11 Signs You Have Hashimoto’s and How to Overcome It
Are you tired all the time even after getting a full night’s sleep? Do you find yourself forgetting where your keys are or where you parked your car? Perhaps you’re dealing with cold hands, hair loss, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, mood swings, depression or anxiety, constipation, or hormonal imbalances.
If any of that sounds familiar, you could have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition of your thyroid.
This can lead to a wide range of symptoms because your thyroid is your body’s engine. It produces hormones that attach to every cell in your body, and it regulates all of your metabolic functions, from heart rate to temperature to metabolism to your mood.
Hashimoto’s is incredibly common and I have helped thousands of patients in my clinic overcome the condition.
In fact, we are now living in a thyroid epidemic, which I explain in detail in my book, The Thyroid Connection. An estimated 27 million Americans have some form of thyroid dysfunction, and the American Thyroid Association estimates that 12% of the U.S. population can expect to develop thyroid dysfunction. That’s one in every eight people, and women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be affected.1
Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, is the most common form of thyroid dysfunction, and 90% of hypothyroidism patients have Hashimoto’s.2
The good news is that by addressing the root causes that lead your immune system to attack your thyroid in the first place, you can reverse your condition and eliminate your symptoms. Before we dive into how to overcome your symptoms, let’s cover the basics of Hashimoto’s, the common signs of hypothyroidism, and why your doctor may have missed your diagnosis.
What is Hashimoto’s?
Despite what your conventional doctor may tell you, Hashimoto’s isn’t a problem of your thyroid. It’s actually a problem of the immune system.
In the case of Hashimoto’s, your immune system is attacking your thyroid, causing it to underproduce its hormones and slowing down all of your metabolic processes.
11 Signs of Hashimoto’s
1. Fatigue and feeling exhausted even after sleeping 8-10 hours
2. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor memory
3. Weight gain or inability to lose weight
4. Cold hands or feet, low body temperature
5. Hair loss or thinning, brittle hair
7. Hormonal imbalances including PMS, irregular periods, and low sex drive, infertility
8. Dry skin or brittle nails
9. Mood imbalances such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings
10. Decreased heart rate
11. Neck swelling, snoring, or hoarse voice
5 Steps to Overcome Hashimoto’s
Remember, Hashimoto’s occurs as a result of a malfunctioning immune system. If you tackle the underlying issues causing your immune system to go rogue, you can stop its attack on your thyroid, restore optimal function, and eliminate your symptoms!
Through my research and a decade of clinical experience, I identified 5 environmental causes at the root of Hashimoto’s. In my book, The Thyroid Connection I walk you through all five, explain how to overcome them, and provide a step-by-step, 28-day plan to put it all into action. Today I’ll take you through the steps to overcome Hashimoto’s symptoms.
1. Repair Your Gut
If you have Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune condition, repairing your gut is vital to reversing your symptoms. After all, nearly 60-80% of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract.
We now know from Dr. Alessio Fasano from Harvard that leaky gut, which occurs when your gut lining becomes too permeable, is one of the necessary precursors for autoimmunity, including Hashimoto’s.
If your gut is leaky, toxins, microbes, viruses, bacteria, and partially digested food particles are able to escape into your bloodstream. Once escaped, they trigger an attack from your immune system, overstressing it until your immune system eventually attacks your thyroid by mistake.
I use functional medicine’s 4R approach to heal the gut. It’s the process described in depth in my books and programs, and the one I share with anyone looking to repair their gut. Here are the basics:
2. Optimize Your Diet
One of the primary causes of leaky gut is an inflammatory diet—particularly one including gluten and dairy. Gluten produces a chemical called zonulin that causes the tight junctions in intestinal wall to open up.3
To make matters worse, gluten has a very similar protein structure to your thyroid. The protein structure is so similar that your immune system thinks they are one and the same. So every time you eat gluten your gut remains leaky and gluten particles escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system attacks these particles, and in the process catches your thyroid in its crosshairs. This is a phenomenon called molecular mimicry—simply put, a case of mistaken identity.
Dairy is the second biggest culprit for Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions because casein, the protein found in dairy, is very similar to gluten, and causes the same molecular mimicry reaction.
For these reasons, I recommend that all Hashimoto’s patients eliminate gluten and dairy for good.
However, it’s not only about removing the harmful foods. You must add the delicious, nutrient-dense foods your thyroid needs to your diet.
Two of the most important nutrients for your thyroid are iodine—a building block of thyroid hormone—and selenium, which helps convert thyroid hormones to their active state and reduces Hashimoto’s antibodies.
Eating a diet rich in clean, whole foods will go a long way in boosting your levels of these critical nutrients. Due to our modern lifestyles, I also recommend taking a high-quality multivitamin that includes these nutrients in order to maintain sufficient levels.
The Myers Way® Multivitamin is a custom-formulated multi specially designed for patients with Hashimoto’s. It contains optimal daily levels of iodine, selenium, and other key nutrients for optimal thyroid function.
3. Tame the Toxins
Mercury, perchlorates, and nitrates are all toxins chemically similar to iodine and are quickly absorbed by your thyroid in place of iodine. When this occurs, your thyroid doesn’t have enough iodine to produce adequate levels of its hormones, perpetuating Hashimoto’s symptoms. Additionally, nitrates have been linked to increased rates of thyroid cancer.
You can take steps to prevent your exposure to these toxins and to remove them from your body.
First, you need to know how you’re being exposed. All three of these toxins can be present in your tap water, and mercury can also be found in the air from coal-burning plants, as well as pesticides, fish, cosmetics, dental fillings, and vaccines.
Then you’ll want to minimize your exposure by filtering your water and air. You can choose organic food and low-mercury fish, and buy non-toxic body products. Additionally, there are biological dentists who will safely remove amalgam fillings, and you should make informed decisions about vaccines.
From there you can focus on supporting your detox pathways so you can safely flush toxins from your body.
4. Heal Your Infections
There are a number of infections associated with autoimmune diseases. Oftentimes there are five specific infections found in people with Hashimoto’s: herpes viruses, Epstein-Barr, Hepatitis C, Helicobacter pylori, and Yersinia enterocolitica. These common infections often show no symptoms, so you might never know you’ve been infected.
You can test for all of these viruses and bacteria, and they can be treated. When I worked with patients in my clinic to treat infections, we were able to to bring their thyroid antibodies down by addressing infections. You can read more about what causes infections, how to test for them, and treat them in here.
5. Relieve Your Stress
The hormones released by your body when you are stressed slow your thyroid hormone production, reduce your ability to convert thyroid hormones to their active state, and bind up the thyroid hormone in your bloodstream so it can’t enter into your cells and do its job.
While most of us can’t eliminate stress entirely (I know I certainly can’t!), the key is to relieve stress to minimize its impact on your health.
Everyone relieves stress differently, so I encourage you to find what works for you. It could be going on walks in nature, meditating, yoga, journaling, taking a relaxing bath, or any other stress-relieving activity.
If you’re ready to take back your health and overcome Hashimoto’s, pick up a copy of The Thyroid Connection and discover how to work with your doctor on the right lab testing and thyroid medication. The Thyroid Connection also provides a step-by-step 28-day plan, including a meal plan with recipes. With this resource, you’ll easily be able to put the five above steps into practice!
When you purchase your copy, head over to this page and enter your receipt number to receive $175 in FREE bonus resources to jumpstart your thyroid!