2 Symptoms of Hashimoto’s We Should No Overlook
Thyroid Strong Podcast Transcript Episode 140
What’s up, lovely ladies, Dr. Emily Kiberd here with Thyroid Strong Podcast. I am a chiropractor, a mama to Elvis in Brooklyn, and I have Hashimoto’s, but it’s currently in remission. On this podcast, I share simple, actionable steps with a little bit of tough love on how to lose that stubborn weight, get your energy and your life back, and finally learn how to work out without burning out.
Hello, lovely ladies. This is Dr. Emily Kiberd today I am speaking [00:01:00] to all my women out there, probably 20 million of them in the United States who have Hashimoto’s. I too have Hashimoto’s. I am currently in remission. Thanks to my dear friend, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, my functional medicine doctor.
I wanted to deep dive into the two biggest struggles women share with me. The struggles that they have living with Hashimoto’s. And then I wanna share kind of my tips and my own journey to help combat these two struggles. So that’s what we’re gonna dive into today. For women who are not diagnosed, get a pen and paper. Take some notes for those women who do have known Hashimoto’s, this will also just take. To the next level, right? Because the struggle is real.
Many of us have done all the things, hashtag all the things. We’ve [00:02:00] changed how we’ve been eating, we’ve changed how we’ve been working out. We feel like we’ve seen multiple endocrinologists, multiple doctors, and nothing. Nothing is working, right? So, And you know, there’s this great Arthur Ash quote, which reminds me to like meet myself where I’m at with kindness and empathy. But his quote goes, start where you are. Use what you have, do what you can. And just remember, like a lot of us think our Hashimoto’s journey is linear.
Like we’re gonna start doing #allthethings. And in six to nine months from now, a month from now, , I’ve heard some women expect have that expectation. We’re gonna be better, we’re gonna feel better. And for many of us, our Hashimoto’s diagnosis came. Probably later in life. The most common age is 40 to 60 years old and his, the symptoms have probably been going on for a while, right?
So the diagnosis did not come the day that we felt super [00:03:00] fatigued and joint pain and muscle aches and our hair falling out started. For the women with Hashimoto’s, this one is dedicated to you. Not only does it happen to women, most commonly 40 to 60 years old, but there’s also other autoimmune conditions that can go hand in hand with Hashimoto’s, right?
Type one diabetes is a common one, and also lupus. And so if you have not been diagnosed, these are some of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Okay? Fatigue. Feeling really sluggish. Sensitivity to cold, right? When I was first diagnosed, I wore scarf around my neck everywhere all the time. Every time I went out the door, if there was any wind, I was wearing a scarf.
Typically, it shows up as sensitivity to cold in your hands or feet. Constipation. So really sluggish bowels, dry skin, um, dry brittle [00:04:00] nails, your hair falls out, right, and oftentimes it will be the outer third of your eyebrow. It’ll look like you like over plucked your eyebrow. You’re having long. Menstrual, like long and heavy menstrual cycles and periods, you might feel depressed.
You might feel like you’re puffy in the face. Unexplained weight gain, like no matter what you do, how clean you eat, how well you work out. The weight just keeps getting packed on muscle aches, joint pain, joint stiffness, and brain fog. I definitely had this last one where I could start a sentence and I forgot how to finish it or you know, I felt like I was.
Older, like I went into a room and I was like, I knew I was gonna do something and get something, but I totally forgot what it was. And when you are used to being an optimized, high-functioning individual, running a team, working hard, [00:05:00] taking care of your family, all those symptoms can be devastating. Just 100% devastating.
And. In my free Facebook group, thyroid Strong, so just go check it out. If you go to Facebook and search Thyroid Strong, there is a free group with about 1400 women in it. There’s also Thyroid Strong, the private group for the women who purchased the Thyroid Strong program. But in the free group of 1400 women, part, one of the questions to get into the group is, what is the biggest challenge, struggle with Hashimoto’s?
What’s your biggest struggle and biggest challenge with Hashimoto’s? And every answer, I copy and I paste it into a Google Doc and I toggle that Google Doc to see what comes up. Number one. and what comes up, number one and two is fatigue and the weight gain that women share. You know, that weight gain anywhere from like 20 [00:06:00] pounds to 60 pounds gained in a really short period of time.
So let’s just break each of these struggles out. The fatigue and the weight gain that comes with Hashimoto’s. The weight gain is not only a physical symptom, right, especially as women. We want our clothes to fit well. We wanna feel good in our clothes. We wanna feel attractive. We don’t want our pants to be tight.
