Adverse Reactions to Helpful Supplements
Some of my clients with Hashimoto’s have reported adverse reactions to various supplements, in addition to an increasing list of food and environmental allergies. Addressing your gut health and any underlying deficiencies can help many people, but what if you find yourself reacting to recommended protocols that are supposed to help you?
Investing in some supplements only to discover you are sensitive or reacting to them may be discouraging. You may even be scared to try a new intervention in case you have an adverse reaction to it. But don’t throw in the towel — there’s a way to address this hypersensitivity and reclaim your healthy self!
An accumulation of toxic buildup over time can result in an overburdened detoxification system that may show signs of stress. Oftentimes, clients may find that supporting the liver makes a significant difference in their well-being and can improve many of their other symptoms too. So, the first step to being a “liver” of life again may just lie in supporting the liver.
Liver Function 101 (What does the liver do?)
The liver is an important organ that is responsible for a multitude of processes: it filters the blood, stores glucose for energy, produces and secretes bile for fat digestion, and is necessary for converting T4 to the active T3 hormone. It’s also our primary detoxification organ.
The liver has two pathways for detoxification. The elimination of toxins is done through a two-step enzymatic process. In the first step (known as Phase I), fat-soluble toxins undergo processes such as oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, and dehalogenation. This pathway requires B vitamins, folate, glutathione, and flavonoids. The toxins are metabolized into intermediary substances that make them easier to process as they move along and prepare for the next phase.
In the second step (known as Phase II), the substances undergo conjugation, sulfation, glucuronidation, glutathione conjugation, acetylation, amino acid conjugation, and methylation reactions. These processes detoxify the substances and make them water-soluble so they can be excreted via the stool or urine. Folate, magnesium, glutathione, vitamin C, B5, B12, and the amino acids methionine, cysteine, glycine, taurine, glutamine, and choline are needed in Phase II.
In other words, to support both detox pathways, the liver needs to be given vitamins and nutrients. I think of the liver as an office worker who needs the right kind of tools to process an incoming stream of paperwork — this may be the right kind of office supplies, the right kind of computer programs, and her cup (or pot) of coffee. 🙂
Liver Backlog and Toxic Overload (What is liver backlog and what are the symptoms of toxic overload?)
However, when the office worker keeps getting more and more paperwork dumped on her desk without replenishing the tools she needs to complete her work, a backlog can occur. A similar situation happens with our liver and toxins. Our detox pathways may become overwhelmed and overburdened, and we end up with a toxic backlog. Toxins may build up and circulate in our bodies or become stored in our fat instead of being properly excreted. This often results in multiple symptoms, as well as reactions to substances that are normally harmless… Imagine asking an overworked colleague for a small favor — there’s a chance she may snap at you — or it may take her way too long to do something that should take a minute or two.
Symptoms of toxic overload may include digestive problems, bad breath, fatigue, weakness, constipation, headaches, hormonal imbalance, itchy skin, rashes, breakouts, joint pain, brain fog, irritability, chemical sensitivity, and weight loss resistance — just to name a few! Your liver may also show signs of stress in the form of right-sided chest pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Liver Impairment and Thyroid Disease: How is it related to Hashimoto’s?
It is important to note that in addition to causing impaired detoxification symptoms which may mimic those related to thyroid disease, liver dysfunction can also affect the thyroid. If your liver is impaired, your body may be unable to convert T4 to the active T3 hormone correctly, which can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism. (It’s important to have sufficient levels of the active T3 version as it’s our “go” hormone that tells our body to grow hair, boost metabolism, and create more energy!)
Some Hashimoto’s patients with a sluggish liver may also notice an extreme sensitivity to foods and drugs. Many of my clients who have reported chemical sensitivities and allergies to different foods and medications would frequently react to just about any benign and helpful supplement that I would give them. These reactions are often due to the toxic backlog that is present in their body, which can cause them to react to everything in their environment as well.
