Your immune system and Hashimoto's; Adaptive vs. Innate immunity in Hashimoto’s Episode 38

Welcome to episode 38.

I am 3/4’s the way through a year of podcasting. Thanks for sticking with me and hanging out. I really appreciate it. My end goal is to help as many people as possible have a great quality of life with autoimmune disease.

You can help me with that by sharing this podcast with people you know dealing with thyroid issues and by leaving a rating or a review. I have enjoyed reading the reviews and honestly avoided them for awhile because I didn’t want to see if there were any bad ones. Thankfully there weren’t any. Anyway, I am grateful to those of you leaving reviews. 

Someone in Denver who rides the train to work listens and I want to thank you! I do this for you! So you can begin to feel your best. 

I’ve had a busy week and didn’t do so well with eating enough last week. I had not prepped any food which always makes for days where I just skip a meal which is so bad for my adrenals and my blood sugar. My blood sugar is so sensitive which I think is keeping me from losing the 5-10 pounds I have gained over the last year or two. I have not done anything different with my diet but menopause and insulin resistance have made of mess of my body. I have regularly done the autoimmune strong workouts over the last month- I’m getting them in at least three days a week. I hate working out but I want to be strong as I get older so I just do it anyway. 

I ate out a lot this past weekend but we are so fortunate to have some really cool restaurants that serve at least Paleo type foods. I had a green curry with pastured chicken and organic veggies twice in the last week from a great restaurant called French Meadow in Minneapolis. They have a lot of gluten free options which is so nice and the food is good. It tastes like it is made from scratch.  

I had a yucca crust pepperoni pizza with a cheese made from pumpkin seeds and a chicken curry dish to bring home from another place called Sassy Spoon. They are 100% gluten free which is nice. They are another from scratch type restaurant. 

This weekend I was at a party for a family member and there were gluten free cookies for dessert and I had at least one whole cookie if not a little more. I could feel the effects of that right away on my neck and my face began to itch like crazy. So, despite wanting to devour a ton of them, I didn’t. I didn’t want to suffer the physical consequences. That party had a taco bar with corn tortillas but I skipped the tortilla and just had the meat, lettuce and guacamole with a little salsa- so basically a taco salad. Pretty easy to modify that one if you can tolerate tomatoes. 

On Saturday morning I made my breakfast soup and chicken and veggie stir fry with lots of garlic to eat for the week. As long as I have food to eat during the week, every thing seems to go better for me. My moods are better, sleep is better, energy is better. It is just a matter of taking the time to make the food. 

Monday I ate at a place called Foxy Falafel which even has Autoimmune Protocol menu items. I tolerate chickpeas so I had their falafel which is such a treat. We even got their egg free, gluten free, dairy free brownie and chocolate chip cookie. I over indulged but I have not been to that restaurant in 2 ½ years so it was okay with me. They also sold Hu chocolate which is pretty darn good. 

After all that indulgence over the last week, I filled up on my green juice made in my vitamix which consists of a lemon, 2 stalks of celery, ¼ of an english cucumber, a handful of parsley, water and ice. I always feel really good after drinking that and it kickstarts my digestion for the day. 

Sauerkraut has been in regular rotation too. That helps my digestion work better as well. We have our old refrigerator full of it and everyone complains about the smell. It is sort of infiltrating the whole refrigerator. I love it! 

I’ve been doing hamburger patties on a bed of lettuce too. Quick and easy. 

Okay- let’s get started on todays subject. It is an important one to understand because it plays a big role in your autoimmune disease. 

Today we are talking about your immune system and Hashimoto’s. This episode has some scientific terms in it but I think I have broken it down to make it easier to understand. It is important for you to know how your body works and the immune system is a pretty big deal.

It is our biggest line of defense with many kinds of cells, antibodies, proteins and chemicals all working together like a country’s military defense system works to protect a nation. 

