Do you feel like you are on the Thyroid Roller coaster? TSH levels are high one month and then the next month it’s low or dare I say “normal” Do you feel like you are on a roller coaster of emotions as well?
Do you gain weight one month and then lose weight the next? Do you suffer with Depression and Anxiety? These are some of the most frustrating symptoms woman with Hashimoto’s experience
Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid disease and is the number one cause behind fluctuating TSH and Thyroid hormone levels.
It is quite difficult to get thyroid hormones within the normal range, and even when you do, there is no guarantee that the accompanying problems will get better. This is why the majority of woman who do suffer with low Thyroid caused by Hashimoto’s, fail to notice improvements in their health, despite taking their Thyroid medication.
This is also how woman who start out on Thyroid Hormone Replacement, soon find themselves on antidepressants, Anti-Anxiety medications, sleeping pills and too many other medication to mention.
Here are 10 reasons Why Stabilizing Your Thyroid Seems Impossible.
1. Contents of thyroid hormone supplements
Often the thyroid hormones that you take in the form of a tablet contain other ingredients that are put in due to various reasons. Sometimes these contain corn starch or some other starch that may contain gluten. Gluten can cause problems when you have a thyroid condition, so it is extremely important to check that the thyroid tablets you take are gluten free. You can actually worsen your condition if you don’t do this. Learn about the ingredients in your Thyroid Medication that may be making you worse.
2. Herbal or natural supplements
Whether you take supplements as a matter of course or to help with your thyroid condition or any other problem – since supplements are supposed to be basically safe – you can be doing yourself a disservice. If you take Echinacea, green tea, acai, astragalus, liquorice or any other supplements, they can either cause your autoimmune problems to flare up or reduce. This depends on what kind of T-helper dominance you have as these may be either TH-1 or TH2.
3. Complexities of thyroid treatment
Many diseases, specially the chronic ones, are not simple to treat. Thyroid treatment, particularly for Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to pinpoint the right medicine, whether T3, T4, natural, or bio-identical that will deal with the disorder satisfactorily. Standard blood work does not have all the answers as many blood levels are simply missed in regular tests. While you may take the best medicines prescribed, you may not feel better because you are not addressing the BIG PICTURE.
4. The stress response
Stress invariably causes problems with autoimmune disorders. Whether you have relationship stress, work-related stress, money problems, poor diet or any other kind of stressors, you need to check them as you don’t need external stresses while dealing with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Stress causes a flare up in the inflammatory immune messengers IL-6 and TH-17. When you are under stress your adrenal glands release more cortisol and this can actually block the thyroid hormone and increase hypothyroidism.
5. The importance of a gluten free diet
If you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism it really helps to go on gluten-free diet. You can’t simply eat gluten or go gluten-free when convenient – you must be strictly gluten-free. So you need to have gluten-free medicines, gluten-free beer and even have food that is not fried in the same oil that has earlier been used to fry gluten products.
6. Some foods cross-react with gluten and it is equally important to avoid them
You make sure that you are eating gluten-free food. Why then are you not improving? The fact is that there are some foods that cross-react with gluten and cause a similar auto-immune response, even though they don’t have gluten. These foods include milk, rice, corn, sesame and even gluten-free oats. If you can avoid all grains in varied forms you may actually feel much better. The Paleo diet is a good place to start rather than just opting for a gluten-free diet.
7. Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism can impact the brain
You would not think that an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s, especially if treated, would cause brain problems. However, like hypothyroidism, brain degeneration causes symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, mood disorders and even loss of motivation that may be ignored unless proper tests are carried out.
8. High sugar levels cause an inflammatory response
Even if you do not have blood sugar problems, when you take in too much sugar in the form of coffee, beverages, desserts or even simple starches that quickly turn into sugar like rice, white bread, cookies, white flour and high fat products, these cause insulin levels to spike. The high insulin levels serve as a trigger for the inflammatory TH-17 activity that can result in autoimmune reactions. What is worse is that the sugar high is then followed by a sugar low, causing sugar cravings, even though you may have just eaten. If you constantly have high and low sugar levels, it shows that you are not achieving the optimum sugar level and even managing your Hashimoto’s can be problematic.
9. When you miss a meal
Sometimes you have no time, sometimes you are under stress and it becomes easy to miss either breakfast or lunch. This causes low blood sugar that increases the inflammatory IL-6 and aggravates autoimmune flare-ups. If you notice blurred vision, crankiness and irritability, get short tempered, suffer from shakiness and loss of concentration, you need to eat the right diet and keep a gap between regular meals so that your blood sugar levels remain stable.
10. Your attitude impacts your health
When you have Hashimoto’s you may feel that you when you go for regular check-ups and blood tests and the doctor is monitoring your blood levels, you are doing as well as you should. However, this shows that you are a passive, unquestioning patient. It is not enough that your thyroid levels are in the normal range – you need to feel better overall and take charge of your health. Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism impacts you at many different levels and the more you educate yourself about the disorder, the better you can take care of yourself.