Last week I conducted a free 5-Day Accelerated Thyroid Healing Challenge. It was very successful, as over 1,400 people registered, and over 1,200 people joined my new Facebook group. Each day I released a new lesson, and probably the most popular lesson was where I discussed some of the “thyroid healing roadblocks” that prevent people from restoring their health. I figured I’d turn this into a blog post for those who didn’t attend the free challenge, or even for those who attended but might need some reinforcement.
So here are 7 “Thyroid Healing Roadblocks” that you’ll want to be aware of:
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #1: Not being strict enough with the diet. Although eating well alone many times isn’t sufficient to restore one’s health, certain food allergens can trigger Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s. Some of the common culprits include gluten, dairy, and corn. And even when gluten isn’t a trigger it’s important to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. As a result, you want to focus on eating whole, healthy foods. I commonly recommend an autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet for my patients with Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s, but keep in mind that this is just a starting point, and that there is no perfect diet that fits everyone perfectly.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #2: Not Doing a Good Job of Managing Stress. Even before 2020 chronic stress was a big factor with many people, but of course this year has been very stressful for just about everyone. While our body was designed to handle acute stress situations, chronic stress causes dysregulation of the immune system and the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis, and it leads to an increase in proinflammatory cytokines. In other words, chronic stress is inflammatory to the body, and while many people aren’t able to reduce stress levels, most people can do things to improve their stress handling skills.
I’ve written numerous articles and blog posts on stress management, and while most people should consider incorporating yoga, meditation, or a different type of mind body medicine, you might want to check out my recent blog post that focuses on the vagus nerve. A healthy vagus nerve is important for a healthy parasympathetic nervous system, which is known as our “rest and digest” system. And in the blog post I discuss a few vagus nerve exercises you can do on your own.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #3: Not Getting Enough Sleep. Getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis is essential to achieve a state of optimal health. As for how much sleep you should get, I would aim for at least seven hours per night, and eight would be even better. And this doesn’t mean 7-8 hours in bed, as if it normally takes you 30 minutes to fall asleep and you’re in bed from 11pm to 6am then you’re only getting 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Of course some people struggle to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep, not because they are intentionally staying up late, but because they have difficulties falling and/or staying asleep.
Two common causes of sleep issues include adrenal imbalances (especially high cortisol) and blood sugar issues, although there can be numerous other causes as well. And while taking nutritional supplements and herbs on a temporary basis is okay, ideally you want to address the cause of the sleep issue. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but for anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition who is looking to restore their health, getting good quality sleep on a regular basis is essential.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #4: Haven’t FOUND All Of Your Triggers. What testing have you done to find your triggers? If you haven’t done anything other than blood testing then you might need to do more detective work. And if you have done testing and it did help you find a potential trigger or two, since multiple triggers are common you might need additional testing. Some examples of different tests you can do (other than blood tests) include an adrenal saliva test, dried urine testing, hair mineral analysis, comprehensive stool panel, and organic acids testing, just to name a few. Check out my website www.UnderstandYourTests.com, as I have put together video tutorials to help people better understand their test results, and it might also help you to decide what testing you should do.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #5: Haven’t REMOVED All Of Your Triggers. You might think that you have removed all detected triggers because you followed a certain protocol, but sometimes it can be challenging to remove certain triggers. For example, you might have tested positive for a gut infection (i.e. a parasite) and follow an antimicrobial protocol for a couple of months. Perhaps the symptoms have greatly improved, and so you assume the parasite has been eradicated, but this might not be the case. Retesting is of course yet another expense, but sometimes it is necessary to confirm that your triggers have been removed.
Other times you just need to be more strict with your diet and lifestyle. For example, you might be attempting to go gluten free, but there is cross contamination at times. For some people this might not be too big of a deal, but for others it can be a huge factor that prevents them from restoring their health.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #6: Gut Hasn’t Been Healed. According to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut”. Without question having a healthy gut is important for optimal health, and for those with Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s, a leaky gut is a component of the triad of autoimmunity. Since most of the immune cells are located in the gastrointestinal tract it makes sense that you need a healthy gut to have a healthy immune system. While many people focus on doing things to support gut healing (i.e. taking probiotics, drinking bone broth, taking L-glutamine, etc.), just remember that you need to remove the factor that caused the leaky gut. It’s also important to understand that the lack of symptoms doesn’t rule out gut problems.
Thyroid Healing Roadblock #7: Overlooked Roadblocks. Some of the commonly overlooked roadblocks include electronic pollution, stealth infections, and toxic mold. These can be very difficult to detect, and many of you know about my experience with chronic Lyme disease in 2018. While this occurred 9 years after getting into remission from my Graves’ disease condition, many people who currently have a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition have a stealth infection, and they don’t always cause obvious symptoms.
What Thyroid Healing Roadblocks Do YOU Need To Overcome?
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and I’d love for you to share any thyroid healing roadblocks that you feel might be preventing you from restoring your thyroid/immune health. Please feel free to share this in the comments below! If you have actually overcome one or more of these roadblocks I’d also like to know!