Top 5 Mistakes When Navigating the Many Symptoms of Hashimoto’s - Inna Topiler

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Top 5 Mistakes When Navigating the Many Symptoms of Hashimoto’s

Dealing with Hashimoto’s? Here’s How to Understand it and Manage Your Symptoms

The Wide Range of Hashimoto Symptoms

Hashimoto’s is complex and often misunderstood by mainstream medicine. It’s a topic that I have a lot of experience with both personally and professionally and know that so many of you are struggling with its many symptoms. Because of this,  I knew that dedicating the 100th episode of this podcast to the topic was exactly how I wanted to celebrate this milestone. 

One of the most common questions I get about Hashimoto’s is whether a specific symptom is related to Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s has a wide variety of symptoms and it can be difficult to figure out if something is related to Hashimoto’s or if it is a symptom of something else. It’s very frustrating. 

People ask me about  fatigue, anxiety, GI issues, hair loss, fertility challenges, brain fog, rashes, and even eye twitches. How can all of these be symptoms of Hashimoto’s (especially when not everyone with Hashimoto’s has these symptoms? 

It’s important to remember that Hashimoto’s is not a thyroid disease but an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. And remember, the thyroid may not be the only organ affected by Hashimoto’s. This is why there can be such a wide range of symptoms. 

The Problem with the Conventional Approach to Hashimoto’s

The relationship of these various symptoms to Hashimoto’s is often missed in conventional medicine. As a result the symptoms aren’t supported. Many doctors will focus solely on how the thyroid is affected and simply support thyroid function instead of supporting immune system function. If the thyroid is functioning well, many doctors will tell their patients that there is nothing else they can do about their Hashimoto’s and rather just wait until it destroys the thyroid at which point they will then need medicine. 

The more integrative approach is to dig into how the immune system got confused in the first place and address each one of those things to help the immune system rebalance while supporting the thyroid. 

The Biggest Mistakes with Supporting Hashimoto’s Symptoms

In this episode, I tackle the biggest mistakes that people with Hashimoto’s can make. This is so that you can be aware of the relationship between the many symptoms and your Hashimoto’s and so you can be a better advocate for your own health. 

Hashimoto’s Mistake #1 – Only Focusing on Thyroid while Ignoring the Immune System

Many people with Hashimoto’s are given thyroid medicine. When thyroid levels are back to normal, the issue is considered in hand without a second thought as to why the immune system got confused and started attacking the thyroid in the first place. This is one of the most common mistakes. 

In episode 32 (Solving the Autoimmune Mystery), I go into detail about the connection between the immune system, Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases. 

In a functional approach, our goal is to figure out the root cause of the issue. With autoimmunity we look at immune triggers. These can be grouped into four categories:

  • Foods
  • Stress
  • Toxins
  • Infections

Understanding these triggers can have a profound effect on how your body deals with your symptoms. 

Hashimoto’s Mistake # 2 – Supporting the Immune System, Not the Thyroid

While I just explained the importance of triggers, some people with Hashimoto’s will work on reducing triggers with the hope that it will fix their thyroid. If the thyroid is already in a hypo state, it may require medication to bring it to a healthy level. Remember, the thyroid interacts with all cells in the body and many organs. When it is not functioning properly, it can have a profound effect on your overall well being.

I understand the hesitation to take medication. I will always try to find a natural solution to any issue, but, when it comes to the thyroid, there is a real danger of harm to our body if it is not functioning. 

Your thyroid plays a key role in:

  • Metabolism
  • Blood Sugar
  • Weight Management
  • Body Temperature
  • Mitochondria
  • Muscle Tone
  • Bone Density
  • Membrain Health (specifically in your brain and gut)
  • Inflammation Management
  • Creation of Antioxidants (that control free radicals)
  • Brain Function
  • Immune System Health

You can see how many of these things are connected and how a wide variety of symptoms and new health issues can crop up when your thyroid is not properly supported. It’s critical that you make sure your thyroid is getting enough support. For more on this, please check out this free guide: Why Is Your Doctor Missing Your Thyroid Issue? which explains how the thyroid really works and how to interpret your thyroid markers.

