Treating Hashimoto's without Thyroid Medication
I've been saying that the answer is yes for a long time and this case study perfectly illustrates how this is possible.
Today we are going to walk through a case study of a Hashimoto's patient, Jennifer, who was able to completely manage her Hashimoto's without the help of a doctor and through natural treatments.
This is not someone that I have treated or had any contact with and I did not personally help her throughout her journey.
She was able to manage her Hashimoto's by herself through reading and research, which is very incredible.
The only reason I know about her situation is because she left this review on one of my products:
When I saw this I reached out to her and asked her for some more information so that I could share it with everyone here.
I know there are a huge number of you out there reading this who simply aren't getting the help that they need from their physician who may feel alone or overwhelmed with all of the information out there and just want to know that it is possible.
It's hard when you hear from your doctor that Hashimoto's is not a reversible condition and that it's something that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life.
And while it may not be reversible in EVERY case, there are almost always things that you can do to dramatically improve your symptoms and help you live your best life.
And this case study is a perfect example of just that.
In this post, I will walk you through...
- How Jennifer was able to manage her Hashimoto's without help from her doctor
- The one thing that she focused on which helped her feel better the fastest
- What changes she made to her exercise routine and her diet
- What supplements she is taking
- And more...
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Hashimoto Triggers are Unique (and so is treatment!)
Let me first start off by saying that each case of Hashimoto's is unique.
What does that mean?
Well, it means that the cause and severity of each case largely depend on the person and their circumstances.
If we lined up 10 people with Hashimoto's and really dug into their history we would find that no two cases are the same.
While all 10 of them would technically have the same disease, the reason(s) that they have the disease would be different for each person.
And we would find differences in important things like:
- What age did their Hashimoto's start
- The severity of their symptoms
- The fluctuation of their symptoms over time
- Other medical problems and conditions that they may have
- Other autoimmune diseases that they may suffer from
- How long have they had Hashimoto's
- The status of their gut health
- And so on
Each of these things would be different and they ALL matter.
Why am I bringing this up?
Because I want you to understand that when we talk about this particular patient she may or may not be similar to your situation.
But just because something worked for her does not guarantee that it will (or won't) work for you.
So keep that in mind as you read through her story!
What worked for Jennifer
Her story is probably not much different from many of you.
Her symptoms started around the time that she turned 40.
I see many women start to experience thyroid problems around the age range of 40-60.
Thyroid symptoms are commonly triggered around this age range as female sex hormones start their inevitable decline.
Starting at around age 35 progesterone starts to decrease first after which estradiol (estrogen) follows.
This trend continues all the way through menopause and the change to both estrogen and progesterone seems to uncover thyroid problems either by causing them directly or by putting the body in a vulnerable position.
This is also around the time that the metabolism starts to slow down and this slowing down of the metabolism is accelerated with thyroid problems.
Weight gain during this time period is not uncommon and is one of the first signs of thyroid problems.
“Sometime after I turned 40, I started to wonder if I was experiencing thyroid problems. I was tired, swollen-looking, and was losing a lot of hair. I was told by my physicians that my bloodwork was within normal limits and it was likely due to aging and the slowing of my metabolism. I was discouraged and couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing wrong. I made efforts to exercise and eat right, but nothing improved.
In fact, I consistently gained weight. When a routine ultrasounds found a large nodule on my thyroid and I was referred to an endocrinologist, I was told by this physician that the nodule was benign and my bloodwork looked good. Because I’d seen my bloodwork myself and saw abnormalities cited, I inquired about them. The endocrinologist answered that the bloodwork in fact indicates Hashimoto’s, but he didn’t recommend any treatment because, he said, “the treatment only seems to make things worse.”
I did my own research online, reading information and watching videos posted by holistic physicians and naturopaths, and learned more my body’s hormones and supplements and dietary changes that might help. At that point, I came across Dr. Childs’ website and thought I’d try what he was recommending, since I had no treatment thus far.
Interestingly, when I went back to the endocrinologist after only 6 months, my bloodwork no longer reflected Hashimoto’s and the nodule on my thyroid had shrunk. My physician wasn’t curious about this at all. He said it just happens sometimes. I chose not to share what I had been doing.”
