How To Reverse Hashimoto’s - A Discussion with Chef AJ
Got questions about thyroid and the disorders associated with it, how to improve it, what food to eat and what not? Then, this podcast episode has all the answers you need.
Dr Anshul Gupta MD, a certified functional medicine practitioner specialising in treating Thyroid problems and author of the book 'Reversing Hashimotos' joins Chef AJ for an information-packed podcast session talking about all things Thyroid.
Read on to know what are the topics covered in this episode.
Thyroid & Thyroid Disorders:
Thyroid disorders have been on the rise at an alarming rate making it an epidemic in most nations. But, the thing is there is hope for people with thyroid disorders to get better and understand what is going on with them.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that is responsible for secreting a hormone called thyroid hormone.
This thyroid hormone actually plays a lot of different roles in our body like regulating metabolism, fertility, gut health, brain functioning and much more.
Hence, thyroid disorders are generally associated with a lot of varied symptoms.
While Iodine deficiency used to be the main reason causing thyroid problems, nowadays, Hashimoto’s has become the most common reason.
When people are deficient in Iodine, it is characterized by goitre, the enlargement of the thyroid gland which looks like a lump in your neck.
Blood and urine tests can confirm the iodine deficiency in your body easily. So when you suspect an Iodine deficiency, it is important to get the tests done.
Functional Medicine Vs Conventional Medicine
In conventional medicine, the treatment available for chronic diseases is limited. They basically control the symptoms and thus control the disease on the surface.
It does not look underneath if there is a possibility of reversing or controlling a certain disease or if
But, Functional Medicine doctors look at the root cause of the problem.
We believe that by addressing the root cause, a lot of times, the symptoms will be improved and also people can have the chance of getting off medicines as well as reverse a disease.
So, that's the difference -
A conventional doctor is trying to put a band-aid on a problem by just giving them a pill which is treating the problem from the surface while functional medicine doctors actually look at the root causes and try to reverse it from their root problems.
This way we get better results and also in a more natural fashion making us more similar to lifestyle medicine doctor
However, in functional medicine treatments, the basic plan includes:
- Lifestyle changes which obviously include your diet, your sleeping patterns, your exercise, stress management, etc..
- Taking advanced tests through which we can actually pinpoint exactly where the root cause is, what exactly is wrong.
- Then, we devise a protocol to help improve that root cause.
With advanced tests and more comprehensive protocols, Functional Medicine goes one step further than the Lifestyle Medicine
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is the problem when our thyroid gland cannot keep up with the demands of our body in producing the thyroid hormone and our body becomes low on thyroid hormones.
The number one cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's.
The problem is most people don't even know that they have Hashimoto's or how a simple blood test is available to identify it.
Most traditional doctors take only the basic TSH Test to find if the patient has thyroid problems or not. They may not take detailed thyroid tests which will help to identify Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto's is an autoimmune condition where the body starts producing antibodies against its own thyroid gland.
They start a very slow destruction process of the thyroid gland. At one point, destruction reaches the level that the thyroid gland cannot keep up with the production of the amount of thyroid hormone needed by the body.
That's when hypothyroidism shows up.
Thus, in this picture, we will actually miss the diagnosis of Hashimoto's with simple TSH tests.
This is the case where most people say they are having the symptoms yet their TSH level is normal.
Only when we do the antibody level test, we can diagnose these disorders at an earlier stage.
So, when diagnosing thyroid problems, one much take a complete thyroid panel tests which include testing for:
- TSH levels
- T3 levels
- T4 levels
- Thyroid hormones levels
- Thyroid antibodies levels
Other problems that can lead to hypothyroidism include:
- Iodine deficiency
- Certain other autoimmune conditions
- Premature or failure of the thyroid gland
So, it is important for them to know what kind of hypothyroidism they have so as to help improve it.
Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems usually come with dreadful symptoms which basically take away the quality of life like:
- Brain fog
- Weight issues
- Hair loss
- Gut problems, etc…
And the worst part is, no matter what the root cause is, the only treatment available in the conventional treatment is levothyroxine or just giving you thyroid hormone.