The immune system is divided in to the innate immune system aka the non-specific immune system. This side of the immune system is highly involved in inflammation- like when you hurt yourself and you get a bruise or a bump. When you cut yourself and the area gets all red and becomes scabbed. The job of the immune cells in innate is to keep pathogens out. It acts quickly and does not specify or target any one thing. For the most part, it cannot tell the difference between an invader, damaged cells or healthy cells so healthy tissue sometimes gets damaged. So if you have chronic stress causing inflammation or some kind of infection that won’t go away, this side of the immune system produces chronic inflammation. 

The other side of our immune system is the adaptive immune system which is very specific about the attacks it launches. We will talk a little more about this side in a minute. 

Your immune system needs to be regulated in order for your Hashimoto’s disease to be managed. 

Our immune system is on guard for antigens. Antigens are toxins or other foreign substance which causes an immune response in the body and can create antibodies against it. 

Things like a specific food, mold, bacteria, a chronic virus such as EBV or a parasite. These things irritate the immune system leading to an attack.  Now in Hashimoto’s, gluten is a big antigen which induces an attack on the thyroid gland every time you eat it. Remember that gluten is a protein found in all grains to some degree but the biggies that can be more of a problem for most people are wheat, barley and spelt. 

You can also have an immune response to environmental chemicals or heavy metals but not everyone will develop an immune response to these things.  You might be someone who doesn’t have a huge heavy metal burden or you just don’t react to foods. The exception would be gluten and possibly dairy because the proteins are similar to those of your thyroid so I always recommend people remove those two things from your diet. 

Your immune system might be reactive to bacteria. Many people with Hashimoto’s have antibodies to the bacteria Yersinia enterocolitica. 

Whatever your issue is you need to remove the antigen either by removing the offending food, detox the heavy metal or get rid of the bacteria to calm the immune system and manage Hashimoto’s. 

When dealing with autoimmune disease and specifically Hashimoto’s we want to look at TH-1 and TH-2 cytokines which can be high while T-suppressor cells will be low. 

A cytokine is a category of tiny proteins that work to signal cells of the immune system and are produced by cells in the immune system and a number of other places. They have many jobs in the body one of which is to work with the immune system to protect us. 

T-suppressor cells are also known as regulatory T cells which work to modulate or regulate the immune system and help us maintain tolerance to antigens against our self which helps prevent autoimmune disease. The T regulatory cells are immunosuppressive- they suppress the immune system. 

So, if we have high cytokines and low T-suppressor or T-regulatory cells then you have an immune system that is all out of balance and giving you symptoms of Hashimoto’s and maybe even causing destruction to your thyroid gland. 

Now let’s look at TH-1 and TH-2 cytokines specifically because most of us fall in to either TH-1 dominance or TH-2 dominance. 

TH-1 are T helper cells involved in an innate, or immediate immune system response. This is the adaptive immune system which is a part of the immune system that creates memory after dealing with an antigen. This means it will always remember that particular antigen whether it is a food, mold, heavy metal or parasite or bug. Every time that substance enters your body your innate/adaptive/acquired immune system will attack. It is very specific about what it reacts to. This is the part of our immune system that, once we have measles, will protect us from ever getting it again.  It is the line of defense against the pathogens.  

Sometimes it doesn’t distinguish the difference between an invader from non invader when it enters the body. It gets confused which can result in things like hay fever, asthma or an attack on the thyroid. 

When you have TH-1 dominance your immune system is overactive in the TH-1 pathway.  The majority of people with Hashimoto’s have TH-1 dominance but there are some Hashimoto’s patients with TH-2 dominance. 

You might also switch back and forth between the two depending on what your body is needing or getting too much of. Maybe you are deficient in some minerals or or getting too much of a mineral. These can trigger either TH-1 or TH-2 dominance. 

The best way to manage this is to focus on the whole body. Reduce inflammation throughout the body. Remove the triggers for your immune system. 

Once you have an autoimmune disease, you can put it in remission but you will have it forever and will have to work to manage your diet and lifestyle so your immune system can relax a bit. You must restore balance to the body. 

High TH-1 or TH-2 immune cells block thyroid receptors on your cells so your thyroid hormone cannot get in and do its job giving you symptoms of hypothyroid. 

Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimoto’s, MS and chronic viral infections are associated with TH-1 dominance. 

Lupus, dermatitis, asthma, and chemical sensitivities are mostly associated with TH-2 dominance. 

This is not always the case- remember that. As with everything there are exceptions. 

TH-2 are T helper cells involved in a delayed immune system response. Helper cells work to direct immune system activity as do the regulator cells and suppressor cells stop an immune reaction when needed. 
There are some different ways these immune cells could be affecting you. 

    • You might not make enough of the T-suppressor cells that regulate your immune system and tolerate antigens. Not enough T-suppressor cells keeps the immune system on high alert and attacking self. Your thyroid gland can be a victim of this problem. 

    • Maybe you make too much of the chemical messenger Interleukin-2 (IL-2) that tells other immune cells to attack and kill an invader. Too much of this one puts tissue not involved in the attack at risk of being an innocent bystander that gets attacked. 

    • You might make too many Interleukin-4 (IL-4). This releases B cells that look for intruders and mark them for death. Again, here your thyroid tissue can be damaged. 

    • Not managing your blood sugar or not being able to handle increases in insulin due to consuming sugar and refined carbs can send those B cells in to over production. 

    • Having food sensitivities and eating those foods anyway or dealing with a parasite will increase Interleukin-4 and increase production of the B cells. 

    • A chronic virus such as EBV will increase the Interleukin 2 creating more natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells. 

Let’s get to know what these terms mean. 

Interleukin- these are a type of cytokine. Cytokines are chemical messengers within the immune system cells. Some cytokines kill pathogens on their own. 

B cells- a white blood cell that is circulating in the body and is on the lookout for for antigens that they have antibodies to. When these cells activate, they are quick to divide and grow. Some of these have memory and will forever recognize an antigen when it enters the body. 

Natural Killer cells- white blood cells that go to an infection site to destroy cells infected by a virus. They play a role in the adaptive immune system having a memory to viruses. They do not need to be activated to kill cells in the body. 

Cytotoxic cells- T cells that attack cells infected with a virus and certain bacteria. They release chemicals called cytotoxins which cause infected cells to die. 

Our ultimate goal here is to bring the immune system back in to balance. 

You need to support your immune system and you can start with Vitamin D in the form of cholecalciferol. This specifically supports the T regulatory cells so they can do their job right. Remember these are the ones that help regulate the immune system. 

Make sure you are taking an emulsified version which means it is mixed with some kind of oil so that your body can use it. Poor quality vitamin D supplements with be mixed with soybean oil or with canola oil. Look for one with MCT oil (a form of coconut oil) or I have seen them with olive oil too. Biotics makes a nice one called Bio-D Mulsion Forte. 

Fish oil will also support the T regulatory cells but taking any fish oil in large amounts isn’t a good idea. 

There are some studies to show that people with Hashimoto’s are not able to process vitamin D naturally so they may need higher amounts than the average person. If you have a Vitamin D test that shows normal levels yet your immune system is still struggling and you are doing everything else right to reduce inflammation and immune responses you may think about raising the amount you take. Having high normal levels is best for thyroid patients. 

You may need a therapeutic dose and should have your levels checked by your doctor once a year or more to make sure you don’t over do it. 

Excess vitamin D can cause calcification of the heart, kidneys or lungs and you can have too much calcium circulating in your blood. 

Glutathione (a big antioxidant in the body) in a cream form and superoxide dismutase (an enzyme that acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells). These will both help regulate the immune system. 

Don’t waste your money just trying these to see if they help. Work with someone who can first help you get your diet and lifestyle dialed in, get your digestion working well and making sure you are able to digest fats and absorb vitamins and minerals. 

Back to TH-1 and TH-2 Dominance. It is helpful to know which way you go here so you can know which things will continue to stimulate your TH-1 or TH-2 cells. 

Things that stimulate TH-1: Echinacea, Maitake mushrooms, glycyrrhiza from licorice (so if you take licorice for adrenal health and you feel worse because of it then it could indicate TH-1 dominance), lemon balm. 

