As nutritionists, part of our job is specializing in different diseases that are impacted by the way we eat. One of these is Hashimoto's disease.
Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in the front of the windpipe that releases a number of hormones that have different functions in the body. When the thyroid isn't working properly, many of our bodily functions are affected. One of the thyroid's main functions is to manage metabolism by releasing 2 hormones known as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Other hormones produced by the thyroid have functions such as impacting heart rate and body temperature, as well as converting food into energy.
The thyroid can be under-active, where it does not produce enough hormones. This is known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid can also be overactive, where it is producing too many hormones. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Either of these actions can occur when the thyroid becomes inflamed and starts to swell. This is known as thyroiditis.
Hashimoto's is a type of thyroiditis. When the immune system begins to attack the thyroid, it becomes damaged and does not produce enough hormones. This is Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's disease
Unexpected weight gain
Joint & muscle pain
Not all of these symptoms need to be present for Hashimoto's, nor do the certainly mean you have Hashimoto's. Each person’s symptoms vary, you may have one or you may have few. We recommend getting blood work done if you believe any of these symptoms apply to you.⠀
Although there is no known cure for Hashimoto's, making dietary and lifestyle changes can help to manage symptoms. Being mindful of how your body reacts to certain foods and stressors can develop awareness of triggers, and checking in with how you feel can make all the difference.
Over the next few weeks we will be discussing Hashimoto's in more detail. If you have been recently diagnosed and are finding it difficult to navigate your diet or life around this, get in touch! We specialize in Hashimoto's nutrition and have meal plans specifically for you. Click the button below to head to our website and book a call to get started with us.
Over on our Instagram, we have a number of easy to digest infographics (if you're more of a visual learner!), so click here to go to our page, @lorrainekearneynutrition!