More than 30 per cent of females, who take the treatment and have ‘normal’ lab numbers, still continue to suffer from symptoms.
This can be extremely frustrating for people because:
- You don’t know why you got it.
- You are doing everything that your doctor is telling you and prescribing you.
Yet, your symptoms don’t go away.
My research on Hashimoto’s
After suffering from various health issues myself which were not reacting to any of the conventional treatments, I found relief and a way to a better life with Functional Medicine.
Then, I started taking up Functional Medicine learning and did my research on Hashimoto’s at Cleveland Clinic.
My research actually revealed a kind of some interesting points about Hashimoto's.
As said, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where your body is producing antibodies against your own thyroid gland and destroying it.
But my research actually revealed, that it is not only destroying the thyroid but also it is destroying an important connection in the body which is called the mito-thyroid connection.
Thi mito-thyroid connection is, basically, the connection between the thyroid and the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our body that is present in each and every cell in our body.
So, these mitochondria are the reason how every organ in our body is functioning.
And there is a special connection that happens between the thyroid and the mitochondria making them work as a team to help in body metabolism.
When this mito-thyroid connection is damaged there is no use in keep on pumping people with more and more thyroid hormone.
So, when you don’t take care of the mitochondria, just levothyroxine alone cannot improve your symptoms and cure the disease.
But, what stops our mitochondria from functioning at the optimal level?
The answer was that there were certain triggers or the underlying root causes which were actually leading to breaking this connection.
These can be divided into five categories:
- Food Sensitivity
- Nutritional Deficiency
- Stress and Trauma
- Food sensitivity
We would have heard that food is medicine but the wrong foods can actually lead to diseases.
People have food sensitivities which is leading to destruction in the body because it destroys your gut issues like leaky gut or inflammation in the gut
This eventually actually causes autoimmune diseases and destruction of the mito-thyroid connection.
The most common foods that are sensitive to most people are gluten, soy, and dairy.
- Nutritional deficiencies
Even though some people are actually eating a lot of good quality food or even nutritious food, they still are deficient in a lot of vitamins and minerals.
We need all these vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of mitochondria and thyroid both. But again these deficiencies can actually lead breaking of this micro thyroid connection.
- Stress and trauma
It doesn't matter what kind of stress your body goes through - be it physical, emotional or any kind of disease process, etc…
All these stresses on our body destroy this mitotic connection.
There are different kinds of toxins in our environment that can affect our body mechanisms and eventually destroy this mito-thyroid connection. These chemicals are called endocrine destructors, which basically destroy the different endocrine glands, especially the thyroid gland as it is the most sensitive gland in our body.
Many infectious viruses or microbes can trigger thyroid problems. The most common ones are Epstein-Barr virus infection or infectious mononucleosis.
3 Step Process
Step One: Understand the underlying causes or triggers for your problem.
Step Two: Fixing the mito-thyroid connection with proper diet plans by taking foods that help improve the thyroid and taking supplements to support the thyroid and mitochondria like zinc, selenium, coq10, Vitamin B, D, etc…
Step Three: Remove the toxicities that are not allowing your thyroid to heal. This can be done by incorporating de-stressing exercises, detoxification by removing toxins from your environment, using organic foods, etc…
To do a proper gentle detox, you can work with a professional like a functional medicine doctor who can help you remove those toxins which eventually removes infections, gut parasites, and so on
The thing is, never let anybody tell you that there is no hope for you to get better for Hashimoto's. There is hope and there is light at the end of this tunnel for you to get better you just need to kind of look at the right places and do the right things. Remember, they're going to get better and you're going to feel better.
Suffering from a chronic disease like thyroid, gut problem, weight issues, autoimmune issues, etc... is not easy. Dr. Gupta is a certified Functional Medicine Physician and his personalized plans have helped thousands of people to reclaim their health back.
Now you can get virtual functional medicine consultation from anywhere in the country, especially if you live in Houston, Toledo, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, NEW YORK & Miami. Please click below to get started with a 15-minute free evaluation call with Dr. Gupta.