Thyroid disease is becoming a major health issue in the U.S. Did you know that 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of thyroid disease? 14 million of those have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. When I first read these stats, I was shocked. We need to raise awareness and help others get to the root of their health issues so we can turn this trend around! Today, I’ve got a list of 50 tips and resources to help you to reverse thyroid disease.
January is Thyroid Awareness Month, so I wanted to write a post today to help point you, your friends and family members in the right direction. These are many of the steps and resources I used to help me while I worked to reverse Hashimoto’s disease. If the list is overwhelming, think about finding just one change or resource each week. After about 6 months, you’ll have made a wealth of changes and will hopefully be on your way to better health.
1. Eat a diet rich in omega-3s – Omega-3s help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 intake should be between 2:1 and 1:1 to maintain a healthy immune system and reduce inflammation. You can find omega-3s in foods like grass-fed butter, pastured/organic meats (beef, chicken, duck, lamb, etc.), wild fish (not farmed), organic eggs, unprocessed/pastured milk and cream, ghee and duck fat.
2. Cook goitrogenic vegetables before eating – Kale, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, and mustard greens should be cooked before eating because when eaten raw they can suppress thyroid function.
3. Drop the gluten and grains – When grains enter the body, they cause the insulin levels in the blood to rise. When they are eaten in excess over time, the body becomes overtaxed, and eventually the excessive grains can cause inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of autoimmune disease. A grain-free diet rich in nourishing foods gives the body time to rest, heal and reduce inflammation.
5. Castor Oil Packs – Castor oil packs can be used for thyroid nodules, cysts, liver detox, to increase T4 to T3 conversion, and so much more. Here’s a post I wrote on the topic along with instructions to get started.
6. Exercise, but not too much – If you’re struggling with thyroid disease, you’re probably also dealing with inflammation. Strenuous exercise can induce inflammation, so it’s better to stick with yoga, pilates, walking, light weightlifting, etc.
9. Read the book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause – Dr. Wentz discusses how to find your root cause of your disease and how to treat it.
10. Test more than just your TSH level – A “normal” TSH doesn’t really mean much. Why? Because TSH measures a specific output of the pituitary gland and thyroid disease is way more complicated than that. Here’s a list of labs to talk with your doctor about: Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, Vitamin D3, anti-TPO, TgAb, Adrenal Cortisol levels, MTHFR gene, B-12, and Folate.
11. Find a holistic practitioner to work with – Here are some resources to help you find a practitioner in your area:
Nutritional Therapy Practitioners
Or, if you’d like, you can make a nutritional therapy appointment with me at Our Well House!
12. Read This Article and take some easy steps to improve your thyroid hormone conversion – If you’re making enough T4 but not enough T3 this article will be super helpful for you!
13. Drink Bone Broth – It’s easy, it’s cheap and it contains a wealth of nutrients to help reduce inflammation. Here’s some more info on this topic.
14. Remove ALL processed foods from your diet – Eat traditionally prepared, real foods – foods free of pesticides, herbicides, and all chemicals are ideal. I know this may sound extreme, but to give the body time to rest and heal, nourish it with the right foods. I’ve walked down this path and, yes, it can be frustrating at times, but after seeing how foods can heal, I would certainly do it all again.
If you need help with this, I have hundreds of recipes on my blog and also over 125 grain-free, nutrient-dense recipes in my new cookbook – The Grain-Free Family Table. If you own my first cookbook, Deliciously Organic, click here to download the grain-free adaptations for free.
16. Try dry brushing – Dry brushing is easy, only takes about 1 minute to complete, and can help drain the lymphatic system.
17. Eat pastured, grass-fed, organic animal foods – Foods derived from animals raised 100% on pasture (and wild animals) are anti-inflammatory.
18. Add grass-fed gelatin to your diet – Gelatin has also been shown to benefit the digestive tract, immune system, heart, liver, muscles, and skin. It also helps aid in detoxification. It’s odorless and flavorless so it can be added to any type of dish. It’s important to purchase from the right source, though. Bernard Jensen and Great Lakes gelatins both come from grass-fed animals and don’t contain MSG (most other brands of gelatin contain MSG).
19. Eat saturated fats at every meal – I could go on for days about the many benefits of saturated fats from the right sources: organic butter, coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow, etc. In a nutshell, they help reduce inflammation and nourish the body. Here’s a fantastic resource with dozens of peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the health benefits of saturated fats.
20. Use healthy cookware and bakeware – Most of us spend lots of time addressing the foods we eat but very little time thinking about the pots and pans we cook and bake them in. Take a look at your cookware and bakeware – make sure it doesn’t contain metals or chemicals that might leach into your food.
22. Make sure your stomach is producing enough acid so your body can break down and ulitilize the nutrients in your food – If you struggle with heartburn, bloating, or any kind of indigestion, these are classic signs of low stomach acid. In this article I give a step-by-step plan to increasing stomach acid.
24. Take probiotics – 80% of the immune system resides in the gut, so a good probiotic can help aid the immune system. Here’s one of my favorite brands.
25. Anytime you take a prescription drug, over-the-counter drug or get a vaccine, read the insert and know the ingredients you’re putting into your body – You might find gluten, egg, soy, bovine cells, pig cells, human cells, heavy metals, etc. used in these products. Depending on your condition, you might consider other alternatives.
