hashimoto

Diet and supplementation – Hashimoto disease.

What is Hashimoto?

Let’s start with what Hashimoto is, because despite the fact that it is an increasingly common disease, the name itself often causes anxiety and is unknown to many people, especially to those who do not deal with it among their relatives.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease, otherwise known as chronic lymphocytic inflammation of the thyroid gland, which leads to the destruction of the thyroid gland. The name was derived from the name of the Japanese physician Hakaru Hashimoto, who first described it in 1912. Women are more likely to get it than men, possibly due to the presence of estrogens. Hashimoto’s is autoimmune in nature, which means that the immune system produces antibodies that attack and destroy the body, in this case the thyroid gland. It develops very slowly and may be asymptomatic for many years. In the initial period, mild, transient hyperthyroidism may occur, then, after a short period of normal thyroid function (euthyroidism), progressive hypothyroidism occurs due to the destruction of the thyroid tissue. The initial period of Hashimoto’s is often referred to as subclinical hypothyroidism, followed by overt hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto symptoms

Hashimoto’s symptoms are very similar to those of hypothyroidism. We distinguish here: slow metabolism, memory disorders, feeling cold, depression, excessive fatigue, dry skin, constipation, hair loss, muscle pain, stiffness and joint pain, loss of menstruation, frequent colds. Additionally, there may be breathing and swallowing disorders, hoarseness, and sometimes even a sore throat. Chest pains also often appear. People with Hashimoto’s are more likely to develop heart disease and thyroid cancer. Women with Hashimoto’s have a greater risk of having a pregnancy miscarriage or having an intellectually disabled child.

Hashimoto causes:

The causes of Hashimoto include:

  1. Genetic factors

    related to the presence of specific genes. Here, however, epigenetics, i.e. how our lifestyle will affect genes, is very important.

  1. Environmental factors:

– hormonal imbalance

– excess iodine

– bacterial and viral infections

– food intolerances and allergies

– frequent use of antibiotics

– intestinal dysbiosis

– chronic stress

– too short and poor-quality sleep

– toxins, heavy metals

– some medications

– air pollution

– nutrient deficiencies

– anti-nutritional substances

– smoking

Hashimoto

 

I will not elaborate on diagnostics, because making the diagnosis of the disease is within the competence of the doctor. I will just mention that blood tests such as TSH, FT4, FT3, ATPO, ATG and thyroid ultrasound should be performed. In addition, it is worth doing auxiliary tests that will help assess the causes, complications of Hashimoto’s, comorbidities and deficiencies of vitamins and microelements (supplementing them will allow you to enjoy health faster).

I recommend doing, among others morphology with smear, lipid profile, liver tests, alkaline phosphatase, iron, ferritin, glucose-insulin curve, inflammatory markers.

Hashimoto treatment

Conventional Hashimoto’s treatment usually gives thyroxine in pill form, a hormone that the damaged thyroid cannot produce in sufficient quantity. Occasionally, patients also take additional T3. However, hormone therapy will not cure Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease, nor will it solve the problem of a weakened immune system. Giving hormones will not stop the production of antibodies, which will continue to destroy the thyroid gland. Just taking Euthyrox or Letrox will not solve the problem.

First and foremost, you have to deal with your immune system. Hormone treatment can alleviate symptoms, reduce goiter size, compensate for endogenous hormone deficiency, prevent an increase in TSH levels and have a slight reduction in anti-TPO levels.

The Hashimoto diet

At the very beginning, I would like to point out and emphasize that a properly balanced diet, rich in nutrients and limiting anti-nutrients, has a huge impact on the patient’s health. It is also important that it should be individually adapted to the sick person. Only then will it be effective, as there are often comorbid health problems that need to be addressed.

What are the general principles of the Hashimoto diet?

Compose meals rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The diet should consist of natural and unprocessed products. Make sure that your meals are as varied and richly nutritious as possible. Then you are more likely to provide yourself with all the necessary ingredients. Listen to your body. Don’t force yourself to eat foods you don’t like. For example, if for some reason you don’t want to eat meat, don’t eat it. Both on a vegetarian and ketogenic diet, you are able to improve the health of your thyroid gland. The best diet is one that you are able to follow. Everything has to be individually adjusted.

