Every week I get numerous emails from people with both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions who want to know what diet they should follow, and which supplements they should take for their condition. With regards to diet, while I do recommend for those with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions to eat whole foods, minimize their consumption of refined foods and sugars, and to consider going on a gluten free trial, there may be variations in one’s diet. As for nutritional supplements, although there are general supplements and herbs which can help people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as those people who have hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, the truth is that different people will require different supplements.
With that being said, I realize that there are some natural healthcare professionals who will recommend the same exact diet, along with the same supplements and herbs for specific conditions. For example, if someone has fibromyalgia, then some doctors will put every single person on their “fibromyalgia protocol”. Similarly, if someone has migraines, then this person will receive their “migraine protocol”. And of course if someone has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then they will be put on the “Hashimoto’s protocol”.
When you think about it, in a way this is similar to the approach of a medical doctor. If someone has high cholesterol, then they typically will be given a statin. If they have high blood pressure then they will be given a beta blocker. If they have a hypothyroid condition they will be given synthetic thyroid hormone. Obviously the two situations are somewhat different, as a natural healthcare professional will attempt to address the actual cause of the condition, which usually isn’t the case with most medical doctors. And of course there is a big difference between nutritional supplements, herbs, and prescription drugs.
Why Bother Doing A Case History?
Most healthcare professionals will have their patients complete a thorough case history, and this includes myself. But if you plan on putting every person on the same protocol then why bother to have the patient do this? In fact, why have a consultation if you’re going to recommend the same protocol for each condition?
Different People Have Different Triggers
Two people can have the same condition, and even have the same genetic predisposition, yet may require substantially different protocols. And one reason for this is because there are different triggers. For example, for some people with autoimmune thyroid conditions, gluten can be the main trigger. On the other hand, mineral deficiencies and heavy metal toxicities can also act as triggers. A leaky gut is a common trigger. Stress can also be a trigger, as can an infection. There can be numerous factors which can trigger an autoimmune response, and so just putting someone on the same diet and giving everyone the same supplements won’t work for everyone.
For example, if a certain healthcare practitioner puts every single patient with an autoimmune thyroid condition on a gluten-free diet, and has everyone follow a leaky gut protocol, then this no doubt will benefit many people. However, this might not be the optimal protocol for someone who isn’t sensitive to gluten and/or doesn’t have intestinal permeability problems. This doesn’t mean that such a person can’t still benefit from following this protocol, but their specific condition might require a different diet, along with different supplements and herbs.
Plus, even if you find out what the trigger is and remove it, remember that one still needs to correct the compromised areas of the body. And this will vary too, as one might have gut problems, while someone else might have adrenal weakness, while another person might have a hormone imbalance. Many people have more than one problem, and sometimes it can get very complex.
In summary, although following a natural treatment protocol involves eating well, taking certain supplements and/or herbs, and addressing other lifestyle factors, one needs to keep in mind that different people will require different protocols. Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to taking supplements and herbs, different people will also require different dosages. And so it really is important to evaluate everyone on an individual basis, and to then make specific recommendations based on the findings.