I usually introduce these things a bit, but I suppose the name says it all.
I recently found myself acutely interested in how someone might go about ridding themselves of Hashimoto's. Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism is one particular branch of this crazy-big umbrella term called "Autoimmunity". Autoimmunity is essentially a state in which the body's own defense systems are turned upon itself, and is always caused by a malfunction within the digestive system - usually due to the regular ingestion of some kind of food that spurns an allergic reaction. It is as if the immune system can't seem to recognize friend from foe, and blindly begins to lash out and damage bodily tissues. In some individuals the effects of autoimmunity are easier to spot than others, such as in the cases of morbid obesity, severe acne, migraines, and debilitating joint pains. In other individuals the the signs of an autoimmune disorder can be much harder to spot, and by the time the ailment is finally discovered by the person it has already grown into a formidable force to reckon with. Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism is one of the hard-to-spot ones, though once it is identified it is most definitely treatable to some extent in everybody.
What makes it so hard to spot? Well as you may have gathered from the name we are talking about a kind of autoimmunity where the immune system attacks the body's thyroid. This is a pretty big bummer because your thyroid gland is the on/off switch of your metabolism. Simply put your thyroid controls how your body either stores or uses energy. The 'hypo-' prefix tells us that the function of the thyroid is being depressed; meaning that the person's metabolic switch is not turning "on" as many times as it should be.
Well if the metabolism isn't turning on often enough all of that extra energy that's being consumed has to go somewhere, right? This leads those afflicted down a very confusing road of seemingly unstoppable weight gain until they finally reach a point where they can admit to themselves that something must be wrong. At this point they will likely go and visit a doctor. This doctor will then hear the patient say something to the extent of "I've really been trying. I work-out on a regular basis and I watch what I eat; why am I still gaining weight?", at which point the doctor will most likely run a few simple tests. One of these would be a blood test that looks for antibodies within the blood stream. Antibodies are the little guys your immune system produces to attack foreign particles. When antibodies are found in the blood stream we can tell that for some reason or another, the body is attacking something. . . the problem being that in this instance the immune system is found to be releasing antibodies that are designed to attack the thyroid gland; hence depressing its functionality. It is at this point in the process that the doctor will probably prescribe the patient with a drug named Synthroid, which simulates the thyroid hormone and kickstarts the metabolism. This effectively allows the patient to deal with their initial complaint: excess weight gain.
The problem with this approach is that nothing is done towards the goal of eliminating the root issue causing this avalanche of bad shit. Hashimoto's, to western allopathic medicine, is an incurable disease that will require the patient to consume a standard amount of drug every morning for the rest of their lives.
I argue that it does not always have to be. I argue that it is bullshit to lie to people and say that they have no power over a simple situation of chemical imbalance.
Unfortunately the ongoing use of this particular drug leads the thyroid into a state of complacency. When supplementing the body with a synthetic hormone the body will begin to cease its own production of that hormone and down-regulate the tissues and organs dedicated to the production of that hormone. This means that over time the patient will require an increased dosage of the drug to maintain homeostatic levels of thyroid hormone, and the downward spiral ensues.
[gotta love them drugs]
This is evident in the myriad cases of bodybuilders shrinking their testicles down with the use of testosterone boosters. So, yes the drug will allow the patient to artificially stimulate their metabolism and avoid fuller weight gain, but simultaneously there needs to be a program established to allow for the complete healing of the digestive system; eventually eliminating the dependance upon the pharmaceutical drug entirely.
[If I was diagnosed with this disease, this is what I would do]
Please maintain an open mind with what I will be sharing with you, as it will likely sound strange.
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, and I'm not telling you to do shit. If this article speaks to you go and look this stuff up for yourself and make your own decisions.
Whenever there is a physical manifestation of disease or ailment within one of the endocrine glands there is simultaneously a massive issue with one of the supra-physical energy centers of the body known to many people as 'chakras'. These chakras are nothing more than dense areas of nerve networks; each chakra has a corresponding physical endocrine organ. The thyroid is the physical manifestation of Vishuddhi, or the throat chakra. Chakras rarely are thrown off to such a point that the endocrine gland itself become affected, but when they do it is a difficult thing to remove very quickly and must be approached from a variety of angles. Simply put: there is such a vide variety of shit that could be throwing off the operation of your thyroid that the only way to treat it in a time-efficient manner is to approach the treatment protocol using a multi-pronged method.
