If you’re here, you may be navigating your own Hashimoto’s journey. Perhaps you’re on the road to getting an accurate diagnosis. Or perhaps you’ve already been diagnosed and want to learn more about what’s really going on with Hashimoto’s.
As the Thyroid Pharmacist, my goal is to help you get to the root cause of your Hashimoto’s so that healing becomes possible.
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at age 27, I had a ton of symptoms. My health journey was filled with many ups, downs, and challenges all around. But I didn’t want to give up.
Although my symptoms seemed random, it did not make sense to me that this condition just appeared out of nowhere. I am a firm believer in cause and effect, and I intuitively knew that my symptoms were all somehow connected.
I thought, “There has to be some lifestyle factors that contributed to this condition! There has to be ways I can make myself feel better! There has to be ways I can help stop the progression… What can I do as a person with this condition, to give myself the best possible life?”
At the time of my diagnosis, I was working as a clinical consultant pharmacist and had become an avid researcher in finding solutions for people with disabilities as well as rare genetic conditions that didn’t fit in the standard care model. (You can read about my background and credentials here). I used the same research methods to find solutions for my own condition.
I set out to dive deeper into my symptoms and determine the root causes, eventually becoming a self-proclaimed Root Cause Rebel.
Since 2009, I have spent an enormous amount of time and money to heal myself. I have also spent countless hours researching medical journals, articles, books, and making myself a Hashimoto's human guinea pig.
I have since put my thyroid condition into remission and am living my best life. Now I want to share everything I’ve learned with my fellow Root Cause Rebels, so that true healing becomes possible, for everyone!
To get to the root causes contributing to Hashimoto’s, we have to first understand that Hashimoto’s is a complex autoimmune condition. So what’s really going on with Hashimoto’s?
With Hashimoto's, the body attacks its own thyroid gland. As the thyroid gland becomes more damaged over time, less thyroid hormones are produced, leading to hypothyroidism.
But Hashimoto’s is more than just hypothyroidism (a lack of thyroid hormone). In fact, individuals with Hashimoto’s can have both symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (an excess of thyroid hormone).
I remember being surprised when I learned this during my own Hashimoto’s journey. For example, along with experiencing hair loss, a symptom of hyperthyroidism, I also experienced forgetfulness, a symptom of hypothyroidism. I looked “fine” on the outside and wasn’t experiencing weight gain, which is a common hypothyroidism symptom. So what was going on?
My thyroid gland was losing its ability to produce thyroid hormones, contributing to my hypothyroid symptoms. As the thyroid was being damaged, its cells and hormones were being released into the bloodstream, contributing to my hyperthyroidism symptoms. Many others with Hashimoto’s also experience both kinds of symptoms, as illustrated below.
The different organs and systems in our bodies are all connected through hormones, signals and genes. When one system or organ (such as the thyroid or the gut) is affected, all the other systems will be affected too.
That’s why even though the symptoms of Hashimoto’s can seem random, they are all connected.
Our bodies are smart and are constantly adapting to help us survive. When the body doesn’t feel safe, it adapts and develops chronic conditions as a way to survive. (You can read more about this in my article on the Izabella Wentz Safety Theory.)
Specifically with a chronic condition like Hashimoto’s, the body develops a permeable or “leaky” gut. This means that molecules that are supposed to stay in the gut, leak into the bloodstream. The body then launches an attack on these molecules and the thyroid gland.
Leaky gut is one of three factors that, according to the three-legged stool of autoimmunity, must all be present in order for autoimmunity to occur:
Usually, the individual will have some genes that make them more susceptible to developing Hashimoto’s. But,simply having these genes doesn’t necessarily lead to Hashimoto’s. There is usually a trigger that influences how these genes are expressed, and this expression can eventually lead to autoimmunity.
While there are many different triggers or root causes of Hashimoto’s, the six main ones I’ve observed in my clients are:
There are two main approaches to identifying one’s personal root causes and healing Hashimoto’s: the conventional approach and the root cause approach.
After I was diagnosed, I was told by conventional medicine that medication was the only option. But, I soon realized that levothyroxine/T4-only medication like Synthroid wouldn’t actually help my thyroid produce the hormones on its own. It would replace the thyroid hormones my thyroid wasn’t producing… but it would not repair the thyroid damage.
That’s because the conventional approach is much more one-size-fits-all. Its goal is to get thyroid levels within “normal” reference ranges and manage “being sick.”
While thyroid medications can be helpful and necessary in some cases, the conventional approach doesn’t dive into what’s really going on with Hashimoto’s. It also doesn’t explore the dietary and lifestyle interventions that target the root causes behind them, nor why the immune system is imbalanced in the first place.
With the root cause approach, the goal is to dive deeper and figure out what is driving the autoimmune component in Hashimoto’s, and dismantle the vicious cycle of autoimmunity, piece by piece...
We start with the simplest modifications, by removing triggers, followed by repairing the other broken systems to restore equilibrium, allowing the body to rebuild itself.
It is much more individualized, and takes many lifestyle factors into consideration.
For example, the root cause approach may involve addressing your liver health if an overburdened liver is driving your symptoms, eradicating hidden gut infections, or checking in with your adrenals and building your resilience to stress.
This approach empowers you with the knowledge and tools to help you address each trigger behind your symptoms, reduce your thyroid antibodies, and put your thyroid condition into remission… so you can reclaim your health and feel like your healthiest self again!
I want to empower you with the knowledge to heal Hashimoto’s.
Here’s how to get started...
While there are many potential root causes that can lead to Hashimoto’s, I’ve found that there are four specific lifestyle interventions that can help most people, regardless of the root cause.
Sometimes, despite balancing thyroid hormones, eating nutrient dense foods and having a healthy lifestyle, we can still struggle with Hashimoto’s symptoms.
In this case, I urge you to dig deeper for other root causes. My books Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause and Hashimoto's Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back will help you dig deeper into the root causes and give you a done-for-you protocol to help you recover from Hashimoto’s.
I hope this helps you take the right step forward in your Hashimoto’s journey!
For more information on Hashimoto’s, including new research, resources, and exclusive offers, you can sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’ll also send you a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 Thyroid friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter of my first book when you sign up!