And you know, weight gain, especially when we’re not used to holding on extra weight, can really knock our confidence. . I had a woman email me and tell me that she was sharing with her husband that she’s gained weight and she’s so upset and he told her to put some money in shoes and get out the door and go for a run, which was like just so heartbreaking.
Not only in the aspect of it didn’t feel very empathetic, especially in such a close relationship like that, but probably also wasn’t the [00:07:00] best recommendation, especially if she had Hashimoto’s. So let’s break down how to take the steps to combat the weight gain that comes with Hashimoto’s, since that is really the number one struggle that I hear it.
So I’m gonna give you six tips. The number one tip is to get your thyroid in check. If you’ve had your blood work done and only TSH was checked, ask your doctor for more. Right? So most doctors, GP, endocrinologists, gynos, will check your TSH, right? And there’s a broad range that they will say is accept.
But in actuality, there is an optimal range, right? So for TSH, and this is shared with me from Dr. Allan Hopkins, he owns a company called Your Lab Work, TSH, ideally [00:08:00] 0.4 to 2.0. The closer you get it to one, the better. So if you are on the higher range, like let’s say you’re three, 3.5, which is still within normal, it’s just not optimal.
A lot of doctors will say, well, it’s within normal range. Let’s wait till it goes higher. Basically more hypo under active thyroid, and then we’ll treat it. So I think. You know, working with a doctor, first of all, that can help you manage your Hashimoto’s, that feels like they’re your, your partner in your health and really advocating for you.
The next thing to check would be free T3, range is three to three and a half, and then free T4 whose range is one to 1.4, and then checking for antibodies. So there are two different antibody tests, T P O, which is thyroid peroxidase, and then the second one [00:09:00] is TG AB thyroglobulin. . So if those antibody tests come back with elevated antibodies, Your body is picking up that it’s basically creating antibodies to attack your own tissue, to attack, attack your own thyroid, so very, very hard to lose weight if.
Your thyroid is not in check. Right. And if that means taking medication and being under the doctor’s guidance for medication, there is no shame in that. I know a lot of women do not wanna take medication and it takes a long time to just dial it in. Right. Cuz our thyroid levels will change over time based on stress, what we’re eating, how we’re working out, and how well our sleep is optimized.
There’s just many factors. So number one thing is to get your thyroid in check. Get the right blood work done, work with a care provider that will listen to you, and [00:10:00] no shame in taking medication. Whatever it is you need. The second thing with. Weight gain would be that how you work out matters, right? So I have worked with many women with Hashimoto’s, and a lot of them are on two ends of a spectrum.
One end is the woman who’s really not doing much. It’s very de-conditioned, really is very sedentary. Barely hits 10,000 steps a day. Mainly is probably just working behind her computer and not really taking care of herself. So that’s one end. It is very hard to lose weight if we are not stimulating the muscle, which is a place for glucose to dump excess glucose.
There are thyroid receptors in the muscle, so to help with turnover of our thyroid hormones stimulating the muscle will help do. So that’s one end of the spectrum, [00:11:00] basically on the couch. Too much, not active enough. The other end of the spectrum is a woman who is working out too much, and you have to remember, exercise is a stressor.
So, you know, a lot of us hear that exercise is so good for us. It gives us that runner’s high. It gives us that endorphin release and we should feel good. But a lot of women, especially women with Hashimoto’s, feel like they were hit by a bus. The brain fog’s worse. They feel worse, like just super fatigued after they work out.
And part of that, especially if we’re doing six days a week of running Zumba, hit classes, mainly just cardio classes, we will feel very fatigued and those women need to dial it back, right? Add more strength training and maybe go from six days a week to three days a week. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve worked with women who, they’re like, em, I’m doing all the things.
I’m working out, I’m eating clean, hashtag all the things. , I’m working [00:12:00] out six days a week, an hour and a half a day, and the weight is actually packing on, so that woman probably needs to dial it back. Why weights? Weights are strength training, and weight training is such a powerful tool. It makes us better at life, right?
If we do a deadlift, a squat, it helps us pick up our kids, pick up our grandkids. If we’re doing a press, it helps us put our suitcase in the overhead. We’re doing a heavy carry. It helps us carry our groceries to our car, so there’s such great carryover, and really the most important piece is stimulating the muscle.
I wish we could stimulate the muscle with running, and walking, but it’s not enough. I’ve had women literally do Thyroid Strong, which is a six-week strength training program for women with Hashimoto’s to work out without burning out. And they go through the six weeks, they’re like, that was amazing. I’m strength training three times a week.
