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Book Review: Hashimoto’s Protocol

Many reading this are familiar with Dr. Izabella Wentz, as she is the author of the bestselling book “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause”, and she also hosted the Thyroid Secret Documentary, which I was grateful to be a part of.  Dr. Wentz sent me an advanced copy of her new book “Hashimoto’s Protocol”, which I recently finished reading.  And so I decided to dedicate a blog post to review her book.

Note: For those who aren’t interested in reading this entire review, I do want to let you know upfront that Dr. Wentz is offering a free autoimmune paleo diet 2-week recipe plan, which you can get by clicking here [1].

First of all, I’d like to start off by saying that this is a lengthy book with plenty of great information!  The book consists of almost 400 pages, and while this includes sections you are unlikely to read (i.e. bibliography), even if we omit the bibliography, the acknowledgements, etc., you’re still left with approximately 350 pages of excellent content.  And so this is not a book that most people will knock out it a day or two.  She also offers an audio version of the book on Audible, which I probably would have purchased had I not been sent a free copy of the book.  While I love reading books, I must admit that I’m an Audible fanatic!

When I first learned about the title of the book, one of the first concerns I had was that this book was just going to focus on diet and supplements.  And don’t get me wrong, as she does talk a lot about diet, and there definitely are a lot of different nutritional supplements she talks about as well.  But this isn’t just a book on diet and supplements, as she talks about other lifestyle factors, some of the different methods of testing, and she even dedicates a chapter on how to optimize thyroid hormone levels.

This Book Actually Discusses Multiple Protocols

Another concern I had when I first learned about the title of the book is whether Dr. Izabella would just focus on a single protocol for Hashimoto’s.  After all, the title of the book is “Hashimoto’s Protocol”, which suggests that it discusses a single protocol.  Of course I should have known better, and if I counted correctly she actually discusses nine different protocols.  This might sound overwhelming, but keep in mind that not everyone with Hashimoto’s needs to follow all of these different protocols, and I’ll talk more about this shortly.

Dr. Izabella’s book is divided into three parts.  The first part is entitled “Getting To Know Hashimoto’s and the Root Cause Approach”.  In this section she starts off by talking about her Hashimoto’s success story, and then discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, and origins of Hashimoto’s.  The last chapter of this section then discusses how the root cause approach can help you to recover your health.

The second section of the book discusses the “Fundamental Protocols”.  This consists of three protocols that include the following:

1. The Liver Support Protocol.  This is a two-week protocol that focuses on reducing your exposure to toxic substances while simultaneously supporting the liver.  The goal is to 1) remove foods which can be potential triggers, 2) add supportive foods, 3) reduce toxic exposure, and 4) support detoxification pathways.

2. The Adrenal Recovery Protocol.  Dr. Izabella talks about a five-step adrenal recovery protocol, which according to her takes approximately 4 weeks to follow.

3. The Gut Balancing Protocol.  This is a six-week protocol, although Dr. Izabella does mention that you should reevaluate your gut function after this time, and so there is a chance it can take longer than this.

Dr. Izabella recommends for everyone to follow the fundamental protocols in order to help improve the health of the liver, adrenals, and gut.  According to Dr. Izabella, following these protocols should take approximately 90 days combined.  One thing I found interesting is that whereas most natural healthcare professionals focus on the health of the gut initially, Dr. Wentz first focuses on improving the health of the liver.  Of course this also involves certain dietary changes, and so essentially people are still doing things to improve the health of their gut through diet while also supporting the liver.

Root Cause Assessments

It’s also important to mention that each of these fundamental protocols comes with a separate assessment.  For example, before following the liver support protocol it is recommended to complete a liver assessment, which will help to establish your current level of toxicity.  The adrenal assessment helps to determine your risk for impaired adrenal function, and there is also an assessment for determining your gut health.

In the last chapter of the second section she talks about “Advanced Root Cause Assessments”.  These are additional assessments that can help you identify your personal triggers and prioritize the next steps of your protocol.  These include the thyroid hormone assessment, nutrition assessment, traumatic stress assessment, infections assessment, and toxins assessment.