Things that stimulate TH-2: caffeine, green tea extract, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, white willow bark, lycopene (found in tomatoes) , resveratrol. Taking any of these will stimulate the immune system further and cause you to feel worse. 

Again, work with someone who can help you with monitoring these things. 

Things that regulate TH-1 and TH-2:  probiotics, vitamin A, vitamin E and colostrum. 

Things that quiet interleukin one that would activate TH-1 or TH-2: Boswellia (frankincense is a species of the Boswellia species), pancreatic enzymes (often sold as digestive enzymes), Turmeric or its compound curcumin. 

It is probably best if you have some sort of immunologic testing done to find out if you are TH-1 or TH-2 dominant before messing around with the things mentioned, aside from Vitamin D. 

You also will want to work on diet, keeping your blood sugar stable, get your adrenal health dialed in and make sure your digestion is working top notch. 

After all of this is completed and you know where your body stands, where your immune system stands then you can work to find those specific antigens, the things triggering the immune response. A gluten free diet is very important because gluten is one of those foods that is inflammatory as I stated in the beginning. 

Healing leaky gut or intestinal permeability will be important too but we can discuss that in another podcast if I haven’t covered it. I don’t remember what I did yesterday hardly and being 38 episodes in, I cannot remember from week to week what I have covered. 

Thanks so much for listening. Again, if you could leave me a review on iTunes, I would really appreciate it. 

I am on a social media break and not sure when to return. I am checking the Help For Hashimoto’s facebook group once a day, otherwise I’m avoiding all social media.  

If you have a question, you can email helpforhashimotos@gmail.com or you can go to my website and fill out the contact form. 

Have a comment or question about this episode? Leave it on the blog post on my website helpforhashimotos.com under episode 38. I’d love to hear from you. You can also get my free ebook 5 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hypothyroidism while you are there. You’ll get a weekly recipe and some nutritional nugget of information each week. 

I’m taking new clients right now so if you are in need of help navigating your autoimmune disease and especially Hashimoto’s, I am here to help. You can reach out to me on my website. You can make an appointment for a 15 minute free call to see if we are a good fit for working together. 

Until next week my friends. 

Can hypothyroidism affect your heart? Episode 37 Help For Hashimoto's

Welcome to episode 37. Thanks for joining me. Today I am diving in to our heart health and what it means to our heart health when we are dealing with hypothyroidism. 

Do you have: 

High or low blood pressure?

Fast or slow pulse?

Irregular heartbeat?

Heart skips a beat?

Palpitations

High cholesterol?

Heart Disease, plaque buildup, heart attack?

These are all things that can be affected by thyroid disease. 

Our heart uses thyroid hormone. Our heart is affected by changes in our medication or by the amount of medication we are taking. It is affected by low levels of T3. How many of you have a doctor that will only test TSH? 

This could be affecting your heart. 

When you don’t have enough thyroid hormone your heart can beat too slow or it can beat irregularly meaning it can flutter or miss beats. Long term consequences of this is that your tissues don’t get enough oxygen or nutrients which will make you feel physically bad. Our heart and the entire cardiovascular system is dependent on adequate levels of T3 for proper function. T3 helps improve how the heart contracts so when you are low you will have less cardiac output. Cardiac output means the amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in one minute. 

You can also end up with plaques developing in your arteries and high blood pressure. Hypothyroidism can effect how blood is pumped in and out of the heart, how the lining of the arteries functions, cholesterol levels in the blood and more. Low T3 can increase the amount of cholesterol and fat circulating (technically called lipids) in the blood.

T3 is the main regulator of gene expression in the heart muscle. Gene expression means how genetic information is transferred in the cells of the body. It is the effect of a gene on the body.  It is thought that low T3 levels are associated with increased death in patients already dealing with heart disease. 

Hypothyroidism is associated with higher cardiovascular risk factors. This means that we have a higher chance of cardiovascular disease. The heart cells do not convert T4 in to T3 very well if at all so if T3 is low then the heart tissue feels the effects and doesn’t function as well as it should. 

