004 // What can I take for Hashimoto’s disease?

Episode 4 is answering your questions: Can I just take something to fix my Hashimoto’s? What vitamins and supplements are good for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s? What can I take naturally for Hashimoto’s disease?

Health with Hashimoto’s is the free weekly podcast where the exhausted mom can find a path to whole health.

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Bowl of pills with words "What can I take for Hashimoto's disease"

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When you get a new diagnosis of any type, it is very common to have the first words that come out of your mouth be, “What can I take for this?” Because that is what we have been conditioned to ask in our culture, whether you live in the United States or Canada or Australia, or Europe. It is common in Western medicine to give, “a pill for every ill.” For everything that is wrong, we expect a pill to fix it.

Western Medicine

This is what I call Western medicine. Picture a tree, what this approach is doing is fixing the leaves. Now, of course, if you’ve ever had a plant in your house, you know that if the leaves start to turn brown, that is definitely a cry for help, and you need to address it, but you don’t address it at the leaf level. You go deeper. You go to the root level.

I am pretty bad about watering my house plants. I’ve got one that is in an awesome location as far as aesthetics, but as far as remembering to water it, not so much. So I forget to water that one all the time until I see the leaves turning brown. When they started to fall off, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I need to water that plant.” I don’t spritz water on the leaves. That’s Western medicine. When something happens, when you get a diagnosis, when you have a symptom of something, Western medicine fixes the leaf. It fixes that symptom.

We know from having to house plants, we need to go deeper. Figuring out the root causes is functional medicine. I grew fed up, working in the emergency department with just Western medicine. I would see people come in, even the same people, come in over and over for the same problems because we didn’t help them actually get better. We were treating the symptom instead of the root cause.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine goes deeper, and that’s really what you want to look at when you’re looking at Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or when you’re looking at any autoimmune condition. Because what happens when your immune system starts to attack yourself? Well, it just goes after the low-hanging fruit, and for many of us, that’s the thyroid.

We need to fix the immune system. We can’t do that with just a pill.

But that’s one of our first questions when we are diagnosed with Hashimoto’s is, “what do I need to take? How do I fix this?”

Three reasons for Hashimoto’s & other autoimmune diseases

So let’s dive into the three things that everybody has to develop Hashimoto’s or any autoimmune condition. There are three things:

Number one: You have a genetic factor or genetic predisposition.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to not get it. It means that you have the genes.

Number two: You have a gut issue.

In every autoimmune condition, there is a gut component. Whether that’s leaky gut, some allergens, or inflammation–there’s always a gut component.

Number three: There’s always a trigger.

Now there are a lot of different types of triggers. The more of number one or two you have (genetic predisposition or gut issue) the fewer triggers it takes. But in our world. We are bombarded by triggers.

This is a list of triggers I compiled from listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Synapse SNPs. They did a long podcast on thyroid, and I got these eight triggers from their podcast. One of the other resources that I really love is Isabella Wentz from “the thyroid pharmacist.”

Common triggers for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

The eight triggers listed by Synapse SNPs (and we’re going to go through these in future podcast episodes) are: these are not in order of prevalence
Low vitamin d levels
Hormone changes
Food reactions
Environmental chemicals
Blood sugar issues
Infections of any kind

Now, within those eight things, there’s a lot we can dig into just that #8–infections of any kind–where you’re looking at mold, bacteria, and viruses. And when you’re looking at #6 blood sugar, there are both highs and lows.

There are so many different things. That’s why we’re going to dedicate one podcast episode to each one of those eight, because there are different things that you can do for each one of those, and one of them might not be your trigger, but most likely out of those eight triggers (and the other triggers that you can have for Hashimoto’s), you probably have more than one.

Can I take something for my Hashimoto’s disease?

So when you ask, “can I just take something?” We need to address those three initial things: the genetic factor, the gut issue, and the trigger.

So the genetic factor, every gene in your body, is more likely to go haywire and do the bad thing if you’ve got inflammation. So you want to lower inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.

Oxidative stress

What is oxidative stress? Excellent question.

Picture of banana turning brown or apple turning brown. Picture the rust on a car.

Those things are caused by oxygen. Oxygen is obviously really good and without it we die. But oxygen does cause some problems and oxidative stress within your body is kind of like the browning of a banana or the rusting of a car, except it happens at a cellular level.

Now, when you don’t have healthy cells. You’re not going to have healthy organs. When you don’t have healthy organs, you don’t have a healthy you. So we need to address, inflammation and oxidative stress.

Is there something you can take for it? Yes.
Are there a lot of lifestyle things that you can do for that? Absolutely!

Activating your body’s powerful pathways

You can take for that something called the Nrf2 activator. It’s a super powerful pathway within your own body, and as we age it starts to turn off instead of on. When it’s on, when it’s activated, your body produces antioxidants that are a million times more powerful than anything you can eat.

Your body is amazing. Your body has such powerful capabilities. And so when you activate that Nrf2 pathway with five simple herbs, you’re going to have amazing results in your body. The research on these products shows us that within 30 days your oxidative stress levels in your body go down to 40%.
So when you’re talking about lowering inflammation and making that genetic stuff happier, Nrf2 is impressive.

Addressing the gut aspect of Hashimoto’s

So what about the gut issue?

There are a lot of things that we need to do for the gut. But the first thing I want to ask you is, are you pooping every day? If you’re not pooping every day, that is the number one thing that you need to address. And please do not address it through laxatives or something like Miralax. You need to address it with movement, fiber, and lots of water. Water and fiber have to be balanced out. Otherwise, if you have too much fiber, you’re going to get constipated. Those are some things. But you came to this episode to see if there’s like a pill you could take, right?

