Hashimoto’s

Hashimoto’s

Have you heard of Hashimoto’s? It is an autoimmune condition that is linked to your thyroid health but also to your immune system and is a lot more common that we might think. In the USA Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, and affects about 5 people out of 100.1  (I don’t have figures for Ireland, if anyone does I would love to see them).

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Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition that affects your thyroid functioning and sadly the stats show that women are more likely to develop Hashimoto’s than men, and while it is usually women between the ages of 40 and 60 that get diagnosed, it can occur in teens and young adults2 . Hashimoto’s is where the immune system create antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, over time as the thyroid gland gets damaged symptoms of an underactive thyroid appear.

Initially the symptoms of having Hashimoto’s maybe mild and go unnoticed, however as it progresses so too do the symptoms, which are very similar to an underactive thyroid;

  • Goiter
  • Tiredness / fatigue
  • Weight gain or unable to loose weight
  • Feeling the cold alot more
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry, thinning hair and dry skin
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and problems becoming pregnant
  • Low mood or depression
  • Brain fog or memory problems

If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease there is a higher risk of you developing  another autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, ceoliac disease, pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency anemia), or lupus and visa versa, if you have another autoimmune disease you could be at risk of developing Hashimoto’s.

From a women’s health point of view, Hashimoto’s can cause fertility issues if untreated or not treated correctly and also during pregnancy it is important to keep a regular check up in your blood tests and adjust your medication accordingly. This is a conversation you need to have with your GP and Endocrinologist and they will advise on what your blood results should be for fertility and during the different trimesters of pregnancy.

To get diagnosed with having Hashimoto’s you need your GP to take a blood test from you. The pharmaceutical management of Hashimoto’s is the same as treating someone with an underactive thyroid and that is to go on medication, synthetic form of the thyroxine hormone, thyroxine is referred to as T4 in your blood work and  is the main hormone secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland.

There are many lifestyle changes that you can start implementing into your daily routine that can help to support your thyroid, from the foods that you eat, managing stress, supplements, exercise, sleep and listening to your body and what it is telling you.

[1] Garber JR, Cobin RH, Garib H, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocrine Practice. 2012;18(6):988–1028

[2] Caturegli P, DeRemigis A, Rose NR. Hashimoto thyroiditis: clinical and diagnostic criteria. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2014;13(4-5):391–397.

Disclaimer: I am not medically trained so please take the information provided here as educational purpose. I strongly recommend to go and talk to your GP, Doctor, Endocrinologist or medical profession. Start the conversation and get involved in your health and wellness.
Balancing Hormone #2 – Daily changes

Balancing Hormone #2 – Daily changes

Following on from last weeks blog post on Balancing Hormones this week we are going to look at the steps we can take in our day to day life to help us reach optimum wellness.

Some people like to change one thing at a time and once they are consistent with that change they introduce a new element. Other people like to do a full overhaul and change everything all at once. There is no right or wrong way, it is whatever suits you and what you can realistically do consistently overtime is where you will reap the rewards.

The areas that need to be looked at for hormonal balance are;

  1. The foods you eat
  2. Stress
  3. Water
  4. Sleep
  5. Removal of toxins in your home
  6. Physical activity and exercise

This week we will focus on; the foods you eat, stress and water.

1. The Foods we eat

The old saying “we are what we eat” and especially “Let food be thy medicine” rings true when it comes to looking after our bodies. When you are trying to balance hormones it’s important not to go on a weight loss diet or skip meals, it is important to eat high quality foods with lots of nutrients.

What we eat plays a massively important role in our overall health and wellbeing and is vital for hormone balance as your body needs the building blocks to make hormones properly. Fuel your body with good nutrient dense foods, eating enough of the right foods and limiting the not so good food.

GO FOR Nutrient dense foods are high in nutrients but low in calories. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Examples of nutrient-dense foods are foods that are close to their natural state and include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts. Where possible and what your budget allows for I would recommend that you buy organic products which are thankfully becoming more widely available.

Avoid foods like sugar, sweeteners, caffeine, vegetable oils and processed foods as they can disrupt your body’s hormones.

Don’t focus on what you are not eating anymore, but rather on all the high quality foods that your body needs and will thank you for.