Hashimoto’s Mistake #3 – Not Personalizing your Thyroid Support

Supporting the thyroid is not a one size fits all approach. Just because something works for someone else, does not mean it will work for you because there are different types of slow thyroid types. 

If you’ve listened to the show before, you know that I talk a lot about getting the full thyroid panel instead of just testing your TSH levels. This is because your different levels help to identify what type of thyroid issue you have. 

For example, you may have enough T4 but it may not be converting to T3. If you are on medication (like Synthroid), it is providing you with T4 but that won’t help you if you are not converting to T3. 

Plus, with an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s the immune system could be attacking the thyroid where conversion happens. 

The main point here is that your thyroid treatment needs to be personalized to you based on what the data from your lab reports reveal. 

Triggers also vary from person to person and should be considered in the treatment plan. Some are general with Hashimoto’s, like exposure to chemicals and BPA plastics. Another example of a trigger is gluten which is commonly a trigger for people with Hashimoto’s (many have the celiac genotypes DQ2 or DQ8 which you can learn about in Episode 9).

Infections, leaky gut, or Epstein Barr Virus can also be triggers that should be considered in a treatment plan. 

You want to know what’s going on and look at the big picture before determining your personalized plan. 

Hashimoto’s Mistake #4 – Doing Nothing Because Thyroid Function is Fine

This mistake happens all the time because it’s exactly what many conventional doctors advise patients to do. Their theory is to wait until the Hashimoto’s starts to destroy the thyroid before taking any action. 

I don’t know if you know this but thyroid destruction can be going on for months, even years before thyroid levels may show it. 

Hashimoto’s patients may also experience inflammation (in the thyroid or other parts of the body) which can bring on other symptoms even though thyroid levels are fine. 

If you know you have Hashimoto’s, don’t wait for your thyroid to get destroyed, start balancing your immune system right away. This can include working on your diet, checking for gluten or other food sensitivities, reducing your exposure to chemicals in your home and office, keeping stress in check, and paying attention to triggers and symptoms. 

Even if you are not working with a functional medicine practitioner, you are not, you can still do a ton on your own to balance and support your immune system. 

Hashimoto’s Mistake #5 – Not Testing Thyroid Frequently Enough

We know that Hashimoto’s causes the immune system to attack the thyroid but the strength and frequency of the attack is going to vary from person to person. For some, it might be a mild attack that can be managed by balancing the immune system. For others, the attack might be significantly more severe with destruction of the thyroid happening quickly. 

Immune triggers like stress, toxin exposure, or big hormone changes can cause a Hashimoto’s flare up. This can result in a swift and severe attack that leads to significant thyroid inflammation. Attacks like this can cause the thyroid to suddenly release stored hormones into the bloodstream. Episodes like this can create dips and spikes as well as an overburdened thyroid as it struggles to correct itself. This comes with it’s own set of symptoms. 

It’s important to test frequently enough to see where you are and support your thyroid as needed. Some people only test tsh and other thyroid labs once a year or even less frequently and they may be missing the flare ups and times where more support is needed. I personally test my thyroid every 3 months. However, if you are someone that has unrelenting symptoms and have noticed that your TSH has fluctuated in the past, testing every quarter or even more often, is going to be very helpful. 

Coming Soon – Your Personalized Approach to Solving your Thyroid Mystery

I’ve talked about this in the past and it’s been something I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. And now, I am about to make it available and I can’t wait. 

Coming later this Fall, I will be releasing an online course that will show you the step by step process of balancing your thyroid and Hashimoto’s specifically for you. This course has been a labor of love and the reason it has taken me so long to create is because I recognized how vital it was for it to be customized and this added a lot more material to cover as many possible situations as I could.  But now, it’s almost ready. Stay tuned for more on that in the months to come. 

Links:

Resources mentioned

Why Is Your Doctor Missing Your Thyroid Issue? FREE GUIDE

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

Solving the Autoimmune Mystery The Case of the False Negative Celiac Test w/ Dr. Peter Osborne Everything You Need to Know to Interpret Epstein Barr (EBV) Results

 

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