The gene factor
Genes are responsible for autoimmune attacks. If one has close relatives who suffer these conditions, they have a legitimate reason to start worrying. Hashimoto’s is one of those condition taken to be strictly genetic. However, these genetically predisposed victims will only develop autoimmune conditions if they develop intestinal permeability and are exposed to environmental triggers.
Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, causes problems in the immune system. The immune system depends on the digestive system to function properly. A dysfunctional gut results in a dysfunctional immune system. Intestinal permeability makes the immune cells to register some harmless foods and organs as foreign bodies, thus triggering autoimmune attacks.
Leaky gut causes additional problems such as acid reflux, bloating and constipation. Leaky gut is a factor in all autoimmune attacks. People with this condition are more likely to develop Hashimoto’s at some point.
Reactions caused by foods such as gluten are the primary cause of a leaky gut. Good bacteria and bad bacteria imbalance (dysbiosis) is also a contributing factor. Probiotics and fermented foods help solve dysbiosis.
Treating a leaky gut involves avoiding food that causes inflammation in the gut. These foods are soy, gluten, and dairy products.
Sensitivity to particular kind of foods is a result of intestinal permeability. Intestinal permeability allows some of the food to enter the circulatory system without proper absorption. The result is inflammation, and the body becomes sensitive to those kinds of food.
Apart from causing intestinal permeability, gluten can trigger an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. Gluten and the thyroid gland have a similar structure. When a person with intestinal permeability takes gluten, the immune system attacks both the gluten and the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s disease patients should maintain a gluten-free diet. 23% of patients who maintain such a diet eliminate thyroid antibodies from their systems.
Dairy products trigger Hashimoto’s disease. Patient with these disease experience reduced symptoms when they maintain a diet without dairy products. Science has proven that dairy products trigger Type I diabetes. It still is not clear if these products trigger Hashimoto’s. However, cutting dairy products from the diet helps these patients.
Soy triggers Hashimoto’s because of the inflammation it causes. Gluten, soy, and milk products are not good for the thyroid gland. These foods, aside from inflammation, are the leading cause of intestinal permeability. Other foods Hashimoto’s disease patients should avoid include nightshades such as pepper and tomatoes, eggs, nuts, potatoes, and grains.
A deficiency in specific nutrients can cause intestinal permeability. Omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, and zinc, are nutrients that help heal the gut. Zinc helps thyroid patients to convert the inactive T4 hormone to T3 hormone.
A selenium supplement will contribute to reducing thyroid antibodies. Just 200 mg is enough to reduce these antibodies by half over a 90-day period.
Hypothyroidism causes an imbalance in stomach acid. One of the symptoms of a leaky gut is acid reflux. With low acid in the stomach, food digestion is problematic. Hashimoto’s patients should take supplements that put stomach acid in check. Doctors recommend Betaine with Pepsin.
Hashimoto’s disease patients should take vitamin D, ferritin, and iron supplements. Lack of iron causes the hair loss- the body is looking for iron in other places. Ferritin is not only an iron reserve protein but also the nutrient that transports the T3 hormone.
Stress trigger autoimmune attacks. Stress can cause thyroiditis and diabetes. Hashimoto’s disease patients should manage stress. Otherwise, their symptoms will become worse. Take life positively and avoid anything stressful to the body and mind. Take yoga, go a massage session, take a walk and anything else known to relieve stress.