We’re in the midst of a podcast series all about thyroid health, featuring the expertise of Dr. Izabella Wentz and in this episode, we’re focusing on positive solutions including thyroid diet and lifestyle interventions.
Dr. Izabella Wentz and I cover a lot of ground, including medication, dietary triggers, adrenal health, treatment myths and supplements. We’ll also share the simplest first steps you can take toward improving your thyroid health on your own.
Diet and Lifestyle Interventions for Thyroid Disease
First and foremost, feeling better is possible. In fact, in some cases, thyroid conditions can go into remission. There are a variety of medications and interventions of diet and lifestyle that can help you along your journey towards thyroid wellness.
So when is medication needed for thyroid disease? The primary indicator is your Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels. If you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and your TSH levels are elevated, that’s generally a good indication to start taking medication. Taking medications can potentially slow down the progression of the condition and prevent further damage of the thyroid gland. According to Dr. Wentz, thyroid medications—when taken appropriately—are generally considered “clean medications” and are unlikely to cause negative side effects. This is because they’re the exact same chemical structure as our naturally occurring thyroid hormones.
Nonetheless, in some cases it is possible to effectively treat thyroid disease without medication. For example, many people have found that eliminating gluten from their diet can significantly reduce thyroid disease symptoms. If the 100% natural-remedy route isn’t working for you, however, take this encouragement from Dr. Wentz: “keep an open mind and practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. If you are experiencing a lot of symptoms and if you could benefit from a medication, don’t martyr yourself for a cause of wanting to do things medication-free.”
In our conversation, Dr. Wentz and I also discuss other lifestyle and dietary factors that have contributed to the rise in autoimmune thyroid disease. Besides gluten, the two biggest dietary triggers are dairy and soy. According to Dr. Wentz, between 70-80% of people with Hashimoto’s will have a dairy sensitivity.
On a deeper, root-cause level, people experiencing an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s will likely also have intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut). When seeking treatment for thyroid disease, it’s important to resolve any gut issues as well.
Furthermore, adrenal gland issues will also affect the thyroid. Adrenals are responsible for producing our stress hormones and they work in sync with our thyroid glands. When one is dysfunctional, be it adrenals or thyroid, the other is often experiencing dysfunction as well.
With so many potential triggers and factors to look at when it comes to thyroid health, seeking the help of a medical practitioner is recommended. But for those of you who are having trouble finding a medical practitioner, there are steps you can take now to reduce your symptoms:
Resources I Mention
- Dr. Izabella Wentz
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause
- Dr. Alessio Fasano
Get the Overcoming Thyroid Fatigue Guide!
If you struggle with thyroid disease or symptoms, get a free copy of Dr. Izabella Wentz’s “Overcoming Thyroid Fatigue Guide” by clicking here.
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