If all goes well, and they remain vigilant to the following protocol, a recently diagnosed individual should be able to remove their daily dosage of Synthroid within 6-8 months, and be completely cured within a year so long as they hold to some overall basic concepts. Obviously I can't legally tell you when such a transition should take place, but I can guarantee it will involve a weaning process because as we discussed the Synthroid drug fools the thyroid into believing that it doesn't have to produce thyroid hormone anymore, and the thyroid will need to re-learn its role in hormone production over time.
The treatment protocol will involve the following:
1.) Following an altered "pitta-reducing" diet
2.) Yoga asanas aimed at the thyroid gland
3.) Breathing exercises for increased oxygen uptake
4.) Natural medication
5.) Lifestyle changes aimed at clearing Vishuddhi
6.) Seeking out a qualified Ayurvedic Doctor for legit treatment and monitoring of your progress
So, let's begin!
1.) The Altered Pitta-Reducing Diet
What you are suffering from is known in Ayurvedic medicine as a pitta imbalance (excess in this case). Therefore we need to put you on a diet that inherently reduces the pitta dosha. In addition to the standard guidelines to the pitta-reducing diet we must also take into consideration certain otherwise healthful foods that need to also be avoided because they inhibit thyroid function. The diet is as follows:
-Gluten must be avoided; wheat products are entirely outlawed. This is an autoimmune issue and gluten is a demon for such things.
-Drink some aloe vera juice and rose water every day
-Avoid yeast, alcohol, coffee, caffeinated teas, chocolate, cheese, yogurt, table salt, and all low-quality processed oils.
-Avoid sour, salty, and pungent foods
-Favor foods that are cool, refreshing, sweet, bitter and astringent
-Focus on fruits and vegetable with little to no regard for macronutrient intakes
-Butter and ghee are fine, but other dairy products aggravate pitta
-Use raw cane sugar and raw maple syrup as sweeteners only when needed, limit use honey to select occasions
-Oils to use when cooking are ghee, coconut, and olive oil, avoid the use of sesame oil for now because it too aggravates pitta
-Eat good sized portions of jasmine/basmati rice, barley, quinoa, or even some steel-cut oats on occasion is fine. Focus on using the grains as a vessel for herbs and seasonings, adding generous portions of amazing pitta reducing herbs like CILANTRO, CINNAMON, DILL, FENNEL, AND BLACK PEPPER. Get some himalayan rock salt to cook with rather than regular salt as well.
-Beef, seafood, and eggs aggravate pitta and need to be eliminated for the time being. In fact I would largely recommend elimination of all animal flesh until shit levels out in a few months. Local free range poultry is alright here and there if total elimination of animal flesh is too much for right now, but only partake in small portions and make sure it is thoroughly chewed to a pulp
-Avoid plants from the nightshade family such as hot peppers, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Also avoid raw onions, and garlic
-Favor vegetables like asparagus, cucumbers, squashes, green beans and peas and lettuce. Certain vegetables that are otherwise beneficial for pitta imbalances need to be avoided because they suppress thyroid function. These include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, mustard greens, and most beans (other than the green beans and peas already mentioned)
-Favor sweet fruits just as grapes, limes, cherries, melons, coconut, mangoes, apples, berries, fully ripened oranges, plums, and ripe pineapple. Avoid sour fruits such as grapefruits, lemons (with one exception that will be explained later), olives, papayas, and unripened oranges/pineapple
-Nuts are fine if eaten in small quantities, but no peanuts
-Also nothing soy. Most soy is murder.
-Some sources of information that you may come across will indicate to you that increasing iodine-rich foods like kelp and other seaweeds is a good idea. This is false. Though iodine usually boosts thyroid function, in the case of Hashimoto's it can have a negative effect. If you're just reading through this and are not suffering from Hashimoto's then yes iodine-rich foods like seaweed will improve the function of your thyroid.
-Strive to ensure every article of food you consume is as local and organically grown as possible. The healthier and more alive the plants you are eating the faster your recovery will be
2.) Yoga Asanas
Though I strongly recommend that you begin a regular yoga practice, at the very minimum the following asanas need to be performed on a DAILY (note the emphasis) basis. It would be silly for me to attempt to describe all of these positions here, so I will simply supply you with their names and you can google them for yourself.
It is vital that between each of the following 3 asanas you perform Shashankasana to serve as a counter-balancing stretch.
