Another week, another installment. A month or so ago I posted my musings on my not-so-amusing journey with hashimoto’s.

This week, I’ve invited Melbourne personal trainer, BioSignature practitioner and blogger Kat Eden to give her comic – or otherwise  – input.

thyroid disease can feel like you're hovering in a pool of sludge
thyroid disease can feel like you're hovering in a pool of sludge

I came across Kat on the site Dumb Little Men and loved her tips on living life better. I contacted her cold (it’s one of my favourite things to do – contact someone I find interesting and just start talking) and found her advice very sound, especially in regards to hormones and digestion.

Over to Kat:

What causes this whole caper?

From my way of thinking, and based on clinical experience I’d say stress has to be one of the biggest players in sparking auto-immune disease. In particular chronic stress. It doesn’t really matter where the stress comes from, or even if it’s a whole bunch of little stressors rather than one great big life-changing event. Your body doesn’t separate one type of stress from another in terms of the way your nervous system and hormones respond, so the accumulation of stress can be (often quite suddenly) very toxic.

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What makes it worse?

When auto-immune sufferers (particularly those with thyroid dysfunction) fail to include enough protein in their diet things tend to get worse. Low protein intake is actually one of the prime reasons women tend toward hypothyroidism more so than men, and typically higher soy intake by the gals is another risk factor. As a health practitioner I’ve done a full 360 on soy and do not recommend that anyone with thyroid concerns include it in their diet. If you do choose to eat soy, fermented (tempeh) is definitely the way to go. It’s known to be less toxic.

If I had to give you a snapshot plan of action?

It all comes back to giving your body the tools it needs to detoxify stress – that’s definitely the best place to start. For many people that will mean improving quality of sleep (perhaps by taking regular time to wind down before bed, avoiding stimulants in the evening and using a magnesium supplement to aid relaxation).

For others it will mean eating some protein at each meal.

For some it will mean other forms of supplementation such as selenium, an essential mineral with potent antioxidant properties, and known to boost the thyroid.

Other natural approaches to boosting the thyroid include the herb guggul, seaweed salad, and iodine. All tricks and techniques aside, the truth is that different things will work to different degrees for different people – but one of the most powerful things you can do is share your story with others, learn from those who understand what you’re going through, and find an outlet for the things which cause you the most stress, whether physical, emotional, mental or all three.

Have your say, leave a comment.