44: Diet & Lifestyle Interventions

Diet & Lifestyle Interventions

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

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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Reader Comments

  1. What about iodine? Isn’t it supposed to help with thyroid health?

  2. Great post, I’ve had Graves Disease which is also an autoimmune disorder for over 10yrs, about 5 years ago I completely stopped taking pharmaceuticals & replaced it with cannabis (personal choice to use as medication), cut out meat, dairy, processed foods, etc. & I was able to completely reverse my condition. I’ve lost over 100 lbs, I’m active, I CAN LIVE!!!!

  3. Could you please offer this in written form? Like a transcript? I read. Don’t do videos or tapes. Thank you!

    • You can download the transcript by clicking the button that says “transcript” directly below the audio player.

  4. I have primary hypothyroidism. I think it started as post-partum thyroiditis, as that is when symptoms began, but it wasn’t diagnosed for about 4 years. By then, the damage was done. I see a lot on other types of thyroid disease, but I am curious as to whether or not it is possible to restore thyroid function in this type of situation. I would love to be able to stop taking synthroid someday. I have noticed a somewhat lower TSH since going more or less primal, and I avoid wheat and soy like the plague. I do corn and rice organic only and in very small amounts. I also try to stay away from milk, as it causes some major gut inflammation for me, though I still enjoy kefir, cheese, etc. I would be very interested in your thoughts or any resources you could share on this topic.

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