I am going to describe to you a simplified version of a yogic breathing exercise called Nadi Shodhanna. This breathing exercise needs to be performed as much as possible, but at a minimum once a day. As you will see it needs to be performed in a relaxed environment that does not require your conscious attention (don't do this shit when you're driving).
-Blow your nose to eliminate excess mucus, and sit comfortably
-For the first few breaths simply concentrate on breathing in and out through your nose. When you breathe in fill your belly up with air before allowing your chest to expand. When you breathe out collapse your chest than push the air out of your belly. Focus on nothing else but the sound and feeling of air coming in and going out
-After a few minutes of this your heart rate should be nice and relaxed. Now, with your right hand's thumb plug your right nostril and breathe in through your left
-Breathe out through your right nostril by plugging your left with your pointer finger and removing your thumb from your right
-Maintaining this hand position breathe back in through your right nostril
-Reverse the hand position and breathe out through the left. This is one round.
Essentially it is a matter of breathing in the left, out the right, in the right, out the left. This breathing pattern needs to be maintained for a minimum of 5 minutes once a day. Take nice, deep, and slow breaths. Focus of continually trying to breath slower while still breathing deeply. You should be able to reach a point of 4-5 breaths a minute (or less) pretty quickly. This process stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system better than anything I've ever seen, and as many of you are aware it is only in a parasympathetic state that healing can commence. The increased oxygen uptake from taking controlled breaths greatly increases the regenerative rate of the body.
Every morning I want you to replace your coffee with a glass of ginger-lemon tea. This is prepared by taking the juice of half a lemon, and a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root, and mixing them in a mug with boiling water. Once the tea cools it is advisable to add a teaspoon or so (I just kinda pour a modest glob in) of local raw honey. I would also like to emphasize my earlier point about drinking Aloe Vera juice; recommending at least 4-6 ounces on an empty stomach every day. On top of this I would prescribe a 3 gram/day dose of a quality Neem tablet, a 5 gram/day dose of Amalaki, and at least 1 tbsp/day of organic unrefined coconut oil (preferably 2-3). There are no adverse side effects documented of the combination of of these herbs and Synthroid, so rest assured that they are safe. In fact Ayurvedic medicine views both Neem and Amalaki as such cure-all's that they are often prescribed for regular consumption even if one is not ill. Higher doses may be more appropriate, but as I am no doctor I am suggesting a modest dose of each.
This chakra, first and foremost, is associated with communication and creativity. When this chakra is opened and operating efficiently you are able to accurately communicate your thoughts, feelings and desires. You are also able to speak for yourself and effectively convey your needs to others. You fully express yourself without fear of rejection. This chakra is also associated with abundance. Here, you are at state of consciousness called ‘grace’, where it seems that what you want for you is also what God wants for you. It is also associated with listening to one’s intuition. When this chakra is working in balance it seems that the universe supports you in all that you do and desire. It is the first level of consciousness from which one perceives and interacts with another intelligence.
The fact that such a significant issue has arisen within this chakra indicates to me that you are having issues with one or more of these points that I just brought up. It's nobody's business but yours, but you need to find ways to make peace with some of that shit up there. Know that the longer you go ignoring some of those issues the more they will continue to manifest and affect your physical body.
6.) Forget the drug dealers, go and get a REAL doctor.
I'll be honest I've never been to an Ayurvedic doctor before, and my knowledge of their efficacy around here in Rochester is pretty minimal. I can promise you that one day you will be able to come to me as a doctor, but for the time being I am just another guy that reads too much and gives out the best advice he can. I highly recommend finding an Ayurvedic doctor above all other homeopathic practitioners, although to be fair a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor will be 100% as effective. . . I'm just more familiar with the Indian jargon than the Chinese. Try a google search of your area and see if one pops up that you might want to make an appointment with.
Chances are that your insurance will not cover any trips to a non-western doctor. This is fine, and here is why: Your standard doctor has already reached the end of his treatment path for you, and it has nothing to do with curing you; only drugging you. You already know exactly what your western doctor has to offer you in terms of relief from your affliction. They are offering to cover up your problems. They are offering to supply you with a daily band-aid to cover up a wound that just can't seem to heal [while you unknowingly continue to aggravate the wound].
That's it? That's all they got? A freakin bottle of pills and a push out the door? Screw that dude you deserve better than all that noise. Go and find a guy that will give you hope in your body's ability to heal itself, and then you can go on about your life a better and healthier person.
This concludes the protocol I would recommend for removing Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism from your physical experience.