immune system and the root causes of its hyperactivity.

Alternative and holistic minded treat- ments address the root cause of an overac- tive immune system. Alternative medicine practitioners will determine the health of your gastrointestinal tract, liver and adrenal glands; your level of exposure to toxins and excess estrogen; as well as the quality of your current diet and how it may contribute to nutrient deficiencies, toxin exposure, blood sugar imbalance and stress on the body. Also, through blood tests they can determine not only current thyroid func- tion, but what may be at the root cause. Through this, they can determine the course of treatment. In any scenario, regulating the immune response with targeted nutrition and supplementation will be critical.

Lifestyle Changes for Hashimoto’s If you have been diagnosed with

Hashimoto’s, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, or any other autoimmune disease, the most important dietary change is to completely remove gluten from your diet. Consuming gluten when the immune system is already overactive will actually increase damage and destruction of the thyroid.

Here are lifestyle changes that can re-

duce your risk, or improve your symptoms, of Hashimoto’s:

• Test for other food allergies.

• Consume a diet high in healthy fats, fiber, clean protein and organic produce, and low in carbohydrates to help balance blood sugar, increase immunity and support the thyroid.

• Eat every 2-4 hours.

• Avoid soy, dairy and sugar as well as gluten.

• Choose organic to reduce pesticide and toxin exposure.

• Cook goitrogenic foods such as kale, cabbage, turnips, sweet potatoes, kelp, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Goitrogen is a compound that in- hibits iodine uptake by the thyroid. Lightly cooking these veggies will prevent this negative effect.

• Consider a safe liver detox protocol.

• Practice stress management techniques daily.

• Incorporate a mix of short cardio sessions and strength training for exercise.

• Avoid iodine supplementation if you are diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, it can further damage the thyroid.

Supplements for Hashimoto’s Certain supplements may also help

support the thyroid:

• Selenium may reduce inflammation, assist with conversion to T3 and protect thyroid function.

• Magnesium may help balance blood sugar and support the pituitary-thyroid connection.

• Vitamin C may enhance immunity, repair the gut lining, and reduce inflammation.

• Vitamin D is key for regulating the immune system.

• B Vitamins may support proper digestion, immunity and thyroid function.

• Zinc may promote thyroid hormone production and enhance immunity.

• Maca Root may enhance thyroid function.

• Milk Thistle may support detoxifica- tion and reduce inflammation.

Remember, your body systems and or- gans are all intimately connected. Focusing on thyroid health will naturally enhance your overall health. The more you support your thyroid with quality nutrition and tar- geted supplementation, the more you can calm your immune system, heal your gut and optimize your health.

Stephanie Walsh, MNT, CEPC, CPT is a Master Nutrition Therapist, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®, Certified Eating Psychology Coach and Personal Trainer. Her holistic

approach considers the whole person - stress, sleep quality, readiness for change, digestive complaints, nutrition, fitness level and more - to optimize your health and wellbeing for the long term. Contact Stephanie at 207.730.2208 or email her: See ad on page 20.

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