Here are some of the most important principles of nutrition in Hashimoto’s:

  • Exclude all kinds of processed, finished products, fast food, sweets, salty snacks, processed meats, cold cuts, sweet drinks, alcohol. And if you smoke, it’s time to say goodbye to your addiction.
  • Beware of excessive and quick caloric restrictions, as this can lead to protein and caloric malnutrition, an increase in TSH and cortisol levels, which will further worsen the functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Take care of the right amount of protein that is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. The protein amino acid tyrosine combines with iodine and in this way precursors for the synthesis of thyroid hormones are formed. Protein further increases thermogenesis, which is beneficial in overweight people. Choose lean meat such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs as well as legumes and dairy products among protein products, if they are well tolerated.
  • Go for carbohydrates with a low and medium index and glycemic load. This helps to normalize blood glucose levels and prevents the occurrence of postprandial hyperinsulinemia. Whole grain products, which contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals, will be good, e.g. whole grain rice, groats, potatoes, legumes, quinoa, amaranth.
  • Remember about the right amount of fiber in your diet (by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, remember to drink water, and in moderation, excess fiber may impede the absorption of vitamins and minerals), it helps to relieve constipation, which often occurs in people with Hashimimoto’s. slowed intestinal peristalsis. Fiber also helps you feel full, reduces the absorption of glucose and fats, lowers cholesterol, and binds toxic compounds and helps to expel them.
  • Include good quality fats in your diet, especially monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Even when reducing adipose tissue, you must not avoid fats, because their deficiency may exacerbate the disorders of the immune and endocrine systems, as well as lead to a deficiency of vitamins soluble in them. I recommend here, among others olive oil, avocado, linseed oil, black cumin oil, seeds, nuts, evening primrose oil, oily sea fish.
  • Eliminate products after which you noticed malaise, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches. It is not worth eating what is clearly not good for us and we feel bad after it, even if it is tasty.
  • Reduce or eliminate soy. Soybeans can adversely affect the endocrine system and impair the absorption of drugs.
  • Turn on foods rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals from oxidative stress. Choose foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, zinc and selenium. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, especially berries, which are rich in antioxidants and are delicious. In winter, when we have less access to vegetables and fruits, a good solution is also Acai or Acerola supplementation, as well as aronia and black currant juices, which are a good source of antioxidants.
  • Include as many different types of vegetables as possible in your menu to make your diet as varied as possible. Bet mainly raw vegetables, unless you tolerate them badly, then steamed. Vegetable juices also work well.
  • Don’t forget about the fruit. They are the source of many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Eat seasonal fruits, mostly in their natural form.
  • Include natural probiotics in your diet, such as pickled vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, beets, lemon, broccoli, cauliflower, and if you tolerate well, also kefir or yogurt. These foods provide lactic acid bacteria, have a very good effect on the digestive system, improve peristalsis, digestion, absorption and reduce intestinal problems, help rebuild damaged intestinal flora, fight inflammation and support immunity.
  • Turn on the homemade broths / broths cooked on the bones. Especially in the winter time. They are a very good and natural source of many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and collagen. They improve immunity, digestive tract function, add energy, reduce fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and the risk of injury.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Put on water! Not only does it help to keep the body hydrated, it also improves the function of the digestive tract. It is worth drinking medium to high mineralized water, which is rich in calcium and magnesium.

Goitrogens, dairy products, gluten, i.e. the controversy surrounding the Hashimoto diet.

Goitrogenic compounds

In the case of Hashimoto, there is often talk of limiting or even eliminating goitrogenic, i.e. goitrogenic, compounds. They are found mainly in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower), as well as in soybeans, peanuts, millet and strawberries. They work negatively by binding to iodine and interfering with its absorption into molecules of thyroid hormones. However, heat treatment of these products largely inactivates these compounds, so they should not be completely eliminated from the diet, and even worth eating because they contain a lot of valuable vitamins and minerals. We would have to eat huge amounts of these foods to harm us. There is nothing to be afraid of if you eat raw kohlrabi or boiled broccoli every now and then.

Milk products

The milk and dairy products from supermarkets that are sold on an industrial scale are not of the best quality. Casein from dairy products has high antigenic abilities and can irritate the intestines, including there is a conversion of thyroid hormones in them, so it is not indicated. Lactose intolerance is also very common in people with Hashimoto (in such cases, the elimination of lactose from the diet may reduce TSH levels). However, if you want to eat dairy products, you feel good after them, you like them, then eat them in moderate amounts and choose the best quality and least processed products.

