A standard concentration of thyroid antibodies in the body is necessary. However, due to some autoimmune diseases, the most common of that is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The levels of thyroid antibodies may increase in your blood may rise to alarming levels.
These antibodies destroy your thyroid cells gradually and can have severely adverse effects on your living quality. Hashimoto’s disease affects the thyroid gland.
Why is thyroid medication not enough?
The conventional method of dealing with Hashimoto’s or elevated thyroid antibody concentration has always been medication. These medications are undoubtedly not a cure. They are a means of controlling your symptoms to allow you to function.
Despite treatment with medication, your quality of life is still severely affected by a high concentration of thyroid antibodies.
This factor is mainly due to the unique behavior of the thyroid antibodies in every individual and their different medication responses. Hence, the adopted approach should be more personalized to deal with elevated levels of thyroid antibodies.
Many scientific studies and researches have shown that there are lifestyle changes that you can bring about to control your thyroid antibody levels naturally. When working in synergy with medicines, these lifestyle changes can do wonders for your thyroid antibody concentrations. These tips can ultimately allow you to lead a full and healthy life.
Hashimoto thyroiditis is the leading cause of hypothyroidism. As Hashimoto thyroiditis flares up, you may begin to feel the symptoms of hypothyroidism; these symptoms include:
- Fatigue is the most common symptom. It usually occurs because of a lack of vitamin B-12 or low cortisol levels.
- You start to experience unexplained weight gain. It’s mostly salt and water, which is why you will look puffy. In some other cases, more dramatic weight loss occurs with autoimmune hypothyroidism.
- Muscle and joint pains.
- Enlarged thyroid.
- Hair loss.
- Brittle nails.
- Slow heart rate (bradycardia).
- Problems with memory.
Causes of Hashimoto flare-up
Remember to avoid all kinds of stresses from relationships, work, or your health, as stress contributes largely to flare up these symptoms.
Lack of certain nutrients such as zinc, iodine, and selenium also flares up Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Doctors advise taking one or two Brazil nuts for your selenium. Zinc supplements are your go-to as studies have been associated with zinc supplements improved thyroid hormone levels.
Certain medications can also affect thyroid hormone levels. For women, estrogen pills (used in contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy) need to be monitored as they can severely damage your thyroid hormone levels. You’d also want to monitor your calcium and iron supplement intake.
Some viruses can also cause Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Studies have shown that the four most essential viruses that can be the root cause of the disease are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Herpes Simplex 1 & 2 (HSV), Hepatitis C infection (the treatment is also a trigger), and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
You need to check your family’s medical record, and this disease tends to run in families.
Medications for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
The most common thyroid medication is levothyroxine or T4. Doctors can prescribe T3 along with T4 for some people that are unable to convert T4 to T3. It is advised not to take the pill before eating multivitamins or iron supplements. It would be best if you consumed it one hour before any other prescribed medicines. You should take these medications with water only, as otherwise, it tends to interfere with absorption.
The dosage needs to be in the right amount as a high dosage can result in anxiety and insomnia. In addition to this, Beta-blockers are used to manage the symptoms till before the treatment. After the start of treatment, it can take up to 1-2 years to work.
The least used method to treat this disease is surgery. In this case, the doctors remove a specific part of your gland that eventually reduces the antibody production; however, you would still need antithyroid medicines.
In some cases, the doctor removes the whole gland. In this case, you would probably need to eat antithyroid medication for the rest of your life.
Ways to identify the disease
A thyroid antibodies test is taken, which is done through a blood test. You would feel a pinch, and the blood sample would be taken. The test determines the level of thyroid antibodies in your blood.
It is proteins made up by the immune system to fight foreign substances like viruses or bacteria. However, sometimes they start to attack the body’s cells; they are unable to distinguish between the body’s cell and the foreign substance, which is why doctors usually don’t advise your environment to be all clean all the time so that your immune system can distinguish between them and become stronger.
There are three types of thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase (TPO), Thyroglobulin (Tg), and Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptors.
Your thyroid test can give you the following results:
- Negative: There were no thyroid antibodies. It means you might not have an autoimmune disease.
- Positive: There were antibodies of TPO and/or Tg and/or TSH, which means that you might have Hashimoto’s disease or Grave’s disease.
Tips to control thyroid antibody levels naturally
Some of the natural ways of controlling the number of thyroid antibodies in your bloodstream include:
Lactose intolerance is common among people with autoimmune diseases, especially when due to a high thyroid antibody concentration. You should avoid dairy if you do not digest milky products well. This action will help your energy levels, bowel functions, as well as medicine uptake.
However, not all people with high thyroid antibody concentrations are lactose intolerant. Avoid dairy for a while to see if there is an alleviation of the symptoms to determine lactose intolerant.
Go for the AIP diet
The AIP diet is an acronym for the autoimmune protocol diet. The name is self-explanatory as this diet helps you deal with the inflammatory symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
A high concentration of thyroid antibodies in your bloodstream can cause inflammation of the thyroid.
You can better these inflammatory symptoms by removing dietary items like eggs, alcohol, artificial food flavorings, legumes and lentils, dairy, coffee, refined white sugars, etc. There are several articles with a detail of the AIP diet.
Many studies have shown that several patients with elevated thyroid antibody levels also have celiac disease. Celiac disease is also an autoimmune disease. The immune cells mainly attack the small intestine if the patient eats gluten-rich foods.
For this purpose, you should avoid gluten if you are suffering from a gluten allergy or indigestion symptoms.
Other foods to avoid to lower thyroid antibodies naturally
- Avoid certain vegetables and fruits that trigger Hashimoto’s flares like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, other nightshades, and high-glycemic fruits (mango, watermelon, pineapple, grapes, etc.)
- Avoid grains such as wheat, oats, rice, barley buckwheat, etc.
- Processed and canned food
What foods you should be eating
There are many alternatives to the dietary items you should steer clear of if suffering from thyroiditis. These items include:
- Opt for gluten-free alternatives to foods like pasta, bread, flour, etc.
- Keep your diet rich in fruits and vegetables that promote healthy bowel functioning and body detoxification. Citrus fruits and berries are your best friends. Vegetables like Zucchini, cauliflowers, and carrots are highly preferred.
- When choosing proteins, you should always go for animal proteins. Fatty fish, shrimp, and chicken can do wonders.
- Non-dairy substitutes if you are lactose intolerant – to keep the Vitamin D intake high. If you are not lactose intolerant, keep your dairy intake regular.
- Spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties. These include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, etc.
- You should also emphasize meals cooked in ghee(if you are not lactose intolerant) and olive oil.
- Keep yourself hydrated!
You can also use supplements to enhance your detox diet. It helps in Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism management. These supplements help with liver detoxification, repairing your gut, and blood sugar balance, which ultimately allows you to manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Apart from the dietary changes, you should exercise regularly and ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can be your worst enemy when dealing with this autoimmune disease.
Because of this autoimmune disorder’s uniqueness in various individuals, a dietician or physician might be able to figure out a diet plan that would work for you best.
Ways to manage weight with high thyroid antibodies
Managing the disease will automatically result in the management of weight.
That means you need to follow a strict diet plan, get enough water, etc. Still, in addition to all of it, you need to develop good sleep hygiene, exercise regularly(at least 60 minutes daily), walk (10,000 steps daily), and cut down on carbs and sugar.
If the symptoms are not dealt with promptly, they can result in consequences that you may have to carry throughout your life. However, take care of the symptoms using natural lifestyle changes and medication. You can control the symptoms from affecting your life too drastically.