Have you ever heard about Hashimoto's disease? No? Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the butterfly-shaped gland situated in the front of the neck. Yes, this condition affects the thyroid gland's power to function correctly. What happens in Hashimoto's disease? Our immune system doesn't remember the thyroid as part of the body and considers it foreign. Then the immune system produces an antibody to TPO (thyroid peroxidase), and the thyroid gland loses the ability to make enough thyroid hormone. Do you know why TPO is so necessary? Well, TPO is an enzyme that plays a vital role in the production of thyroid hormones. When the immune system produces antibodies against TPO, it stops working accurately and causes thyroid dysfunction.
TPO antibodies in your blood indicate that you can have an autoimmune disorder, like Hashimoto's disease. Hashimoto's disease is a chronic disorder, but it doesn't mean it will take control over your life. If you follow the following tips, you can continue flourishing while keeping your Hashimoto's condition under control.
Top 6 tips for managing Hashimoto's disease
Understand the symptoms of Hashimoto's disease
Before doctors start treating any diseases, they always ask for the symptoms and try to understand how these symptoms are affecting your body. In the same way, you need to understand the symptoms of Hashimoto's disease. The main symptoms of Hashimoto's disease are weight gain, brain fog, debilitating fatigue, joint and muscle pain, chills, constipation, and low heart rate. An unhealthy gut can amplify these symptoms. So before you do anything, understand what symptoms you are experiencing and speak to your thyroid specialist. Along with this, try to improve their nutrient absorption, sleep, overall health, and performance as per the doctor's advice. It will help to manage Hashimoto's disease.
Focus on anti-inflammatory foods
If you know the reason behind your disease, it becomes easy to manage. In the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, inflammation can be the reason. You might not be aware that the foods you eat can cause inflammation. In such a scenario, an anti-inflammatory diet affluent in fruits and vegetables can make the symptoms better.
Stress can cause chronic inflammation. Did you know people who eat fruits and vegetables more frequently have less stress? A study conducted on 218 women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis states that women who ate fruits and vegetables more regularly have less inflammation than others. In the Hashimoto thyroiditis diet, you can add fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, green tea, mushrooms, grapes, turmeric, rolled oats, quinoa, and berries. These foods have assertive anti-inflammatory properties and help keep Hashimoto's condition under control.
Exercise Regularly but With Certain Limits
It is essential to keep yourself active and regular exercise is the best way to do it. Along with this, do not forget to listen to your body. For instance, if you're having a bad day, you can allow yourself to take a break. However, if you focus on a clean diet, you won't have many bad days.
People with Hashimoto's condition usually experience muscle and joint pain. So moderate exercise is good for them because it doesn't put much stress on joints like the knee, hip, or back.
The appropriate thyroid medication dosage and regular exercise keep the energy level much higher, but overexertion can negatively affect the body. It impacts the body's capability to convert inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form, T3, by pulling out an iodine molecule.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Weight gain is a common symptom of Hashimoto's disease. So it is crucial to maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body gain can affect hormone levels. Do you know overweight people require more thyroid hormone than people with an average weight?
Overweight people with Hashimoto's disease see improvements in symptoms after weight loss. One study from the University of MMC (Maryland Medical Center) states that the most typical form of hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, increases the risk of thyroid cancer, i.e., thyroid lymphoma.
You might be wondering why it is impossible to lose weight with Hashimoto's disease. But it is not. You can lose weight with Hashimoto's. Yes, we understand that metabolism is slow, but these tips can help you shed extra weight.
- Say bye to carbs and sugars
- Make anti-inflammatory foods your friends from now
- Avoid big meals. Small and regular meals is a key to fast digestion
- Keep a Food Diary
- Don't sit ideally for a long time. Keep your body moving
- Don't miss your thyroid treatment as Directed
Stress can be the reason for various diseases. Please start working towards managing stress. You can introduce stress management and mindfulness techniques in Hashimoto's thyroiditis management program. Stress can cause an imbalance in thyroid hormone production and make Hashimoto's disease symptoms worse.
Exercise is not only making you fit but lowering stress also. You can try running or jogging. You will find it therapeutic. If you are not very fond of running and jogging, you can go for yoga and meditation. It relaxes your mind and body. But if you are not feeling great, let yourself relax and pamper in a day spent watching TV, reading a book, or going to a spa.
Foods to avoid with hypothyroidism
You must avoid some food and here is the list:
- Soy milk, soy sauce, edamame, tofu, and tempeh
- Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, radishes, kohlrabi, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, cassava, kale, cauliflower, almonds, peanuts, cashews
- Alcohol, soda, other sources of caffeine, coffee, and black tea
- Wheat, white rice and refined grains, barley, non-gluten-free oats, corn, millet, and buckwheat.
- Milk, butter, whey protein, cream, and cheese
- Processed and fried foods like hot dogs, frozen dinners/premade meals, fried chicken, French fries, bacon, and sausage
- Foods with refined sugar like cookies, salad dressings, ketchup/sauces, cakes, pastries, breakfast cereals, and candies
Summing it up
Undoubtedly, the above-mentioned tips can help manage Hashimoto's disease and make you feel better. Hashimoto's disease is different for every person, and everyone responds differently to a treatment. You need to understand the body signals; how are you feeling? Do you need a medication dosage change? Medication is required to function, but you also need to take care of other things along with medication. Alone medication is not an answer to treat Hashimoto's disease.