Instant Pot Beef Roast

This Instant Pot is so much better than a slow cooker. I have mentioned on my podcast how my family begs me not to use a slow cooker to cook anything. I think for me, it might be best to use it for bone broth and maybe to keep some things warm. The instant pot, however has made me 2 for 2 with cooking dinner for my family. 

Yesterday I pulled a roast out of the freezer with the intention of cooking it in the Instant Pot. It was still mostly frozen when I got to getting it ready to cook but was thawed enough that I could cut it in to 4 even sized pieces. 

I turned the Instant Pot on to Sauté and browned all four sides of all four pieces of meat. I removed the meat, then added some leftover turkey broth to deglaze the pan. I added the meat back to the broth and then used the Meat/Stew function to cook the meat for 25 minutes under pressure. The meat cooked for 25 minutes and then was on Warm for about 20 minutes because I forgot about it. I then added in about a pound of potatoes (not AIP, my family ate them) and some carrots from our garden. No seasoning at all was added because I forgot. You could certainly add spices of your choice at the beginning but we just salted (and peppered) after the fact. I set the Manual setting to 10 minutes and the carrots and potatoes were perfectly cooked. 

So, this was our dinner last night, served with steamed cauliflower and a side of roasted sweet potatoes for me. 

Beef Roast

  • 1 two to three pound beef roast (ideally thawed but frozen will work)
  • 1 pound of potatoes of your choice, cut in to 2-3 inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut in to 2-3 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups broth of choice
  • Seasoning of choice such as salt and pepper, oregano, thyme and bay leaf
  • 1-2 T arrowroot mixed with cold water or broth

Cut the roast in to even sized chunks so it fits in to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Season roast and turn on the Sauté function. Sauté all sides of each piece of meat, set aside. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the broth and then add back the meat. 

Close the lid and turn on the Meat/Stew function adjusting the time to about 25-35 minutes depending if your meat is frozen or not. (mine was frozen and really did cook for about 45 minutes total not including the veggie cooking time). 

Release the pressure if you haven’t forgotten you started cooking something like I did and add the veggies. Set the cooker to Manual and adjust the time for 10 minutes. 

When your 10 minutes are up, you can release the steam and remove the meat and veggies from the pot. Set the cooker to Sauté again and mix the arrowroot with the cold water or broth. Whisk it in to the liquid in the pot to make a gravy and serve along side the roast and veggies. 

Enjoy! 

In Health, 

Stephanie

Instant Pot Smothered Pork Chops

I bought an instant pot on Black Friday. I had been hearing about how great this thing is for about a year and the price was finally right so I went for it. I thought, if it can make yogurt, I will get rid of my yogurt maker. I am going to try that tomorrow and see how it goes. 

Tonight I made Smothered Pork Chops. My husband had been deer hunting and brought home some pork chops that had not gotten cooked up so they were my first experiment in this magical thing called the Instant Pot. 

I was in a hurry to get dinner on the table so sadly, I don't have a photo of the finished project but trust me, it is a winner. My very picky husband who rarely says "good dinner, make that again" said just that. He said, "Make that again and don't change a thing." So I wrote it down and am sharing it with you. Again, sorry there is no photo. 

This recipe was adapted from the Cooks Illustrated Family Cookbook. A classic cookbook with lots of great dishes that are adaptable to those of us with Autoimmune issues. I did not partake in this dish because I wanted to make it as close to the original version, spice wise so it was not AIP but I will give you AIP alternatives. If you don't have an instant pot, I will give you stovetop directions. 

Smothered Pork Chops in the Instant Pot

  • 4 bone in pork chops

  • salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP)

  • 2 T fat like lard, bacon fat, tallow, coconut oil (I used bacon fat)

  • 1 large onion minced (orig. recipe called for it sliced thin)

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2-1 tsp dried tarragon (orig. recipe called for thyme)

  • 4 oz ham sliced thin (my husband bought high quality lunch meat for deer hunting, this was left over. Orig. recipe called for 3oz bacon)

  • 1 1/2 cups broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 T parsley, chopped

  • 3 T arrowroot

  • 1/3 cup milk (I used raw but you can use coconut milk or more broth for AIP)

 

Use sauté feature to sauté the chops on both sides in 1/2 T of the fat, place on a plate.

Add the onions and sauté in a little more of the fat until they are translucent (five or so minutes).

Add the garlic and tarragon and sauté until garlic is fragrant.

Add the sliced ham or bacon and sauté until heated through.

Add the broth and bay leaves.

Turn off the sauté feature. Return pork chops to the pot.

Close the lid and use the meat/stew feature and reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes (my chops were only about 3/4" to an inch thick, if you have thicker chops you may need to increase the time a bit). 

Once the 20 minutes are up, release the steam and remove the lid. Turn on the sauté feature and remove the chops to a platter.

Mix the arrowroot with the milk (or more broth or water or coconut milk) and add it to the mixture in the pot, stirring with a whisk. It should make a gravy consistency, if not add more arrowroot mixed with liquid of your choice until you have the consistency you like. 

Serve with cauliflower rice for AIP or rice if you eat it. 

If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can use a 12 inch skillet and simmer the whole thing for about 30 minutes, covered. 

Enjoy. 

In Health, 

Stephanie

Are You on a Diet For Your Thyroid?

Diets.

Low fat, low carb, avoid goitrogens, paleo, primal, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slimfast, Whole 30, starvation, blood type. The list really goes on and on and on. What kind of diet have you tried?  

What does the word diet even mean?

The dictionary defines diet as “food and drink that is regularly provided and consumed”. You don’t have to be on a “diet” to have a healthy diet. Diets, in the way that we all know and love to hate, do not work.  Most diets tell you what you cannot eat before they tell you what you can eat. I have never been able to restrict my eating without completely obsessing over what I cannot have. That has always been a struggle for me and I would guess for many of you as well. 

When you hear the words “Paleo Diet” you would tend to think the same thing you have about every other diet out there. It is restrictive and meant for you to lose weight. Isn’t that why people diet? Depending on how you look at things, any diet can be restrictive, even the Paleo Diet. 

The difference between other “diets” and a Paleo diet is that the whole premise of eating Paleo is to feed your body nutrient dense foods. It emphasizes the highest quality of food one can afford. Nose to tail, local when possible. It is a healing diet to many and it can become the food and drink that is regularly provided and consumed.

