Episode 146 Transcript-Answers to Common Hashimoto’s Questions
[00:00:00] What if you had all the answers to your most common questions with Hashimotos? This is what I’m diving into today with Thyroid Strong Podcast. Welcome to the podcast. I’m Dr. Emily Kiberd, chiropractor, mother to Elvis and Brooklyn. I have Hashimotos, which as you know, Hashimotos doesn’t go away, but it can go into remission.
So luckily I too have gone into remission with Hashimotos. I’m gonna share today some of the common. Questions that I get actually every day emailed in a Facebook group on Instagram dms from women who are newly diagnosed with Hashimotos, and just information in a really basic way, still with some science backing to it.
Answers to your questions with Hashimotos. So, What is Hashimotos? It is an autoimmune condition where your body is attacking your own thyroid gland as if it were something foreign like bacteria or a virus or some other foreign body. Women are three times more [00:01:00] likely to develop Hashimotos than men.
Lucky as ladies, what are some of the symptoms of Hashimotos? I’ll share these symptoms, but know that these symptoms when you have Hashimotos are amplified. So the first one, the most common one is unexplained weight gain. And I’m not just talking like a pound or two, I’m talking about 20 pounds in one month, 40 pounds in two months.
I’ve seen women literally come to me, say, I just gained 40 pounds in two months. What the heck is going? The second most common symptom that I see with Hashimotos is fatigue. Extreme fatigue. Like you can’t get off the couch or you work out and you wanna lay on the couch for three days under your weighted blanket.
So extreme fatigue, feeling like you need to take a nap in the afternoon every day. The third symptom I hear a lot of is hair loss. And it’s either hair loss coming out in clumps in the shower, or you know, a common place to see it is the outer third of your eyebrow. Number four is brain fog. Brain [00:02:00] fog.
Like you were starting a sentence and you forgot what you were saying to finish the sentence or misplacing things. The fifth one is dry skin, brittle hair, brittle nails, maybe that look as if like your skin’s always ashy. The next one is always feeling cold. No, no matter the temperature. So I know for myself, I used to wear a scarf even in the middle of summer.
Some other common symptoms are depression, anxiety, constipation, joint pain, and muscle aches that move around the body with no clear mechanism of injury. What does that mean? One day your shoulder hurts. The next day your ankle hurts. The next day, your back hurts, your knee hurts. But you didn’t do anything different.
It’s not like you fell or you move weird. You just, this pain that moves you around the body with no clear explanation for that injury. Probably because it’s not biomechanical, it is coming from having low thyroid [00:03:00] function. Some less common symptoms, but ones that I hear have heard from the Hashi ladies inside thyroid strong is neck pain on the front of the neck, probably from a swollen thyroid gland.
Cause the thyroid gland is that little butterfly shape, gland on the front of the neck. Difficulty swallowing. I know I had this, I would get a click when I would swallow. Probably from inflammation around my thyroid gland as well as enlargement of my thyroid cland. Luckily, some of the steps I’m gonna share with you, I took, and those symptoms, especially the clicking, every time I swallowed the brain fog, the weight gain, the fatigue, those went away.
So that’s what I’m gonna share with you today. Another question I get often is, What caused this? What the heck caused this? So if you go to conventional medicine where there is a time and place and value, they’re gonna say, it’s a genetic condition. Your mother, your sister, your grandmother have it. Here’s some medication.
[00:04:00] Let’s just monitor your symptoms. So there’s definitely a genetic component. there is one gene, the H L a gene. Human leukocyte antigen is one of a, it’s one of the main genetic factors related to autoimmune diseases. Another factor is inflammatory load on the body. So is your body reacting to the foods you’re eating, either because you have a sensitivity to that food or because you have leaky gut and that food is passing through the gut.
Are there environmental triggers that you’re exposed to? Mold mycotoxin exposure will mimic the symptoms of Hashimotos, heavy metal exposure, endocrine disruptors, like pesticides, like did you grow up near a farm or railroad tracks? Will they spray railroad tracks about once a week to prevent weeds from growing on the railroad tracks?
Chemicals in our personal product. You know, there is lead in some lipsticks, then you’re giving yourself lead exposure. BPA in plastics can disrupt thyroid [00:05:00] signaling pathways and also add to inflammatory load. So take a glass Tupperware with you to work. . Another component other than the genetic component, the environmental component is having leaky gut.
So there is a barrier in our gut lining and things. Things can cross that barrier. Ideally, there would be a tight junction in that gut lining, but the junction starts to open and not be so tight when we have leaky gut. So things pass through that barrier. Including viruses, bacteria, even little particles of food and passed into the bloodstream.
