certain probiotics will help the process move along faster, including the addition of lacto-fermented foods to help with inflammation (sauerkraut, kimchi).
Currently, I am seeing an INTEGRATIVE DOCTOR. Under her care, we are addressing my Hashimotos from an whole body approach. We are not just treating my thyroid, but also addressing the autoimmune component. She is covered under my insurance, although my co-pay is a smidge higher than my primary. Since every patient is different, just because this protocol is working for ME… it doesn’t mean it will work for you. So please be sure to work through your condition with your doctor. You are welcome to share my protocol with your doctor to discuss if any of these suggestions will be beneficial for you. Please also note, that all of the following have been discussed with my integrative doctor and are under her monitoring.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar, Salt Free diet.Currently “minimized” amounts of these things. For myself, I found after a period of time with these completely removed, I have been able to introduce them back in but in small amounts. Gluten – occasionally, Dairy – cheeses, creamers, whipped cream. No straight milk. Sugar – While I am still using stevia in my beverages & minimize my desserts on the whole, if I’m out and about and the item I’m eating has sugar in it… I’m not sweating it. Salt – only in baked goods when it calls for it, and only when I eat pre-made items (rarely). I do not add any additional salt to my food after cooking. When I must use salt, I am using the Himalayan Pink. I have removed coffee & all forms of caffeine from my diet.Currently: After years of no coffee, I have introduced it make minimally. I still don’t have a coffee machine in the house any longer. I have a moka pot that I use a few times per month. I will occasionally grab a coffee when out, 1-2 times per month. Keeping in mind that what I left behind was a 1-2 pots a day habit, this allows me to enjoy the flavor of coffee without over indulging.
- Increased my water intake.
I use Ulla on my cup to remind me to drink.I no longer rely on the Ulla, and pretty much have a water or other beverage within my reach 24/7. Thyrovanz 100MG (I was on Armour Thyroid 90mg, before that 125mcg of synthroid) 1xdUpdate: I am off my Thyroid medication completely. I would classify myself as in remission. Symptoms may present as a flare up during times of extreme stress, but over all besides weight, I’m symptom free. As for the weight, it is coming down slowly. I am not certain if the slow weightloss is even a factor of my thyroid condition or just due to age. It is harder to loose weight as we get older. UPDATE: Dr. Westin Childs Thyroid Adrenal Reset Complex (Amazon)OFF! UPDATE: Dr. Westin Childs T3 Conversion Booster (Amazon)OFF! UPDATE: Dr. Westin Childs Power B-Complex (Amazon)OFF! UPDATE: Young Living’s Cortistop (during high stress periods)In hindsight, I’m not certain that his had any real impact on my health.
- UPDATE: Kencko Fruit Smoothies daily.
Greens in the AM, Fruit in the Afternoon. – I’m still using the Kencko smoothies on the daily, but not regimented to the original routine. Now I drink them whenever I want them, instead of in between meal snacks. Or just when I have a craving for a smoothie. Since I’m not paying for the other products anymore, I could up the quantity of my order and stay in budget.
- UPDATE: Plexus SLIM Hunger Control, Metaburn,
Pro-bio5, BioCleanse.Added: BLOCK
- Slim Hunger Control 1xd
AM– I no longer start my day with it, but usually somewhere between breakfast and lunch. (Update: sometimes I will replace this with ACTIVE, if I have a busy day ahead)
- Metaburn 1xd AM before breakfast. I have taken and 2nd if I am in a situation where I know I won’t be eating my best.
Pro-bio5 1xd after dinner. BioCleanse 1xd before bed.
- Update: Added BLOCK. In full transparency, I bought a load of these off someone who was leaving Plexus just to give it a try. I take 1 before any meal in which I’m not in control of the ingredients OR if I’m choosing to splurge with some gluten or sugar.
- Thoughts on Plexus: When I first started researching Hashimotos on my own, I came across a TON of Plexus reps who were pitching their products as the end all, cure all. (Which yes, they are not supposed to make medical claims). Honestly, I disregarded it. When a friend who was also diagnosed with Hashis started on Plexus and I saw her success (Plexus + lifestyle changes in regard to diet/activity), I gave it a shot. I notice a difference with SLIM in my life. I notice when I skip it or when I’ve run out & forgot to order. So, I’m keeping it in my life for the foreseeable future. However the Probio5/VitalBiome which is doing wonders for others, I have removed. I’m going back to making my home made probiotic using Water Kefir Grains. Probio5/Vitalbiome are definitely more convenient, but the Water Kefir probiotic IS better and cheaper, and worth the 30 minutes or so every 3-4 days to make.
