Today, I’m going to talk to you about healing Hashimoto’s. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid condition where your body produces antibodies against your own thyroid tissue. The thyroid starts to get destroyed over time causing typically low thyroid function. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
Many Are Unaware
Most people aren’t even aware that they have it. Over 20 million Americans have hypothyroidism, most of which are caused by Hashimoto’s. Many are even unaware that they have that. Most people that have it are women, although some men do have it.
Usually, I’ll tell the story of certain patients I’ve treated with it. But today I’m going to talk about my own experience because I had Hashimoto’s over ten years ago. I was able to clear it up so I’m going tell you about how I was able to do that.
The usual symptoms that you’ll have with this are fatigue, brain fog, difficulty getting up in the morning, aches and pains, numbness and tingling, carpal tunnel, anxiety, hair loss. These are all very common symptoms, even headaches, plantar fasciitis which is heel pain. And infertility and miscarriages are very common for low thyroid function. Chronic infections, constipation, and many more symptoms beyond that. As you can see, it can really make you feel terrible.
Why It Goes Undiagnosed
The reason why it mainly goes undiagnosed is typically when you go to a doctor and get lab work, they will check just a few different things like a chem screen CBC, lipids, and TSH. And TSH is not enough to evaluate the thyroid. That’s a pituitary hormone that indirectly measures your thyroid function, but misses most cases.
When patients come in, I’ll order typically six different thyroid values along with everything else and often a TSH will be normal but when I look at the free T3 and free T4, they’re often below optimal ranges and the thyroid antibodies are often elevated, and that’s what indicates Hashimoto’s.
You May Never Find Out Unless…
So, if you’re just getting a TSH and maybe a T4 test and you’re not checking the others and your antibodies, you may never find out. You can go on feeling tired, have hair loss, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and feeling miserable.
What’s even worse than that is if you do go to your doctor and they find it, they’ll usually prescribe synthetic thyroid medication which in my experience, many people don’t do well with. It synthetic T4, and it doesn’t address T3 which many people are low in.
If they do know that you have Hashimoto’s, if they have your antibodies tested usually by an endocrinologist, they’ll say, and this is what happened to me, when I went in back in 2005. When I went in after I tested myself and found out that I had Hashimoto’s, the endocrinologist told me, “Well, there’s no known cause and no known cure. It continues to get worse, your thyroid will continue to deteriorate over time and your antibodies may go up, they may go down, there’s no sense in even measuring them because it’s not going to get better and you will just continually need more and more Synthroid as you get older because the thyroid will continue to deteriorate. You’ll usually get more nodules and bigger nodules and that’s there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Investigation and Research
That didn’t settle well with me, and I couldn’t accept that. So, I started investigating and researching what causes Hashimoto’s, what causes autoimmune in general because at that time I also tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. Usually, when you have one autoimmune, you have another one and one or two or more beyond that.
I thought, there’s something going on, so what can it be? I feel every health condition has a cause, every problem has a solution, so I started researching this. What I found out is it came down to the cause of most autoimmune and chronic health conditions–physical, chemical, and mental stress. So I am going to talk about the chemical stress component. So, breaking that down, I first look at deficiencies.
So, if you have nutrient deficiencies, that can cause your body and immune system to breakdown. In my case, I was low in vitamin D which is incredible because at that time I lived at the beach and was out on the beach, multiple times a week. And I was extremely low in vitamin D. So, that was a shock. When you’re low in D, that can affect your immune system and it’s been linked with autoimmune conditions. I was also low in magnesium which can cause aches and pains and contribute to numbness and tingling and a lot of other symptoms. Vitamin B12 was another one, I was deficient in and that can contribute to fatigue, brain, nerve and blood issues.
The Physical Impact of Deficiencies
So in my case at that time, I was having carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral neuropathy. It got so bad that I wasn’t able to even work on patients for a number of years. I had to hire another chiropractor to come in and did the manual therapy while I did the evaluations and nutrition and functional medicine. So, I figured out the low B12, magnesium and vitamin D, just to name a few. I was someone who ate what I thought was a healthy diet and was taking supplements but certainly not enough and not the right ones.
Functional & Free
That’s why testing is step one in our treatment program which I call Functional & Free which is a seven-step treatment program to get to the root cause of your condition and provide long-term permanent solutions. Step one is getting an evaluation to find out what’s going on so that’s what I was doing. Another form of chemical stress besides deficiencies is toxins.
When I tested heavy metals, I was high in arsenic and mercury which are nerve toxins. Again, the numbness, tingling, carpal tunnel, ulnar neuropathy. As far as arsenic, I was eating a healthy diet which included a lot of rice. I went to the Chinese restaurant, the next door at my office, and I would load up on it. I would get mixed vegetables with rice. I would skip the chicken and would get me extra rice instead.