It doesn’t mean you can’t eat anything else but what eating real food does is show you just how good you really can feel when you cut out all the processed sugary foods that we are so accustomed to having whenever we want.

There are some exclusions in eating a real food diet. The foods that are excluded are more inflammatory and are cut out for specific reasons. You may find that when you cut out grains, legumes, dairy and maybe even nightshades if you have an autoimmune disease that you will feel fantastic. If you choose to keep them out for at least a month, your body had time to heal a bit, calm some inflammation you didn’t even realize was making you feel like crap. Then, if you sneak in some pizza or a donut and you feel like you have been hit by a truck, you will know why. It’s the food. 

Food is medicine and food is poison. It just depends on what kind of food you choose to consume. Your average diet doesn’t make you feel better because you may feel crappy all the way through it and you never get to have that “aha” moment of “this food really makes me feel like crud”. Get in touch with your body. Listen to it when it speaks to you. 

Look. I have been there. It took me a lot of years to listen to my body. I waited until my body was screaming at me to listen to it. Actually, it screamed at me and I didn’t listen. My baby died at 34 weeks gestation because I didn’t listen to my body and my doctor didn’t have a clue. Cut to 4 or so years later and I finally listened when it was yelling at me again.  Dry, crusty, peeling lips that were sore and felt swollen. Itching arms and chest, all the damn time. I had red scabs all over my upper chest (fancy name = decolletage) and my upper arms. I probably had this issue for a year before I got so sick and tired of it that I started to do some digging. A google search led me somewhere, I don’t remember but in my mind I was thinking, I should give up gluten and see if that helps. Well that would mean I couldn’t eat a box of organic wheat thins in one sitting at my desk at work. That meant giving up bread and the love affair I had with it. Something kept eating at me to give it up though. I couldn’t shake it no matter how hard I tried. So, I decided one day to give it up cold turkey and never looked back. Two weeks later, the rash was gone. Something else happened too. My thinking was clearer and my mood was better for a little while. The rash, however, never came back. The itching on my arms though, creeped its way back in to my life when I consumed too many other grains (corn tortilla chips became my vice).  That was a whisper to which I ignored for awhile. You would think I would have learned my lesson. 

Going gluten free led me to learning about Brittany Angell since I was trying to replace all my old favorites with gluten free versions and she had a great website for that. I went a couple of months being gluten free before my naturopathic doctor told me I needed to cut out dairy and a few other foods. This led to me finding the Paleo diet. I don’t even remember now how that happened but I do remember stumbling upon Practical Paleo at Costco and picking it up. It is a great book which is located on my Resources page (and is an affiliate link) if you wish to check it out.  I started tinkering with recipes and feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t eat this or that. My life revolved around food and baking and eating so this whole change was tough for me. It has been five years and I am finally making peace with what is now my way of eating because it is what my body needs to be well.  I have cut out sugar and am slowly transitioning in to an autoimmune protocol which cuts out nuts, seeds, nightshades and eggs. 

So here you have it. Eating Paleo is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. It was never meant to be a short term fix for anything and even long term this way of eating isn’t a panacea but it sure can make a world of difference in your life, especially if you are consuming the Standard American Diet of processed and fast foods.

I was at the store today getting some things for Thanksgiving and came across a whole section of the store for your Thanksgiving table. Stove Top stuffing was there. I used to love that stuff. We ate it regularly when my kids were little and everyone gobbled it up. I read the ingredients. It has MSG listed on the label two different times with two different names. They call MSG a flavor enhancer because it makes crappy lifeless food taste better. Stay away from the boxes of “food”. Real food doesn’t usually come in a package. 

How can you make a lifestyle like this work for you?

If it works for you, you can create a food journal (at least for awhile). It is your best tool to help you figure out how something has made you feel and what it might do to your digestion. Write down each meal, snack and drink each day for a month. Write how each of those meals made you feel and what your digestion and eliminations look like. You will be able to make a correlation to which foods upset your system and which foods work for you. Another reason it is good to make a food journal is you will be able to tell immediately if you are eating enough and what you might be eating too little or too much of.  This is not for everyone (me included) but I can attest to how useful it is for me when working with clients to help them figure out what changes need to be made and what they are doing right. 

Drop the D word from your vocabulary. No more dieting. Just eat real food. 

Now, if you have Hashimoto’s like I do the Autoimmune Protocol is probably something you should look at. It took me a long time to admit that this is where I needed to be. I didn’t want to give up potatoes, peppers and especially tomatoes. I love all of those things. Sometimes though, those things you love and crave are because when you eat them, your body releases dopamine as a protective mechanism against the harm those foods are causing you. That really sucks, doesn’t it?!  I woke up with an aching hip one day in August of this year and I knew I had to seriously consider doing AIP. Still it was two more months before I bit the bullet and went for it. At the same time I went AIP, I went sugar free too. I have slipped up and consumed a pepper or a tomato here and there and honestly, have paid for it with my digestion being screwed up and the ache in my hip creeping back in. I also relied too heavily on nuts over the last year and now have a mouth reaction (swelling, burning sensation) and the feeling like influenza is about to hit when I consume any nuts. This happens when you have autoimmune disease and leaky gut. You can almost assuredly create new food sensitivities for yourself by consuming too much of one thing for too long. So, it was AIP or bust. I feel pretty good both physically and emotionally after cutting out even more and I can even look at my way of eating and really be thankful for what I can have. 

Don’t diet for your thyroid. Don’t diet to lose weight (especially if you have thyroid problems). Don’t diet to get healthy. 

Just eat real food. And love yourself no matter what. 

In health, 

Stephanie

11 Things You Can do to Beat Fatigue in Hypothyroidism

Fatigue and Hypothyroidsim. It sucks, doesn't it?!  You get sick and tired of being sick and tired. I get you.  Why are we always so tired?

The struggle is real.

We all get tired from time to time but if you have hypothyroidsim or Hashimoto’s you understand dog tired fatigue that just won’t go away. I have spent the better part of the year trying to figure out why the heck I have been plagued with constant fatigue. It is depressing. Chronic illness in general is depressing. It stinks to be tired all the time. If you have kids then you have the guilt of not feeling well enough to take your kids anywhere or do anything fun with your family. I paid lots of money to a chiropractor to help me figure out why I was so tired all the time. Didn’t help much at all. I spent a good portion of the summer watching the entire series of Gilmore Girls with my ten year old because I didn’t have enough energy to do anything else. My house didn’t get cleaned much for a good 6 months. I finally figured out a few things, made some changes and now feel really pretty good and have had a bit of a pep in my step which has been a welcome change. Ask my family. They will tell you!