Advanced Protocols for Hashimoto’s

The third section of her book talks about numerous advanced protocols.  I’m not going to discuss all of them, but here are two that I found to be pretty interesting:

Thyroid hormone optimizing protocols.  Here Dr. Izabella discusses five unique strategies that will assist with optimizing your thyroid hormone levels.  Not surprisingly one of these involves taking prescription thyroid hormones, but there are four other methods.  One of these includes low level laser therapy.  I was thrilled to see her discuss this, as I wrote a blog post on cold laser therapy and thyroid health [2] in September of 2015, and then when I attended Dr. Izabella’s Thyroid Masterimind meeting one month later I learned even more great information about how this can benefit thyroid health in those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Anyway, Dr. Izabella gives a specific protocol for cold laser therapy in this chapter.

Protocols for Overcoming Traumatic Stress.  Dr. Izabella explains how some people will continue to have adrenal dysfunction despite their best efforts to balance blood sugar and reduce present stressors, and she says that this is likely due to a long-standing history of traumatic stress.  She mentioned that 20% of her readers with Hashimoto’s reported that their symptoms started after the death of a loved one.  And while most people will benefit from certain mind body medicine techniques such as yoga and meditation, she talks about how some will need to go beyond these to resolve issues related to traumatic stress.  She gives a protocol for resetting your stress response, and an advanced adrenal support protocol.

Are Specific Supplements and Recommendations Given?

I’m sure some will wonder if Dr. Izabella gives specific recommendations in her book.  The answer is a resounding “YES”!  Not only does she give specific doses, but she also lists specific supplement companies.  In addition, when Dr. Izabella discusses some of the tests she recommends she also names some specific companies that offer the testing.

Does This Book Take The Place Of Working With A Natural Healthcare Professional?

Another question you might have is if you can reverse your Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis condition just by reading this book alone.  Although most people with Hashimoto’s can greatly improve their health by reading this book, even Dr. Izabella recommends working with a natural healthcare professional.  In fact, she recommends working with a team of experts that includes the following:

The reason why she recommends working with a team of experts is because while there are specific recommendations given in this book, the truth is that everyone is different.  For example, while many people notice a dramatic improvement in their health by following an autoimmune paleo diet, this isn’t the case with everyone.  In fact, some people with autoimmune thyroid conditions feel worse when following this type of diet.  And the same concept applies with nutritional supplements and herbs.  There are a lot of different supplements and herbs listed in this book, but this doesn’t mean that everyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should take all of them.

Plus, while many people can benefit from following the fundamental protocols discussed in the book without doing any testing, in many cases testing will be necessary to detect the underlying cause.  For example, one of the reasons why I recommend adrenal saliva testing is because different people will have different adrenal patterns, and you can’t always rely on symptoms to tell which pattern someone has.  And while one of Dr. Izabella’s advanced protocols focuses on infections, doing certain testing (i.e. blood test, comprehensive stool panel) frequently is necessary in order to detect the presence of a specific pathogen.

Is There Anything About The Book I Didn’t Like?

While I can’t say that there were aspects of the book that I didn’t like, there were a few points I didn’t agree with.  I will say that overall I agree with most of the information in her book, and it’s important to keep in mind that different natural healthcare professionals will have different opinions. But for the most part Dr. Izabella and I take a similar approach with regards to Hashimoto’s patients. I greatly enjoyed reading her book, and I think it is a wonderful resource that everyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should have.

In summary, I thought The Hashimoto’s Protocol was an excellent book, and if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I would highly recommend that you check this out.  If anyone reading this review has also read Dr. Izabella’s Hashimoto’s Protocol book, please feel free to leave your comments below to let others know what you think.  And just as a reminder, you can get a free Autoimmune Paleo Diet 2-Week Recipe Plan by clicking the link below.

Click Here [1] to Get Your Free Autoimmune Paleo Diet 2-Week Recipe Plan