I personally know how miserable this can feel. When I started my journey with Hashimoto’s just after getting married in my 20’s, I started becoming to allergic to EVERYTHING, both indoor and outdoor — including my Pomeranian Boomer and all the trees in California! My allergies were so awful, I was dependent on eye drops and antihistamines 24/7.
Furthermore, right after getting married to the love of my life, I discovered I was allergic to our bed and couldn’t sleep on it! I was miserable and felt like I was falling apart.
At that time, I didn’t know that having all those toxins on board was actually delaying my healing.
Causes of Toxic Overload (What causes liver congestion?)
I like to say that we are the canaries in the coal mines, and our symptoms are the signs of the invisible dangers surrounding us. Unfortunately, escaping toxins in our environment can be challenging — they’re everywhere! In fact, in 2006, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the average American has 116 out of 148 synthetic compounds in their body!
Whatever we inhale, ingest, and absorb into our skin eventually ends up circulating in our body. From our cosmetics and skin products to pesticides and exhaust fumes, we’re exposed to thousands of chemicals a day — many of which are especially detrimental to our thyroid health.
Xenoestrogens such as BPA, soy, phthalates, and parabens, for example, are chemicals that mimic the effect of estrogen. These chemicals may increase TSH and perpetuate the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. BPA, found in plastic containers and even store receipts, antagonizes T3 receptors in the thyroid. Xenoestrogens can be found in personal care products, plastics, and foods.
Triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, and hair sprays, has a structure that resembles that of thyroid hormones and has recently been banned by the FDA due to thyroid toxicity.
Furthermore, halogens like bromide and chloride may take up receptor sites in the thyroid gland, build up in thyroid tissue, and lead to inflammation and thyroid cell death, as they are structurally similar to iodine. This can lead to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis. Studies have shown that those exposed to high levels of halogen-containing substances have been found to have a higher incidence of thyroid antibodies. These halogens can be found in swimming pools, baked goods, and even our mattresses! (They’re everywhere!)
Fluoride is another halogen that can wreak havoc on the thyroid. Common sources of fluoride include supplements, bottled beverages, toothpaste, black and red tea, canned foods, chewing tobacco, black/red rock salt, and certain medications. Fluoride has been added to most water supplies in the United States, Canada, and some parts of the UK to prevent dental decay. However, it is also an endocrine disruptor. Although fluoride was actually used to treat hyperthyroidism up until the 1950s as it is an effective thyroid suppressor at daily doses of 0.9 to 4.2 mg, studies confirm that most adults in fluoridated communities ingest between 1.6 and 6.6 mg of fluoride a day, effectively suppressing their thyroid function.
Who’s at Risk (Are you at risk of having an overburdened liver?)
Some people may never be exposed to heavy toxins but may have the perfect storm of vulnerabilities that may lead to a greater accumulation of toxins and put them at a greater risk of having an overburdened liver.
For example, some people may have the MTHFR gene mutation that elevates their homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with difficult pregnancies or miscarriages, birth defects, inflammation, and heart disease. Individuals with the MTHFR gene variation may also have a difficult time processing folic acid (a manufactured version of folate that is present in low-quality multivitamins and added to processed foods). Moreover, they are more likely to be deficient in folate, B6, and B12 and may require activated versions of these nutrients to address these deficiencies. The MTHFR gene mutation also prevents people from properly methylating, which is one of the body’s key detox processes. Methylation impairment can result in a liver that needs a little extra help when it comes to clearing out heavy metals from their body.
Furthermore, those with an autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto’s in particular, are especially prone to liver congestion. This risk can increase when one’s intestines are damaged. A healthy intestine allows for nutrients to be absorbed and blocks the absorption of toxins and pathogens. Studies have shown that everyone with an autoimmune disorder, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, has some degree of intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” Intestinal permeability is defined by gaps in the gut lining that can develop as the result of various factors including:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Food sensitivities
- Gut infections
The gaps in the gut allow for irritating molecules and substances to “leak” into the bloodstream. A leaky gut can result in the absorption of potentially problematic substances and lead to impaired detox abilities.
