Crossover Autoimmune Research: What 2,200+ Hashimoto’s Patients Say Helped Their Fatigue, Other Symptoms
A note from Katie, AutoimmuneMom.com founder:
Izabella’s tireless research to test and discover the many possible root causes of her own Hashimoto’s disease was eye-opening for me, as it uncovered long-suspected culprits of my own autoimmune thyroid and other autoimmune conditions — and gave me new ideas of what to try next.
Now that Izabella has a larger following, she has conducted surveys of autoimmune thyroid patients to find out which interventions they tried, and to what degree of success.
Because autoimmune disease is the body attacking itself, just in 80+ different ways (for the 80+ autoimmune diseases that are currently recognized and growing), it makes sense that ‘root causes’ for Hashimoto’s would have crossover for other autoimmune diseases, both common and rare.
As with the 12 super symptoms of autoimmune that are common for all of us, so are there common root causes of autoimmune disease.
Because many of us naturally align our support groups (online and offline) with others who have our same autoimmune condition, we may miss research and ideas coming out of another autoimmune disease group.
That is part of the reason I founded AutoimmuneMom.com – to connect the dots across all autoimmune diseases for moms to live better – since we all have much in common.
So when I read Izabella’s survey results from more than 2,000 autoimmune thyroid patients, I asked her if I could republish them so that we could share the love for autoimmune peeps with lupus, rheumatoid disease, IBD, celiac and others. She very graciously said that we could – and so I bring you the high level results below.
Top Takeaways from 2,232 People with Hashimoto’s
For more detail on each of the top 10 interventions below and the survey behind the findings listed here, please read the full blog post.
1. Stress was an underlying beginning to your autoimmune condition.
Nearly 70% of said that there was a high degree of stress in their life before symptoms began.
2. Vitamins deficiencies are a factor.
68% reported Vitamin D was too low; 33% reported B12 was too low; and 28% reported ferritin (iron) was too low.
Responding to the question about the benefits of taking vitamins and supplements to improve fatigue, 67% said Vitamin D helped; 88% said B12 helped and 82% said iron/ferritin helped.
3. Gluten issues are big.
76% responded that they are sensitive to gluten. 16% were unsure. 88% of those who went on a gluten-free diet felt better!!
4. Food matters!
After the reported benefits of going gluten free, these diets were reported to be most beneficial:
- Sugar free diet
- Paleo diet
- Grain free diet
- Dairy free diet
- Autoimmune paleo diet
- Low glycemic index diet
5. Supplements make a difference.
These seven vitamins and supplements helped people improve how they felt:
- Selenium 200 mcg
- Betaine with Pepsin
- D3 supplement
- Ferritin/Iron supplement
6. Lower your pain and boost your mood.
Pain, fatigue and generally bummed out? Massage improved the mood of 80%, improved 62% of people pain levels, and 45% reported better energy.
Sauna therapy helped 57% of people who tried it.
7. For Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism: The TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) happy place.
69% of people felt best with a TSH < 1 μIU/mL, and 57% felt well with a TSH between 1-2 μIU/mL.
8. LDN (low dose naltrexone) can be a game-changer.
Although only 38% of those who took it reported positive results, the ones who did had amazing results.
66% reported more energy, 61% reported improved moods, 48% reported reduced thyroid antibodies, and 40% reported reduced pain.
9. Probiotics can contribute to normal weight levels.
36% reported that probiotics aided in getting their weight back to normal levels.
A final note to patients:
I hope this survey of interventions encourages you to take charge of your health and to find a deeper level of healing. I recommend dedicating one hour each day to self-care. You should focus on things that relax you and make you feel better, preparing nourishing foods, and staying on top of your supplements and labs. After all, what gets measured gets managed! Give yourself the same care as you would to a loved one, child or pet who needed you. I hope that you found this information helpful in your healing journey!
About the Author
Dr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP is a pharmacist who has dedicated herself to addressing the root causes of autoimmune thyroid disease after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in 2009. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling patient guide “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause” and is an ardent champion of incorporating lifestyle change and functional medicine into the treatment of autoimmune disease.
This blog post was originally published by AutoimmuneMom.com, written by Dr. Izabella Wentz, and first published on Sep 22, 2015.
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