An autoimmune disease in which your thyroid gland is attacked by your own immune system, Hashimoto’s disease causes an inflammation of the thyroid gland, which further leads to hypothyroidism (a thyroid disorder in which you have an underactive thyroid gland).
Research suggests that it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States and mostly affects women, but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.
Here are 10 mistakes that most people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease should never make:
1. Not Checking The Ingredients Of Your Thyroid Hormone Replacement
Corn starch and modified food starch are the two most common ingredients that are used in thyroid supplements, but if you are allergic to corn or gluten (found in food starch), you could have an adverse reaction to the same.
Tip: Ask your doctor about supplements that are gluten or corn free, even if you are taking them in capsule form.
2. Not Aware Of Your T-Helper Dominance
The nutritional supplements that you take for treating Hashimoto’s disease may either help control or flare-up your autoimmunity. The reaction will depend on your individual T-dominance, which is based on whether your dominance is of the TH-1 or the TH-2 type.
Tip: Some supplements such as green tea, acai, licorice, echinacea, and astragalus can have a mixed reaction to your autoimmunity, so speak to your doctor before using them.
3. Believing That Thyroid Hormone Replacement Is The Only Solution
Most people with Hashimoto’s disease feel that using the perfect thyroid hormones as a replacement will help them get rid of all symptoms. Thyroid hormone replacement is only one part of treating Hashimoto’s disease, which is a complex autoimmune disorder.
Tip: Ask your doctor about the hormones that are being used as a replacement for the ones you have and how it will affect your condition.
4. Being Stressed
When you are stressed, it increases your autoimmune flare-ups and can make your symptoms severe, in which case your body might also not react well to the treatment you are getting.
Tip: Try to create a calm environment by avoiding stress, practicing meditation or breathing exercises and avoiding situations that may increase your stress levels.
5. Still Having Gluten, Even If In Small Amounts
Gluten is one of the biggest triggers for Hashimoto’s disease and prevents the treatment from being effective, even if you have only a bit of it in your diet. To make sure that your treatment works the way it is supposed to, make sure you completely give up on gluten.
Tip: Avoid eating gluten completely, whether at home or outside, including main ingredients, condiments, drinks, and snacks.
6. Having Foods That Can Cross-React With Gluten
Eating foods that can cross-react with gluten will also hamper your treatment for Hashimoto’s disease. Foods that can cross-react contain proteins that can cause the same type of immune response as gluten.
Tip: Some foods that can cross-react are corn, rice, gluten-free oats, and milk.
7. Not Taking Care Of Your Brain Health
Patients who have severe Hashimoto’s disease often experience faster degeneration of their brain as compared to others, which can also trigger symptoms that are similar to hypothyroidism.
Tip: Depression and stress are two factors that can cause a lot of pressure on your brain and increase the risk of cognitive decline.
8. Not Managing Insulin Levels
When you eat anything that contains sugar or starch, it increases your insulin levels which can again trigger your autoimmune flare-ups. If you experience any craving for sugar or fatigue after eating something, it could mean that your insulin levels are high.
Tip: Avoid eating sweet and starchy foods and regularly check your insulin levels to make sure your treatment will be effective.
9. Not Eating On Time
When you do not eat on time or skip meals, it will result in autoimmune flare-ups which will prevent your treatment from working the way it should. Skipping meals will also make your blood sugar levels drop, and you will experience symptoms such as irritability, confusion and shakiness in your hands.
Tip: Make sure you eat at regular intervals and always keep a fruit or some snacks at hand to avoid hunger pangs.
10. Not Aware Of Your Condition Or Treatment
Unless and until you know exactly what your condition is all about and how the treatment that your doctor suggested will help you, you will not be able to properly implement it in your life. Getting completely cured of your Hashimoto’s disease may involve various medical treatments as well as lifestyle changes, and only when you are aware of what is going on will you be able to do it properly.
Tip: Always speak to your doctor about any tests that you take, the results that you get and the treatment that your doctor suggests.
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