There are several things you can do when you have hypothyroidism to help get that pep back in your step as well. 

First of all make sure your thyroid levels are optimal. That seems like a no brainer but you need to have more than just TSH tested. I feel like a broken record with this one but so many doctors don’t test anything but TSH and you really need to be an advocate for yourself and get T3 and T4 at a minimum tested and make sure they are in what would be considered a healthy range.  Between .3 and 3.0 is what the American College of Clinical Endocrinologists suggests for TSH. 

If your T3 is low and your reverse T3 is high, this will affect your energy levels as well. T3 is what your cells use for energy. Every cell in your body uses that hormone for energy. If your reverse T3 is high that means your body is possibly stressed in some way so that it is converting more T3 than it should into reverse T3 which your body cannot use, therefore you may have less energy.  You can ask your doctor if they are wiling to try different medications on you and if you feel it is the meds and your doctor won’t work with you, find another doctor. Fire your doctor. 

Have your iron (including ferritin) levels checked as well as your B12 levels. All of these have an effect on your energy levels. 

Do you have any food allergies or sensitivities that are not being addressed? Often times having a sensitivity to a food can cause fatigue and those of us with Hashimoto’s usually have at least a gluten sensitivity and more often than not a dairy sensitivity as well. Trying an elimination diet is key to figuring out just what foods might be causing problems for you.  We get a particular kind of sausage made from our deer every fall and I noticed the other day after having some that I felt particularly tired afterwards. Clue number one that there may be something in that sausage that is causing problems for me. Learn to listen to your body. Here what it is trying to tell you. 

This next one is a biggie.

You absolutely must get your blood sugar under control. Not doing so will wreak havoc on your entire body. Your body makes balancing blood sugar a priority over most other things it does. Make sure you are eating protein and fat with every meal, including breakfast. Don’t starve yourself and make sure you are eating enough. Avoid starchy and refined carbohydrates. It should be okay for you to include squashes and sweet potatoes. I find I do better when I include those in my diet. Keep a food journal. You will be surprised that you just might not be eating enough food on a daily basis. 

You also need to make sure that you are digesting your food. You cannot use the amino acids in the protein you consume if you are not breaking the protein down in your stomach. You need to chew your food well and slowly and even before you start eating you need to be relaxed (in parasympathetic mode). 

Have your vitamin D checked. Optimal levels are somewhere around 60-80 ng/dl and most of us don’t get enough. You need to make sure you are getting D3 from your diet. Your vitamin D fortified orange juice and milk do not have D3 in them. 

Take good care of your adrenal glands. They help manage blood sugar, sex hormones and your fight or flight response. Put a pinch of sea salt in your water when you drink it and stay away from coffee. Coffee is not the friend of your adrenal glands. They don’t get better over night either. They take some tender loving care to get them working well again. I have been working on mine for a couple of years. 

If your liver is blocked up with all kinds of stuff it cannot do its job of eliminating toxins. This is called having a congested liver. A toxic liver can make us feel tired. 

B vitamin deficiencies have a big effect on our energy. Taking a good B6 complex in general can be helpful. 

Do you have a leaky gut?

How healthy are the bacteria in your gut? Both of these play a role in your energy levels and are important factors to consider when looking at your health. 

Gentle exercise is your friend. Going for walks, yoga, tai chi are all great things to get your body moving and helping you feel better. 

Of course, you can work with a practitioner to help you figure out exactly what is going on inside your body and get to the root of your fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid disease. You can feel better. Trust me. I live this disease and know its ups and downs. 

Empower yourself to get better and to feel better. 

In Health, 

Stephanie

Tell me in the comments about your worst day with fatigue. How about your best?

Why is Sugar So BAD For Us?

I have been doing a sugar detox with my RESTART students. It has been nine months since my last detox which went off with out a hitch. This time around it feels like it is taking forever to get over with and it has only been a week. I am also on the Autoimmune protocol which eliminates the nightshade veggies and nuts and seeds so I don’t have my good old stash of nuts to fall back on. I was already pretty well sugar free except for a treat here and there and my fair share of fruits. 

Grapes are in season and boy are they ever good (and sugary!). I miss grapes. I miss lasagna. I was at my daughters high school sports banquet last night and they served lasagna. It smelled so good and seemed so comforting. 

Comfort food. I miss comfort food. I brought a salad. I had a salad for lunch and veggies and meat for breakfast. Plus a protein shake because I am f’ing hungry all the time even with eating a lot of fat every day. At least one avocado plus 1/4 to half a can of full fat coconut milk.  

Clearly I am not eating enough. That has been an issue for me for a few months. With my thyroid not being optimal right now, that leaves me with less energy to do some good prep work to ensure I don’t run out of good things to eat. I keep forgetting to take meat out of the freezer and end up eating a salad. It could be worse I tell myself. It always could be worse. 

Sugar is everywhere and it is in everything.

It takes some diligence to keep it out of your diet and off of your mind. The holidays are coming up and that means holiday parties and treats galore. It is a good time to be mindful of the affects sugar can have on our bodies. 

The problem I seem to have and maybe you too if you suffer from thyroid problems is that even carbohydrates are an issue for me. I was virtually sugar free except for fruits and starches like I mentioned before and those also cause your body to release insulin just like plain old sugar does. The refined sugars like candy or sweets cause a bigger release in insulin than do the complex carbs in veggies which cause a much slower release of insulin. 

What happens when insulin is released? It triggers tryptophan (an amino acid) which further leads to serotonin (an neurotransmitter) to be released. This here is your pain killer, stress reliever and booster of moods. Your body gets the signal that life is great, for a short while. 

Don’t forget about all the positive reinforcement you get from sweets all throughout your life. Celebrations like birthdays or holidays. Don’t forget about all those incentives we received as kids for being good. I was just witness to it in the coffee shop I am working from today. I overheard a mom say to her toddler, “If you eat some of your sandwich, I will get you some candy.”

So you get that high from your sugar or your candy and that lasts for maybe a half an hour.  Your high is now a low making you feel really tired, maybe cranky and possibly blue (maybe green too if you ate too much candy). Your body tells you to fuel it again. Give it more. Feed the demon. This cycle is on repeat for, well, forever if you let it or until you have a system breakdown.  There are long term effects of eating lots of refined carbs and sugar over your life. 