I’m doing kettlebell swings and deadlifts and press and [00:13:00] squats. And then they. , they kind of just fall off, right? So after Thyroid Strong, there’s a program called Stay Strong, which is a monthly membership that I have that you can join that just continues all the goodness. You just learn more skill, more workouts.
Great community. continue to lose weight, continue to just really have an abundance of energy after thyroid strong. So the membership program is called Stay Strong. So I’ve literally had women only do Thyroid Strong, and then they were like, mm, I don’t know if I wanna do Stay Strong. I’m just gonna walk 10,000 steps a day and then literally email me being like, I’m so tired.
I feel really weak. I feel like I fell off the bandwagon. Can I Get back into Stay Strong. And I’m like, yeah, 100%. So if you are that woman who is only walking, counting their steps, doing only cardio six days a week. Start to make a plan, invest in some kettlebells, and some heavy weights. [00:14:00] Invest in learning the form, whether that’s a coach face-to-face, a coach online, or coming and joining Thyroid Strong, which is another amazing option.
So first, get your thyroid in check. Number two, how you work out matters. Number three, is infections. So I include this one because I recently was diagnosed with h pylori, which is just one gut infection, and I was getting really tired beginning of the year, and every time I ate, I got bloated. I just, I don’t know.
I was like, something’s off. Like every time I eat, I feel like a bottomless pit. I’m not satiated. So I did a GI MAP test, which is a stool test that you can send in that picks up different gut infections, including c diff staph. gluten sensitivity can pick up if you have signs of a leaky gut or gut lining, or inflammation.
And mine came back with h pylori and I was also like, not like the needle on the scale wasn’t moving. My clothes weren’t fitting well. I did a round of antibiotics and the weight started to come off. I started to feel better. I wasn’t crashing at 2:00 PM, I was pregnant every time I ate. So I think working with a provider is really important to look at underlying infections, which I think GI Map test is a great starting point.
So get your thyroid in, and check how you work out matters. Check for infections. The fourth one is food, right? So if we wanna lose weight, since the struggle we’re talking about is difficulty losing weight, calories matter. A lot of people say, well, calories don’t matter. It’s what we’re eating. Well, it’s not only what we’re eating that matters.
You know, calories matter how much we’re eating, so a slight caloric deficit, so [00:16:00] not, not five to 800 calories a day, just a slight caloric deficit will start to help us lose weight. The second thing is, what you eat matters, right? So eating foods that create in digestion create an inflammatory response in the body.
Especially when the body’s already in the mode of attacking itself will make it very hard to lose weight. So I think an AIP P protocol, an autoimmune paleo protocol, is a great starting point to start to create elimination for a couple of months and then reintroduce those foods one by one to see which one is really affecting your body.
On the autoimmune paleo protocol, it would be removing gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, legumes, [00:17:00] nightshades. Seeds and nuts. And after you hear removing all that, you’re probably thinking, what the heck am I going to eat? And so what I would recommend is protein and veg, hence paleo. And then after doing that for a couple of months, starting to slowly reintroduce those things that were removed so that we don’t feel like we’re in deprivation for the rest of our life.
Slowly start to reintroduce those things one by one. To see which one gives you more brain fog, which one you eat and you immediately feel sluggish. I think it’s also important, especially with wanting to lose weight. Hitting your optimal protein targets every meal, 30 grams of protein, every meal, minimum.
So get your thyroid in, check how you work, workout matters, check for gut infections. Food is a major component. And then the fifth one is optimized sleep. So not only just like [00:18:00] sleep hygiene, the room should be dark. The room should be at a certain temperature if there’s a lot of street noise wearing earplugs.
But the next kind of ramp-up or the next step in sleep and optimizing sleep is checking for sleep apnea. So if you snore, if you sleep with your mouth open, if you wake up in the middle of the night at the same time, if you ever had someone tell you, you know, you look like you were like choking in your sleep.
or you look, you sounded like you were, you stopped breathing. Super important to get a sleep study to check for sleep apnea cuz that will affect your adrenal health, will affect your thyroid health, will make it really hard to lose weight. And then the last one is optimizing stress, right? So stress is inevitable.
Multiple things are a stress around the body, right? So like gut infections are a stressor, if we have mold exposure, that is a stressor on the body in addition to other stressors, so those would be external stressors. There are internal stressors, how we deal with [00:19:00] stress mentally and emotionally, and so I like to think of stress as something is happening.