Treatment with thyroid medications is supposed to improve all risk factors but the problem is if you are treated with T4 only medication and you are not converting T4 to T3 for whatever reason, you may be at higher risk for issues with your heart. 

There are not a lot of randomized controlled studies in this area but hopefully some will be done soon. 

Bottom Line:  Hypothyroidism affects the whole body. It has a negative impact on the heart and almost everything else when it isn’t treated. 

You might hear from your doctor that NDT like Armour or Westhroid etc will cause a high heart rate. If this is the case for you then you must look at your adrenal health and/or iron levels. If you have high reverse T3 which is usually the case with cortisol or iron problems or even chronic inflammation you can see an issue with your heart rate.  You could have a high heart rate if you are having a flare up of Hashimoto’s where tissue is being killed off and thyroid hormone is being released. 

If you think your medication is causing heart palpitations, discuss it with your doctor and you may also want to try to take it in smaller doses. I am currently on Armour which my body doesn’t love as much as the compounded thyroid powder so when I take one whole pill I get palpitations throughout the day. I have to take half a pill 4x a day to get my body used to it. I also have adrenal issues and low iron which is not super responsive to iron supplementation so once those things are fixed, I should be good. 

OK.  I want to explain more about heart disease so you know what you are dealing with and how you can optimize your life choices so you can give your heart a fighting chance. 

Heart Disease or Coronary Heart Disease are conditions that affect the heart muscle, valves or rhythm. 

Cardiovascular Disease are conditions that affect blood vessels- usually that they are narrowed or blocked which can lead to a heart attack. 

Heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis- a disease of the arterial wall that leads to the narrowing and obstruction of the artery. The narrowing is because of sclerotic deformation of the artery and the development of raised patches called atherosclerotic plaques in the inner lining of the arterial wall. Depending on which organ in the body the artery feeds, atherosclerosis in those arterial walls will impair blood flow to that organ. 

The two major types of Coronary Heart Disease are angina pectoris and myocardial infarction (heart attack). 

AP happens when the space inside the coronary artery is narrowed but not closed off completely.  At rest your body will be able to deal with less blood flow but any physical activity will cause the heart to have to work harder, the artery with the build up can’t supply enough blood to feed the heart muscle which can result in a gripping chest pain that can radiate to the neck and usually the left arm. 

Heart Attack or MI happens when the coronary artery closes up all the way and blood flow to the heart muscle stops. This causes a portion of the heart to die or causes death. 

About half the people who have a heart attack die in the first 2-3 hours and if you make it through a heart attack will take some time to recover and may suffer complications such as an abnormal heartbeat. 

How do we prevent these conditions?

We first prevent the build up in our arteries- the atherosclerosis. 

We avoid: smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, stress, anxiety, anger and the big ones- poor sleep and the standard American diet (SAD). 

For 60 years or more we have been told to avoid fat and cholesterol in our diet. To eat margarine and cook with vegetable oils. That we need to be on statin drugs to manage our cholesterol. 

We can thank the Diet Heart Hypothesis which states that dietary fats, including cholesterol, cause heart disease. A correlation was shown in a diagram of 6 countries (carefully selected out of 22 countries that had the same data available) that fat consumption and death from heart disease were related. When all 22 countries were put in the diagram the correlation between fat and heart disease wasn’t plausible. It actually shows there is no correlation at all between fat consumption and dying from heart disease. 

A lot of money was thrown at scientific research in the US to prove this correlation to be true. The data that did not support the hypothesis was thrown out and the data that did was promoted and advertised. Studies in other countries that were done were proving this hypothesis to be wrong. 

Many of the studies proving the correlation between dietary fat and increase in heart disease or death were funded by companies that proved to benefit from this idea that fat is killing us. We were being sold a false bill of goods and we have been believing it and paying for it with our health for years. 

Is cholesterol really a bad thing?

The short answer is no. 