You get nothing nutritionally from it. No vitamins, minerals or macronutrients. Nothing. It does, however, negatively affect your cells and how well they function.  Our kids are consuming more than ten times the amount of sugar they did in 1915 much of which is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  HFCS is the largest source of our calorie intake in the United States. It is a by-product of the corn industry. It is extracted from the corn stalk, chemically changed and processed at a high heat. It is also cheap to produce which makes food industry profits all that much higher. 

What is so bad about high fructose corn syrup?

The fructose and glucose are unbound which means your body doesn’t have to break it down. It gets absorbed in your liver and is converted to fat. The fructose in your HFCS drink, candy or sweet treat messes with your hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body you are hungry and leptin is the hormone that tells you that you are full. The suppression of ghrelin leads to miscommunication with leptin so you can keep eating the stuff which can lead you down the road of insulin resistance. 

Insulin resistance is when your cells are closing their doors to the glucose being delivered to them by insulin. This causes your pancreas to release even more insulin to get the glucose to your cells. It is a vicious cycle. Once your pancreas wears out (because it can and it will) you will then have diabetes. 

What are you supposed to do to break the sugar habit/addiction?

I have been struggling with this for years. What has kept me accountable this time around is doing a detox such as the RESTART detox in a group. I don’t want to let them down. That right there is more powerful for me than anything else. 

In this program you are avoiding all sweeteners for three weeks. High fructose corn syrup, white sugar, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. By the end we are talking about how to enjoy a treat here and there without the sugar taking over our life again. 

 

Moderation. That is the goal. 

 

Below is a list of sweeteners I would recommend in moderation

  • Honey- raw and organic is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes beneficial to health. Insulin isn’t released as quickly compared to table sugar. 
  • Maple syrup- this is basically boiled tree sap. 
  • Molasses- a by-product of the sugar industry. It is where all the vitamins and minerals that were in what is now white sugar remain. 
  • Coconut sugar- again, boiled liquids from the coconut. 
  • Date sugar- dried and ground dates

I don’t recommend you go hog wild with any of these sweeteners but if you want to make a treat for a special occasion, these are your better choices. These are less refined than others and are best choices in the world of sweeteners. Choosing the least refined options are best. 

You can find a RESTART class near you by going here

In Health, 

Stephanie

 

 

Thyroid Disease Has a Face and It Is Someone You Know

There is a face of Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism. That face is your neighbor. That face is your co worker. That face is your boss. That face is the person checking you out at the store. 

It is estimated that 12% of Americans have or will have a thyroid problem in their lifetime. Around 20 million Americans have either hypo or hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s or Graves disease. It is estimated that 60% of those people don’t even know they have it but I bet they probably feel like crap. 

Women are more likely to have a thyroid condition compared to men. 

There are something like 300 different symptoms of thyroid disease. 

There are receptors in every cell of your body for thyroid hormones. The thyroid runs your metabolism. It is the breaks in your car. When you need to slow down, your thyroid puts the breaks on everything. And then you start to feel it. 

I had just had a baby when my thyroid quit on me. I had a toddler and and infant and I would wake up after 8 hours of sleep and feel like I had not slept at all. I was so tired all the time. Then it became an effort to me to take care of my kids but and I still didn’t go to the doctor. I remember feeling like it was so much effort to write a check out to pay a bill. I had trouble holding the pen in my hand and using enough pressure to make it work to write. I remember how much effort it was to speak. It felt like my tongue was heavy. Finally I went to the doctor for something else and he asked if there was anything else he needed and I just mentioned how tired I was but had attributed that to having a toddler and an infant. Who wouldn’t be tired, right!?  He decided to test my thyroid with a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test and sent me on my way.  Turns out my TSH was around 150 when he considered normal to be around 5 so he put me on levothyroxine and tested my TSH for the next few months until he found a dose that brought my TSH to an acceptable level for him.  

I thought I was going to be alright.  Truthfully, I have not really felt like myself since that original diagnosis but I quit looking to feel like that old person and have embraced the challenges I have faced since being diagnosed. I went 8 years before I realized my diet played a huge role in how good I would and could feel. I also went 8 or so years before being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Most people who are hypothyroid actually have Hashimoto’s but are not diagnosed because the standard of care does not change. You get your TSH tested. It continually rises and your medication has to be adjusted. That is it. 

When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I was actually a bit relieved because I felt like I had some control about what I could do to feel better.  I went from feeling great most of the time to feeling bad most of the time. It is so frustrating to feel bad all the time. To have blood sugar regulation problems and have your adrenals not working properly so that you are exhausted after doing some laundry is really frustrating. Especially when you don’t know how to fix it. Getting that diagnosis put my health back in to my own hands and I was able to fix a lot. I changed my diet. I went gluten free first. Then I had some food sensitivity testing done and went dairy free (something I suspected I needed to do based on how terrible I felt after eating ice cream) and had to cut out some other foods as well. That was a first big step and a pretty big adjustment but I wanted so badly to feel better that it was something I was willing to do. 

I also needed to get my blood sugar under control. I was a sugar lover. I needed sugar and refined carbs to get me through the day. At least that is what I told myself. Cutting out sugar was one of the best things I ever did. Managing my sugar intake also meant that my adrenals would be in better shape and so would my hormones. 

I was eventually led to a more nutrient dense whole foods diet and am now experimenting with an Autoimmune protocol which eliminates nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants), eggs, nuts, and grains (I might be forgetting something). I decided to go AIP because I still didn’t feel good despite doing everything right. I think there may be some heavy metal toxicity as my root cause but have not had any testing done to find out for sure. As it goes with Hashimoto’s, there is an immune system dysfunction and something to have caused that dysfunction to occur.  

Not really feeling well after five years of diet and lifestyle changes led me to realize that I needed to fix the root cause and I also needed to find a doctor that would treat my symptoms as well as my lab work. I found a happy medium with a holistic MD that takes insurance so she does not have access to some of the tests that might find my root cause but for now I am okay with that. She was willing to prescribe natural desiccated thyroid medication because they synthetic levothyroxine was not working. 

