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Goal #1: Restore Your Digestive Health

Whenever a new patient schedules an appointment to speak with me, the first thing I will do is to review the health questionnaire and symptom survey I have them complete.  And when reviewing these forms, I’ll of course look at all of the different symptoms they are experiencing, but one of the main symptoms I will focus on are those which relate to their digestive system.  So for example, if someone has problems with bloating, gas, and/or other digestive issues, these are red flags which need to be addressed.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, making sure someone has optimal digestive health is important for anyone looking to restore their thyroid health.  A big reason for this is because the recovery process involves eating well and taking certain nutritional supplements and/or herbs.  But if your digestive system is in a poor state of health, then you of course won’t be able to properly digest the foods you eat, or any supplements you take.

But can’t you just take digestive enzymes?  Digestive enzymes can help, and I do frequently recommend digestive enzymes for people whose digestive systems are in a poor state of health.  But these should be a temporary solution, as you don’t want to have to rely on taking enzymes to digest your food.

So if you decide to see a natural endocrine doctor, or any holistic doctor at all, they will most likely focus on restoring your digestive health first.  And this is a big reason why self-treating your condition usually doesn’t work.  Most people who attempt to self-treat their condition will take certain supplements or herbs.  One problem with this approach is that as I’ve mentioned in the past, just taking supplements and herbs alone isn’t enough.  A second problem with this approach is that the quality of the supplements or herbs taken is usually poor.  So even if someone has a properly functioning digestive system, they most likely won’t absorb any supplements or herbs they take due to the low quality of them.

But even if you are taking high quality nutritional supplements and/or herbs, if you can’t digest them well, then you won’t receive the maximum benefit from them.  On the questionnaire I have new patients fill out, one of the things I ask for is what nutritional supplements and herbs they might be taking.  And it’s quite common to see people taking many different supplements, and at the same time list numerous digestive symptoms which reveal that their digestive health is less than optimal, to say the least.

As a result, if you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or an autoimmune thyroid disorder, and if you are looking to follow a natural treatment protocol, then you need to focus on restoring your digestive health back to normal.  While it’s important to consult with a holistic doctor, there are certain things you can do on your own to improve your digestive health.  The most obvious thing you can do is to minimize the processed foods from your diet, and eat mostly whole foods.  Quite frankly, to fully restore one’s digestive health back to normal one probably needs to completely eliminate the refined foods for at least a period of 30 to 90 days.

I realize that some people who begin a natural treatment protocol aren’t ready to make such a dramatic change in their diet.  So if they need to make small changes in the beginning then that’s fine, but eventually there will come a point where they will need to completely avoid the refined foods and sugars for a prolonged period if time.  This also includes whole grain breads and pastas, as eliminating gluten from the diet during this time will benefit many people.  Some healthcare professionals will recommend for everyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid disorder to avoid gluten-based foods permanently.  I personally don’t think this is necessary in every single person, but it definitely is a good idea to avoid eating gluten while trying to restore your digestive health.  Then after this most people can try to re-introduce gluten and see how their body responds.

In summary, for anyone looking to restore their thyroid health back to normal, one needs to do what is necessary to optimize their digestive health.  This isn’t easy to do, as it will take some time, and a commitment on your part.  But restoring your digestive health not only will help with your thyroid health, but it can help you to overcome other health issues you may be experiencing as well.