The longer answer-  We will die without cholesterol. Our bodies are made of billions of cells and almost every one of those cells produces cholesterol all the time. Why is this? Every cell uses cholesterol for structural integrity. 

Saturated fats and cholesterol are used by our cells to make the cell walls firm. If they are flabby and fluid we would be structured like a worm. 

Cholesterol is needed in different amounts all over the body depending on the purpose or function of the cell in that area. 

Protective barriers like our skin will have much more cholesterol because we need a strong sturdy barrier to protect us from any invasion. If a cell needs to be softer and more fluid it will have less cholesterol. 

Our cells communicate with each other and and transport molecules in and out of the cells-they need cholesterol and fats to do that. 

Our brain uses about around 25% of all the cholesterol in our body. 

Most of the cholesterol in our body does not actually come from the food we eat. Many studies have been done to show that dietary cholesterol does not have a huge effect on the cholesterol in our blood. 

Our body was made to make it on its own. It makes about 85% of our cholesterol and the rest comes from food. When we eat more foods containing cholesterol our body makes less of it. We eat less of it, our body makes more. 

Low cholesterol has been shown to produce emotional instability,  problems with behavior, aggressiveness, violence, low self control and more.

Sex hormones are made from cholesterol too- low libido, adrenal issues, high or low estrogen etc. 

Our liver produces much of our cholesterol and regulates its levels. 

When our skin is exposed to sunlight, we make vitamin D from cholesterol. 

Why do some people have high cholesterol and others don’t? Why will it be higher when we are under stress or have surgery? Why is it higher in winter and lower in summer?

Cholesterol plays a healing role in our body. It goes up when we need something to be healed. It’s higher in the winter because we have less sun exposure. 

Damaging molecules end up in our blood stream and we have this layer of cells in our blood vessels that can be damaged by things going through our blood. These cells send a message to our liver that there is damage. The liver makes cholesterol and sends it to the damaged area in the form of LDL cholesterol to repair the damage. Once the damage is repaired/the wound is healed it goes back to the liver in the form of HDL.

If you have high LDL cholesterol you should be asking, what is causing damage in my body instead of how do I lower my cholesterol. Get to the root of the problem and the cholesterol will take care of itself. 

Atherosclerotic plaques in your body are sources of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the way our body responds to any injury. It is there to get rid of whatever is causing the problem so the body can begin to repair itself. 

Plaques in your arteries are the body's attempt at dealing with chronic, never ending damage that has been done to the blood vessels. The body is basically forming scar tissue in your arteries. 

What causes all of this?

Processed foods is a big one, poorly managed blood sugar and sugar in the diet in large amounts. Remember that women should only have around 22grams of sugar per day and men should only have 24 grams per day. High blood sugar on a regular basis creates an inflammatory environment within the body. 

Really quickly- some other things that cause inflammation in the body are the chemicals in products we use everyday- personal care products, household products, prescription drugs, exposure to smoke and pollution, pesticides, chlorine, microbes and parasites and even disrupted gut bacteria. Certain nutrient deficiencies, lack of sun exposure, no exercise and high stress are also big problems for our health in general but also in managing inflammation in the body. 

How do we manage to have good heart health and good cholesterol?

Consuming high quality healthy fats: 

Note it is NOT any particular fat that is good or bad but the way it is processed that makes it bad for us. 

The types of fats we need to know and understand: 

Saturated fat: a stable fat, doesn’t go rancid easily and our body can make it so it is considered non- essential. It is usually solid or semi solid at room temperature. 

Monounsaturated fat: pretty stable fat, won’t go rancid easily, our body can make it so it is considered non essential. Liquid at room temperature but if refrigerated should become somewhat solid. Found in olive oil, olives and oils from almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts and avocados. 

Polyunsaturated fat: very unstable, goes rancid easily, never heat them or cook with them. Always in a liquid state, even if refrigerated. Two of these are considered essential meaning we have to get them from the diet. Flax and other seeds, nuts and fish and fish oil. Omega 6 and 3 are from these types of fats. 

