A diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis generally means supplemental thyroid hormone will be needed long-term but there are absolutely things you could be doing to reduce your antibody levels and keep you on the lowest possible dose necessary to feel well.
Selenium plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormone as well as in many aspects of the immune system. That is why even a mild selenium deficiency can contribute to increased antibody levels. Selenium status can be improved simply by consuming 2-3 Brazil nuts each day. So simple!
#2 Get Good Sleep
Sleep sets the foundation for all of our physiological rhythms. The thyroid, like all of our endocrine glands, releases hormones at a different rate during different times of the day and in different situations. We also do a majority of our healing at night, which means if sleep is disturbed the potential for healing is greatly reduced, if not eliminated. By establishing a strong foundation of sleep, the endocrine and immune systems can begins to rebalance and heal.
#3 Release and Reframe Your Stress
Building stress release into daily life is an important means of bringing the body into a more parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. Stress is an inevitable part of modern life and it is how we deal with our stress that will effect our health the most. Meditation, walking, deep breathing and allowing for rest are my favorite ways of managing stress. Although learning to release stress is important, I also like to remind people that stress is not always a bad thing. It enables us to address the task at hand. Simply viewing your stress as a purposeful tool can reduce the harmful effects of stress on our physiology.
#4 Reduce Your Exposure to Hormone Disruptors
Even though we talk about the thyroid as an isolated glad, it is part of a greater whole within the endocrine system. The thyroid is most directly linked to the adrenal glands and the sex glands (ovaries/testes) so anything that effects those other these organs also effects the thyroid. I’m mostly talking about hormone disruptors as substances that mimic estrogen in the body. The list of hormone disruptors that are a part of most people’s lives every day is astounding. So many chemicals are allowed into our homes, onto our skin, in the air we breathe, and in the food we eat. The most effective ways of reducing daily exposures to chemicals is by eating organic, whole foods, drinking filtered water, and utilizing skin care and cleaning products that are chemical-free. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a couple wonderful platforms, Skin Deep and Dirty Dozen, to help make the world of chemical avoidance so much easier.
#5 Heal Your Childhood Trauma
The thyroid matures when a child is between 4 and 7 years old. Any trauma experienced during that time can affect how well the thyroid gland functions for the rest of one’s life. Traumas are can be anything that your nervous system wasn't not prepared to handle at the time and can include things like moving, the death of a friend or family member, abuse or being teased or bullied at school. Addressing the lasting effects of childhood traumas can be an incredible way of supporting the body to heal itself. Homeopathy is my favorite of gently supporting a person’s release of long-held trauma, no matter how significant. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can also be helpful in this process.