1.- Look at functional ranges for thyroid testing. This is simple once you understand the concept. When your physician orders blood work, or you get blood work on your own from an independent lab, they will give you an accepted range of where your numbers should fall between. This is true with TSH, T3, T4, TPO, Reverse T3, and all thyroid related testing. There is a problem. The reference ranges average in sick populations which skews the average to a very wide conventional range. For example. The average American woman weighs 171 lbs. In the 1950’s, the Average American woman weighed 140 lbs. Just because we have a “larger” average today, doesn’t mean the average is healthy. In the same way, conventional lab ranges “average in” sick populations, the range that is “accepted” grows every decade. Looking at functional ranges is necessary to determine the actual ability of your thyroid to FUNCTION. Many patients who actually have Hashimoto’s have never been diagnosed because they fall into the conventional clinical standards. Those standards are actually sub standard, leading to misdiagnosis, and years of wear and tear on the thyroid before a patient realizes they are sick, and it’s not in their head.
2.- Magnesium. Supplement daily with Magnesium. There are many different forms of the mineral Magnesium, the best is chelated magnesium, which has a higher absorption rate than other forms. This natural form of magnesium is able to fulfill all the functions that magnesium performs in the body, unlike synthetic lab created magnesium, only performing a handful of the “duties” of magnesium. Often Thyroid patients are deficient in Magnesium, as are most people suffering from autoimmune symptoms. Magnesium helps to nourish the thyroid and alleviates depression and anxiety. Foods that naturally contain magnesium are raw cacao, spinach, almonds, avocados, bananas, and swiss chard. Supplementing with 1,000 mg a day of Magnesium has been shown to benefit those with Magnesium deficiencies.
3.- Vitamin D. This essential vitamin is crucial to Thyroid, and overall health. Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in Hashimoto’s patients. Getting outside is a great way to amp up your body’s vitamin D supply. Sunlight hits our skin, and vitamin D is synthesized right there. Getting sun exposure at least 15-30 minutes a day without sunscreen on is necessary for our bodies to produce our own vitamin D. If additional supplements are needed, cholecalciferol (D3) is the form that our bodies need. Choose an organic Vitamin D without nasty fillers like wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, colors, binders, artificial or “natural” flavors or preservatives. Foods high in vitamin D include egg yolks, Mackerel, Salmon, fatty fish, and mushrooms. For those deficient in Vitamin D, supplementing with 5,000 IUs a day has been shown to be helpful.
4.- Sleep! This is so important. This is so important that I’ll say it again. Sleep. Getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep at night has been shown by countless studies to decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, bacterial infections, and immune conditions. Lack of sleep lowers our immunity, impairs cognitive ability, and stops our body from repairing itself overnight from the oxidative stress we experience during the day. Sleeping in total darkness, without any electronics is the healthiest way to catch some Z’s. Sleeping between the hours of 10pm-2am is the most beneficial for us. Those are the “Magic hours” where our bodies repair itself the most, and the best quality of sleep is had. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is also beneficial. Our bodies recognize a schedule, and will function optimally when put on a sleeping regimen. Choose organic sheets and make sure your pillow is comfortable. Sleeping with a slightly lowered temperature is best. Between 65-69 degrees. Opening a window allows for better oxygen flow into your bedroom. Diffusing an essential oil like lavender has been shown to help improve sleep quality.
5.- Juicing. Juicing your veggies is a surefire way to flood your body with antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress on the thyroid, and flooding our systems with beneficial raw enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Juice celery, kale, chard, arugula, broccoli, cucumber, beet greens, endive, collards, mustard greens, parsley and cilantro are all beneficial for Hashimoto’s, and thyroid health. Juicing removes the fiber from greens, so the nutrients are easier to absorb in our small intestine. Cellulose is a material that makes up the cell wall of vegetables, and we as humans lack the enzyme cellulase to break down cellulose. Chewing vegetables only manually breaks down some cell walls, and we miss out on much of the nutrients the vegetables offer. Juicing vegetables and leafy greens removes the cell wall gently, preserving the nutrients inside while making it easy for our bodies to utilize them. Choose a slow masticating juicer. Centrifugal juicers heat up the juice, killing all the raw enzymes. Slow masticating juicers juice slowly, to prevent oxygenation of the juice, destroying nutrients and “aging” the juice.
6.- Healthy fats. These are mandatory to improve thyroid function, brain function, digestion, circulation, mobility, protect from disease, and help our tissues to stay supple. Healthy fats include avocado, coconut/cold pressed coconut oil and soaked/sprouted nuts. Almonds, pecans, sacha inchi, walnuts, brazil nuts, and cashews are all healthy nuts (avoid peanuts which can be inflammatory to the thyroid). Seeds like chia, flax, pepitas and hemps are also a great source of fat, helping to lower the LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Wild caught fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and anchovy are all excellent sources of fat which lower inflammation in the body, and in our thyroid.
7.- Walking. It’s a simple one. Walking is a great low impact exercise. When we exercise daily, our bodies help to produce nutrients we need not only for our thyroids, but overall health. Walking in nature has been scientifically proven to boost our immunity. Studies in Japan show walking in Pine forests is beneficial for our health. When walking, you can practice deep breathing, which will increase benefits, oxygenation to the brain, bone strength, and improve balance and coordination. Rates of depression and anxiety are lowered with walking regularly, stress is reduced, and excess weight is shed.