How to reduce inflammation and thyroid antibodies
Updated: May 11
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland resulting in hypothyroidism (and sometimes hyperthyroidism). This ‘attack’ causes inflammation within the body which can worsen and perpetuate autoimmune symptoms.
Most people only know inflammation as a physical injury like a sprained ankle or back pain. But inflammation in the body can cause a whole host of symptoms that you may not even realise such as allergies, IBS, acid reflux, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, depression, aching joints and pain. If left unaddressed, over time, this type of inflammation can lead to development of other autoimmune issues, Alzheimer's and even cancer.
The key to healing from autoimmune disease and living the most vibrant and healthy life you can, is by reducing inflammation in your body. Ideally we want to get to the point where we have removed any inflammation in the body so that it is calm and balanced.
Hashimoto’s patients nearly always develop allergies and intolerances to many foods. This is because the majority (if not all) autoimmune patients have leaky gut. This is why special diets such as AIP (autoimmune paleo) and low carb tend to work really well for thyroid patients, as they assist in healing the gut and therefore bringing down the inflammation.
I am going to share my top 12 ways to reduce inflammation, as these have personally worked for me, and so I hope that they will work for you too:
Twelve ways to reduce inflammation:
Take Fish oil (containing both EPA and DHA) supplements - high in omega-3 which calms inflammation and balances out the omega-6 fatty acids which our diets are normally high in which promote inflammation. I take these sustainably-sourced fish oils by Wiley’s Finest: https://wileysfinest.co.uk/product/easy-swallow-minis/ and love them because they are small and easy to swallow!
Take selenium supplements - these have been scientifically proven to reduce thyroid antibodies - I take solgar 200 µg - https://amzn.to/2XTWlY2
Address any gut infections - order a stool test through a nutritionist or functional doctor to find out if you have any underlying infections. Most people with Hashimoto’s have infections such as candida or SIBO. Then work with your practitioner to naturally address the infection.
Cut out inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine and alcohol as much as you can.
Reduce nightshades (some people are sensitive to these and they have been found to cause inflammation - especially in those with arthritis). Nightshades include vegetables such as tomatoes (sorry!), bell peppers, chillies and seeds such as cumin, paprika and black pepper.
Cut out genetically modified food and switch to organic (check out the ‘dirty dozen’ for a list of 12 vegetables that you must always buy organic due to their high pesticide absorption: https://bit.ly/2OuLNLT Remember to check the list each year as it is updated).
Introduce turmeric as often as you can into your diet - ideas of how to do this include drinking turmeric and ginger tea, and turmeric powder to a homemade curry or a soup.
Heal your gut - drink lots of organic bone broth (you can add it to soups and stews for flavour) and add in fermented foods such as sauerkraut to add in some ‘good’ gut bacteria.
Eat plenty of healthy fats such as coconut milk and avocados.
Stabilise your blood sugar by doing gentle regular exercise such as yoga or walking, keeping hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and eating healthy fat and protein with every meal.
Meditate - calm your mind, sit quietly with your eyes closed and just focus on your breath. You only need to do this for 5-10 minutes to get the benefit! Doing this twice a day to begin with, and then building to throughout the day too whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Slow down - this one follows on from the point above. If you are constantly rushing around all the time and not letting yourself rest, what kind of message is that giving to your body? Your body needs down time to regenerate. Make sure you carve out time for yourself every day, whether it be to do yoga, read a book, or have a bath. Preferably something calming and quiet which makes you feel good.
Remember - you don't have to make all of these changes at once! Go slowly and introduce one new change at a time. Even if you just choose 1 or 2 of these points to introduce into your routine - that is still making progress! Remember that every little positive change gets you one step closer to where you want to be. Be patient and kind to yourself. You can do this!!