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Common Questions, Misconceptions and Myths of Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis


Common Questions, Misconceptions and Myths of Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Like most things in life: here is no black and white only. With new and complex conditions like a hormonal imbalances or compromised autoimmunity, there are only many shades of grey.
I was compelled to write this article as I get daily emails and calls from people stating the things they have done and how tired and frustrated they are with the results.
Let’s get right into them.
1. “I don’t have Hashimoto’s, only hypothyroidism.”
Have you been tested to rule out Hashimoto’s? Most people have not. Doctors don’t like to test for the TPO and TGB antibodies as there is not medication to reduce the immune’s attack on the thyroid gland. 90% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism have it due to Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system gets mutated and starts attacking its own thyroid – which causes hypothyroidism. 70% of your immune system lives in your small intestines (duodenum).
This is important to know as in the case of Hashimoto’s, it’s the digestive tract that needs fixing, not the thyroid alone.

2. “I’m already off gluten, dairy and soy but…”

But, you are still not feeling like yourself, right?

It’s great that so many of us take these really life-altering steps by dropping some of the staple food and learning to re-design our lives without them. For many, these changes do not produce desired results and this is when frustration and doubt step in.

If you have Hashimoto’s Thyroidistis and/or any other autoimmune condition, chances are that you have had digestive issues or infections that triggered this conditions a long time ago. Integrative doctors say that we walk around with Hashimito’s for an average of 8 years before getting diagnosed. During this time, the digestive tract lining gets damaged by food we do not tolerate well (see more on this below), pathogenic bacteria, yeast overgrowth (aka candida) and parasites. Any of them can be the trigger for an autoimmune condition.

So yes, gluten, dairy and soy are considered big food triggers but for many people they may not be enough. Read on.


3. “I eat really well.”

This is one of the first sentences that I hear from people who contact me. It’s not surprising; after all, if they did not eat well and have a love and appreciation for good food and nutrition, they won’t be searching for diet and thyroid-related solutions.

There are a couple of challenges with this belief: what does “eating well” really mean? Many people would perceive for example, protein powders, to be healthy food. In my practice I see amazing results every time I switch a person the product marketing miracle claims to real, unadulterated and whole food.

However, the bigger issue is this: for people with autoimmune conditions it is not so much about what we eat but what our body does with the food we eat. Take eggs as an example. They are one of the superfoods, in fact they are so rich in nutrients that we can survive eating them and nothing else. However, if our body does not tolerate eggs well they become a toxic substance that will inflame the immune system even further. Sadly, the list of “good food” that many people with autoimmune conditions cannot tolerate is long can include nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables, legumes and grains.

A simple elimination diet would help reveal what food a person is reactive to. For a person with an autoimmune condition, it is of paramount importance to remove food that causes digestive distress.

4. “I’m already a vegetarian.”
I know I’m not going to get in good books with the vegetarians here but if you want to heal yourself, you need to remain open-minded.
Please bear in mind that I’m a big proponent of bio-individuality which honors the distinct nutritional needs of every human being. I’m not saying everybody needs to eat meat. I’m saying: listen to your body if it needs meat.
Sadly (or not), I found many of my clients turn a corner when with even small amounts of animal proteins in their diet. This is why:
VITAMIN B12 and IRON - you probably know this part already: we get plenty of vitamin B12 and iron from meat. Both Vitamin B12 and iron are key in converting the T4 to T3.
GLUTAMINE - provides cells in the digestive tract with a vital source of energy that is required for regulating their production. Its role in re-building and strengthening the gut lining is critical.
TYROSINE - is also the precursor amino acid for the thyroid gland hormone thyroxin, and a defect in this may result in hypothyroidism.
5. “I’ve stopped eating goitrogenic vegetables”

This is another highly controversial topic. It is true that food high in goiter will inhibit the thyroid gland’s ability to uptake iodine to produce the T4 hormone. This can be highly frustrating as this food includes some of our all-time favorites like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, Brussels’ sprouts, kale, collard greens, etc.

Here is the good news: when cooked, these vegetables lose 70-80% of their goitrogenic properties. Let’s remember that when we have Hashimoto’s, our primary focus should be in restoring our digestive tract and detoxifying the body – as they were the original triggers of this condition. Omitting these vegetables completely will not address this concern.

These vegetables are richer in vitamins and minerals than any other of their distant veggie cousins. As it stands, most Americans are undernourished, taking out food like this will further make us rely on supplements – which is not the way we should be living and healing.

Lastly, goitrogenic vegetables are rich in a substance called DIM (diindolylmethane) which is key in liver detoxification as well as elimination of mutated estrogen metabolites. Most pre-menopausal women I work with have some level of estrogen dominance which is barely surprising given the estrogenic cocktail of skincare products, cleaners, packaging and food we live in today. Keeping a healthy balance of estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormone is key not only to the overall hormonal balance but also to the immune system.


6. “I lost my thyroid, is there anything that I can do?”
The short answer is: absolutely YES! I want to empower you with some understanding why that is so:
a. Even if you lost your thyroid, the meds you are taking depend on your gut and your liver for proper break-down and absorptions.
b. If you are only on synthetic T4 (like Synthroid), your body still depends on the health of your liver to convert the inactive T4 hormone to the active T3 hormone utilized by your cells.
c. If you have/had Hashimito’s Disease, you have an autoimmune condition. Why would removing the thyroid gland stop this immune mutation? This is why 50% of people with Hashi’s develop other, often far worse, autoimmune conditions like MS, fibromyalgia, lupus, RA and so many more (it’s a pandemic now).
In all three points, nutritional changes can make a huge difference. Starting with cleaning up your gut and liver to maximize the drug (like Synthroid) utilization to preventing other autoimmune diseases from developing.
It’s true that once you have Hashi’s you have it forever – this includes the author of this article. But, you can get to a place of remission, be symptoms-free and live a full life.

This article was contributed by Magdalena Wszelaki, a certified nutrition coach and the founder of Thyroid Diet Coach and Hormones Balance. Magdalena has managed to reverse her own Graves’ and Hashimoto’s Disease, adrenal fatgue and estrogen dominance. She is in full remission now and lives a symptoms-free and awesome life.

On May 10th, she is hosting a Free Online Hormones Detox WORKHOP titled “10 Toxins Impacting Your Hormones” - designed to help understand the interplay between toxins and the thyroid and how to live the toxins-free life pragmatically and on a budget.

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