Additionally, the decreased ability to sweat, which can be common in those with hypothyroidism (and a great “perk” of thyroid disease in social settings ;-)), can make you more prone to liver congestion.
Gluten intolerance, low HCl levels, and other absorption issues present in Hashimoto’s can also prevent us from properly absorbing nutrients needed for our detoxification pathways.
Finally, food sensitivities, which are particularly common among those with Hashimoto’s, can contribute to liver congestion. When you continually ingest the proteins of foods that you are sensitive to, you could develop antibodies to them. Reactive food proteins can attach to these antibodies, creating what’s referred to as circulating immune complexes (CICs). When the body becomes overwhelmed by too many CICs, the complexes accumulate in the liver, leading to impaired liver function.
So, those with Hashimoto’s are especially more likely to develop a chemical backlog in their body!
The Potential Dangers of Conventional Treatments: Why strong detox therapies may not work
I’ve discovered that people who do not begin with liver support (and instead start with addressing the gut or adrenals, or taking supplements in general) are more likely to react to medications, supplements, and even foods. Supporting the liver can really kick-start your healing and even make you feel brighter, happier, and more alive.
You may have heard about intensive “detox” strategies such as taking high dose iodine, coffee enemas, or chelating agents like spirulina, chlorella or DMSA. However, “forceful” detox methods may, in fact, be potentially harmful to your health and lead to serious consequences.
High doses of iodine, for example, can cause increased thyroid gland destruction.
Meanwhile, coffee enemas may result in perforated bowels or colitis when people don’t perform them correctly, or have an adverse reaction to the coffee. Unfortunately, I’ve had clients who had to be hospitalized due to coffee-induced colitis, resulting in inflammation of the inner lining of the colon.
Chelation is another popular and “powerful” detox method. It causes the metals to detach from your body and allows them to start moving freely around it. Unfortunately, “powerful” doesn’t always mean “effective”! If you can’t get rid of these metals via the liver, they are just going to circulate and attach themselves to other types of body tissues — which could be problematic and potentially make you feel even worse.
I learned this the hard way – I once tried a “forceful” detox with spirulina, which led to the development of a new autoimmune condition called giant papillary conjunctivitis. This resulted in giant pimples on the inside of my eyelids, and yes, it was as awful as it sounds! Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Furthermore, forceful strategies can make those with autoimmune thyroid disease feel worse — especially when done without medical intervention — as aggressively drawing out toxins can overwhelm the detox pathways that are already overburdened due to Hashimoto’s.
I can’t stress enough the importance of being gentle on the liver. I don’t recommend “intensive” and potentially dangerous detox interventions until you’ve had your liver properly supported, your adrenals balanced, your nutrients supported, and your gut function restored (as covered by the Fundamental Protocols of my book, Hashimoto’s Protocol).
When it comes to healing, being gentle and putting safety first is key.
Natural Treatment Options: What is liver support? How can it help you?
I like to utilize natural protocols to support the liver and detox pathways, so this is where liver support comes into play. Liver support is different from detox and can help a person feel better in as little as two weeks.
It is one of the things I recommend for everybody with Hashimoto’s, especially those who report severe issues with allergies, have a lot of breakouts, and score really high on toxicity level tests. When people have a lot of reactions to different supplements, it’s usually a liver issue. I would recommend supporting your liver by following the Two-Week Liver Support Protocol in my book, Hashimoto’s Protocol.
There are four steps to my Liver Support Protocol:
- Remove potentially triggering foods
- Add supportive foods.
- Reduce toxic exposure.
- Support both detoxification pathways.
Benefits of Liver Support
I’ve found that following my 4-step liver support is something that’s going to be helpful for most people, and it really kicks off your healing. In fact, 65% of people who completed the Liver Support during my Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program – many of whom had been sick for over 10, 15, 20 years – said they felt significantly better after completing the Liver Support Protocol.