2. Stress

Stress affects us all, stress isn’t always a bad thing, however when your body is in a constant state of being stressed or long term stress this can damage your health.  When you are stressed your adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol into the body, too much of this can lead to certain health issues and have a knock on effect on your immune system, making you prone to reoccurring infections, colds and flus.

The symptoms of stress are;

  • Sleep issues – lack of sleep, too much sleep, too little sleep
  • Digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • High blood pressure and or palapatations
  • Muscle tension such as back, neck, shoulders, jaw (TMJ)
  • Depression and moodiness
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Infertility
  • Menstrual problems such as lack of period or irregular cycle

10 steps you can take to reduce stress and help rebalance hormones: Remember consistently doing a positive action over time will give you benefits.

  1. Take some time out for just yourself, a walk, a relaxing bath, guided mediation, journal writing, focusing on a hobby, listen to your favourite music
  2. Follow the healthy eating advise above
  3. Improve your sleep quality (see below)
  4. Get active for 30 minutes a day
  5. Be positive – fake it til you make it if you have to! A gratitude journal helps with this.
  6. Having a sense of purpose in whatever you are doing can make the effects of stress more manageable
  7. Declutter your home and work environment
  8. Spend some time in nature
  9. Reconnect with your family and friends.
  10. Identify the areas that are causing you stress and work out how to reduce the stress.

Regular treatments such as Reflexology and Holistic Massage can help with destressing.

3. Sleep

Getting enough sleep for your body is paramount to a healthy lifestyle and balanced hormones. How much sleep you have a night has an effect on your immune system. How much sleep does YOUR body need? and are you getting that amount?

Most people need at least 8 hours of sleep, however, if your hormones are out of balance, you might need as much as 10 hours per night for a while but once they settle back you might be able to reduce this. Go with what your body is telling you.

Figure out what time you have to get up in the morning and how many hours of sleep you need and work backwards. Take note of how you feel in the morning when you get up? Do you need more sleep?

Do you find that those weekend lies in leave you feeling out of sorts and maybe with a headache or increase in appetite? Sleep experts recommend that we go to sleep around the same time each night and wake around the same time each morning.

To be continued next week….. stay tuned

Next week we will look at; Sleep, Removal of toxins in your home and Physical activity and exercise.

 Anita

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information shared here is for informational purposes only and should not be taking as medical advise, I am not a doctor. If you have an ongoing complain, on medication, over weight, under weight or just unsure about making any changes to your current lifestyle, I would strongly advise you to speak to your GP and let them know of the changes that you intend on making. I always recommend to do your own research, follow up on anything you found interesting and make up your own mind on the changes you wish to implement. 

 

The weight of the world

The weight of the world

You know that saying “I have the weight on the world on my shoulders”? Well, It is a very real feeling, we tend to carry our physical and emotional stress right around our head, neck, shoulders, and back area.

weightoftheworld

Shoulder pain, neck pain, knots in the upper back, tension and tightness in the neck and back, seem to be one of the most common complaints I hear from clients.

As many of us do we tend to put off looking after this niggling discomfort and learn to live with it until it becomes almost unbearable.  Tension across your shoulders, neck and up to your head can lead to headaches (including migraine headaches) and back pain. If left untreated, this tension can also lead to the development of poor posture.

By working on the head, neck and shoulder areas collectively represent a de-stressing programme for the whole body. A holistic massage or an Indian head massage and indeed reflexology can all help ease the symptoms of stress and tight muscles.

Benefits of regular massage treatments either holistic massage or Indian head massage are;

  • Decrease tension in the muscles
  • Improve flexibility in the area
  • Help reduce pain caused by tightness
  • Helps improve sleep
  • It just feels good – It’s always nice to take some time out for yourself and get an hour away from life and social media.

Regular treatments can definitely help ease the tension and help reduce stress. However, I would always encourage client’s to look towards their lifestyle and see if they can identify areas of stress, or physical stress such as repetitive movement or action and address these issues. It’s really important that we all take ownership of our own wellbeing and as much as I advocate the benefits of regular treatments, the problem won’t go away unless you get to the root cause.

To arrange a consultation and or appointment please contact Anita on 087-1917907