26. De-stress – I’ve never been good at this one, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s really ultra-important – Stress can cause your thyroid to perform at a sub-optimum level. Do what you need to do to relieve the stress in your life.
27. Read This Article 20 Steps to Heal From Adrenal Fatigue – 90% of those who struggle with thyroid disease also have some form of adrenal fatigue. The info in this article can be lifechanging!
28. Read whichever “shade” of thyroid disease relates to you:
Each in-depth article will help you figure out the labs you should get and their optimum levels, common symptoms, root causes, and the first steps you can take to reverse your disease.
29. If you can tolerate dairy, consume unprocessed/raw, pastured dairy – Unprocessed or raw dairy can provide a wealth of nutrients and help reduce inflammation. I never needed to give up raw dairy during my recovery and I found it a helpful source of omega-3, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B.
30. Detox your skin and body care products – Read the ingredients and cut out products containing synthetic chemicals and other ingredients that could be harmful to your thyroid. The substances we put on our skin can get into the bloodstream, so the lotion or lipstick you use every day could be causing a negative effect on your system. Here’s a list of the skincare products we use in our home.
31. Reduce your caffeine consumption – Caffeine can cause stress on the adrenal glands which can in turn cause stress on the thyroid. It’s a good idea to decrease your coffee consumption, enjoying it only occasionally.
32. Use unprocessed Celtic sea salt daily – Conventional salt is a processed food that usually contains anti-caking agents and dextrose (a sugar derived from corn) gets bleached. An unprocessed salt, like Celtic Sea Salt provides about 80 different minerals for the body.
33. Take steps to gently detox your liver – Your liver performs over 500 different functions including converting T4 to T3. It also helps keep your blood sugar levels in balance which is very important for reducing inflammation and hormone balance.
34. Consider having your amalgam fillings removed – Amalgam fillings can cause inflammation in the system as they continue to off-gas each time you eat or drink. If you get them removed, it’s imperative you go to a dentist who is trained to remove them safely (I learned this the hard way). If you have them removed, follow the advice of your dentist and also follow up with a heavy metal detox protocol. Here’s an article I wrote on this topic that also includes the supplements needed for the detox protocol.
35. Get genetic testing – I had genetic testing done and then had it analyzed by a professional who is trained in this area of study. The results opened up a whole world of answers for me! It was truly invaluable to learn about my gene mutations and how I can support my body better.
36. If you struggle with joint paint or arthritis – I recommend avoiding nightshades (like tomatoes, peppers, etc.) for about a week and see if this helps reduce the pain. It can often be very helpful!
37. Increase your carbs throughout the day – Eating a small
portion of complex carbs at breakfast, a medium size at lunch and
a larger size at dinner is incredibly helpful to balance the adrenals
and reduce symptoms.
38. Make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins – One of my favorite supplements is Cataplex B.
39. Check Your Adrenals – Adrenal issues and thyroid disease can go hand-in-hand. The thyroid needs the adrenals to be working properly – so the right signals are sent to the thyroid for proper hormone production. A saliva cortisol test (you can order a kit here) is a great place to start. And, here are 20 tips to support your adrenals.
40. Reduce sugar consumption – Sugar can cause inflammation in the body and is a root cause of hormone imbalance, so it’s a good idea to remove them from your diet to give your body more resources for rest and healing.
41. Make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates – Sometimes when eating a grain-free diet, you can get too few carbohydrates to fuel the adrenals and other organs of the body. Try various quantities of carbs to find the right balance for your body.
42. Get LOTS of Vitamin A from animal sources in your diet to enable your thyroid to function properly – It’s a huge misconception that vitamin A can be found in plants. Vitamin A is only found in animal foods. You can get this vitamin by eating animal foods such as grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pastured eggs, organic butter, organic lard, wild game, etc.
43. Take my free online class – In this class you’ll learn how to use essential oils to support your thyroid, adrenals, liver, to get a good night’s sleep, and much, much more!
45. Read this article by the Weston Price Foundation – It discusses alternatives to medicine for treating thyroid problems, the tests necessary to establish the health of the thyroid and the different types of Hypothyroidism.
46. Read the book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal?: A revolutionary breakthrough in understanding Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism” by Dr. Datis Kharrazian – Through exhaustive research and clinical experience, Dr. Kharrazian has discovered what really causes hypothyroidism and how to manage it.
47. Read the book, Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan – This book helped me understand how imperative a nutrient-dense diet is for our health. It’s a must read!
48. Find your root cause – Hashimoto’s is a thyroid autoimmune disease, but the reason why the immune system is attacking the thyroid may be different for each person.
49. Get at least 8 hours of sleep – The body repairs, heals, detoxes, etc. while you sleep, so it’s important to get enough to help your body rest and do its job. If you’re struggling with insomnia, click here to read my 10 tips for a good night’s sleep.
50. Read The Grain-Free Family Table – I wrote this book after reversing Hashimoto’s disease using a grain-free, nutrient-dense diet. It contains recipes, resources, and encouragement for your journey.
Bonus Idea: Make sure to follow me over on Instagram where I give daily tips on thyroid health, recipes, detox, and much more! 🙂
Many of you have written to tell me about your recovery from thyroid problems. What are your best tips and resources? Please share so we can all learn from one another!
Disclaimer: This information is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your condition.