For me versus something is happening to me, right? So oftentimes when we are encountering a conflict or stressful situation, it feels like it’s happening to us, but if you start to flip the switch and shift the mindset that something is happening for us, and especially if something happens again and again and again.
learning from it to start to shift our behavior, right? Because the change and the growth happens in those uncomfortable times. Like you’re just sitting in it, it feels like creepy, crawly, oozy. You’re just like, ugh, the worst. But that’s where change happens. So instead of, you know, a lot of people focus on like de-stressing.
You could take a couple of breaths, even if it’s just three to five breaths in through the nose, [00:20:00] out to the mouth. Make the exhale or the breath out twice as long as the breath in that will put you in an immediate, parasympathetic, calm, rest, digest. They’re feeling everything is an okay state. But I think it’s also important to remember that we are not meant to avoid stress all day, every day.
It’s not gonna happen. It’s not reasonable. It’s an unrealistic expectation. So how can you start to shift your stress to start to shift your behavior and shift, is happening for me? What do I need to learn from this? To grow, to be better, to be the best version of myself. So those are my six tips for the number one struggle, which is weight gain.
The second one of fatigue, all of those apply, but I’m gonna just really dial in the workout piece here. I would say for fatigue, sleep, optimizing sleep is super important. And then the second one would be, how are you working out? Are you working out six days a week? Burning the candle at both ends? [00:21:00] Not only in your workout, your family, your relationship, your work in other places, your life, are you only doing cardio?
That can create an immense amount of fatigue and start to shift your workouts to strength-based workouts. I would say three times a week, 20 to 30 minutes, taking nice long rest breaks. And when I mean long, I mean. One and a half to two minutes with the assumption that you’re lifting heavy. Okay, so when it comes to fatigue, for me, if I’m feeling really cranky at the world, like I’m like, God, why am I just angry at everyone right now?
I think, okay, this is my point to check-in. How am I eating? I’m eating a lot of carbs that needs to change back to the optimal protein. 30 grams a meal. , how’s my sleep? Am I going to bed at midnight or am I going to bed at like 10 for [00:22:00] myself if I go to bed past? Probably 1130. It doesn’t matter how much I sleep, I’m tired.
So going to bed around 10, 10 30 is optimal for me. And then the last piece is, how’s my workout? Have I not worked out in three days? Oh, hmm. Okay. , get that piece dialed in. I’m gonna go swing some kettlebells, basically. So, hopefully that helps. The two biggest struggles, I hear women with Hashimoto’s complain of the weight gain, the fatigue.
Yes. There are other symptoms. The brain fog, the thinning of hair, the joint pain, the muscle aches, the just living with Hashimoto’s and not feeling like anyone understands it, especially if you have another autoimmune condition on top of it, like type one diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. But just know that there are resources out there for you.
Not a lot of people talk about the workout. A lot of people talk about or recommend chair [00:23:00] yoga, low impact exercise, stretching, yoga, Pilates, and take a walk. You need to stimulate the muscle. So go pick up something heavy with amazing form with the belly, breath, a brace, and what we call stack. Which if you wanna learn more, go check out Thyroid Strong.
You can go to dremilykiberd.com/yes, you will learn all of that. How to pick up a weight as a woman with Hashimoto’s. How to work out, how to replace your cardio with a simple trick. Kettlebell swings. So thank you so much for being here, for listening in. It’s such a pleasure to share not only my personal journey, but my experience working with really thousands of women in my clinic, in New York City, urban Wellness Clinic, and then working with women online in thyroid Strong.
I hope you guys have an amazing day. I know this world is very crazy and it’s really hard to feel grounded during these times, but hopefully, some [00:24:00] of these tips will help you just return to yourself and feel grounded in yourself so that you can show up. As the best version of yourself to the people who matter the most and really the most present version of yourself so that you can take in all that’s happening in this world and still feel a sense of ease that everything’s gonna be okay and take it with with grace.
All right, I will see you guys next week. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, even learned just one new piece of information to help you on your Hashimoto’s journey. Would you do me a huge favor, rate and review Thyroid Strong podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or whatever platform you used to listen in to this podcast and share what you liked.
Maybe you learned something new and if you didn’t, Well shoot me a DM on Instagram, @DrEmilyKiberd. [00:25:00] I read and respond to every single dm. I truly believe all feedback is good feedback, even the ugly comments. If you’re interested in joining the Thyroid Strong Course, a home workout program using kettlebells and weights, where I teach you how to work out without the burnout go to dremilykiberd.com/tswaitlist
. You’ll get all the most up-to-date information on when the course launches and goes live. Special deals and early access bonuses. For myself and my functional medicine doctor friends, again, Dremilykiberd.com/tswaitlist
. I hope to see you on the inside, ladies.[00:26:00]