And now the body sees these particles as foreign and attacks leading to that low grade inflammation. So what tests can we have ordered or our doctor will order to determine if we have Hashi? So ideally a full thyroid panel without antibody tests. [00:06:00] So we have Ts H, thyroid stimulated hormone t3, t4 free t3, free t4, thyroid peroxidase antibodies, so TPO O antibodies.
And then lastly, thyroglobulin antibodies, TG antibodies. So if your Ts H, your thyroid stimulating hormone is high. If it’s elevated, that means the pituitary gland in the brain is signaling your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones. Elevated tssh indicates hypothyroidism, so an underactive thyroid damaged thyroid tissue caused by autoimmune activity, possibly due to chronic inflamm.
Can also cause elevated tssh. The pituitary responds, right? There’s this whole pathway and tssh rises. If your free T4 is low and your T p O antibodies is elevated, that [00:07:00] is a sign of the autoimmune component of Hashimoto. High T p o antibody is a key marker. It’s present in over 90% of people with Hashimotos.
The other antibody, TG antibody, thyroglobulin antibody is present in about 80% of cases. So TPO o thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme. It’s normally found in the thyroid gland. It plays an important part, an important role in the production of thyroid hormones. So the TPO antibody test detects antibodies against that enzyme in the blood.
Okay, so this is why you could have your thyroid gland removed. , But if you’re taking medication, you will still have if you have the presence of TPO antibodies, it means that there’s antibodies attacking that enzyme in the blood. Even if you don’t have a thyroid hormone or a thyroid gland, tg, ab antithyroglobulin antibodies are found in your blood.
They can be [00:08:00] high in people with other autoimmune issues. So if they come back elevated. don’t go down the rabbit hole of like, oh my God, I have hashimo. Make sure you keep it broad. Ideally your doctor would do that for you. And also rule out things like rheumatoid arthritis, which is also an autoimmune condition, celiac disease and type one diabetes.
There are conventional ranges and then there are optimal ranges. If you. Don’t know what those are. I have a link on my website. I’ll drop it in the show notes of what those ranges are. I’ve also done a podcast with Amy Horman who talked about conventional versus optimal ranges. Conventional ranges include the very clinically sick, we wanna be optimized.
We wanna feel our best, so I believe that we should work on all these factors. to be optimized. What is the solution? Everyone’s like, just gimme the, gimme the solution. How do I get [00:09:00] out of this? So first thing I would do is clean up how you’re eating. A lot of women with Hashimotos respond well to gluten-free, dairy-free, free, an autoimmune paleo diet, low nightshades, which include.
Peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and even potentially, I went on this, a low histamine diet. So things that you would think are healthy like spinach, bananas, berries, citrus fruit are actually high histamine. Or things that have been exposed to air for a long time. So like dry aged meats. So those things can contribute to a high histamine response, histamine overload.
So cutting those out can also contribute to can be a low histamine. , decrease environmental load. Identify if you have mold and mycotoxin exposure. I would cut out any sort of heavy metal exposure, like if you’re wearing lipstick with lead or eating a lot of sushi, so fish that are higher up on the food chain like tuna, shark, those kind of things.
I would cut those out. I haven’t had sushi in many, many years cuz raw [00:10:00] fish can also carry parasites. Addressing parasites is another environmental factor that could contribute to the inflammatory response in your gut, contributing to a leaky gut, contributing to Hashimotos, cleaning up your, you know, your cleaning products.
I like branch basics. Cleaning up your personal care products, your makeup, there’s a great website, e wg.org. And then any sort of pesticide exposure, maybe your ne your neighbors spraying pesticides, maybe you live near an airport that can, you know, all that exhaust from airplanes can be breathed in.
So those would be some environmental factors to clean up. The next thing would be working on gut health. So are you actually absorbing nutrients from your food? Most likely not. Our top soil is very depleted of nutrients and therefore our food is depleted of nutrients. This would include selenium, vitamin D.
Other nutrients I think about are vitamin A and an amino acid called L tyrosine. These all help support thyroid function. . The next piece would [00:11:00] be how do we are we sleeping well and are we getting our quality and quantity of sleep? A lot of women with Hashimotos talk about being really tired and dragging, dragging all day, but then they lay down to bed at night and they feel wired.
So this tired, but wired at night. Part of this is probably an adrenal issue. Part of this that you wanna rule out is are you having sleep apnea? So if you’re snoring, if you’re stopping breathing in the middle of the night and waking yourself up, if your mouth breathing, this can all leave you in a fight or flight sympathetic state, which will contribute to that stressor overload on the.
other stressors could include over-training chronic work stress, financial stress, and I am a big believer in stress. As a motivator. Stress moves us not necessarily that we should de-stress or avoid stress all day, but rather to leverage stress to our advantage. So when we have work stress or financial stress, [00:12:00] usually the inaction or the rumination or not moving forward.