My dose was recently increased and it made me feel worse. The biggest affect from the medication change for me was that I was not sleeping. I would be jolted awake 2-3 nights a week at around 3 am and never would fall back asleep. I asked my doctor to change my meds back and she wanted to wait. I had gotten just enough meds to get me through until I needed more blood work so I asked them for a bit more to get me through to the next draw. I knew in my gut that the medication was causing me to wake up but felt a little helpless to do anything about it because even my holistic doctor wouldn’t change it for me just yet. She had me taking half a dose (cutting a pill in half) in the morning and half a dose in the early afternoon. Turns out that is not a good idea either because there is no real way to make sure each half of the pill has the same amount of thyroid hormone in it. That first half dose could have little to no thyroid hormone in it while the second half had most of the thyroid hormone in it. There is just no way to know. So, the only way I was able to sleep would be to take only half a pill or no pill at all and neither of those choices were a good idea long term. 

The clinic called in a prescription for me to get me through until my next blood draw and when I went to pick it up I asked to see the ingredient list for the meds. The pharmacy couldn’t find it and I asked to see the bottle so I could take a photo of it. When they showed me the bottle I told them that is not the medication I was taking previously. They told me that they had run out of that and had this one in stock and so they filled my prescription with that. I knew that pharmacies could and did do this but it never occurred to me that it would happen to me. First I was glad because the medication they switched me to was the medication I had wanted my doctor to let me try. Then I got a little angry. I thought to myself, If I am this sensitive to a medication change, I wonder how many other thyroid patients are also. I told the pharmacy they should not switch up thyroid meds like that on people because many of us are extremely sensitive to changes like that and we might not know what is causing the problem. Some people do well on a specific medication and it should never be changed on them. 

If you are doing well on your medication, make sure you get the same medication EVERY time you go get your prescription. You can have your doctor make a note in the prescription they write for you to the pharmacy so that a change like that doesn’t happen to you. This particular medication that I didn’t ask for happened to be a good thing but that is not always the case. I am happy to report that I have slept really well since the change in medication even with a full dose. 

If you take anything away from this story, know that you can have some control over how hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s will affect you and your body. You don’t have to feel terrible. You don’t have to be tired. You don’t have to give up and you don’t have to be a victim to this disease. 

You can be happy. You can have energy. You can feel good again! 

Tell me in the comments how thyroid disease has made you feel and if or what you have done to feel better. 

In Health, 

Stephanie

Hashimoto's or Hypothyroidism Controlling Your Life?

Sunday night I took half of my NatureThroid because I had forgotten to take it during the day. I took it right before I went to bed and found myself wide awake at 1:30 in the morning. I never went back to sleep. This has been a regular pattern in my life for the last couple of months. I don’t want to commit to doing anything I don’t have to for fear I won’t sleep well and then won’t function well as a result. I just can’t take not getting a good nights sleep. 

My thyroid has been sluggish for at least a year. Higher TSH (the highest it has been is around 7 so not terrible but I still don’t feel optimal), normal T3 and lower T4.  I had been doing everything right or so I thought.  Turns out that even though my consumption of sugar is not much at all I STILL have trouble balancing my blood sugar. My problem is that I just don’t eat enough and I have fallen in to a vicious cycle. 

Why?

Because I have to cook everything from scratch. I am currently following the Autoimmune Protocol to see if I can help my body function better. Being on the Autoimmune protocol means you are cutting out all grains, nightshades (peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants along with some other more obscure things that I probably wouldn’t eat), eggs and nuts. What I am left with eating is really a lot of great for me options including fish which I hate. Never have liked fish and when you are on such a restricted diet you are left with having to make everything from scratch. 

I don’t have the energy to do that. So, I don’t eat much at all. I could. There are lots of really wonderful things I could make but my energy is next to nothing. My storage iron or ferritin is low which doesn’t help. I don’t have pernicious anemia. My B12 is fine. I think my energy problem is related to me not managing my blood sugar as I said before. I also have a gut feeling I am living with a heavy metal burden due to a mouth full of amalgam (mercury) fillings from childhood to adulthood. I had all my fillings removed (safely) and replaced in 2014. The vapors from amalgam fillings are breathed in by you when you eat or drink anything and that mercury can accumulate over the years. So I have a liver very busy with heavy metal removal and blood sugar balancing with no time to make sure my thyroid hormones are being converted. 

Enter AIP as my last resort. I didn’t want to do it. I had done it for three weeks last April when suggested to do so by my chiropractor. I went to him for his thyroid protocol which did nothing for me at all. He put me on the Repairvite diet for three weeks and said I was fine and if my energy didn’t come back he didn’t know what to do but check my thyroid again. The only thing he did that did help me was put me on oxygen which was much needed. With low iron and low blood pressure I was in need of some oxygen. I did enjoy that but other than that, seeing him for 6 months regularly (3x per week for a month and then weekly after that) did nothing at all for my thyroid. Nothing. 

I am tired of spending money on people who do nothing to help me feel better were my thoughts for a long time. Then I started thinking. Do I want to be sick? I keep calling myself sick. My thyroid isn’t working right so I can’t do this. I can’t eat this, I can’t go here. I had become my disease. I don’t want to become my disease. Do you? It sure seems easier to identify with having hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s than it does to stand up and put out in to the universe that I just don’t want to be sick anymore. 

I am not saying that will make everything better but if you change your thoughts about all the crappy things that come with being hypothyroid and having hashimoto’s maybe your life will change too?!  

You may be tired and have no energy but don’t make that who you are. 

Your hair might be falling out but don’t make that about you or this disease. 

Your joints ache? Feel the ache and get up and do something anyway. 

Don’t let hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s take over. Don’t let it get you. 

I would be in a lot worse shape than I am had I not taken control of my life and what I could do to minimize the effects of this “disease”. I let it have full control over me the nights it kept me up, even this past weekend when I was up from 1:30 in the morning on. I vowed that day not to let it take control of me like that again. 

Gosh, my stomach was growling when I woke up at 1:30. I didn’t eat much the day before. My body was hungry and it was letting me know.  That is where I was going earlier with the whole AIP thing. I didn’t have anything prepared to eat. That is the biggest mistake you can make when making changes in your diet. You have to be prepared and I wasn’t. I didn’t have the energy to do it. That was the problem. I let the “disease” take over and tell me to just lay around and do nothing, or sit on social media. That is so much easier than making some food to eat. 

When you have Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism you HAVE to make changes to your diet. It is a must. It is easier to ignore that fact though and continue on with the same old ways. If you want to feel better and minimize those days when it takes full control over your life then you have to make changes. There is no magic pill. No potion. No one sized fits all answer for your problems with this “disease”. 

