Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

Autoimmune diseases considered epidemic today

Although few doctors know how to successfully manage autoimmune disease — a condition in which the immune system attacks the body — researchers say it has become a modern epidemic, affecting more people than heart disease and cancer combined. Conventional medicine also argues autoimmune disease has mysterious origins and is primarily genetic, but again research paints a different picture — autoimmune disease has largely been traced to the tens of thousands of toxic chemicals in our environment. It takes the average person ... Read more

Statins raise diabetes risk; what to do instead of drugs

You’ve been told you need to lower your cholesterol, but did you know taking a statin could raise your risk of type 2 diabetes? A recent study of almost 9,000 people in their 60s showed that statin use increased the risk of diabetes by almost 40 percent. Statin use was also associated with a higher risk for elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). While the brand of statin subjects took didn’t seem to matter, risk was higher in overweight and ... Read more

Pregnancy or postpartum can trigger hypothyroidism

For many women, the onset of their hypothyroid symptoms began either during pregnancy or just after. Most of these women went on to be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Pregnancy often triggers Hashimoto’s due to normal shifts in immunity that cause an already beleaguered immune system to tip out of control and begin attacking the thyroid gland. Factors that can contribute to developing Hashimoto’s around pregnancy or childbirth include shifts in immune function during ... Read more

How to support your brain’s “happiness” chemical

Many people take SSRI antidepressants for depression. However, it’s important to ask why you are feeling depression in the first place. Many important research strides have been made linking chronic inflammation, poor gut health, gut bacteria, and general brain health with depression. However, we still need healthy serotonin activity, the target of SSRIs, to feel good. Do you have these symptoms of low serotonin? No longer finding joy, pleasure, or enthusiasm in life Rage and anger Depression Depression related to lack of sunlight No ... Read more

Gut bacteria play a role in anorexia; eating disorders

People with eating disorders such as anorexia simply do not experience hunger and satiety in the same way people who have a healthy relationship with food do. New research suggests that the composition of gut bacteria, or the gut microbiome, may play a role in the behavioral aspects of anorexia and eating disorders. For instance, previous research shows a connection between mood disorders such as depression and poor gut microbiome diversity. Less than half of people with eating disorders fully recover, ... Read more

How to support your brain’s “happiness” chemical

Many people take SSRI antidepressants for depression. However, it’s important to ask why you are feeling depression in the first place. Many important research strides have been made linking chronic inflammation, poor gut health, gut bacteria, and general brain health with depression. However, we still need healthy serotonin activity, the target of SSRIs, to feel good. Do you have these symptoms of low serotonin? No longer finding joy, pleasure, or enthusiasm in life Rage and anger Depression Depression related to lack of sunlight No longer enjoy hobbies, favorite foods, ... Read more

Test for gluten intolerance if you have Hashimoto’s

Numerous studies show a strong link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland, causing hypothyroidism. This is because gluten has a molecular structure that closely resembles thyroid tissue — gluten sensitivity triggers an attack on the thyroid gland. Gluten (technically, the correct term is gliadin), is the protein found in wheat and wheat-like grains, such as spelt, kamut, rye, barley, triticale, and oats. One of the immune system’s primary jobs is to protect the body ... Read more

Viruses trigger celiac disease and other autoimmunities

Autoimmune disease is a modern epidemic in which your body’s immune system, which normally helps defend you from pathogens, mistakenly attacks your own organs and tissues. Current research tells us multiple factors can play a role in causing autoimmunity, including viruses. More recently, a virus has been linked with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which symptoms are triggered by eating gluten. Celiac disease linked with normally harmless virus in humans Celiac disease affects one in 133 people in the United States, however ... Read more

Manage Hashimoto’s by supporting T reg cells

When it comes to autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, dampening inflammation and immune attacks on the thyroid is the primary goal. One of the most powerful allies in this quest is to support your regulatory T cells (T reg cells). These are immune cells that do what their name implies — they help regulate the immune system. This means they play a role in either activating or dampening inflammation. The good news is that when it comes to Hashimoto’s, we can do many ... Read more

Navigating the holidays when you have Hashimoto’s

If you are on an elimination diet for your Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, the holidays might be a source of serious anxiety. Sticking to a specialized diet can be enough of a challenge on a normal day. When we add in travel, unfamiliar restaurants and grocery stores, family events and social outings, the challenge — and potential consequences — can seem insurmountable. However, with some good planning you can not only survive but thrive during the holiday season. Below are time-tested suggestions to help ... Read more