As far as the gut goes, you can take probiotics. There are so many probiotics on the market; tons and tons and tons. We’re learning more about probiotics every single year. More research comes out, and you probably have a favorite brand of probiotics. If you don’t, there is one that I really love. I’ve been looking at probiotics for over a decade and talking to people about the health of their gut, talking to people about their immune function, and the role that probiotics play during cold and flu season. Probiotics are phenomenal for your health. So if you’re not yet taking a probiotic, That is one simple thing you can do to help.

Is it going to fix your leaky gut? Is it going to fix your gut issues? No, we have more work to do on that. But can it help? Yes. A probiotic is another thing that you can take.

Again, this is not curing anything. We’re just helping your body to do what it needs to do.

Addressing Hashimoto’s common triggers

The third thing we listed was eight triggers. A lot of those triggers come down to little gaps in your diet, or in what you are obtaining from the world around you like vitamin D. So hopefully you have your vitamin d level checked, and you can approach that as needed.

I did a series of reels or shorts on Instagram and YouTube all about Vitamin D. And in that, I said that there are different panels, different recommendations from the Endocrinologist Society, the functional medicine people, the Western Medicine people, and after looking at all of those–for me, I know that I want my vitamin d levels around eighty. That is what I have looked at the research, and I have looked at the different people’s recommendations, and I said, “that is what I want.”

That’s what I am aiming for. Your doctor, endocrinologist, or expert might have a different number for you, but most of us, when we get our vitamin d levels checked it’s too low. So that is another thing.

Can I just take something? How about some vitamin d?

More than a D

Another common trigger in those eight are other nutrient deficiencies. And so when you go to the pharmacist or the health food store, or whatever, you’re going to see bottles of things for your thyroid. And often those have a lot of the nutrients that we are deficient in. Selenium is one. But for a lot of the micronutrients, we know that we have gaps.

In the United States, we have this thing that’s super outdated called the RDA: The Recommended Daily Allowance. It was created to keep people from getting really bad things like scurvy.

If you hit the RDA, even if you get a 100% of the RDA, you are getting a D.

Now in school, I didn’t want a D. A D is to keep you from failing. That’s the RDA. I wanted A’s or B’s; whatever I was willing to work for. A D was not acceptable. Well, the RDA is to get you a D. It’s to keep you from failing.

Unfortunately, a lot of people in our culture do not even hit 100% on the RDA.

So is there something you can take? Yeah, you can fill those micronutrient gaps.

Filling the gaps: micronutrient building blocks

When I was looking at all the thyroid products, I was overwhelmed so I just bought the easiest one. Like, it says thyroid? Awesome. Because on day one, week one, even month one, I was overwhelmed. And now I’ve had some time to look at the different products, and I realized that the one supplement on the market with antioxidants and minerals that I’ve known about for almost twenty years is the best in the United States, the best in North America. According to independent researchers, it’s still the best.

Whether you’re looking at thyroid, or whether you’re looking to plug the gaps in your diet overall, It’s the best. The USANA CellSentials are great for plugging the gaps.

If you want to know why this is the best, here’s an article I wrote: Four critical questions to ask before buying another vitamin

What I take to support my body’s fight against Hashimoto’s

So what I take is: in the morning I activate my pathways. I activate that Nrf2 pathway. I also activate my Nrf1 pathway. I’ve talked to you about the thyroid is like the spark plug to get your cells going. The spark plug works on the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy-producing parts of your cells. And Nrf1 helps with that mitochondria, and of course, with Hashimoto’s, the number One symptom is fatigue. If you want to combat that you need to address the mitochondria as well as a lot of things. So in the morning, I activate my own pathways. I activate my nrf2 pathway and I activate my nrf1 pathway. I do that with something called the Dual synergizer. That’s super simple, right? I also take a couple of things like Omega-3s. Because I don’t get enough of those in my diet.

Then in the evening, {if you’re going to remember to take supplements, breakfast, lunch, and supper, then you can divide this up breakfast, lunch, and supper} in the evening I take my micronutrients to plug the holes in my diet to make sure that I’m getting everything that I need.

That is my approach.

Don’t spoil the recipe

I want to say upfront, You cannot take them together. The nrf1 pathway activator and the nrf2 pathway activator are very, very sensitive, And if you break the recipe, if you break the synergy you’re going to basically waste your money. It’s not going to work.

Think of somebody’s wonderful recipe for a sauce. You can’t add too much salt and get the right recipe. It’s going to affect everything you’re not going to want to eat it.

It’s the same with those activators; you have to keep them in synergy. So I do not take anything else with the activators, because I don’t want to break the synergy. I don’t want to waste my money and my effort. I want what I’m taking to actually work.

So in the morning, I activate my pathways, and in the evening with supper, I take my micronutrients. Especially because when you go to bed, and when you’re sleeping, that’s when your body is healing and restoring and doing all the work. So I want to make sure that it has the building blocks that it needs to be able to do that.

Is there something I can take?

In summary, you asked, “Is there something I can just take for my thyroid?”

The answer is: No, there’s a lot we need to do, and we’re going to dive into that in future episodes.

But the answer is also Yes, there are some things that you can do to support your body: activating your pathways, taking a good probiotic, and then filling those micronutrient gaps.

Spoons of spices around a bowl of pills with words "What can I take for Hashimoto's disease"