You can take control of your life and how you manage your chronic illness. Don’t let it manage you! 

Let’s work together to get you clear about what real health is for you! Fill out the contact form and let me know what your biggest issues are. 

Live your life empowered! 

Stephanie 

 

Blood Sugar, Thyroid and How They Relate

I have loved sugar my whole life. Who hasn’t really. I grew up having dessert after every dinner we had. We had a steady rotation of chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake (lovingly called crazy cake), apple, cherry and blueberry crisp (made from canned fruit). Standard fare in the 80’s. I became addicted to sugar at a very young age and still struggle with it well in to my 40’s. I don’t very often eat sugar anymore mostly because my body just doesn’t tolerate it. I have come a long way. 

Thyroid problems and blood sugar are connected. It seems out of balance blood sugar can really mess things up. 

Here is why. 

Every part of your body needs glucose (sugar) for energy to be made in your cells. No glucose means lower energy levels in general. 

When blood sugar is low, your thyroid won’t have the energy it needs and may be sluggish. 

When blood sugar gets too hight, over time you can run in to something called insulin resistance which is common in thyroid patients. 

Anytime you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates like pasta, breads, sweets and processed foods in general they are converted to glucose in your body. They provide a quick source of energy. They also cause your blood sugar to go up quickly. Blood sugar means the amount of glucose floating through your blood stream. Glucose and sugar are pretty much the same thing. Then your body says, “There is too much sugar in the blood stream, that can damage us.” So it releases the hormone insulin to carry that sugar to the cells for use. When your cells stop taking in the sugar, that is called resistance. What your body doesn’t realize is that the cells are full. They can’t take on any more sugar. There is no mechanism within the body to tell the brain to stop producing insulin. Al it knows is that there is all this sugar in the blood and it has to do something so it keeps pumping out the insulin. 

You end up with too much sugar and too much insulin in the blood. some of that will be stored as fat. Before it is stored as fat it goes around damaging your blood vessels and your organs, including the thyroid. This is called inflammation. 

When you have too much sugar in the blood and too much insulin trying to get the sugar to the cells and the cells refusing to take it in you end up with insulin resistance which is a stepping stone to type 2 diabetes. Your cells cannot get the energy they need because they are resisting letting the glucose in for use as energy. This means your thyroid cells don’t have energy either. Then your thyroid cannot work effectively for you so you will have elevated TSH because your brain thinks it needs to be stimulated. 

When tissues in the body get inflamed, they cannot do their job. That includes the thyroid. 

When they thyroid is inflamed you will have less production of thyroid hormone and like stated above, a higher production of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH. Increased production of TSH means further damage to your cells perpetuating the vicious cycle of insulin resistance. 

When T4 and T3 are not working well, you are also not able to maintain your blood sugar levels. The more out of control your blood sugar gets, the less your thyroid will function properly. 

What is the solution?

If out of balance blood sugar is the reason your thyroid isn’t working well then the main thing you have to do is to maintain stable and healthy levels of blood sugar. You may want to go to the doctor and have your blood sugar tested.  Blood sugar imbalances might not be your main problem when it comes to your thyroid problems but the following information can benefit everyone. 

  • Get enough sleep and get quality sleep. If you don’t get quality sleep there is no time for your body to repair itself. Other hormones like cortisol will be screwed up contributing further to your insulin resistance. 
  • Get some exercise. You don’t have to work yourself to death at the gym 3 days a week. Just get moving to start with. It is hard to get up and get moving when you don’t have the energy, especially if you are hypothyroid. Believe me, I get it. Just do something even on the days when it is hard to get the laundry done. You have to start somewhere because staying on the couch is easy and getting better from thyroid problems isn’t always easy. Movement allows your muscles to use up some of the glucose in your blood so there is less floating around waiting to get in to your cells. 
  • Get a standing desk to work at or for at home. The less sitting you do, the better. A treadmill desk would be ideal. (I don’t have one but sure would like to- they are not always in the budget!)
  • Manage your stress. This is a big one. Your body cannot tell the difference between physical stress, emotional stress and even a fight you are having with someone in your head. Biologically, your body responds the same. If your body is constantly dealing with stress then your pituitary (part of your brain) gland is too busy too deal with the thyroid properly and it gets put on the back burner. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels shoot up. Your body then creates glucose from your lean muscle and puts that out in to your blood stream causing insulin levels to rise, your cells become further resistant to the glucose and then the glucose gets stored as fat. You got it. Your body takes energy from the muscles, converts it to sugar, your body cannot use it so it stores it as fat. Chronic stress will cause your thyroid to slow down and cortisol keeps T4 from doing its job. 
  • Eat some protein in the morning within two hours of waking. That will give your body something to convert to energy right away. 
  • Avoid snacking if you can or change your snacks to quality fat and protein if you are not ready to give them up. Here is why you should give them up- Regular snacking keeps the insulin pumping all day long. Your pancreas never gets a break, your cells continue to resist the glucose that insulin has brought them. Every single time you eat, insulin gets secreted in to the blood. Protein, fats and complex carbohydrates like vegetables cause that spike in insulin to be just a little less. Giving your body a break will give it time to burn some stored fat. 

What helps keep your blood sugar balanced?

  • The obvious answer here is to change your diet. Cut out sugar, processed foods and refined carbs. Join a RESTART class which is a five week class to help you learn about how food affects your body and includes a three week sugar detox. 
  • Chromium (polynictinate) has the job of helping glucose get in to the cell. It helps restore insulin sensitivity or allow insulin to drop glucose at your cells so your cells can take them in. You can supplement with it to help your body deal with your blood sugar.  
  • Take magnesium. Most people are deficient. It helps with many processes in the body and in managing blood sugar its job is to help chromium do its job. Try magnesium citrate if tolerated or magnesium glycinate. 
  • Stay away from artificial sweeteners, always. Some people think it is okay to use stevia either the green powder or in liquid form. Give it a try and see how it works for you. I personally am not a fan. 
  • I would encourage you to avoid all sweeteners for at least 3 weeks like in the RESTART sugar detox to give your body time to reset and learn how to burn fat for energy. 

There are many more things you could do here to manage your blood sugar but these are the big ones. Getting your blood sugar under control is a sure way to give your thyroid some tender loving care that it needs to function properly for you. 

Tell me in the comments below how much of a struggle you have had with blood sugar. 

In health, 

Stephanie

How Important is Your Thyroid?