How to Tell if Your Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s

Your doctor says you have hypothyroidism and this explains feeling like crap, the crazy weight gain, and your distressing hair loss. But how do you know if Hashimoto’s is causing your hypothyroidism? Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system is attacking and destroying the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s is responsible for more than 90 percent of hypothyroid cases. Chances are strong it’s the cause of your low thyroid function too. But if your doctor does not want to screen for Hashimoto’s or ... Read more

Why antacids may not help acid reflux with Hashimoto’s

While most doctors prescribe antacids to lower stomach acid for heart burn and acid reflux, the real culprit may be that your stomach acid is already too low. This is called hypochlorhydria and it plays a role in autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Sufficient stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid (HCl), is necessary to: Protect the body from pathogens. When we consume food, bacteria and other microorganisms come along with it. Stomach acid helps neutralize the ones we don't want in our bodies. ... Read more

Test your thyroid levels in the morning for best results

If you’re getting your TSH levels checked to monitor your thyroid health, it’s best to get that done in the morning. Otherwise your results may come back normal even though you have hypothyroidism. All the body’s hormones follow a daily rhythm, including thyroid hormone. This means there are times of the day when it naturally higher or lower. Researchers tested the blood of hypothyroid subjects both before 8 a.m. and again between 2 and 4 p.m. In hypothyroid patients both untreated and on ... Read more

Defending adrenal fatigue from doctors’ dismissals

If you struggle with chronic exhaustion, insomnia, poor immunity, and persistent low blood sugar symptoms, you likely have poor function of the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys and secrete stress hormones. However, your conventional doctor may have told you there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue based on guidance from The Hormone Foundation. What they may not understand is that there is a continuum of adrenal function and that the brain plays a role in adrenal fatigue. The debate ... Read more

Do you feel more depressed in the summer?

Most everyone has heard of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, when winter brings on chronic blues. But if you feel better in winter than summer, you may have summer SAD, also called reverse SAD. While the jury is still out on the causes of summer SAD, there are ways to get through the season with more energy, better sleep, and improved mood. Although both winter and summer SAD and summer SAD share symptoms of sadness and anxiety, they diverge in potential causes ... Read more

New food sensititivies? Look at loss of oral tolerance

If you have an autoimmune condition, you may be familiar with restricted diets such as the autoimmune protocol (AIP), GAPs, or FODMAPs. These diets can significantly reduce inflammation, help you determine food sensitivities, and address root causes of mysterious symptoms. However, some people experience little to no improvement and may even get new food sensitivities. The culprit could be loss of oral tolerance. The good news is you can start improving your oral tolerance now so you react to fewer foods. There are ... Read more

Every cell needs vitamin D yet most people deficient

Vitamin D is one of the few nutrients we can't get enough of from food. Our bodies are designed to make vitamin D from sunlight, yet modern life has made that difficult. The result is a worldwide 50 percent deficiency in vitamin D, even in sunny locations. Why we can't get enough of the sunshine vitamin While some foods contain vitamin D, our main source is supposed to be sun exposure and we synthesize it using cholesterol. However, certain factors stand in the way: Reduced ... Read more

Too much salt nukes your gut bacteria and inflames you

A high-salt diet has long been connected with cardiovascular disease. Too much sodium in the bloodstream causes fluid retention, which makes the heart work harder to move the extra volume of blood. This can stiffen blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. However, a recent study shows a high-salt diet also raises blood pressure by damaging healthy gut bacteria. This destruction increases the inflammation that contributes to high blood pressure and the development of autoimmune ... Read more

Is Hashimoto’s causing your hypothyroidism?

If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, how do you know if it’s caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease? Although about 90 percent of hypothyroidism cases in the United States are caused by Hashimoto’s, most doctors do not test for it. Why? Because it does not change their treatment. However, it’s vitally important for you to know whether you have Hashimoto’s to stop the damage to your thyroid and prevent other autoimmune diseases. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in which the immune ... Read more

Optimizing your body’s best defense against toxins

You’ve heard antioxidant foods and supplements can help fight inflammation and protect you from toxins, but the most important antioxidant is one we make in our own bodies: glutathione. Unlike common antioxidant sources — vitamins C and E, beta carotene, turmeric, resveratrol, and foods such as blueberries, tomatoes, and red wine — you can’t take plain glutathione as it’s too hard to absorb. However, you can take glutathione precursors or special forms of glutathione that can be absorbed by the body. Glutathione: the ... Read more

Feeling alone with Hashimoto’s? Celebrities have it too

One of the worst things about an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is how alone it can make you feel. Most autoimmune diseases do not have outwardly obvious symptoms. People with Hashimoto’s, most of whom are women, also know not to complain lest they be labeled a whiner or lazy. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see an acclaimed and accomplished actor openly discuss the challenges of autoimmune Hashimoto’s. Gina Rodriguez, star of the television series Jane the Virgin and the ... Read more

Is your brain not working but your neurologist says you’re fine?