Gluten

Gluten is found in cereals (wheat, rye, barley, spelled), but also in products such as ketchup, dressings, sauces, alcohol, meats and various cosmetics. Makes bread and dough elastic and plump. Due to many modifications in the cultivation of cereals, especially wheat, it is not well tolerated and digested by many people. The gliadin protein has a morphological structure similar to that of the thyroid tissue and is one of the gluten-forming fractions. It is assumed that the gliadin contained in gluten can cause the immune system to produce antibodies against it, and the resulting antibodies can attack the thyroid gland. The immune system can attack not only gluten, but also the thyroid gland by mistake and slowly destroy it, causing inflammation. Often, a decrease in antibodies is possible thanks to a gluten-free diet. No worries, wheat foods. they do not contain such nutritional properties that we would not be able to provide from other foods. There are many natural, wheat-free, gluten-free products that are worth including in your diet and that contain even more nutrients, such as buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa. The high relationship between Hashimoto and celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is often emphasized, so following a gluten-free diet may be appropriate. However, it is always worth carrying out diagnostics in this direction in advance.

Supplementation:

  • Vitamin D3 – reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and influences the regulation of the immune system. Its deficiencies are very common in people with Hashimoto. It has been observed that the lower a person’s vitamin D3 levels, the higher their TSH levels. Additionally, vitamin D3 deficiency in people with Hashimoto can impair the absorption of calcium in the intestines. Its sources are oily sea fish, meat, dairy products, as well as UVB radiation. However, supplementation is very often needed, especially in the period from September to April. If someone does not like to swallow tablets, vitamin D3 in drops is a good option. It is best to supplement it with breakfast.
  • Selenium – is part of many enzymes – selenoproteins and is involved in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. It participates in the construction of glutathione peroxidase, which has strong antioxidant properties and protects the thyroid against the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species or hydrogen peroxide. Selenium is also involved in deiodinase where T4 is converted to active T3. Its deficiency may damage the structure of the thyroid gland, reduce active T3 and intensify the course of autoimmune thyroiditis. However, for selenium to perform its function, it is necessary to properly supply iodine. Long-term selenium deficiency may cause poor absorption of iodine, which intensifies the development of symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • Zinc – has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, affects the proper functioning of the immune system, is involved in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. With its deficiency, ATPO and ATG antibodies increase. It is part of the triiodothyronine receptor proteins, so its deficiency also affects the decreased concentration of thyroid hormones, and thus the resting metabolic rate decreases. Absorption of this element may be difficult during long-term supplementation with high doses of copper.
  • Magnesium – the concentration of magnesium and red blood cells has a positive correlation with the values of T4. Magnesium makes cells more sensitive to insulin, and hypothyroidism is often associated with insulin resistance. In addition, it helps to calm the nervous system, improves memory and concentration. In addition to oral supplementation, baths or foot soaking in magnesium chloride can also work well here, although it has not been proven whether and how much magnesium is absorbed through the skin. However, such baths have a relaxing effect on our body, reduce tension and, although for this reason, it is worth using them.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – improve the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver and the sensitivity of tissues to the effects of thyroid hormones and reduce inflammation. Additionally, they help reduce lipogenesis.
  • Iodine – is part of the thyroid hormones, it is needed for the production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine and for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Its deficiency results in their insufficient production, which first causes an increase in TSH concentration, and then a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones. In addition, iodine deficiency causes growth restriction and enlargement of the thyroid gland and the formation of a goiter. However, you should be especially careful with it, because while it can help with hypothyroidism, it can harm Hashimoto by increasing the inflammatory response of the immune system.
  • Iron – a component of iodine peroxidase, involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Its deficiency affects the reduced production of thyroid hormones, deterioration of their conversion and an increase in TSH. When it is not good, at the beginning you have to put on a diet and natural products, e.g. more red meat in the diet, liver, nettle juice or beetroot. Beet leaven or beetroot juice work well. To increase the absorption of iron, it is good to combine iron-rich foods like meat with vitamin C-rich foods like parsley. Iron supplementation should be very careful and used in exceptional circumstances, as excess iron is toxic.
  • Vitamin B12 – anemia resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency very often coexists with Hashimoto. Its sources are meat, milk, eggs and fish. I am not found in plant products.
  • Antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, E C) – reduce oxidative stress, fight free radicals that negatively affect the thyroid gland. We find them primarily in various types of vegetables and sheep, and in addition, you can focus on supplementation with Acai or Acerola.
  • Probiotics – There is a strong correlation between Hashimoto and gut problems, so caring for a healthy gut microflora is essential to improving your health. Natural probiotics such as sauerkraut, cucumbers and other vegetables, such as lemons, will help here. However, supplementation is often needed. You can buy probiotics in tablets, liquid or shots. The liquid form is good for people who have trouble swallowing tablets or for children who don’t want to swallow tablets. For this reason, probiotic essences or single shots will be a nice option, which you can drink at once and easily take with you on a trip. The great advantage of probiotics in liquid form is that, compared to probiotics in tablets or capsules, they do not have to undergo a series of processes that result in lifted biomass, such as drying, which may have a potentially negative impact on the physiological state of microorganisms. Liquid products contain active bacteria that can immediately colonize our intestines. Additionally, by choosing probiotics in liquid form, we can provide our body with postbiotics, i.e. substances that are a product of bacterial metabolism.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices: turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, sage, cinnamon.
  • Herbal teas – first of all, it is worth supporting the liver and intestines, because it includes there, the conversion of thyroid hormones takes place, and in addition, the immune system is closely related to the gut. You can buy single herbs to drink, but mixtures where individual herbs support their effects will also be an interesting option. It is worth paying attention to the tea cleansing the liver, supporting the functioning of the intestines or for good digestion, among others. due to the content of dandelion, Helichrysum, marshmallow yarrow, marjoram, artichoke. An interesting option is also herbal tea that supports the work of the thyroid gland, but due to licorice, people with hypertension should be careful with it. And attention! Herbs work well, help regulate many processes in the body, but also be careful because they are not indifferent to the body. This is not an ordinary tea. For this reason, you must not overdo them and use them non-stop, but in rotation, because they can be harmful in excess.

