Especially after the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has been made, the patient often has many questions left. Do I have to take pills all my life now? Will I ever be okay? Why did I ever get sick? Here are 12 important tips for dealing with this disease that can help you get better.
1. In the initial stage, the autoimmune process can still be stopped
The most physicians and endocrinologists are for the most part only concerned with the symptomatic treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and do not search for the actually root cause of the disease in most cases.
In general, the Hashimoto patients are only prescribed a T4 preparation such as L-thyroxine or Euthyrox, and treatment usually ends there.
The reason probably is the outdated state of knowledge. paired with not perceived training on the subject. Therefore many physicians are also not aware that the autoimmune process often can be stopped with various remedies and actions, or at least significantly improved, and prevent the patient for being dependent on thyroid drugs for a lifetime because of simply ignoring the causes.
The truth is that the autoimmune process can be halted and, in the best case scenario, reversed if the reason of the development is recognized and the triggers removed. Further information can be found under: Causes.
2. Repair your intestine and restore your bowel function
Getting the gut back in the balance is the essential in all autoimmune diseases, because about 60-80% of the immune system are in the microbiome of the human digestive tract. If the intestine leaks due to wrong foods such as gluten, dairy wheat flour, sugar or heavy metals (Leaky Gut), various toxins, fungi, viruses, bacteria, microbes and food particles get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation, food intolerance and excessive immune reactions. This should be avoided in any case, since otherwise the treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in the long run can not succeed.
3. Find a balanced diet that works for you
In a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is particularly important to pay attention to a healthy diet, as certain foods can cause relapses and worsen your health. The trick here is to find out which foods are causing you problems with your health and / or digestion. You can find many helpful tips and information on nutrition, different diets and diet plans under: Hashimoto and Nutrition.
If you choose a particular diet, you should still keep a food diary to expose possible problem foods quickly, as there may be problems with individual ingredients even in the healthiest diet.
4. Find out more about your condition
Thyroid patients are often misunderstood and mistreated. Some doctors will try to convince you that you are a hypochondriac and that it probably would be the best for you to take antidepressants to calm your psyche. You should not believe this in any case, because it is nothing but the doctors default answer if they can not find an real answer to your problems. Listen to your body and do not rely on someone who does not know how you feel and what symptoms are plaguing you.
Finally only you can help yourself. Find out more about your disease and the functioning of the thyroid gland, read books about the topic of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, scour the Internet and interact with other people who are affected. So you will get some informations that no doctor can give you. The best results, in relation to the treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, do have patients who are well informed and committed. Try to understand the disease, and especially its causes, and you’ll quickly know what you need to change to make you feel better.
5. Document Your Blood Levels and Symptoms
To understand your thyroid and Hashimoto’s better, it makes sense to record your symptoms and lab values in digital or analog form. In this way, one can always clearly understand at what time under a certain hormone dosage which symptoms appeared. This information is valuable to the patient as well as the attending physician when it is about to treat your complaints and symptoms. This procedure saves you a lot of time in your hormone setting.
6. Take your thyroid medicines on time, regularly and conscientiously
Once you have received your Hashimoto diagnosis, hormonal therapy with thyroid hormones should begin as soon as possible to replace the missing hormones and avoid further problems. The longer an thyroid hypofunction persists, the more difficult or tedious is it to get it under control again.
So that thyroid hormones can work as they should, some simple things should be kept in mind:
- 1. Take your thyroid hormones on an empty stomach with a glass of water. If you split your hormones or tend to take in late, you should make sure that you stop eating at least two hours before taking your hormones to make sure, it does not influence the effect. This applies to the intake of T4 (L-thyroxine, Euthyrox etc.). When taking T3 (Thybon) you should stop eating at least 30 minutes before intake.
- 2. You should also wait 30-60 minutes after taking the hormone to ensure a smooth hormone intake.
- 3. Supplements should be taken not less than two hours after hormone intake. 4 hours would be even better.
7. Know your mineral and vitamin balance
The thyroid needs certain minerals and vitamins to maintain their function. Frequently it happens, that Hashimoto patients are deficient in many of the nutrients they need. These include selenium, zinc, vitamin D3, B vitamins, iron and omega 3 fatty acids. Diets, unhealthy eating behaviour, extravagant lifestyles, as well as geographical origins often contribute to the patient’s inadequate nutrition.
A good balance of all the nutrients not only ensures that the thyroid gland can produce enough thyroid hormone, but also that both T4 and T3 can help each cell of the body utilize the energy needed for basic biological processes.
In any case, it makes sense to discuss with your doctor, which dietary supplements in which dosage make sense. It is best to do a mineral and vitamin check in whole blood. In this way you are on the safe side and can take appropriate dietary supplements specifically.
8. Build a trusting and respectful relationship with your doctor
The most important thing is to find a good doctor who has long-term experience with thyroid disorders. If this is the case, it is very important to build an honest and respectful relationship with him/her, as this doctor will probably accompany you for a long time from now on.
Because of that it is even more important to have a doctor who listens to you and takes care of you. Try to assist your doctor as much as possible by providing him the records of your symptoms and ailments, to make his job much easier. In addition, this shortens the time that the doctor must spend to get behind your symptoms.
9. Listen to your body
We are all unique. Maybe the symptoms you are experiencing are not well researched or documented. But that does not mean that they are not real and exist. They are, but you will need a little more time and energy to get to the roots of the symptoms with your doctor’s help.
Even though some things and actions, that work for many other Hashimoto patients, will not work for you, it’s fine too. We are all different and the more important is it to listen to yourself, to understand what your body wants to tell you and react appropriately.
This may sound a bit esoteric, but it works pretty well in practice. For example, if the body lacks copper, people often have a strong urge to eat chocolate and nuts or to drink coffee. These foods contain a lot of copper and give the body the nutrients it needs right now. These are exemplary signals that the body sends very clearly and that should not be ignored.
10. Reduce stress and try to make things easier
Stress is one of the environmental triggers of autoimmune diseases. In times of high stress, both the hormone balance and the immune system change – and of course not for the better. Avoid stress and work on a more positive way of life.
Start working on minor issues and dare to eliminate the bigger ones by and by. Try to laugh more often and do not see everything so grim. Your body will thank you with feeliíng better.
11. Move – even if it’s just a bit
Being physically active and moving regularly is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy body and good mood. It does not have to be the sweaty endurance sport, anyway that would not be feasible for many Hashimoto patients.
Walk a bit or at least take a daily walk in the fresh air, that gets the digestion in motion, clears your head and has a positive effect to your blood circulation. It is often forgotten that with hypothyroidism sports lead to strongly decreasing hormone levels in the blood and may need to be corrected with a corresponding dose.
12. Connect with self-help groups in forums and on Facebook
There are countless people worldwide who suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or hypothyroidism. These people often share their experiences and their mostly helpful tips in discussion forums or in Facebook groups. In this way, there is the opportunity to exchange directly about specific topics and maybe to learn from the mistakes of others.
In addition, the exchange with like-minded people is good for your own psyche, too. Since, in contrast to discussions with doctors, you sometimes feel understood and can talk about topics that doctors often dismiss as nonsense.
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