The importance of the thyroid gland for your body is hard to overlook. The small organ at the base of your neck produces and regulates hormones vital for the proper organism’s function. When the thyroid gland suffers so does the body.
One of the common problems with the thyroid gland is Hashimoto’s disease. While numerous ways to fight symptoms exist, the condition is irreversible. Eventually, many patients start taking medications.
However, with diet and natural treatment, it’s possible to achieve tremendous results without interfering with your natural hormonal balance. In this article, you’ll learn how to manage Hashimoto’s disease without medications.
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition that forces the immune system to attack the thyroid gland, eventually damaging it. The gland stops making sufficient thyroid hormones, thus causing the metabolism to slow down and producing a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, depression, constipation, hair loss, and much more.
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease may not occur for many years. One of the first signs the majority of sufferers notice is an enlarged thyroid. It looks like a lump or a swelling at the front of the neck. Even though some people feel it when swallowing, the majority don’t experience any adverse effects for a while.
However, symptoms eventually appear, reducing the quality of a person’s life. They can interfere with everyday activities while causing psychological discomfort due to the changed appearance of the neck.
What Causes Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition. The causes are currently unknown. Some experts believe that the immune system attacks your thyroid gland when it’s triggered by a certain virus or bacteria. Others believe the disease is genetic.
While it’s not possible to prevent the condition, you can figure out the chances of a person developing it by considering the risk factors.
· Sex – women are more likely than men to develop the disease.
· Age – while it’s possible for the condition to develop at any age, it mostly occurs in middle-aged people.
· Heredity – if your family members have thyroid or autoimmune conditions, you have a higher risk of developing this disease.
· Other autoimmune conditions – if you already have an autoimmune condition, you are at a higher risk of suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.
· Radiation – People who have been exposed to high levels of radiation have more chances of developing the condition than those who haven’t.
Since the causes of the disease are currently unknown, it’s impossible to prevent or cure it. However, with the right approach to lifestyle changes and treatment, you can keep the condition at bay and avoid unpleasant symptoms.
Hashimoto’s Disease: Diet
Several diet recommendations exist for Hashimoto’s disease sufferers. However, according to experts from the Arizona Alternative Medical Care Clinic, sticking to a certain diet, such as a vegetarian or Mediterranean eating scheme could be tough while leaving you without the necessary vitamins and minerals. It’s better to keep your diet diverse by including the following foods in it.
One of the two primary components of the thyroid hormone, which disease sufferers lack, is iodine. So iodine-rich foods are highly important for your diet. Without sufficient iodine amounts, the thyroid can’t produce hormones even if it’s not being attacked by your immune system. When Hashimoto’s disease is raging, the gland needs extra help.
Seaweed is one of the top sources of iodine for humans. Additionally, they pack vitamins A, K, B-12, calcium, zinc, iron, protein, omega-3, and more. Hundreds of tasty ways to cook seaweeds exist. You may also consider a supplement that contains iodine. However, the dosage should be regulated by your doctor.
When it comes to eating seaweed, you can consume as much as you wish as long as you feel comfortable.
2. Animal Protein
The animal protein contained in beef, chicken, and pork is vital for the health of your thyroid gland and proper hormone production. The animal protein contains three nutrients for maintaining thyroidal health.
· Selenium – necessary to convert T4 into the T3 hormone to fuel the metabolic function. It can also counter the byproducts of iodine conversion in the thyroid to help fight an autoimmune response.
· Zinc –helps convert T4 into T3. It triggers the thyroid hormone receptors in the hypothalamus. Thus, zinc helps balance thyroid hormone levels.
· Iron – helps convert the iodine you eat into the iodine that can be used by your body. You also need tyrosine (present in animal protein as well) to form the thyroid hormones.
That’s why vegetarian diets may be dangerous for people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.
3. Leafy Greens
The importance of eating leafy greens can’t be overlooked due to the high content of B vitamins. The ability of your immune system to function properly directly depends on how many group-B vitamins your body is getting.
To take advantage of these vitamins, you should add kale, spinach, watercress, and arugula to your diet every day.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and more) are packed with omega-3. It can help reduce inflammation, stabilize blood pressure, and fight risk factors for Hashimoto’s disease. Omega-3 also assists thyroid hormones to enter your cells to ensure they do their job.
The ability of omega-3 to fight inflammation can lead to the reduction of the diseases’ flare-ups. Fatty fish also has vitamin B to support the immune system.
Hashimoto’s Disease: Natural Treatment
Besides adjusting the diet, people with Hashimoto’s disease should pay special attention to improving their lifestyle. You should consider avoiding stressful situations and learning how to deal with them quickly if they occur. Think about quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. Both of these habits hurt your immune system and don’t allow your body to heal properly.
You should also consider the following:
· Sticking to a gluten-free diet
· Trying a grain-free diet for at least three months
· Avoiding fast food
· Avoiding sugary foods
· Taking natural probiotics to improve gut health.
Hashimoto’s disease could hinder the quality of a person’s life. Trying to fight it with medications could be the last resort. Many people successfully deal with symptoms by using natural remedies. The above information could help you review your options. Remember, Hashimoto’s disease is far from being lethal. Many people live fulfilling lives with it.