What's incredible about her story is that she was able to see significant improvement in several areas in just under 6 months (after making the right changes):
- Her thyroid antibodies reduced to normal levels
- Her thyroid nodule shrunk in size
- Her symptoms improved
This is very important to note because many patients with Hashimoto's notice a decline in how they feel once they start thyroid medication (some feel better, obviously, but this isn't universal).
If you can avoid the addition of thyroid medication to your regimen, by catching and treating Hashimoto's early, it will be easier for you to regulate your thyroid.
Because you aren't putting unneeded strain on your pituitary or hypothalamus which helps to regulate TSH and thyroid function in your body.
I think one of the main reasons that Jennifer was able to see such big improvement in a short period of time is because she focused on what was probably the major cause of thyroid problems in her body:
“I learned more about the role of cortisol in the body and the importance of keeping my stress down, and took stress-reduction MUCH more seriously. I started to see stress reduction as necessary for my health and not just for my comfort. This was a transformative paradigm-shift for me.
I had already been eating lots of lean proteins and veggies, so I continued that. As a regular exerciser, I have always been motivated to work out. However, I used to engage in a lot of distance running (full marathons, half marathons, etc.), but in recent years, I would be completely exhausted after running. A day with a long run required a nap.
I came across in my research how that might not be the best form of exercise for someone with Hashimoto’s because of the role of cortisol with that level of running. I have since switched to some running, but more HIIT and weight training, and I am no longer completely wiped out after a workout.”
One of the primary drivers of Hashimoto's is stress.
Stress is also one of the most under appreciated and often most ignored causes of Hashimoto's.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that most cases of Hashimoto's are triggered by stress or are at least heavily involved in the onset of autoimmune disease.
The more stress the body is under the more cortisol that is released and, eventually, the more suppressed your own immune system becomes.
And unless you target and manage this stress, the flames of Hashimoto's will continue to burn.
Jennifer identified that much of her stress came from what sounds like overexercising.
And this is something I commonly see among thyroid patients in general because they almost always struggle with weight.
But overexercising isn't a solution to weight loss and, in fact, can actually cause more harm than good as it triggers high levels of cortisol.
One of the main ways to know if you are overexercising is to monitor how you FEEL after you exercise.
Even though exercising should be challenging to your body, you should NOT feel exhausted after a workout and it should not take you several days to recover.
You should end your workout feeling refreshed and with more energy to take on your day afterward.
If you have Hashimoto's and you aren't dealing with your stress levels then this is something that you should put immediate attention on.
You can help your body manage stress by using this such as:
- Practicing meditation
- Taking adrenal glandulars or adrenal adaptogens
- Changing up your diet to include more carbohydrates
- Changing up your exercise routine to allow for more recovery time
- Improving the depth and duration of your sleep
- Doing this which REFILL your energy (or your "cup")
- Findings hobbies outside of work
- Spending more time in nature, at least once a week
These treatments don't sound very sexy which is why they are so often ignored but if you ignore them then you do so at your own peril!
You may see the biggest improvement in managing your Hashimoto's by focusing solely on your stress levels.
Her Supplements and Diet
Of course, just managing stress levels is not all that Jennifer focused on.
She also spent time adjusting both her diet and her supplement regimen.
If you are serious about naturally managing Hashimotos, especially without thyroid medication, then changing up your diet and using supplements are a MUST.
Diet is one of the things that YOU have control over.
YOU control the foods you put into your body and the foods that you avoid.
YOU control how much you eat, when you eat, and when you are full.
This matters because you DON'T have control over what the doctor recommends to you.
You are at his/her mercy and their recommendations when it comes to medications.
But you do have control over your diet and the supplements you put into your mouth.
“I feel like I’m finally benefiting from an improved diet. Previously, I was eating right but seeing no results. I’m not swollen anymore!
Also, I get lots of compliments on my skin. My eyes are clearer. And my energy is GOOD. I really should drink less wine, since as alcohol is processed in the body, it releases cortisol, which I really don’t need.
But I eat lean protein, lots of plants, and nuts. I try to have fun with salads. I am a snacker and prefer salty and savory things. I would like to be a smarter snacker, say apples with peanut butter, or veggies with hummus.”