Is your brain not working, severely impacting your quality of life, but it’s not bad enough to warrant medical treatment? It is very distressing when you become increasingly moody, you keep losing your keys or forgetting where you parked the car, or you’re tired and always in pain. However, chances are if you see a doctor or neurologist for these issues, testing will show you’re fine. You may even be told it’s normal to feel that way. In functional neurology we take ... Read more

Antacids raise stomach cancer risk; address the root cause

A recent study found regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for acid reflux raises the risk of stomach cancer. PPI users (Prilosec, Prevacid) in the study had twice the risk for stomach cancer compared to those who used H2-receptor acid reducing drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid). About 20 percent of Americans suffer with acid reflux and heartburn. Most people attribute acid reflux to excess stomach acid. However, the problem is too little stomach acid. How does low stomach acid cause acid reflux? The stomach ... Read more

Mystery symptoms autoimmune? How to find out

Do you have mysterious health symptoms — such as fatigue, pain, brain fog, unexplained weight gain — that rob you of your quality of life, but lab tests and doctors keep saying nothing is wrong? Or maybe doctors tell you your chronic symptoms are depression and you need an antidepressant. Maybe you’ve even been accused of complaining too much. Most people know when something is wrong with them, even if lab tests come back normal and doctors say you’re fine. This is ... Read more

Stress can cause PMS, menopause problems, and more

It’s not easy being female — the hormonal ups and downs each month through puberty and then menopause can range from mildly irritating to downright debilitating. Although many, if not most, women suffer from some degree of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), the extreme health and mood imbalances associated with PMS and menopause are a sign your system is out of whack, most likely because of stress. Hormone balance is very sensitive to stress, inflammation, toxins, poor diet, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, too ... Read more

Study shows diet tames Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism

A recent study showed a low-carbohydrate, whole foods diet low in inflammatory foods significantly decreases thyroid antibodies — the marker for autoimmune thyroid disease, or Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland; it is the cause of about 90 percent of hypothyroid cases. This study is further evidence you can profoundly influence autoimmune Hashimoto’s through diet and lifestyle interventions. In the three-week study, almost 200 people with Hashimoto’s were divided into two groups. One group followed ... Read more

Study confirms autoimmune paleo (AIP) diet works

A recent study confirmed what functional medicine has long since known — the autoimmune paleo (AIP) diet is highly successful for managing chronic health disorders. The first-of-its-kind study showed the majority of participants quickly achieved and maintained remission of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis on the AIP diet. A number of participants were even able to discontinue drug therapies. Many people follow the AIP diet to manage not just Crohn’s but also chronic pain, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, skin rashes such ... Read more

Handling store receipts raises levels of toxic BPA

A new study that had subjects handle store receipts showed BPA absorbed through the skin stays in the body much longer than ingested BPA. The study had subjects handle common store receipts for five minutes, then wear gloves for two hours before washing their hands. BPA measurements in the subjects’ urine showed BPA levels highest for the first two days after handling the receipts. After one week, three of the six volunteers still showed BPA in their urine. However, when the subjects ate ... Read more

Could you be developing an autoimmune disease?

You could be developing an autoimmune disease, one of the most common diseases today, and are not aware of it. This is because autoimmune diseases sometimes start off as “silent” autoimmunity. This means your immune system is attacking tissue in your body but the damage isn’t bad enough to cause symptoms yet. Autoimmune disease is more common than cancer and heart disease combined, and that’s just the diagnosed cases. Many, if not most, cases of autoimmunity are happening without a diagnosis. This is ... Read more

Ignored by doctors, women choose functional medicine

Ignored by Conventional Doctors, Women Choose Functional Medicine It doesn’t take long once you learn about functional medicine to realize it attracts primarily women. Why? Chronic disorders affect more women than men and conventional medicine’s treatment of women often ranges from disappointing to dehumanizing. Conventional Medicine Failing Women When women show up at doctors’ offices with “mystery” symptoms from chronic disorders, they are often left feeling demoralized and hopeless. What are some of areas where conventional medicine fails women? Mystery symptoms dismissed as psychosomatic or whining. ... Read more

Extreme exercise is good for you, right? Not exactly

If you want to get fit and lose weight, you should exercise as hard as you can, for as long as you can, every day, right? Wrong! Research shows extreme exercise can cause chronic health problems and make you feel worse. (What constitutes over exercise depends on the individual and their fitness level.) Recovery time is as important as the exercise itself. Over exercising can cause the following health issues: Increased inflammation Fatigued adrenals, the stress-handling glands More bad gut bacteria Leaky gut Depleted hormones Depressed immunity Increased risk of injury Bone ... Read more

