5 things to do after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease

Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Unfortunately, it is also the most mismanaged type of hypothyroidism. Most people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease only receive thyroid hormone replacement, but continue to experience the same symptoms. Here are five things every Hashimoto patient should do to help reduce their symptoms.

  1. Stop taking all supplements containing iodine: Iodine is an important nutrient for thyroid function, and iodine deficiencies are common across the country, but in cases of Hashimoto’s disease, iodine can actually trigger the immune system to attack. The bottom line is that iodine is a very important supplement for many people, but it is contraindicated with this disease because it fires up the immune system and makes the problem worse.
  2. Get your vitamin D level tested: A common problem for people with autoimmune diseases is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for supporting the immune system. A simple blood test performed by your doctor can determine whether the levels of vitamin D stored in your body are high enough or not. It is recommended that your levels be 33 ng/ml or higher. If your test is low, your doctor will recommend a high quality supplement with retesting in the future to ensure you are absorbing it properly.
  3. Get tested for gluten sensitivity: The literature shows that a high number of people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease also have gluten sensitivity. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. Gluten sensitivity simply means that every time you eat gluten, your immune system tries to attack and kill it, creating major inflammation. This immune trigger will cause your immune system to attack and further destroy your thyroid gland. The best and most sensitive test for gluten sensitivity is a stool SIgA test. Your doctor can order this test for you. If you have tested negative with a saliva or blood test, be sure to take the stool test, as continuing to eat gluten when you have a sensitivity is detrimental to your condition.
  4. Closely manage your blood sugar: You’re probably thinking, “I’m not diabetic, why would that apply to me?” There are many functional diabetics and functional hypoglycemics who have no idea they have a problem. This is a complex issue that your doctor will need to work through with you, but good blood sugar control is essential to avoid continually triggering the immune system.
  5. Do NOT take “immune support” supplements: This is the biggest mistake I see patients and many doctors make in trying to support the immune system. With an autoimmune disease, the immune system has essentially become confused. One side of the immune system becomes dominant and the other side suppressed. It is this imbalance that creates confusion and causes it to attack your own thyroid gland. It’s likely that the immune support supplement will contain an herb or plant that may be helpful, but likely contains elements that worsen your immune dominance. It is essential to have very special immune panels to determine your immune dominance and the specific pattern of immune dysfunction in order to truly uncover the true nature of the immune problem. Then, specific application of herbs, plants and plant extracts that have been shown to have specific effects on various cells of the immune system can be used to modulate and rebalance it. Until you have a doctor who knows how to manage these immune panels and apply that knowledge, don’t play with fire, just avoid broad-support immune supplements.

If you are diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, do these 5 things to give yourself a better chance of feeling well again. Since the immune system is the source of the problem, find a physician trained in examining the specifics of the immune response, familiar with autoimmune triggers, and trained in the application of natural medicine in relation to the immune system , is your best choice to completely turn down the dimmer of your disease.

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