Updated: Jul 6
Hi. My name is Jennifer and I have Hashimoto's disease.
What the heck is that?
In short, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your thyroid gland. The suffix "itis" means "inflamed". All of the antibodies directed at the thyroid gland causes it to become swollen and puffy and sometimes full of nodules. In advanced cases, you can feel these nodules and the swelling.
Most of the time, this inflammation will lead to a lowering of thyroid function. This is known as hypothyroidism. In a practical sense, this means you will be cold, chubby, exhausted, achy, and moody and wondering why you are feeling this way.
You'll know if you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis if your doctor tests your Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody levels and they show up in numbers over 9 IU/ml.
Last I checked, mine were 4.
From over 200 to 4.
Under 9 IU/ml means you don't have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
So for all intents and purposes, Hi. My name is Jennifer and I don't have Hashimoto's disease.
That can be you, too. Really. I promise.
Conventional medicine has very little efficacy in treating autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's. You can't take a pill to stop producing antibodies against your thyroid. You have to remove the cause of the inflammation before your immune system can calm the F down.
The first thing you have to do is sit down and have a heart to heart with yourself.
You: "Self, what are we going to do about this Hashimoto's business?"
Also you: "Well, what can we do?"
You: "I'm pretty sure Jennifer said that everything I put in my body has a chemical reaction and that I should get off of gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol."
Also you: "BWA HA HA HA HA HA."
You: (Rolls eyes.)
Okay, good talk.
But really. You have to sit down and ask yourself,
"Am I worth it? Am I worth all of this effort and restriction and sacrifice and work?"
Look at me, sister.
Yes. You are.
You can do this. Get some encouragement from family member and friends, throw out all of the crap that is making you sick, plan and prep and promise yourself that you will do it.
And you like to keep your promises. I know this.
We start, as we always do, with the five pillars of health. Let's dive in.
The research is clear. Hashimoto's sufferers need to get off of gluten. End of story. No dives into the sourdough bread. No flour tortillas with your fajitas. No Wheaties.
That may sound difficult, and I don't blame you. Peptides from wheat gluten act like opioids in the brains. PS- heroin, Oxycontin, and Vicodin are opioids. So when I say that I know it's difficult to get off gluten, I mean it.
The best way to quit is to go cold-turkey. If you need help, I've got two options for you. Set up your free 15 minute phone call with me to talk about it, or grab my brand-new 28 Day Reset, the plan that has helped almost 100 women bring their health back into balance. (You actually get a free 30 minute consult with that, too!).
If you would rather do it yourself, I've got tons of resources for you. Here is a full, 3-meal-a-day, 7-day meal plan with recipes, shopping lists, and meal plans. And it's all- wait for it- gluten free!
This is a great way to ease into your new way of eating.
Now that you've gone gluten free, repeat the same thing for:
Rip off the bandaid. The road to feeling better lies with you, and you alone! Diet is the most important pillar for you at the beginning of your healing journey.
You've got to sleep. Try to get 7-9 hours a night. It's wise to train yourself to turn off devices by 8 pm, take your epsom salt bath by 9 pm, and be in bed, reading or having sex by 9:30 pm.
If you're tired, nap. While the body is under attack (which it is with Hashimoto's), you'll need extra rest. Allow yourself to have it. It takes a lot of energy to fight off disease.
On a side note, the "innocent bystander" theory of autoimmune disease supports the idea that the body is not in fact attacking itself, which is ludicrous whether you are a Creationist or an Evolutionist. It's attacking something. I ascribe to the theory that this something is probably Epstein Barr, and I recommend all of my Hashi's clients also get tested for EBV.
So whether you are fighting yourself or something like EBV, give yourself plenty of time to rest. Grab my sleep guide if you need help getting there.
People overthink exercise. Move every day. That's it. When you're exhausted, don't push it and go to an hour long spin class. Some women with Hashimoto's also have Adrenal Fatigue. (Adrenal Fatigue is becoming real! They're writing about it in the literature!)
When you have energy, try to walk 10,00 steps a day. Slowly, all throughout the day. Not too much. It's tempting to lay on the couch when you feel like ass, but try to at least slowly walk around a few times a day. Moving helps drain lymph fluid, and lymph fluid is where your body deposits all of those spent antibodies and dead EBV cells. You want that out of your body, believe me.
When you have a little more energy, feel free to move however you want to. Just don't push it. You can feel great one day and then sacked the next if you push your body too hard.
4. Stress Relief
We may get sick because we stress ourselves out. The cause of autoimmune disease in particular has been linked to stress.
It's easier to go gluten and dairy free than it is to reduce stress.
Here's the best ways I have found to manage stress.
Realize the things you cannot change. I have four kids, a dear husband, a growing business, a pursuit of a master's degree, church ministry, and two sides of family in town. You have similar things going on a daily basis.
This is the crap we can't get out of.
Instead of complaining about the things I chose (Beau loves to remind me of this!), I do all the stuff I need to do during the day.
Then, I make my kids clean up dinner, I take my epsom salt bath, I chill with my family, and I go to bed by 10, before anyone else in my family.
Day: Time to Do Stuff
Night: Time to Peace Out
You can't change your responsibilities. But you are, in fact, in charge of your time. Stop all of the extra stuff by dinner time. It will be there tomorrow and even if you don't believe me, you need to mentally disengage and relax a bit.
You know I'm not as into supplements as I once was, but there are a few that will help support someone with Hashimoto's.
A good Probiotic
You can email me if you want specific recommendations. I don't like recommending the same things for everyone- we are all special snowflakes, you know?
I pray this helps you, or someone you care about. Feel free to share and to join the discussion on Instagram so you can chime in with your own autoimmune illness issues.
To your autoimmune health,