Nitric oxide for autoimmune and chronic disorders

When it comes to autoimmune disease and other chronic health conditions, taming inflammation is the name of the game. This can be difficult because the body creates vicious cycles where inflammation keeps feeding more inflammation. This makes halting the progression of autoimmune disease and chronic health issues difficult…but not impossible. However, we now know about nutritional ingredients that can boost anti-inflammatory efforts. These ingredients act on two inflammatory immune messengers called “nitrous oxide” and “IL-17.” IL-17 is a pro-inflammatory immune cell that damages ... Read more

Hemorrhoids bumming you out? Look at root causes

It’s an embarrassing subject we like to put behind us, but hemorrhoids can be a real bummer, with the pain of sitting butting into everyday tasks. Although hemorrhoids tend to run in families, certain measures can prevent your backside from continually taking front and center. Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and rectum that cause pain from sitting, squatting, going to the bathroom, and other ordinary things. In addition to pain, other symptoms include bleeding, the urge for a ... Read more

Gluten is the first thing to go with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism diagnosis

Hypothyroidism has received a lot of attention online since the publication of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian in 2009. While many facets should be addressed in managing hypothyroidism, one of the most important continues to be a gluten-free diet. Research shows ninety percent of hypothyroidism cases are due to an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. This disease is called Hashimoto’s. Most doctors do not test for Hashimoto’s because it does not change treatment, which is thyroid ... Read more

Unresolved Thyroid Symptoms? 5 things you NEED to know

Every year millions of people (mostly women) head to their MD for some combination of the most common complaints related to Hypothyroidism: Fatigue Cold hands and feet Weight gain Poor sleep Brain fog Hair loss Depression And more... But despite being put on thyroid medication, the symptoms of hypothyroidism can continue to persistent, even if someone's lab tests are normal! How can that be? Read on for the top five reasons you might have unresolved symptoms of hypothyroidism. REASON #1:Your doctor doesn't understand the ... Read more

Best Labs for Thyroid Evaluation

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What is leaky gut and why should you care?

Does stuff really leak out of your intestines when you have leaky gut? The truth is, contents of the small intestine escape through the wall into the bloodstream. This can trigger many different inflammatory disorders and autoimmune disease, a disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys body tissue. Leaky gut is associated with symptoms including: Skin problems (eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, etc.) Chronic pain Autoimmune disease Puffiness Fatigue Brain fog Depression Anxiety disorders Poor memory Asthma Food allergies and sensitivities Seasonal allergies Fungal infections Migraines Arthritis PMS and other hormonal issues Leaky gut, referred to as intestinal ... Read more

3 Tips for Wellness Success in 2017

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What is functional medicine? Look for the root cause

You may have noticed the term “functional medicine” becoming more popular. What is functional medicine and how is it different from regular medicine? Functional medicine addresses health disorders by looking at their root causes rather than masking symptoms with drugs or surgery. By looking at root causes, you improve your energy, sleep, vitality, and even libido. This is why seeing a functional medicine doctor for a gut problem can also improve your brain function and hormone issues. Everything in the body works ... Read more

Can’t lose weight? Look at underlying health issues

Do you keep trying weight loss diets but can’t seem to drop the pounds? Are you instead exhausted and frustrated by an ever growing layer of fat? Calorie-restricted diets have been popular for decades as a way to lose weight, but clearly more is at play as many people under eat and still can’t lose weight or keep it off. If you’re doing everything right and the fat isn’t budging, the culprit may lie in underlying health issues slowing metabolism and blocking fat ... Read more

BPA may trigger autoimmune damage to nerves

If you handle store receipts or use plastics (who doesn’t?), brace yourself for some disturbing new findings about BPA (bisphenol-A), the toxin in plastics and store receipts. A new study shows BPA is linked with an autoimmune reaction that destroys the lining of nerves. Autoimmune nerve sheath degeneration is connected to autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), neuropathy, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Previous research has shown blood levels of BPA spike after handling store receipts for just five seconds, and that the toxin ... Read more

Natural antihistamines shown to provide relief

If you dread allergy season, then you know what it’s like to suffer from itchy skin, red eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, and headaches. Likewise, you may react to certain foods with hives, headaches, nasal congestion, skin problems, a racing heart, or irritability. What is the common denominator in both scenarios? Histamines. While many people just give up and suffer, some natural compounds can bring relief. To understand why these natural remedies work, it’s helpful to understand a bit about histamines. What are ... Read more