I loved all of the messages I received from my clients who were able to go to the mall again because they were no longer experiencing multiple chemical sensitivities, became active because their joint pains had reduced, and felt overall more energetic and happier as their many symptoms began to lift.
Some benefits of a doing liver support include a reduction of many of your symptoms, as well as clearer skin, improved vitamin and mineral absorption, and better bowel function.
As triggers are removed and nutrient deficiencies are addressed, the liver is able to clear out toxins and process hormones more efficiently. This means that estrogen and progesterone levels will be better balanced. Those with thyroid disease will also begin to feel better because as more of the liver enzymes are freed up to work on hormones instead of toxins, the body will have more access to T3.
Since the body produces the active T3 hormone through a conversion process from either endogenous T4 that’s produced in the body or exogenous T4 that is taken as a medication, having a healthy liver means that our bodies can utilize our own thyroid hormones, as well as our thyroid medication, much more efficiently! This means more energy, better hair growth, and even effortless weight loss for some!
Step 1: Removing Triggering Foods
The first thing you should do is remove all the foods that could be causing toxin buildup or are irritating the gut and disrupting nutrient absorption.
Triggering foods should be removed from your diet if you have Hashimoto’s regardless if you are doing the Liver Support Protocol because they cause compounding issues. For example, these foods contribute to leaky gut syndrome which, when coupled with Hashimoto’s, can result in confusing symptoms and make it difficult to identify root causes and treatments.
If you’ve already removed these foods from your diet, that’s great news! You can skip to step two and begin adding liver-supporting foods.
Potentially triggering foods include:
Step 2: Add Supportive Foods
During this Protocol, it’s very important to support your liver because it’s doing a lot of heavy lifting. By introducing the following foods to your diet, you’ll be supporting a gentle and effective detoxification process while adding superfoods to your diet.
Here are the 11 most supportive foods I recommend, listed in order of importance:
- Hot lemon water
- The Root Cause Green Smoothie
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Sprouts and seedlings
- Green juices and chlorophyll
- Fermented foods
About an hour after your morning cup of hot lemon water, I recommend making a green smoothie for breakfast in a Vitamix blender. The Root Cause Green Smoothie is nutrient-dense and packed with plenty of protein, fat, and fiber to help you support your body’s detox pathways. Since the smoothie is blended into tiny particles, it’s much easier to digest compared to a regular breakfast, and the nutrients are more readily available so they can fuel your body and help you feel energized throughout the day. You can find my go-to green smoothie recipe here!
Adding supportive foods such as cilantro to get rid of heavy metals, and beets, which are rich in folate and betaine which help to break down homocysteine and can be particularly helpful to those with the MTHFR gene mutation, can also aid your body in eliminating toxins.
Step 3: Reduce Toxic Exposure
You might be surprised by some of the sources of toxins in our lives today. The problem is that more chemicals are constantly popping up without testing, and it’s hard to know which ones will and will not hurt us.
Also, sometimes common products like household cleaning supplies and personal care products are packed with toxins. During the Liver Support Protocol, pay extra attention to every chemical source you encounter throughout the day.
Some common toxins that are found in our day-to-day life include:
Herbicides and pesticides – Unfortunately, our agriculture system uses hundreds of herbicides and pesticides that are known to contribute to toxin burden. The herbicide Atrazine (which is banned in the EU but not the United States) has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, obesity, insulin resistance, and hormonal dysfunction. (2)
Foods with the highest herbicide and pesticide presence include apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, and celery. Consider buying organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, especially for anything with a soft skin. Keep in mind that organic food has a higher nutrient content, which may make it worth the added cost. (3)
Mercury – Mercury is most commonly found in dental fillings and in fish, such as tuna. Mercury is known to interfere with thyroid function, especially in those with Hashimoto’s.
Mercury vaporizes when heated, and chewing food can cause mercury to be released from dental fillings into your blood. Removing mercury fillings can reduce Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO antibodies) in the blood.
