In one of my latest blog posts 'Living with an Autoimmune Disease' I spoke about the importance of finding your triggers for your auto immune condition. You will go through stages where you creep back up the scale of inflammation and need to try and climb your way back down again. This is made easier by knowing what these triggers are and how we can combat them.
Since this blog post I have had many people ask "well how do I find my trigger?" This is a great question and can be so incredibly different from person to person. It could be dietary, environmental or for some people both. For example my environmental trigger is stress. I certainly don't consider myself a stressful person however I can hold stress internally when I have a lot on my plate. Those around me would never know, but because it holds in my body it can trigger my Hashimotos. From a dietary stand point, gluten is my trigger and I can guarantee anyone else with thyroid conditions (particularly Hashimotos), this will be a trigger of yours too.
What are some other common triggers:
- New research has also shown that gut and more specifically leaky gut can certainly be a contributing factor to thyroid. A rise in thyroid antibodies can occur when the body sends an autoimmune response to food fragments that have entered the bloodstream.
- We briefly spoke about stress. But stress leads to high cortisol levels and can reduce the conversion of T4 to T3.
- You have suffered from a bad virus such as Glandular fever or a bacterial, parasitic, fungal or yeast infections
- Some women during pregnancy develop hypothyroidism, often because they produce antibodies to their own thyroid gland.
- Environmental factors such as mould, toxins or other heavy metals.
- Hormone levels. High oestrogen can interfere with thyroid hormone production.
- High intake of Iodine can cause a host of autoimmune issues. Iodine is important for thyroid hormone production however it is important to test your levels as we are all unique individuals.
- On the flip side Iodine deficiency is a trigger because as mentioned iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones.
- Gluten can be an ongoing trigger for thyroid diseases, especially Hashimoto’s.
- Sweeteners such as saccharine (Sweet'N Low), sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) cause harm on the gut microbiome which can lead to autoimmunity.
Now that you know some of the most common thyroid condition triggers it is time to reflex and work out yours. You may need to keep a food and symptom diary for 1 - 3 months while you work this out. But by working out your triggers, we are able to get on top of our conditions far quicker by treating the trigger, which in turn will treat the condition. Ask questions such as when was the last time your condition flared up? What was different around this time?
I hope this has been helpful for you.
For more information or help overcoming or living your best life with an autoimmune condition click here.
My initial consultation involves an in-depth look into your history and condition. This will go from up to an hour. It is then followed with a plan on the best way to move forward from a nutritional and lifestyle perspective based on your personal experience.