Leaves us in that chronic stress state. So what’s the anecdote to that? To take action. If you need to go on meds, go on meds. If they make you feel better, there is no extra gold star in healing Hashimotos naturally or dealing with your Hashimotos. Naturally. I am a big believer if you need meds, take the meds.
A lot of people are like, okay, what should I. What about this Hashimoto potentially autoimmune paleo protocol that I hear about practitioners in the nutrition space? Talk a lot about it. But you know, some women don’t do well on it cuz they’ve been on it for many years. So I think that addressing diet is a major piece of the puzzle.
but is not an entire piece of the puzzle. So like I shared in my twenties and thirties, I was pounding coffee and croissants to give myself energy, but then I would crash in the afternoon. I was also causing insulin resistance and not being [00:13:00] able to manage my blood sugar well by what I was eating. I was eating those naked carbs.
I was literally just eating a carb with a stimulant. So I went on an autoimmune paleo protocol. I also went on a low histamine diet for about three. And part of that was taking the load off while I healed my gut, while I figured out how to get out of a moldy condo, I cut out gluten, dairy, alcohol, sushi from a parasite perspective.
I cut out night shades and then I cut out those histamine, I cut out black pepper, I cut out many, many things I enjoyed. But now, This is six years later, so probably in the past two years I’m able to eat some of those things. Clementines, orange juice, certain green vegetables. I still do not eat gluten.
When I eat it, I get a headache within half an hour, but I do eat dairy on occasion and I have no reaction, which is really nice to kind of watch that healing journey. If you’re only addressing food and nothing else and [00:14:00] not dealing with the other things, environmental load stressors, that is when we get into that cycle of restriction, it can feel very depleting.
It can feel very O c d some for some women it can be very body image issues and tapping into that. Orthorexia anorexia piece, and so change how you’re eating, but also address those root causes that could be contributing to the inflammatory load supplements. Everyone’s like, what supplement do I take?
Supplements are very indivi visualized approach based on what you’re healing, so I don’t take the same supplements all the time. . I had a mold, a mold protocol, which was very different than a heavy metal protocol when I was detoxing from heavy metals, which was very different from a gut healing protocol.
Different from when I was diagnosed with h pylori, different than a cebo protocol. So I would say supplements are very individualized. Some of the things that I take on a regular daily basis, vitamin. Glutathione [00:15:00] liposomal glutathione, which is an antioxidant N a c, which is a precursor to our body’s own glutathione production, cuz sometimes glutathione is not well-absorbed based on, you know, our, our absorption, our gut health.
Digestive enzymes with Betaine hcl magnesium. And then I also take mastic gum. DGL mast gum is after I eat a digestive. And DGL also helps with digestion after you eat digestive enzymes help before you eat. And then I also prioritize my protein intake. So I know that’s not a supplement. I kind of see beef as a supplement.
The Earth’s natural supplement with all the amino acids, that help with the building blocks of life. So I kind of see beef as like a amino acid as well, or a supplement as well. Lastly, exercise. So how should I work out? So I would avoid over training. It is a major stressor on the body. I would avoid chronic cardio.
You know, [00:16:00] with Hashimotos, we have a hard time maintaining our muscle mass. So cardio breaks down our muscle more. Well, if we’re already having a hard time keeping our muscle on the bone, why would we wanna break it down more? So I really encourage resistance training three times a week in a very specific way.
With Hashimotos, that is what is inside thyroid strong. We have to preserve our muscle. So letting go of the chronic cardio, prioritizing resistance training three to four times a week on the heavier side hitting. Perceived exertion of a seven or eight outta 10, 10 being no way. I can lift this weight one more time.
One being I could do this forever. So hitting about a seven or eight outta 10 on the last couple reps of your set. Heavier weight, nice long rest breaks, like one to two minutes, one to three minutes. I’m lifting really heavy. Five minutes. And then in my rest breaks, I use my breath. I use tools like humming, singing, exhaling outta my nose, not my mouth, to calm the [00:17:00] nervous system back.
It is a way of building nervous system resilience. It’s about doing the hard thing, picking up that heavy weight, and then putting yourself back into that parasympathetic state really quickly and effectively and strategically so that you can deal with the stress that comes up in other parts of your life when you’re not lifting.
So those are my answers. We kept this under 20 minutes to very, very common questions I get every single day with Hashimotos. Obviously it’s an individualized approach, but some of the things here you can start to integrate. So if you enjoy this episode, leave a review on iTunes. I always love hearing what people think of the podcast, and I’ll see you guys next time.