A functional medicine viewpoint on birth control pills

If you take birth control pills, it’s important to understand how oral contraceptives can affect your hormone balancing, your liver, your thyroid, and your brain. This functional medicine viewpoint can help you make an informed decision about contraception, or give you insight into buffering potential consequences. Birth control pills flood the body with an unnatural amount of hormones that are also synthetic. This can imbalance the body in a number of ways. Your body’s hormone balance depends on finely nuanced communication between the ... Read more

Cyrex Labs – How to prep so you don’t waste money

Cyrex Labs is at the cutting edge of lab testing for things like Leaky Gut, Autoimmunity, Gluten Cross Reactivity and food sensitivities. It’s a frustrating but not uncommon scenario: You struggle with food or chemical sensitivities, suspected autoimmunity, and leaky gut symptoms. You plunk down hundreds of dollars (or more) for state-of-the-art testing from Cyrex Labs, eager for specific guidance. And all the results come back negative. Or they all come back positive. Either way, you’re poorer and still clueless about the specifics ... Read more

Star Trek’s Zoe Saldano needs better Hashimoto’s info

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How to use functional medicine to boost your libido

We often think of good health in terms of blood pressure or cholesterol levels, but your libido is also an important indicator. If yours has gone missing, it could be a red flag that important underlying health issues need to be addressed. People who turn to functional medicine for other health issues, such as low thyroid function, an autoimmune disorder, or depression, often report a boost in their libido thanks to their protocol. Of course, it’s natural to expect low libido following a ... Read more

A hidden trigger of autoimmunity: Too much salt

Those with high blood pressure and heart disease know to avoid salt, but researchers have learned salt comes with another risk — too much alters immune cells in a way that promotes autoimmune disease. Examples of autoimmune disease include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune disease rates have skyrocketed in recent years, affecting more people than heart disease and cancer combined. Although salt is not in itself harmful, Americans are guilty of eating way too much salt, ... Read more

Trapped in a hostile marriage? Know that stress triggers inflammation.

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Use nitric oxide to tame inflammation in body and brain

If you have an autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation, or signs of brain inflammation (such as brain fog), you may have noticed it can be tough to tame the inflammation. This is because the body can get trapped in vicious cycles that feed the inflammation. Luckily, researchers have pinpointed what perpetuates these cycles and ways to stop them. They include targeting two immune messengers called “nitrous oxide” and “IL-17.” The immune system triggers inflammation by releasing an immune messenger called IL-17. IL-17 triggers other ... Read more

Think being gluten-free is a fad? Think again

You’d have to live under a rock to not recognize the popularity of gluten-free diets by now. But if you think going gluten-free is just another fad, think again. Although it may be a passing fad for some, a gluten-free diet is powerful medicine for most. The benefits, which attain almost miraculous heights for some people, vary depending on the person. A gluten sensitivity is not a one-size-fits-all disorder with requisite symptoms. Contrary to popular belief, it does not simply cause digestive complaints ... Read more

Still have unresolved thyroid symptoms?

Your doctor says your hypothyroid condition has been treated, but do you still suffer from symptoms of low thyroid function? Fatigue Weight gain Hair loss Constipation Depression Memory loss Cold hands and feet If so, you may suffer from Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid bland. Hypothyroidism is usually caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease (more…) Read more

Don’t let travel derail your autoimmune management

Managing an autoimmune condition is hard enough. Throw in holiday travel, staying with relatives, meals out, and exhaustion, and autoimmune management goes to a new level of difficulty. However, failing to follow your plan can wreck the holidays with symptom flares or an energy crash. What to do? First, take a deep breath and adopt a no-stress, can-do attitude. Just as at home, good autoimmune management simply requires some advance planning and strategic thinking. Here are some tips to help you manage your ... Read more

Five things doctors don’t tell you about depression

Do you suffer from depression? People succumb to depression for different reasons. It’s important to look for the underlying cause of your depression. Consider these five: 1. Poor communication between brain cells Depression happens when neurons in certain areas of the brain don’t communicate well with each other, or “fire.” This causes poor brain function and symptoms of depression. Many factors cause poor firing in the brain, which I’ll talk about more in this article. The primary question when you have symptoms of depression is, ... Read more

Five things you can address that cause insomnia

It seems almost everyone has insomnia these days, including, possibly, you. People either can’t fall asleep, they wake up after a few hours of sleep and can’t go back asleep, or they aren’t able to sleep deeply. The reasons for insomnia vary from person to person, but it’s typically not due to a sleeping pill deficiency. Instead, the reasons behind insomnia or poor sleep can be startlingly straightforward, although addressing them may take some diet and lifestyle changes. In this article I’ll go ... Read more