It is 3:30ish am and I have been jolted awake in my dreams by a shot of adrenaline. I wake up and think to myself it must be 6 o’clock, time to get up. I look at the clock, nope. It is 3:23 in the morning and I am wide awake. Thank you body. Thank you Hashimoto’s. Thank you cortisol or adrenaline. Thank you. 

Insomnia. It comes and goes. It is Wednesday and so far since the beginning of the week I have had one good nights sleep. I am not a spring chicken and not getting good sleep deeply affects me. Foggy thinking. Heavy head. Poor decision making. I have three kids that I take care of largely by myself. My other have travels often for work. 

We have food on the table, we have shelter. We have clothes on our back. We are doing well. Except I don’t sleep. It really could be worse. Thank you thyroid. 

Your thyroid is so very important to your well being. To your ability to sleep. If you have thyroid problems you have body problems. You have lots of problems. 

It is the master metabolic regulator. Your metabolism depends on how well your thyroid functions and how well the cells in your body receive the thyroid hormone. Every cell in your body has a receptor for thyroid hormone. Your cells do so much work to keep you alive. It is just crazy to me. 

Your thyroid does so much more than just manage the part of your metabolism that is responsible for weight gain or weight loss. It affects bone density, your risk of cardiovascular disease, how high or low your cholesterol is, hormonal functioning, depression, anxiety, SLEEP, and on and on. 

Your hypothalamus (part of your brain) is responsible for putting out Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone aka Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH. Your pituitary gland (also in your brain) puts out some TSH too. 

Your thyroid is responsible for putting out T4 or Thyroxine and T3, Triiodothyroxine. 

T4 gets its name because it has one molecule of tyrosine and 4 molecules of iodine. Tyrosine is an amino acid that is part of most proteins and needed for the synthesis of some hormones- to synthesize means that 2 or more things need to come together to create something else. 

T3 has 3 molecules of iodine for the one molecule of tyrosine. 

T4 gets converted to T3 in the liver. T4 also gets bound up by a protein called thyroid binding globulin. When it gets bound up by TBG, so does T3. It remains bound up until it gets transported to where it needs to be. 

If your liver is not working well or if it is busy doing other things it may not do a great job at binding T4 & T3. This would mean that you would have too much free T3 or Free T4 floating around your blood stream. When T4 and T3 are free it means they are not bound and can get in to the cells which can lead toa sort of burn out at the cellular level. 

If your liver makes too much Thyroid Binding Globulin, you will bind too much hormone and you would not have enough thyroid hormone getting to the cells. This is where you may see hypothyroid symptoms occurring. 

Common hypothyroid symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • low stamina
  • poor concentration
  • tired upon waking
  • weight gain
  • poor or large appetite
  • cold hands and feet
  • intolerance to cold or hot
  • poor immune function
  • slow speech
  • yeast overgrowth
  • swelling
  • throat issues

A healthy functioning liver is critical to healthy thyroid hormone functioning. 

Your liver is also responsible for converting T3 in to reverse T3 (RT3) which is a form of T3 that is useable by the body. There is an enzyme called tetraidothyronine 5’ deiodinase that removes a molecule of iodine making T3 in to reverse T3. This often happens in higher stress situations when the body feels it is time for you to slow down. This enzyme is dependent upon the mineral selenium to make this happen. 

There are components of T3 called T3 sulfate and T3 Acetic acid that are turned in to useable T3 in the gut by your beneficial gut bacteria. In fact, around 20% of yoru T3 is produced by your gut bacteria. 

Healing your gut and maintaining a good balance of beneficial bacteria can help tremendously if you are suffering from thyroid problems. 

Your digestive symptoms could be affecting yoru thyroid!

  • Gut Problems
  • Inflammation
  • A Backed Up Liver
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Heavy Metal Burden
  • Fungus
  • Parasites
  • Viruses

Any of these can end up affecting thyroid function. 

If the balance of gut bacteria is off or out of balance that is called dysbiosis. When you have dysbiosis it affects the conversion of T4 to T3 in the gut. 

Neurotoxins like lipopolysaccharides affect the cell receptors and their ability to accept T3 in to the cells. Lipopolysaccharides are molecules found in bacteria that stimulate the immune system and affect intestinal permeability or leaky gut. It is common in someone with gut dysbiosis to have more Lipopolysaccharides in their system.  It is also thought that these neurotoxins can affect your brains ability to converse with your body which can decrease the amount of TSH secreted from they Hypothalamus. 

Dysbiosis in the gut means your neurotransmitter production is affected. Neurotransmitters affect how your hypothalamus produces TSH. 

Approximately 70%-80% of your immune system is in your gut or GI Tract. If there is dysbiosis in the gut there is inflammation. Inflammation also can affect how well the Hypothalamus releases TSH. 

What can you do to help your body?

You can support your liver with foods that love the liver. The list is long of foods that love the liver but some of my favorites are: 

  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Avocados
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli 
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coconut
  • Oranges
  • Acerola Cherries
  • Kale
  • Parsley

You can also supplement with a good liver support. You need to clean up your environment of body, face, and hair care products as well as cleaning supplies, and laundry detergent. 

You need to make sure you are digesting your food well. You may need digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid. 

You may need probiotics. Eating fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut is one of the best ways to get probiotics. 

When you work with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner like myself, we can help you figure out what systems in the body need to be addressed first and foremost so that ALL your body systems can be addressed. 

In Health, 

Stephanie

The Top Supplements for Thyroid Health

Heart palpitations, weight loss, tremors, anxiety, slow, sluggish, weight gain, cold hands and feet. 

Sound familiar?

Feel like you are going crazy?

In the early stages of Hashimoto’s you can have any of those symptoms. Your immune system is on attack. It is attacking your thyroid gland and little bits of thyroid hormone are released in to the blood stream. 

This causes surges that feel like hyperthyroidsim. Once the hormone is excreted from the body you go back to having symptoms more like hypothyroidism. 

The thyroid roller coaster is a good way to explain it. I remember it. I don’t want to go back to it. I remember right after my stillborn son was born I was really thin. My arms were like sticks. I was in what I call a flare. Certainly was having a surge of thyroid hormone through that pregnancy and for awhile after. The only good thing about that was that I didn’t look like I had just given birth. The day after I had him I was back in to my own jeans again. I was grateful I didn’t have to explain why I looked like I had just had a baby but there was no baby to show. Sigh. 