I thought that was healthy. So, I was eating lots of rice multiple times a week. I was also drinking this detox shake which was rice protein. The healthy hypoallergenic detox shake was at the time made from rice protein. It turns out, it just loaded with arsenic, go figure.
Pathogens / Infections
The third form of chemical stress is pathogens, meaning infections like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast. After doing a comprehensive stool testing, I had yeast overgrowth. I had a lot of antibiotic use when I was a kid. My father was a medical doctor so I was often on antibiotics for all kinds of things.
I had parasite also. Infectious disease specialists say that it doesn’t happen in the United States. Well, I had one. I think I picked it up in Rio de Janeiro, when I was in chiropractic college in early to mid-twenties. A friend and I went down there for spring break to Rio. I guess we thought we were going to pick up women but instead I picked up a parasite!
That wasn’t expected, and all these years I was living with chronic digestive issues, feeling terrible. So when you have yeast and you have parasites, it ramps up your immune system and you’re constantly, your immune system is trying to fight this off. And meanwhile, it can start attacking your own cells, in my case, the thyroid, and joints.
The fourth cause of chemical stress is food sensitivities. So, getting food sensitivity testing is one option, that’s what I did. You know, in my case, I was sensitive to many different foods but gluten was a big one, dairy, yeast, legumes, among other foods. So, that can cause inflammation, leaky gut and in turn, be a trigger for autoimmunity. The immune system is fighting off these foreign invaders, these food reactions.
On mental stress, I had adrenal fatigue issues that I found after testing so I was treating that. At the same time, I was taking digestive enzymes, natural remedies to clear up the parasites, the yeast, and replacing all these nutrients. Over time, I started to get better and my thyroid antibody, started to go down and down and down, and by the spring of 2009, they were completely down to normal. So, it took many months of investigating and finding all this out but I recovered and it’s been about ten years that my thyroid and rheumatoid arthritis antibodies have been in normal range.
Using Research and Experience to Help Others
Since then I’ve used this information I learned on research and figured out to help many other patients. One of the more common things patients come in with over the last many years is thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s. So and when I see that, I just go through the Functional & Free protocol. Do the evaluations to get the underlying root cause. So, besides clearing up all these sources of chemical stress like the sensitivities, the toxins, clearing those out, addressing adrenal fatigue, and, parasites, yeast overgrowth.
Benefits of The FreeDiet®
The type of diet, I ultimately figured out works best. So, I was gluten-free for a while and I found out that it did not work so I started avoiding other foods, the most common food allergens. This list I came up with that really worked well for me and ultimately helped get me better was a diet free of not only gluten but gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes. Those are the most common food allergens.
I call it The FreeDiet®. And that’s the diet that really helped me. Within this diet is also a candida diet for yeast overgrowth which most everyone that has Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition, almost every person I’ve seen is dealing with yeast overgrowth issues. Ramping up that immune system and wreaking havoc on your whole body. So if you and if you want a copy of phase one of The FreeDiet, I’d be happy to share that with you.
Replacing the Deficiency
And the other thing is replacing deficiencies. So after testing to find out specifically what’s going on like when I was deficient in all those things. The most common recommendations of the foundational nutritional supplements typically recommend for Hashimoto’s and hyperthyroid conditions are our Natural Medicine Formulas. ActiveMulti, a fish oil supplement, magnesium, probiotics, vitamin D with K2, These are the basic foundational supplements, and there are specific ones beyond that based on testing.
Often selenium is low. Iodine, which is very controversial because so many people out there saying iodine is the devil if you have Hashimoto’s. However, when I tested myself, I was low in it and many other patients I test are low. When we give iodine and that can really help. If you’re low and you replenish that, it helps tremendously. If you don’t need iodine and you take it, it can make thyroid issues worse. So, that’s one thing really needs to be tested before you go and take it.
So, The FreeDiet® and supplements, those are two of the biggest things that help and there’s a lot of different lifestyle issues. Addressing stress and things like that, and if you’re suffering from aches and pains, and physical issues, of course, the manual therapy, the physical aspects of treatment and functional training exercises, those are all part of the whole treatment plan.
It’s important to know that if you have an autoimmune condition, Hashimoto’s or any chronic health condition you can get better if you first discover the underlying root causes. Once that is figured out, coming up with a plan to help provide permanent, long-term solutions. You find the cause then you can find solutions to getting better.
So, yes, you can get better. With everything I learned, I was able to do it with Hashimoto’s and a lot of other health issues that I had and fortunately, I’ve been blessed to be able to help so many other patients as well.