Five little-known things that make autoimmunity worse

If you are managing your autoimmune disease through diet and lifestyle, then you probably know about the autoimmune diet  supplements, non-toxic home and body products, and getting enough rest. But are you aware of hidden sources of stress that may be triggering autoimmune flares? Common autoimmune diseases today include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and pernicious anemia. However, there are many more. Research increasingly shows the connection between autoimmune disease and food sensitivities (such as to gluten) and ... Read more

Think you don’t need a gallbladder? Think again

Have you been told you don’t need your gallbladder? Think again. Sure, you’ll live without it, but the gallbladder is actually a vital digestive organ. The gallbladder stores bile, a chemical made by the liver that emulsifies fat, and secretes it into the small intestine when needed. Bile is necessary for the digestion and absorption of fats, and it helps ensure you absorb vitamins and minerals from foods in your diet. Gallstones and a congested gallbladder Gallbladder removal is one of the most common surgeries ... Read more

Do you have an inflamed brain? How to tell and what to do

When most people think of inflammation they think of arthritic joints, or maybe a sprained ankle. But did you know your brain can become inflamed, too? The problem is an inflamed brain won’t hurt. Instead you should look for other symptoms of brain inflammation. These include brain fog, slow thinking, fatigue, and depression. Brain fog is a hallmark symptom of brain inflammation. The inflammation slows down communication between neurons. This is what causes you to feel foggy, dull, and slow. Brain inflammation is serious because ... Read more

Seven reasons exercise recovery can be difficult

If recovering from exercise is so difficult it feels like it’s ruining your days and sapping your motivation, you may be suffering from loss of exercise tolerance. Exercise is supposed to make you feel better and give you more energy, not make you feel worse. The occasional off day is nothing to worry about, but if you find you’re consistently having a hard time handling your workouts, it’s important to find out why. Symptoms of poor exercise recovery Can’t complete normal workouts Difficulty recovering after ... Read more

If you have autoimmunity you need to look at leaky gut

One of the primary things we look for when someone has autoimmunity is leaky gut, a condition in which the intestinal wall is damaged, as it is usually a key factor. Autoimmunity is an extremely common disorder today in which the immune system attacks and destroys part of the body. Common autoimmune disorders include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and vitiligo. However, there are many more. What is leaky gut? Leaky gut, a condition in which ... Read more

Mystery symptoms? Lab testing can reveal whether it’s autoimmune

Do you have chronic, mysterious symptoms that drag your life down but your lab tests come back normal? You may have an autoimmune reaction, a disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys a part of your body. Autoimmunity can strike any tissue or compound in the body and symptoms will vary based on the part of the body attacked. However, people with autoimmunity have many symptoms in common: Extreme fatigue Muscle weakness Swollen Glands Inflammation Allergies Digestive problems Memory problems Headaches Low-grade fevers Conventional medicine has yet to fully recognize ... Read more

Fight underlying causes of allergies for lasting relief

The end of winter seems like a good thing until your allergies go haywire. If you’re tired of allergy meds and always feeling stuffed up and zonked out, consider lasting relief by healing your gut to balance your immune system. It’s hard to believe your digestive tract can affect your sinuses, but both systems are similar as they serve as the body’s defense from the outside world. Plus, the digestive tract serves as a hub for the immune system. When you’ve got ... Read more

Hashimoto’s and autoimmunity linked to autism

Managing your hypothyroidism isn’t just about losing weight and having warm hands and feet. If you’re a woman who could get pregnant, it could play a role in whether you have a child with autism. A 2015 Finnish study that looked at risk factors associated with autism found that women who tested positive for autoimmune hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, were more 80 percent more likely to give birth to a child who developed autism than women who did not. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in ... Read more

Why diets don’t work and what you can do about it

After studying dieting for 20 years, a researcher concluded diets simply don’t work, a fact countless Americans have spent 20-plus years of their own lives validating. Why? Dieting is constructed around faulty principles that defy human biology and psychology. The “calories in versus calories out” model fails to account for hormonal shifts during weight loss, the psychological consequences of deprivation, and the futility of willpower when it comes to eating. In a nutshell, the human body has mechanisms in place designed to compensate for starvation. Three ... Read more

Hashimoto’s not improving? Here are 10 reasons why

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Do you sometimes “crash” with debilitating fatigue?