It is my mission to help you figure out how to find your health again so you don’t have to suffer as I have. 

Let’s get clear!

What are some of the biggest issues for suffers of Hashimoto’s?

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Poor Adrenal Health
  • Infections in the Gut or Leaky Gut
  • Poor Detoxification
  • All of those issues put you in a vicious cycle of an autoimmune attack. 

How do you fix this?

You need to fix all of those issues to eliminate symptoms and find yourself again. 

What are the biggest nutrient deficiencies?

  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D
  • B vitamins including B12
  • Stomach acid
  • Iron

What do you need Selenium for?

Selenium helps neutralize free radicals occuring as a result of your thyroid hormones being produced. Being deficient can allow the free radicals to possibly damage the thyroid gland. it also helps T4 be converted in to active T3. T3 is what goes in to your cells to be used by the body. 

Can’t I get Vitamin D from sun exposure?

Getting your D from the sun can be more difficult. You would need to spend quite a bit of time in the sun to get enough and if you live in a Northern climate like I do then you may need to supplement. When you have low levels of vitamin D, your immune systems cells don’t develop like they should. Taking vitamin D3 is best. It is the more active form and the best one to use. 

Why is B12 important?

Being deficient in B12 can mean you are really low on energy and have digestive dysfunction.   Having poor digestion can be a major cause of thyroid problems. If you have Hashimoto’s you probably are low in stomach acid which means you are not digesting your food as you should. You can have low stomach acid if you have low B12 or other B vitamin deficiencies. The B’s and stomach acid work in concert together. Your iron can be low because of stomach acid or B12 deficiency. 

Do you suffer from Adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue can be thrown around and used by people who truly don’t have it. Fatigue and adrenal fatigue are two different things. 

I had not slept for a couple of days but maybe 4 hours a night. I was taking mid terms for my nutrition class and I was a big ball of stress. I had a 4 day intense workshop to get through plus my exam. I lost my car keys, I couldn’t think straight. By day 4 I was a complete and total disaster. I should not have been driving at all. I could barely function. I came home from class, made dinner and slept only about 6 hours. I woke up tired, exhausted really. Ate breakfast, took a classmate to the airport and came home and laid on the couch for four days. I was lucky enough to be able to do that. My kids were out of school and all able to care for themselves. I remember falling in and out of sleep for two of those four days. I knew that was the best thing for me to do. I made sure to eat well so my body had the nutrients needed to recover and I let my body heal. 

I have to watch it even today. I cannot over do it or I end up on the couch for a day or two in recovery mode. My adrenals need tender loving care, probably for the rest of my life. All because of unmanaged stress. 

Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys. They produce your stress hormones and once you hit menopause (or andropause for men) they produce your sex hormones as well. 

Being under huge amounts of stress will cause your thyroid to actually slow down. It can also increase your intolerance to some foods causing food sensitivities. Yay! 

Stress can be a trigger to thyroid problems. You can test your adrenal health with a saliva test measuring your cortisol and DHEA levels. Blood tests don’t pick up adrenal problems until they are too far gone. 

Infections that have the immune system on high alert are also things that can cause problems with the adrenal glands. 

Other things like emotional stress, lack of sleep, pain and then inflammation from food sensitivities or infections all play a role in causing adrenal fatigue.

You can have an infection and it may not show up in a stool sample when you have a stool test done. Those bacteria and parasites are sometimes hard to track down. 

What is the cause of your Hashimoto’s?

Hard to say because the triggers are different for everyone but what we do know is that all of us have this in common

  • The right genes
  • The triggers of infection, stress, etc- you only need one trigger. 
  • Leaky gut (intestinal permeability)

Leaky gut is when particles of food or bacteria are allowed to pass between the cells in your small intestines causing an immune response to the foods flowing through your blood stream. Food particles and bacteria are not supposed to be in your blood stream. Your small intestines are supposed to absorb the nutrients from your food and keep the bad guys flowing through the digestive tract until they are excreted in your stool. 

Once you heal your gut, the journey to health becomes all that much shorter. 

Gluten sensitivity is common in autoimmune diseases, especially Hashimoto’s and if you have any autoimmune disease the first thing you should do is remove gluten from your diet. Big Sigh. 

For some this may be the only thing they have to do. For others it may be more complicated. There may be more food sensitivities. You may need to have some IgG testing done to see what foods are causing harm. Some of the most common ones besides gluten are dairy, soy, grains in general, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), nuts or seeds. 

If you don’t have IgG testing done you can do an elimination diet. This is where you eat a clean diet for three or four weeks and then reintroduce one food every three or four days. You then watch for a reaction. A reaction can be itchy skin or other skin reactions, diarrhea, constipation, joint pain, or even fatigue. 

You may have had an infection that triggered Hashimoto’s such as Epstein-Barr or any of the herpes viruses. Bacterial infections, parasites or yeast can all affect the immune system to the point of irritation. 

You can get tested with a practitioner for viruses or parasites. It may take a little detective work. 

What supplements are important for improving thyroid health?

  1. Probiotics. You need a balance of good bacteria and “bad” bacteria. You can get them from supplements or from fermented foods. They can help improve symptoms of anxiety besides helping to heal the gut. 
  2. Selenium. Many of us with Hashimoto’s are deficient in this mineral. Do you have white spots on your fingernails? That is a sure sign of a mineral deficiency which is most probably a selenium deficiency. It is important for reduction of damage to tissues and also helps to reduce anxiety. 
  3. Betaine HCl. If you have low stomach acid you are deficient in Betaine HCl with pepsin. You need adequate stomach acid to digest the protein you consume. Not doing so can lead to food sensitivities which will mean more inflammation and issues with your immune system. Proteins are also the building blocks of the body so you need to break down your protein in to amino acids for use throughout the body. Not digesting your food can also cause fatigue because your body is using more energy to try to get it digested.
  4. Systemic or Proteolytic Enzymes. You take them in between meals. They can help reduce the antibodies against the thyroid. To put it very simply, they kind of help clean out all the junk in the body that is causing inflammation. 

Before you decide you need all of these or other supplements, you really want to take a look at the symptoms you are experiencing. You may not need selenium or systemic enzymes. Make sure you find a practitioner to work with whether that is me or someone else. I work with people in 2 and 4 month packages which I have found brings on the best results. Need help? Let's Talk. Fill out the contact form on my website for a free strategy session. 

In Health, 

Stephanie