What are Hashimoto’s Triggers?


I gotta admit.  

When I first started researching healing and found out I could possibly recover from my autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s and my digestive issues, it felt like I had walked into a new land.

Both out-of-this-world exciting and how-on-earth could I do that scary!

I mean… I’d previously been told by my endocrinologist that my Hashimoto’s was a lifelong condition and that my thyroid would eventually destroy itself. But there I was sitting at my computer reading stories and credible medical studies about people who, through various interventions and practices, had managed to remove symptoms. Some even manage to put their condition into remission.

I just couldn’t believe the amount of research out there… on healing the gut, rebalancing immune health and reclaiming thyroid health! Information that I had never even been made aware of before!

Wouldn’t my Doctor have informed me of this?

As a broad overview of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis your triggers may include:

  • Gut problems

  • Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Infections

  • Food sensitivities

  • Toxins

  • Stress

While some may actually be able to balance their immune health through their nutrition, I had to dig deeper and deal with every point on the list above.

It turns out that I became a ruthless researcher.

I don’t think that I actually even read anything else other than health-related articles and medical journals for the next couple of years.

My boyfriend was literally bombarded with tiny pellets of information on a daily basis. It’s fair to say that he learned to smile and nod very well whenever I came at him like an excited puppy!

My passion was ignited. I would be my very own healing guinea pig. I would recover my health!

Although it took years of commitment, relentless research and a lot of trial & error, I did finally reclaim my health!

But I’m gonna be honest, the reality of my healing journey was very winding! There were high highs and low lows. I often felt lost in the vortex of information as I navigated it alone and without the support of a mentor who’d been through what I was going through. I had huge successes and I hit roadblocks, I learned to pivot often, but I came out wiser and most importantly healthy!

But this isn’t about doing it alone – it’s about becoming an informed and active member of your own healthcare team, forming a circle of support and working together with practitioners!

If you too have an autoimmune disease, I get it! It’s easy to feel disconnected from your own body when it feels like it’s turned against you.

Though and please know that your body is indeed helping you. The common misconceptions with research with Hashimoto's are that your body is essentially attacking itself – so it’s easy to feel totally upset and frustrated when it’s not doing the basic functions it’s supposed to do. I was there before! I was hating myself with what was happening. Though, it's being exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) which has gotten into our bloodstream, into our thyroid and clouding our immune system's judgment of this foreign virus. 

But the truth is, your body still has your back (it’s just a really confused system!)

If we think of the body as our ally (that is actually constantly trying to protect us) and if we work toward strengthening and balancing our system, we can rebuild a positive connection again with our body. We just have to show commitment to healing and dig a little deeper to find our underlying triggers.

We also need to be really kind and patient with ourselves as we begin our healing journey. Taking on too many lifestyle modifications at once can be really stressful and counterproductive (especially when stress is often a part of what got us here in the first place!)

We really want to reduce the overwhelm!

So as you look through the list of underlying triggers above, have a think about which ones you feel might be effecting you.

With both autoimmune and digestive issues, try keeping a journal to track symptoms. Note how your body feels on different days (do certain foods cause symptoms? Or does lack of sleep cause a flare up?) By keeping track, you learn to start listening to your body, which is such an important step towards improved health.

HEALTHAlice Chen