Dos and don’ts abound when it comes to Hashimoto’s but all of these fall squarely into the DON’T category:
Going partially gluten free or AIP. While not everyone with Hashimoto’s finds relief from symptoms in diet changes, many do. Figuring out whether diet changes work for you is a matter of following them to the letter for a period of time.
Chasing perfect health. There’s no such thing as perfect health even for those who don’t have an autoimmune disease so there’s no point in trying to achieve perfect health with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Aim for your personal best!
Tests that only check one thyroid antibody. Make sure that your doctor is testing both your TPOAb and your TgAb. If getting tested at your provider’s office is an issue, go to a direct-to-consumer lab.
The assumption that diet changes will cure Hashimoto’s. Autoimmunity is complex and is affected by factors that go beyond what you eat. Lifestyle changes can be powerful but Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition that targets the thyroid but exists in the body as a whole.
Caffeine! Sure, that cup of coffee wakes you up but it’s also messing with your blood sugar and kicking your adrenal hormone production into high gear.
Unguided self supplementation. Supplements can be a great tool in your kit while you’re working to heal Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but some supplements commonly considered healthy aren’t good for people with thyroid conditions or autoimmune conditions.
The toxins in your medicine cabinet and under the sink. Taking the toxins out of the fridge should be part of your healing journey but if you’re serious about healing your Hashimoto’s, it makes sense to opt for natural beauty, medical, and cleaning products, too.
Leaving the house without snacks. If food is part of your healing journey then you know how hard it can be to find Hashimoto’s-friendly food out in the world. And even if it’s not, maintaining blood sugar levels throughout the day is so important when you’re coping with thyroid issues.
Exercise overkill. If weight gain has been one of your Hashimoto’s symptoms, the temptation to feel the burn can be strong. But insane amounts of exercise can pump cortisol through your system, eventually resulting in more fatigue and more weight gain.
The idea that medication is a cure-all for Hashimoto’s. For some people meds definitely cut through symptoms but it’s important to remember that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition not just a disease of the thyroid.
Stress! Everyone should endeavor to have less stress in their lives but people coping with autoimmune disease benefit doubly from making an effort to relax, unwind, and practice smart self care.
And guilt. Autoimmunity is not something you did to yourself or something you can fix with a quick change. It’s not all in your head, either. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your Hashimoto’s diagnosis!
Hiding your condition. While few people see Hashimoto’s as a blessing, it is an opportunity for you to educate the people in your life about what autoimmunity is and how common it is. Don’t forget, too, that if you’re open about having Hashimoto’s people around you can step up to support you.
Faking it till you make it. Thinking you can power through when you’re having a Hashimoto’s flare up instead of resting is a bad idea. Listen to your body and let it be your guide because it knows when you need to take it easy.