Mercury consumption from fish can be controlled by avoiding species with the highest mercury content such as tuna (ahi, bigeye), mackerel (king), and swordfish. I also recommend limiting your intake of species with moderate mercury levels to a couple times a month. These include tuna (yellowfin, canned), mackerel (Spanish, Gulf), and sea bass.
Aluminum – Aluminum is found in many cooking pans and antiperspirants. Scratched non-stick pans are a common source of aluminum toxicity, which is why I recommend using stainless steel pans. I also recommend switching to an aluminum-free deodorant.
Fluoride – Fluoride is a thyroid-suppressing halogen found in our water, toothpaste, and even black and green tea. A 2015 British study found that medical practices in areas with fluoridated water were twice as likely to have patients with hypothyroidism.
I strongly recommend using a reverse osmosis filter to get rid of the fluoride in your water and avoiding toothpaste with fluoride in it. One of the most cost-effective reverse osmosis filters out there is AquaTru’s countertop filter.
Other common toxins include:
- Xenoestrogens: chemicals that mimic estrogen
- Bisphenol A (BPA): common chemical found in plastics
- Chlorine: found in water systems and swimming pools
- Bromine: found in plastics, baked goods, sodas, and even mattresses (as a flame retardant coating)
- Lithium: used as a medication and found in drinking water
- Other heavy metals: lead, cadmium, cobalt, etc.
Beauty Products – The average woman applies an estimated 168 chemicals to her body every single day and many of them are known to contain toxic impurities. This is a staggering number of chemicals we are applying to our skin each day.
I love Annmarie Skin Care because they really go the extra mile to ensure the products they create are free of toxins! Please check out my post on beauty products for more information and more non-toxic options.
Have you ever walked into a building and just felt off? Sick Building Syndrome is a recently coined term to describe a collection of health symptoms experienced by one or more people due to exposure and time spent within a specific building.
This is due to poor indoor air quality that may be caused by various airborne toxins, such as off-gassing building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), air pathogens, pollens, or molds. This is usually combined with faulty heating, air conditioning and/or ventilation systems.
I recommend getting an air purifier for your home (especially your bedroom where you sleep) to clear out airborne toxins. I keep the AirDoctor in my bedroom!
Less industrial and more decorative options include getting houseplants! Plants of the Golden Pothos, Corn Plant, and the Sansevieria species have been used as purifiers and have gained a reputation for even being able to mitigate the effects in Sick Building Syndrome! Sansevieria absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, making them excellent bedroom plants. However, as their leaves are poisonous if ingested, they should be kept out of reach of children (2 and 4 legged). Boomer is a chewer, so I keep my Sansevieria plants in high places. 🙂
Step 4: Supporting Detox Pathways
Finally, you’re going to want to support your detox pathways. Since the lymph system is responsible for transporting and eliminating toxins, you can’t go wrong with a little skin brushing and exercise to increase lymphatic flow and help push the toxins out. Massage therapy is another great option! 😉
Additionally, since the skin is the body’s largest elimination organ, I also recommend engaging in activities that induce sweating. (Hot yoga and sauna therapy are some of my favorite sweat strategies!)
If you’ve read my new book, you’re likely to already be familiar with the supplements in the Liver Support Kit, which I highly recommend to help you with step 4. The Liver Support Protocol includes the following supplements, which are designed to support both liver phases at the same time:
- MTHFR Pathways – maintains a healthy homocysteine pathway. An optimally functioning homocysteine pathway provides methyl and sulfur groups for biochemical reactions such as detoxification, healthy immune function, brain, and cardiovascular health.
- Liver Reset – contains a natural pea protein isolate to fuel natural detoxification pathways. It includes the nutrients needed to support and balance phase I and II metabolic pathways, high levels of antioxidants for safe detoxification and a comprehensive array of herbal hepatics and cholagogues to promote healthy liver function and elimination.
