Hashimoto's Prevention and Management
It starts on March 23: our all-new and updated Fire Your Thyroid online course for those with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. Learn more >
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(…and what if you’ve had a thyroidectomy?)
Our inbox has been flooded with so many comments and questions related to our Essential Thyroid Cookbook – we’re so grateful for the outpouring of warmth and support and we love hearing about how helpful the book is and how much everyone is enjoying Lisa’s awesome recipes.
There are four overarching (and important) questions that we want to address in today’s post. You may have some of these same questions:
- Can the recipes in this cookbook help with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s prevention?
- I’ve tackled my Hashimoto’s – will these recipes help me keep my condition managed?
- I have other types of autoimmunity besides Hashimoto’s. Will these recipes help me? (Some have asked about Graves’ – “the opposite of Hashimoto’s.”)
- I’ve had a thyroidectomy and will have to be on thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of my life. Will these recipes help if I have no thyroid?
Here are our short answers:
Let’s address each question more closely.
1. Can the recipes in this cookbook help with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s prevention?
As we outline extensively in the book, the thyroid is highly nutrient-dependent. As is the immune system.
You’ll find all of our nitty gritty research on thyroid- and immune supportive nutrients – this research is the foundation of Lisa’s recipes – in the chapter, The Nutritional Heavy Hitters and its three subchapters. And you can find a pretty version of our findings here.
I’m not here to say that our recipes are the single solution in Hashimoto’s prevention. To quote a passage from our cookbook, “Will this cookbook (and our companion guide*) be the ‘cure’ for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s? No. But given that diet plays such a significant role in nourishing and supporting both the thyroid and the immune system, getting the right nutrients is a critical step in healing.”
And I would add, a critical step in prevention.
[* In our cookbook, you’ll see multiple references to our Essential Thyroid Lifestyle Companion Guide, which is a free download for those who own the book.]
To quote Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Generally, the same nutritional and lifestyle strategies employed to tackle Hashimoto’s can also be used to prevent the onset of Hashimoto’s.
Nutrient depletions are often one of the primary causes of low thyroid function and Hashimoto’s.
And while Lisa and I feel that getting the right nutrition is the first and most critical step, other important factors to consider are:
- Environmental toxins
- Gut health (including food sensitivities and intestinal permeability/leaky gut)
- Chronic stress and an impaired HPA axis, also known as adrenal dysfunction/adrenal fatigue
- Our genes (which are NOT our destiny)
And sometimes there’s an infection thrown in there.
As many of you have seen, we address all of these, to varying degrees, in The Essential Thyroid Cookbook and our companion guide. Here’s how we speak to them:
- For the broad and far-reaching environmental toxins issue, we suggest Lara Adler’s program, Tools for Teaching Toxicity. It’s for health enthusiasts and health professionals alike.
- We have a whole chapter devoted to gut healing vis a vis an Elimination Provocation Diet. We also have suggestions for supplements that help to “heal and seal” the intestinal lining. While these two things may not be all things to everyone, they’ll get you far.
- The longest chapter in our Essential Lifestyle Companion Guide is about adrenal restoration.
- The science of epigenetics – how our genes aren’t, in fact, our blueprint – is exciting and fascinating. Here’s a quick read by Dr. Frank Lipman on epigenetics, where he says, “We have all been taught that we are stuck with our genes. But this is a huge myth…”
2. I’ve tackled my Hashimoto’s – will these recipes help me keep my condition managed?
I don’t know that I need to say much more than what’s outlined in #1 above.
Autoimmunity is progressive, but once Hashimoto’s has REgressed and is managed, you can keep your thyroid and immune system working optimally with – you guessed it, the right nutrition.
Given that our recipes are so rich in all of the thyroid- and immune-supportive nutrients, yes, they can help keep Hashimoto’s under control. But again, you want to be mindful of the other factors mentioned above – and everything else we mention in our cookbook and Lifestyle Companion Guide.
3. I have other types of autoimmunity besides Hashimoto’s. Will these recipes help me?
While our nutrient research focused heavily on thyroid-supportive nutrients, it also focused heavily on immune-supportive nutrients – and ultimately, foods rich in those nutrients.
So again, while we would never claim that our recipes “cure” any condition, it’s entirely possible that the immune support received by focusing on the foods in our recipes and our nutritional springboard will support the immune system to the extent that symptoms could be lessened and you may find some relief from other types of autoimmunity.
This includes Graves’ disease, or autoimmune hyperthyroidism. Given that the nutrients we’ve highlighted have far-reaching benefits on other systems of the body, Lisa and I don’t believe that our recipes will hurt people with Graves’ – and again, could help the condition by way of immune support.
We always tell people – these are nutrient-dense, whole foods recipes. Any personal food allergies or sensitivities aside, they’re not going to hurt anyone. You could strip away the entire educational component and the nutrient legends on Lisa’s recipes and it’s still a killer, whole foods cookbook with mouthwatering recipes.
4. I’ve had a thyroidectomy. Will these recipes help if I have no thyroid?
Firstly, we’re a little surprised at the number of people who’ve reached out who’ve had a thyroidectomy – it’s a lot. To be clear, we’re not surprised that they’ve reached out; we’re surprised at the sheer volume of people who’ve undergone this procedure.
Given that they have no thyroid gland and have to take thyroid drugs in perpetuity anyway, they want to know if our cookbook can help. Again, our recipes are nutrient-dense and comprised of healthful, whole foods.
And here are three additional considerations for people who have no thyroid gland:
a. Our recipes provide deep, immune-supportive nutrition. In theory, they could be one factor in supporting the immune system to the extent that they may help to prevent the onset of another autoimmune condition. That right there is enough for people to say, “Wow, okay, that makes a lot of sense!”
For people on thyroid hormone replacement, there are two significant considerations in absorbing and metabolizing your thyroid drugs:
b. Gut health
c. Liver health
You need decent gut and liver function for your body to utilize these drugs.
And we address both – the cookbook itself addresses gut function and our Companion Guide addresses liver function.
We hope this has been helpful in answering some of the most common questions Lisa and I have been getting about our Essential Thyroid Cookbook. If there are others, please go to the Contact page on our cookbook website.