Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is the most common cause of thyroid dysfunction in Australia with up to 15% of the population testing positive for thyroid antibodies. The most common form of thyroid dysfunction seems to be Hashimoto’s and occurs when the cell and antibody mediated immune processes attack thyroid cells.
The one thing that modern medicine never seems to address when it comes to any thyroid or autoimmune condition is non medicinal treatment options. The other thing that you’re probably not told when it comes to having an autoimmune condition is that if you get one then it can leave you vulnerable to developing others so it’s imperative you don’t ignore any symptoms.
Below I’ve listed the 5 main natural treatment options you can put in place for a healthier and happier thyroid and immune system.
Step 1: Heal your Gut
Surprise, surprise, surprise it all comes back to gut health. For those of you that read my blogs regularly you know that this is always the first place to start.
The gut micro-biome play an integral part in the expression of autoimmune conditions and when the intestines become permeable (leaky gut), food particles, bacteria, viruses and toxins enter the blood stream where the immune system sees them as invaders and attacks them which in turn will contribute to chronic inflammation in the body.
In these cases you need to remove inflammatory foods, toxins, infections and parasites, restore the digestive enzymes and improve HCL as well as reinoculating the gut with good healthy bacteria whilst repairing the gut.
Step 2: Optimise Nutrition
This is possibly the area most people find challenging which is why it’s good to speak to an expert in this area and have a plan designed specifically for you. There are certain foods which actually can contribute to inflammation and autoimmune conditions and these can include things such as dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs and legumes for some so you need to know how to eat the right diet for you.
Step 3: Tame the Toxins
Reduce toxic load in your life from the products you put on the skin to the cleaning and washing products you use.
Women are generally more likely to suffer from thyroid issues and “coincidentally” we’re more likely to put a number of different chemicals on our body every day.
Most of the chemicals found in our skin care and make up products are highly toxic and carcinogenic so it’s preferable to look for more natural alternatives.
Step 4: Heal Infections
It’s important to address and heal infections in the body be they viruses, parasites or bacteria (pathogens) as they can have similar looking proteins to other organs in the body such as the thyroid which confuses the immune system and ultimately leaves them vulnerable to attack.
There are a number of infections that are associated with Autoimmune conditions such as Epstein Barr Virus, Hepatitis C and H.pylori which need to be identified and treated to avoid further damage.
Step 5: Relieve Stress
Stress and the 21st Century go together, in the words of Forest Gump, like “Peas and Carrots”. I’ve not met one person in the past 15 years who isn’t stressed out of their brains. This stress manifests both mentally in the form of anxiety and depression and physically, in the form of a number of now common autoimmune conditions.
When the body feels stressed it starts to shut down certain functions such as effective digestion, immune response and thyroid function and your adrenals will kick in to allow the “fight / flight” response to take over and get you away from imminent danger.
The problem is our stress response never seems to shut off anymore so we stay in this state for longer, or in some cases we’re constantly in this state.
Whether we like it or not this is a big contributor to ill health so taking the time to engage in stress relieving activities is vital to your long term health and happiness.
So I guess the reality is this, life is changing rapidly and there are some things we’re not going to have control over. These 5 steps are things we can take charge of to make long term, positive changes to our health.
If you’re confused or overwhelmed with it all then get some advice and help from a health professional to get you back on track.
Until next time, stay calm and stay healthy.