- Liver & Gallbladder Support – a comprehensive formula designed to support bile flow for the normal processing and elimination of toxins through the specific combination of nutrients and herbs in this formula. By supporting liver and gallbladder function, Liver & Gallbladder Support supports the elimination of fatty substances from the liver and the digestion and assimilation of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
- Amino Support – useful for preparing the liver for phase II detoxification. Providing nutritional support for phase II detoxification helps conjugate toxins and prepare them for safe elimination from the body.
- NAC – supports tissue levels of glutathione, a key component of the antioxidant defense system.
- Magnesium – activates the enzymes necessary for a number of physiological functions, including neuromuscular contractions, cardiac function, and the regulation of the acid-alkaline balance in the body. It is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats; also for energy production, and the utilization of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. This vital mineral also helps utilize B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E.l.
- Aloe vera has been shown to protect the liver from oxidative stress-induced damage (that is, damage caused by an imbalance between the production of harmful free radicals, and the body’s ability to counteract them with antioxidants) in animal studies. This may be due to the plant’s high amino acid content. A 2013 animal study that used aloe vera gel daily, for a period of 21 days, found that aloe vera gel helped with normalizing elevated liver enzymes (a marker of liver disease), with markers returning to the normal or near normal range for most. I recommend one capsule per day of Aloe by Rootcology.
Additionally, I recommend Curcumin, which provides powerful support for maintaining a healthy inflammatory response, promoting cellular health, and supporting healthy liver, colon, and musculoskeletal function. Curcumin Absorb is a highly bioavailable curcuminoid formulation. It contains a unique combination of three bioactive, health-promoting curcuminoids: curcumin, bisdemethoxy curcumin and demethoxy curcumin, along with turmeric oil.
Potential Liver Support Side Effects
Although the liver support protocol is generally well tolerated by 80% of people who utilize it, some people may experience symptoms that may appear to be an adverse reaction to the liver support supplements. However, since removing caffeine and processed foods — which can result in detox and withdrawal symptoms — is part of the protocol, this may well be what they are actually experiencing.
Headaches, fatigue, breakouts, nausea, and changes in bowel function are some withdrawal symptoms to expect. These should not be really painful, however, they should be more or less well tolerated and the effects should peak around day 3. After that, most people will feel better.
About 65% of people actually report positive things such as feeling lighter, being less inflamed, being less reactive to a variety of substances, and having more energy, within the first week or so! However, when I see clients with intolerable symptoms that may still persist after the first 3 days, this is a sign that they may have to dig deeper for the reason why they’re not getting rid of toxins properly.
Causes of Liver Support Side Effects
There are many factors to consider when looking for the root cause of your liver support side effects. Perhaps you are also implementing a few other major lifestyle changes while getting your thyroid health back on track. Have you recently started following a new diet such as the Root Cause Intro Diet recommended in Hashimoto’s Protocol, which restricts certain foods like caffeinated drinks and processed foods?
Dietary changes can have a big impact on your body. Caffeine, for example, is an addictive substance, so some people may get withdrawal headaches, nausea, irritability, diarrhea and even vomiting — especially if they quit cold turkey instead of weaning off gradually. #thingsilearnedthehardway
You may also experience withdrawal symptoms if you’re reducing your sugar intake. I personally experienced headaches, irritability, unusual vaginal discharge, and lethargy for about two weeks after kicking my sugar habit cold turkey.
Likewise, if you’ve recently cut out gluten or dairy (common dietary Hashimoto’s triggers) from your diet, you may also experience various “withdrawal” symptoms!
It has been hypothesized that when gluten is digested, opioid peptides called gluteomorphins are released into the gastrointestinal tract and taken up into the bloodstream. These peptides are considered exorphins, as they have morphine-like effects on the brain. In other words, they can have “addictive” properties, so suddenly cutting gluten out of your diet can cause strong withdrawal symptoms. Similarly, casomorphins, which are ingested via the consumption of milk products, have been suggested to cause similar withdrawal symptoms when removed from the diet. As such, a sudden removal of gluten and dairy products from your diet may trigger some discomfort similar to that of liver support side effects.