All fats and oils are a combination of these three types of fats. They are categorized by which fat is most prevalent. 

We need all three types of these fats in order to have proper function in the body and to make sure that we can manage any inflammation in the body. 

We must have good digestion, proper liver function, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E and C in order to have proper repair of inflammation in the body. 

Consume a mixture of about 30% saturated fat, 10% polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3 and 6) and 60% monounsaturated fats like olive oil as a very general guideline: 

  • Animal fats from pastured, well raised animals if possible

  • High quality butter such as Kerry Gold, Organic Valley or a locally made butter

  • Ghee which is the butter fat with the whey removed- used in Indian cooking a lot

  • Coconut or Palm Oils

  • Cold Pressed extra virgin olive oil

  • Other cold pressed oils from nuts or seeds

Cold pressed oils are expensive and more difficult to make. They are the most fragile oils as they are easily damaged by light and heat. They are the seed oils and oils made from nuts. Canola oil is a seed oil and is processed with high heat, chemicals and is a rancid and damaged oil before it hits the grocery store shelves where it then sits on a shelf exposed to light all day long- remember seed oils are polyunsaturated and are damaged by light and heat. 

Avoid hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats and those highly processed “vegetable” oils and of course trans fats. 

Other things that can be helpful: 

Vitamin C can help the body repair itself when under stress or when other factors are present that might otherwise cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels. Best choice is whole foods that are high in vitamin C (listed in order from highest amount of vitamin C per serving to lowest) like papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe and cauliflower. 

Staying well hydrated will keep your blood free flowing and thinner. The thicker and more viscous your blood is, the more damage can be done to the lining of your blood vessels because there is more friction. Aim for about half your body weight in ounces a day but no more than 100 oz a day. That is a lot of water and even I find it tough to get that much water in each day. 

Cardio Protective Nutrition: 

  • Consuming and digesting animal proteins which are the best source of vitamins A, D and the B vitamins. 

  • Again, vitamin C

  • Potassium- helps us maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruits and veggies in general but Swiss Chard has 1000mg of potassium per serving. Recommended amount is 4700mg per day. 

  • Fill your dinner plate (and lunch and breakfast plate) with vegetables, especially cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts

  • Consume wild caught fish, pastured eggs

  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented pickles, miso or natto

Lastly, high cholesterol in the elderly population is associated with longer life and life expectancy in general increases with higher cholesterol. Cholesterol is protective against infections, lower cholesterol levels associated with memory issues. 

Okay. That is it for today. Thanks for listening. Please leave me a rating and review on iTunes so more people can find the podcast. Let’s get as many people as possible the information they need to heal. 

Have a question or comment about today’s episode? Head on over to helpforhashimotos.com and ask it on this weeks episode blog post. Search for Episode 37 and you will find a transcript of todays episode. 

Need help figuring out how to navigate your thyroid condition? I am taking new clients right now and would love to help you out. Go to my website and fill out the contact form. 

I’m taking a facebook break. I will be checking in to see if anyone wants to join the Help For Hashimoto’s facebook group but beyond that I am trying to stay off it. I’m not a fan of putting out a bunch of content there when Facebook owns it all. 

I am focusing more of my energy on putting really good content out in my newsletter and here on the podcast so if you have a topic you want covered contact me through my website. 

I forgot again to send the lunch ideas in my newsletter. I’m so sorry about that. I was pretty stressed out last week with lack of sleep and worrying about passing the grad school entrance exam. I got a middle of the road score which is what my school was looking for so it looks like I’m going back to school at almost 48. Am I crazy? I don’t know. I am little scared though. it is kind of daunting to be a student at my age. I am also freaking excited to learn about functional medicine! More excited than scared the more I think about it. Maybe it will be fun for you all to learn along side me! 

Go sign up for my newsletter. For sure each week you will get a new recipe to try and so far the feedback on the recipes I’ve sent out has been really good. 

All right, see you next week! Take care! 

https://endocrinenews.endocrine.org/hypothyroidism-and-the-heart/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17923583

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5512679/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17093250