Jennifer mentions above that she finally feels like she is seeing the results from her diet, even though she was eating healthy previously.
If you are someone who is eating "right" but not seeing results, then you are guaranteed to be missing something big in your own personal history.
Dieting (changing your diet to eat healthy foods) is a NECESSARY therapy to improve your Hashimoto's but it's not likely to be enough on its own.
I also wanted to highlight that while she was eating healthy, she also didn't have to get very aggressive in her diet to see results.
Often, I will hear Hashimoto's patients state that certain diets are better than others for treating autoimmune disease.
The reality is that the best diet for Hashimoto's depends on YOU.
And figuring that out will take some trial and effort and some time.
Don't think that you need to necessarily jump into an incredibly aggressive or restrictive diet such as the AIP diet right off the bat.
Another area you do not want to neglect is the supplements that you take:
“Currently, my treatment for Hashimoto’s includes three of Dr. Childs’ supplements: T3 Conversion Booster, Adrenal Reset, and Hair Growth Complex.
I also eat a couple of Brazil nuts every day, which are rich in selenium. That is all.”
Jennifer saw really great results without using very many supplements.
In fact, she was only using 3 different supplements + some dietary changes to get more selenium.
She used the following:
- T3 Conversion Booster - This product helps improve T4 to T3 conversion as well as thyroid receptor sensitivity.
- Thyroid Hair Regrowth Complex - This product helps improve hair growth in thyroid patients by providing hair follicles with targeted nutrients.
- Thyroid Adrenal Reset Complex - This product helps target both adrenal function, thyroid function, reduces inflammation, and helps improve stress resilience.
- Brazil nuts - Natural source of selenium.
Many, if not all, cases of Hashimoto's are associated with low Vitamin D levels.
In addition, Hashimoto's is often triggered by damage to the gut lining which results in inflammation and further damage to thyroid function.
Addressing both is always a good idea for patients with Hashimoto's.
Otherwise, her supplement regimen is spot on.
Treating Early Stage Hashimoto's vs Late Stage Hashimoto's
I also want to take a second to explain the difference between early stage Hashimoto's and late stage Hashimoto's.
Many of you reading this, especially those with Hashimoto's, will find that you are in a different stage of your disease.
Some will have been recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's because they just started experiencing thyroid problems.
Some have been experiencing symptoms for years and have been diagnosed with thyroid problems but don't even know they have Hashimoto's yet because their doctor hasn't tested them (make sure you get tested!).
Others have had Hashimoto's for years or even decades.
While each category of people listed above all has the same disease they are not in the same STAGE of the disease and this can impact how likely they are to recover completely and what treatments they need.
It is ALWAYS in your best interest to catch Hashimoto's early and be as aggressive as possible to try and reverse it as soon as you know that you have it.
That's the key here.
The longer you wait to get diagnosed, the longer you wait to change your diet once you know you have Hashimoto's, the longer it takes your doctor to order the right tests, the more damage that will be done to your thyroid gland and the HARDER it will be to treat and reverse your condition.
The reverse is also true.
The sooner you start treatment the more likely you are to have a favorable result.
So if you are someone with Hashimoto's and you haven't been aggressive in the therapies and treatments that you are using, now is the time!
You can use these resources to help:
- Hashimoto's diet guide
- Natural therapies for Hashimoto's
- Supplements for Hashimoto's
- LDN for Hashimoto's
- Thyroid medication guide
Treating Hashimoto's naturally and by yourself is absolutely possible for some of you out there.
It won't be possible for everyone but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
The standard of care for "treating" Hashimoto's by ALL doctors is to let the autoimmune disease damage the thyroid until thyroid medication is required.
But if you can catch your disease state early and make targeted and specific changes to your lifestyle and routine, you CAN impact the course of your disease.
Jennifer is a perfect example of this and she was able to do all of this on her own with some research and trial and error.
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you also treated your thyroid disease the all natural way?
Do you have Hashimoto's? If so, what things have you tried?
Have they worked for you? Why or why not?
Did you learn anything from this article?
Leave your questions or comments below!