If you’ve already been gluten, dairy, sugar, and caffeine free and still react to liver support, there’s a chance a nutrient deficiency may be to blame.
In my experience, the main reason why people have an adverse reaction, and only about 5% of people do, is because of magnesium deficiency. If you are irritated, anxious, experience insomnia, menstrual cramps, leg cramps, pain or constipation, you are likely magnesium deficient. Taking a magnesium citrate supplement can help tremendously. Most importantly, the citrate version of magnesium has a slight laxative effect, making sure we are clearing our bowels properly and not recirculating the toxins. Interestingly, magnesium becomes depleted as toxins begin to leave the body, so please note that magnesium requirements may increase while taking liver support supplements.
Troubleshooting: How to mitigate the side effects with diet and supplements
There are lots of strategies you can implement to mitigate the side effects of detoxification with the help of supplements, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes.
As a deficiency in magnesium can cause unwanted side effects during a detox, I recommend taking a magnesium citrate supplement, such as the one by Pure Encapsulations, at bedtime. Please note, you should not take magnesium within 4 hours of your thyroid medications — the doses of magnesium in most supplements can lead to impaired absorption of thyroid hormones.
Epsom salt baths are also beneficial for magnesium depletion, and can be taken daily. All you need is 1 cup of Epsom salts in a bath of hot water. (Don’t overdo it though — you can overdose on Epsom salts!)
Adding supportive foods and beverages is another thing I recommend to help mitigate detox side effects. Drinking hot lemon water first thing in the morning and throughout the day will not only support your liver’s detox pathways but also your stomach acid. Green juices are also wonderful for maintaining energy levels and the chlorophyll can help with binding toxins. You can drink hot lemon water or green juices instead of caffeine and you’ll see a marked difference in your energy levels.
As I mentioned earlier, cruciferous vegetables are great greens that can help us detoxify. Please note, however, that if you find you’re sensitive to them, you may have a CBS mutation and sulfur sensitivity, which may be exacerbated by crucifers. If you suspect that this may apply to you, be sure to test for the CBS gene mutation using a genetic test like the one offered by 23andMe, as well as check out the Sulfur Toxicity Protocol in the Advanced Protocols section of Hashimoto’s Protocol! (So, there may be an explanation as to why you’ve always disliked broccoli since you were a child! ;-)) If you can tolerate them, however, they’re very helpful veggies to add to your meals as you follow the Liver Support Protocol.
Closing Action Steps: Some encouragement for you…
My goal is to empower you and encourage you that it’s definitely possible to heal from what you’ve been going through – and the first step is supporting the liver.
If you’re ready to optimize your liver health, check out the Liver Protocol in my book Hashimoto’s Protocol for a list of recommended supplements.
It is recommended that you use the supplements that are listed in the Liver Support Protocol chapter, such as the ones from Rootcology. This will ensure both liver pathways are properly supported and will create a foundation that will make your further interventions and protocols successful.
Please note, it is important to individualize the protocols to your needs under the supervision of a functional medicine practitioner who will be part of your health care team and who will best know your personal needs. You can find our list of recommended practitioners here.
Remember, what some people may experience may not be an allergic reaction to the Liver Protocol supplements, but rather a sign that there is something else going on, and you may want to check for magnesium deficiency.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms that impair your ability to function or that last for more than 7 days, please discontinue the supplements and consult a medical professional who will be able to find the appropriate dosage for you.
Supporting the liver may be daunting at first, but believe me, it is well worth it. You may notice a significant amount of change in a significantly short amount of time. Your body will thank you for taking action and being your own health advocate. And, you will feel much better!
The word “liver” comes from the Old English word lifer, which is etymologically related to “life” — so it makes sense that the liver plays a key role in helping you restore your LIFE!
I hope this encourages you, and I wish you all the very best on your healing journey! 🙂
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