I think I’m doing everything right, but I’m still not feeling any better!
I hear this from my clients and community sometimes, and it’s a desperate cry for help. These women have tried literally everything to heal their Hashimoto’s: they’ve changed their diet, changed their lifestyle, balanced their hormones, addressed their adrenals…
But they’re still feeling sick, rundown, and their numbers haven’t improved. Talk about frustration!
While addressing the three essential pillars of thyroid healing are important first steps, if you’re not seeing marked improvement within 3–6 months, it’s time to — as my friend and colleague Izabella says — dig deeper.
The root causes of Hashimoto’s
Scientists who study autoimmune diseases often say that there are three ingredients necessary for an autoimmune problem to manifest:
- Your genetics
- A trigger
- A leaky gut
Obviously, we can’t change our genetics. But the other two are things we can address.
I talk a lot about how to heal your leaky gut through diet and lifestyle, but what do you do when that’s not enough?
You search for the trigger.
The problem is, there isn’t just one trigger for an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s. Science has found strong links between Hashimoto’s and:
- Gluten sensitivity
- Other food sensitivities (to cross-reactive proteins)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including zinc, glutamine, and vitamin D
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
These conditions are triggers for autoimmune disease because of something called molecular mimicry. Molecular mimicry is the theory that certain foreign proteins, bacteria, or other microbes that enter our body are similar in structure or appearance to our own cells (namely thyroid cells), and so when the immune system programs itself to fight the invaders, it mistakenly attacks healthy body cells as well.
For example, the gluten protein is widely believed to “look” like thyroid cells to our immune system. So when gluten escapes your digestive tract through a leaky gut, and shows up in the blood stream where it’s not supposed to be, the immune system goes about eliminating it.
But when there is too much gluten protein in the blood over a long period of time, the immune system gets overzealous, attacking anything that even resembles it — including your thyroid — resulting in conditions like Hashimoto’s.
Any one of these triggers could easily go undetected or misdiagnosed in the course of regular doctor’s visits; they require specific testing to uncover. In other words, your doctor has to be looking for these problems if he wants to find them.
The good news is that many of these triggers can be addressed. Some, like gluten sensitivity and other food allergies, can be addressed by simply removing the offending protein from your diet. Others can be more difficult to treat, like the Epstein Barr virus or lyme disease, but treatments are available.
The key to feeling better when nothing else works is getting the right tests to uncover the root cause of your Hashimoto’s.[bctt tweet=”The key to healing when nothing else works is to dig deeper into the root cause of #Hashimotos @ThyroidLove”]
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.
Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.