Do you “crash” after a busy or stressful event, suffering from extreme exhaustion that keeps you confined to your bed or couch? Do these crashes last anywhere from a day to a week or even longer? If so, you’re not alone and you may suffer from autoimmunity, a condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys tissue in the body. (Which tissue depends on genetics and the type of autoimmunity you have.) In fact, a recent survey of almost 8,000 autoimmune patients found ... Read more

North to south through the gut – what can go wrong

We live in a time of unprecedented abundance of food and medical advances yet we are sicker than ever. It is considered normal to suffer from insomnia, PMS, depression, chronic pain, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, and so on. But in reality these are our bodies’ warning signs that something is wrong. “All disease begins in the gut,” said Hippocrates. Understanding digestion helps you understand why you stay well or get sick. From north to south Digestion starts in the brain. When your brain gets the ... Read more

BPAs in store receipts can trigger autoimmunity and other health issues

BPA (bisphenol-A) is gaining recognition as an undesirable toxin that people now try to avoid in plastics, particularly water bottles. But it’s harder to avoid than you think – research shows handling those seemingly innocuous store receipts quickly raises blood levels of BPA. BPA on store receipts Store and fast food receipts, ATM receipts, airline tickets, gas station receipts, and other thermal papers use large amounts of BPA on the surface as a print developer. Holding a receipt coated with BPA for just five seconds is enough ... Read more

Did stress push you off the healthy habits wagon? How to get back on track

It seems the times when we most need to support ourselves with healthy habits is when we are most apt to fall off the wagon. It can happen during major life changes or stressors, such as a move, the end of a relationship, or change in job status. Although the desire to comfort ourselves with sweets, junk foods, and too many days off from the gym are powerful, in the long run slacking off just adds to the stress. Instead of ... Read more

Combine resveratrol and curcumin for maximum inflammation-quenching

When it comes to battling inflammation and autoimmunity, research shows resveratrol and curcumin work better when taken together than separately. Supplemental resveratrol is derived from Japanese knotweed and the compound is also found in the skin of red grapes. Curcumin is derived from the curry spice turmeric. Both are well known for their antioxidant, inflammation-quenching qualities when taken in therapeutic doses — simply eating curry or drinking wine are not going to impart much beneficial effect. Studies of the compounds look at ... Read more

How to stick to the autoimmune, or leaky gut, diet

So you’ve either just gotten the results back from your food sensitivity test or your practitioner says you need to follow the autoimmune diet, also called the leaky gut diet, to manage your autoimmunity. The autoimmune diet comes as a shock to many due its strict limitations and compliance can be tough. The trick to sticking to the autoimmune diet is understanding how to work with your mind to establish new habits. Although a goal is important — say someone wants to manage her Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, ... Read more

Why pregnancy can trigger Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and other autoimmune diseases

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Is “silent” autoimmunity causing your mysterious symptoms?

Autoimmune disease has become frighteningly common today. This degenerative condition, which can affect any tissue in the body or brain, happens when the immune system attacks and destroys the body as if it were a foreign invader. Chances are either you or someone you know has an autoimmune disease. Some of the more commonly known autoimmune diseases include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and psoriasis. Although the statistics for autoimmune disease are alarming enough — ... Read more

Lazy and unmotivated? It’s your health, not your personality

Are you lazy and unmotivated? Do you have plenty to do, yet spend all your time watching TV or goofing around online, and then beat yourself up for it? Your lack of motivation could signal chronic health issues more so than regrettable character flaws. Although we all need some degree of discipline, life’s daily duties shouldn’t feel like insurmountable chores. Good health means you have the energy, motivation, and desire to not only manage daily life, but also make in time ... Read more

Lost libido can signal need for health tune-up

Do you vaguely remember a time when you had a libido? Sexual desire is a sign of good health and if yours is absent, it may be your body needs a tune up. Of course major stressors, traumas, bad relationships, raising babies, and other chaotic intrusions can squash your libido, but you should otherwise consider it a normal part of life. If yours has gone missing it’s your body’s way of raising a red flag to gain your attention. People who use ... Read more

What is leaky gut and why should you care?

Leaky gut conjures unpleasant imagery of intestinal contents spilling into the body. Unfortunately, that is pretty much what happens, and the results are a wide array of chronic health issues. When compounds from the intestines pass through a damaged gut wall into the sterile environment of the bloodstream, they can trigger various health conditions: skin problems, joint pain, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, mysterious symptoms, puffiness, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety disorders, poor memory, asthma, food allergies and sensitivities, seasonal allergies, fungal ... Read more

Too little stomach acid often causes heartburn, not too much

Are you one of the 20 percent of Americans with acid reflux and heartburn? You’re probably chalking the problem up to too much stomach acid, but in many cases it’s the opposite causing the problems – too little stomach acid is the culprit behind those fiery episodes that feel like they’re burning a hole in your chest. How can that be possible? The environment of the stomach is highly acidic so that it can quickly break down meats and other foods, protect you from ... Read more