Toxins and their influence on thyroid function

Various types of toxins, heavy metals, substances and chemical compounds accompany us every day. They cannot be avoided one hundred percent, but it is worth minimizing their participation in our life as much as possible, because they negatively affect our body, including disturbing the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Xenoestrogens – where they occur and why you should avoid them.

Among the chemical substances, we distinguish xenoestrogens that imitate the effects of estrogen in our body. They act like our natural estrogens, they disturb the natural hormonal balance and the work of the entire endocrine system. Additionally, xenoestrogens and other foreign hormones tend to accumulate in the body’s tissues, mainly adipose tissue. Frequent contact with these substances leads to an excess of estrogens in our body, which negatively affects the functioning of the immune system, the work of the adrenal glands and thyroid gland. It can also lead to the development of, among others, birth defects, cancer, infertility, endometriosis, PCOS or obesity. The xenoestrogens include BPA (bisphenol A), which blocks the action of thyroid hormones and is a T3 antagonist. It is responsible for the development of diseases of the reproductive system, cancer and development disorders. There is, among others in plastic bottles, cans, store bills. For this reason, the amount of plastic in our lives should be reduced as much as possible. It is worth taking fabric, cotton bags for shopping. On the other hand, take meals to work in glass containers or in BPA-free reusable plastic containers.

Does lifestyle, may it affect your health?

Our lifestyle, how we live, how much we sleep, train, rest, and how much time we spend in closed rooms, has a huge impact on the functioning of the entire organism. I recommend paying particular attention to 3 aspects:

  • Physical activity – engage in any physical activity that gives you pleasure. Don’t follow the fashion that everyone has to train in the gym now. You like to run, run. You like to dance, dance. You like riding a bike, do it. Find something that makes you happy! Don’t force yourself to 5 hard workouts a week in the gym. The stress it causes will do more harm than good. Do it for fun. Go for a walk, swim in the pool, go for a bike ride.
  • Sleep – get enough sleep. Sleep during the allotted time for this activity. The body regenerates best between 22/23 – 2/3 at night. Then the most important processes take place, the work of hormones is regulated, the most melatonin is released. It is during these hours that the body regenerates best. Additionally, limit the use of telephone, computer and television before going to bed. Blue light interferes with melatonin secretion. Before going to bed, take a relaxing bath with the addition of magnesium salt and spend this time with a loved one.
  • Stress– The cause of most diseases. It is known that it cannot be completely eliminated from life, but it is worth trying to reduce it and learn to deal with it. It is very important for maintaining proper health.

Hashimoto can’t be completely cured, but you can minimize symptoms, feel good and enjoy life. I am the proof of that. I believe that this requires a change in lifestyle, diet, physical activity, paying more attention to the environment in which we live and perceiving the world.