- Slim Hunger Control 1xd
- UPDATE: I have introduced a 30 minute daily work out that fits in my lifestyle. I’m doing it at home, which allows me to fit it in when convenient. I began this during the Covid19 quarantine.
- STAY ON TOP OF: Blood tests included thyroid levels, food allergies, vitamin/mineral levels, etc.
- New as of 2020: I have introduced several teas and stevia blends into my daily protocol. I make these by pitcher, and usually drink 1, 8oz glass of each per day:
All available on Amazon: Teaz 28 Days Clean Tea is a detoxing tea. Teaz 28 Days Slim Tea is a metabolism boosting tea. The Delighteas Ayurvedic Anti-Inflammatory Tea is exactly that, an anti-inflammatory tea containing tumeric, ginger, and lemongrass. These are all LOOSE teas.
In each of these teas, I use a combination of the stevia blends above to sweeten to my liking.
TEA PREP: I begin with 3 clean 10 cup carafe pitchers with lids. Each is labeled according to which tea is used. I put 1/6 of a cup of the tea blend, plus 2 additional tea bags of my choosing. Sometimes I use green tea, traditional black tea, rooibos tea, or flavored herbal teas. Then each container will receive 2 packets of Stevia with Tumeric, 2 packets of Stevia with Collagen, 2 packets of Stevia with MCT. If the extra tea bags are green tea or a light tea, this is enough sweetener. If I use a stronger tea bag, I may add 1-2 extra packets of plain stevia. Then I fill with cold filtered water from my fridge. I prep the tea in the morning & then set it out in the sun for the day (Sun Tea Style) which helps for a slow steep & helps for a smoother less bitter tea. It goes in the fridge before bedtime & is cold and ready for the next day. In the winter months, you can instead make warm tea by the glass (1 tsp of loose tea, 1-2 packets of stevia to your liking) OR just warm up your cold tea. 🙂 Make sure to shake it up before serving.
TIP: You can choose to strain the loose tea out before putting in the refrigerator, or use those mesh tea bags for easy removal. I leave the loose tea in the carafe. The tea gets stronger each day, since it will continue to brew. I just find it easier to strain into my glass as I use.
RESULTS: In addition to generally feeling better, I have slowly watched my weight move down. Which is HUGE. Not just losing, but focused on maintaining. I’d rather move slowly and maintain vs. the lose & regain cycle. I have a hate/hate relationship with the scale, so I do not measure my weight loss by pounds. It is a toxic tool in my regimen. I pay more attention to how I feel and how my clothing fits. By December of 2019, I had dropped 1 pant size. Since March 2020, when I added in the new exercise routine, I’ve dropped another pant size. Slow and steady.
Currently – I am continuing to feel better! The last update was almost a year ago today (9/7/2020) and I feel even better this year than last. I’m doing things this year I could have never done in the past. We purchased a new home & unfortunate timing meant that this happened at the same time my husband had injured his back & was put on a restriction regarding lifting anything over 25lbs. So, primarily on my own, I packed and moved the entirety of our home. I also put in many consecutive 12+ hour days working on our previous home to ready it for sale. I was shocked at what I was able to accomplish. A huge confirmation that my health is on the upswing.
Root Cause Suggestions:
- Magnesium: I currently use Jordan Essentials Magnesium Lotion and Magnesium Soak. JE Products are all natural, family friendly, and gluten free.
Protocol Suggestions from other Sources:
- Kefir Water, Probiotic Water – OR – Kombucha Tea (min. 2 oz daily, up to as much as you like. It is recommended to work your way up b/c too much too fast gives a bellyache)
- Saukerkraut or Kimchi (Lactofermented) 1TBS – 1/4C daily
- Acidopholus 1xd
Things I’ll Systematically Add This Year:
- I’m researching the Kaisa Fit Mobility, Strength, and Core exercise programs to either add in, supplement, or replace my existing plan. As I get older, mobility is becoming even more important to me.
There are the books I have used in my own research, or have been recommended to me:
These are not affiliate links, I do not make money off of their sale. I like to give visual references to help with shopping and direct links when possible.
- Jordan Essentials & Plexus are the only companies/brands that I am affiliated with. However these are not “sponsored” ads. If you would like more information on products from either of these companies, I’m happy to assist.