Why getting high on life is good for your immune system

We all like things that make us high on life — that feel-good rush after exercising, a good belly laugh, playful activities with friends, meditation, a good massage, or a loved one’s touch. These are examples of things that release endorphins, the body’s chemicals that give us a natural high. But endorphins do more that make us feel good; endorphins are necessary for proper immune function. In fact, some studies suggest people with chronic illness suffer from low endorphins. If you ... Read more

Does gluten sensitivity exist? Debunking the recent headlines

Recent health headlines proclaimed gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist, fueling a backlash against the gluten-free diet as a baseless fad. These stories point to a recent study questioning the relationship between non-celiac gluten sensitivity and digestive symptoms. Sadly, they mislead the public by glossing over major points of research and cherry-picking information to debunk gluten sensitivity. The study looked at how people with gluten sensitivity reacted to varying levels of gluten. Significant to the study was the elimination of FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Monosaccharides, and Polyols), carbohydrates in ... Read more

Hidden gluten in medications and home and body products

So you’re officially gluten-free. You have your kitchen and shopping lists dialed in and you know how to look for hidden gluten in packaged foods. Ready to go! But wait -- did you know that some body products and household items, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications contain hidden gluten? These items can be the source for ongoing immune activation for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Additionally, many people with autoimmune conditions experience cross-reactions with corn, a filler used in many medications that ... Read more

What causes a hangover

It’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol can cause a hangover. Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your body that could cause so much suffering? The facts are intriguing, and may even change how much you drink. The formal term for hangover is veisalgia, from kveis, the Norwegian word for “uneasiness following debauchery,” and algia, the Greek word for pain. Generally, the more drinks consumed, the worse the hangover. Some common symptoms of hangover include: General malaise Headache Nausea Fatigue Dehydration Anxiety Difficulty Sleeping While we don’t ... Read more

How alkaline and acidic diets affect your health

You may have heard of the importance of an alkaline diet. It can help reduce acidity in the body and prevent bone demineralization, kidney stones, back pain, muscle wasting, hypertension, stroke, cancer, asthma and exercise-induced asthma. The foods you eat profoundly affect how acidic or alkaline you are, and thus your health. Let’s begin with some chemistry… pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. On a scale of 0 to 14, a pH of 0 is totally acidic, ... Read more

ME/CFS: A new name for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a condition of severe, chronic tiredness, is a well-known term in the medical world and affects between one and four million people in the United States. However, since it was coined in 1988, considerable controversy has arisen over the term CFS. Many patients, advocacy groups, and experts believe the name trivializes the condition and leads to a lack of respect for patients within the medical community; some doctors view the illness skeptically and as a psychosomatic condition, and patients ... Read more

The functional medicine approach to high blood pressure

The most commonly diagnosed medical condition in the United States is high blood pressure, or hypertension, and blood pressure medications are among the top 10 most commonly prescribed drugs. However, these medications can cause undesirable side effects. It’s better to address the underlying causes of high blood pressure—research shows diet and lifestyle changes are just as effective or even better than medications in lowering high blood pressure. Why should you be concerned about high blood pressure? High blood pressure increases the risk ... Read more

How stress harms the body and what to do about it

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related complaints? Stress is the body’s reaction to any situation that is demanding or dangerous. When we experience stress, the body responds by making adrenal hormones (such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol) that help your body cope. Commonly called the “fight or flight” response, this is where your blood pressure increases, your hands sweat, and your heart rate and breathing quicken. You’ve probably felt it during that big job interview, before a ... Read more

One in five children have a mental disorder; lower the risk before pregnancy

One in five American children today has a mental disorder and the rate is rising, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Affecting 13 to 20 percent of youth under 18, mental disorders impact a child’s behavior, ability to learn, and cope with their emotions. Although researchers don’t have a definitive explanation for the rise, studies have linked a mother’s autoimmune disease during pregnancy, environmental chemicals, and industrialization of food with the rise in childhood ... Read more

Autoimmune flare-ups while traveling?

Managing your autoimmune condition—Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes, alopecia, vitiligo, psoriasis, etc.—can be tricky enough. Traveling takes autoimmune management to a new level as you must attend to not only your diet, environment, energy expenditure, and sleep, but also the added stressors traveling poses. Managing an autoimmune condition doesn’t mean you have to avoid travel. It’s just a matter of planning ahead and being more conscious of your self-care. By mastering some basics you can relax and enjoy your trip and quickly ... Read more

What your feet say about your brain

Although they’re located at the farthest distance from your brain, the health of your feet can give you clues about the health of your brain, mainly whether your brain is receiving enough oxygen. When circulation to the feet is poor, creating a variety of symptoms discussed below, this is a red flag circulation to the brain is compromised as well. Just because you can breathe doesn’t mean your brain is getting enough oxygen. If your brain is not getting enough oxygen it ... Read more