Balancing blood sugar levels is important for diabetes and thyroid disease because blood sugar swings can lead to a rapid increase in thyroid antibodies, which in turn, triggers a series of problems for patients with diabetes. As one of the first things to do, the patient should check their diet and proceed to address the blood sugar problem to alleviate its symptoms.
The person should consume foods containing plenty of fats and proteins and cut down carbohydrate intake as well as fruits. Consumption of high levels of fruit juice could be the primary cause of blood sugar swings. Therefore, the person should ensure that they look at the foods that cause the immune system to react as well as food sensitivities.
A number of American adults grew up consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD) which was very common. However, the diet normally comprising of orange juice, cream cheese and coffee containing sugar has massive amounts of sugar. Instead, people can alternatively switch to the Happy Breakfast where bacon, coffee with stevia sweetener and eggs is the norm. Furthermore, when the person has egg issues, there are always alternatives.
Here are some guidelines to stick to when regulating blood sugar
- Every meal should include fat or protein content
- The person should eat every 2-3 hours
- Avoid fruit juice, avoid sweets before bed, and limit caffeine intake
- Avoid dairy and grains and eat breakfast 1 hour after waking up.
- Protein/ fat-rich snacks every 2-3 hours
- Avoid fasting and cut foods having glycemic index higher than 55
- No skipping breakfast
- Consume starchy foods with protein or fats
Snack options include seeds, nuts, boiled eggs, protein shakes, and homemade jerky. If the person feels intolerant to snacks, they can opt for the Elimination Diet first.
Gluten is bad for people with Hashimoto’s. Unfortunately, gluten-free foods can include junk food rich in starch. So, observing a gluten-free diet will only improve some symptoms, but due to high blood sugar levels, it will make some symptoms worse.
Instead of a gluten-free diet, eat whole foods. For example, instead of bread made from rice flour, eat bread made from almond flour. Almond is rich in healthy fats and protein. With Hashimoto’s, a paleo diet works better than a gluten-free diet.
Carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice, once digested, are converted into sugar, which is not good for the body. Replace such foods with nutrient rich foods such as avocados and grass-fed beef. Gluten-free foods are often not good for both diabetes and Hashimoto’s patients.
Blood sugar swings
Spikes in blood sugar levels in diabetes and hypothyroidism patients should be avoided at all costs. For Type I diabetes patient, high blood sugar could translate to hospitalization or even death. 50% of hypothyroidism patients have blood sugar imbalance or glucose intolerance. When these patients take foods rich in starch their blood sugar levels, increase so much that too much insulin is released. Too much insulin leads to low blood sugar, which then causes fatigue, anxiety, and dizziness.
These blood sugar swings result in a nonresponsive immune system. The adrenal hormones will no longer respond correctly to blood sugar swings. After a while, the adrenal hormones will be exhausted, which is dangerous since adrenal hormones control inflammation. When all these responses occur, the immune system upregulates the attacks on the thyroid gland.
Blood sugar swings in thyroid disorders patients are the equivalent of pouring petrol on fire; they only make things worse. Gluten is not good for them, but the gluten-free foods, which are rich in carbohydrates, are worse for them. These gluten-free products, aside from causing blood sugar swings, they result in an increase in thyroid antibodies. Also, symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, and hair loss increase.
According to conventional medicine, once a patient is on thyroid medication, they need it forever. But, some alternative medicine practitioners and functional doctors believe that thyroid conditions are reversible. A doctor might say that Hashimoto’s disease is untreatable and only gets worse, but that is not necessarily true. Recent statistics indicate that at some point, 20% of thyroid patients will not need medication. Does it get any better?
The secret is finding out the environmental triggers and dealing with them. These trigger conditions include food sensitivities, leaky gut, blood glucose level fluctuations, deficiency of some nutrients, adrenal stress, and much more. Addressing these issues reduces the dosage of T3 drugs and even the need for these drugs altogether.
The journey to a medication–free life
The journey to a medication-free life starts by identifying the cause of the autoimmune attack and controlling it. In life, problems only go away if their causes are dealt with. Thyroiditis is the same; one can only heal if they solve the cause of the autoimmunity.
The next step should be taking a thyroid antibodies test. Patients should take the necessary measures to reduce the thyroid antibodies to a figure below 35. One can only be sure that they are controlling the autoimmunity if the antibodies count decreases. There is no point reducing medication if the numbers are not improving.
A selenium supplement is a good idea. Selenium reduces hydrogen peroxide, which is a byproduct of thyroid hormone synthesis. Hydrogen peroxide causes oxidative stress, which triggers an immune response to the thyroid gland. Selenium also reduces thyroid antibodies. 200 mg of selenium can reduce the antibodies by 50% in a span of three months.
Gradually reducing the thyroid medication is the best course of action. Reduce the dosage, then test thyroid antibodies to confirm that the body has adequately compensated. The focus should be reducing autoimmunity by identifying its cause.
Thyroid conditions are very common and are not an older woman’s condition as most people think. A clinic in Wisconsin recently did research using diagnostics that are quite advance to look at the blood markers and tissues found in the thyroid gland. In their findings, 13.4% of the general population had Hashimotos’ and the thyroid disease.
Another study tried to look at the circulating thyroid antibodies in a general population to establish the relationship between thyroid antibodies and thyroid disease. It is because thyroid antibodies can indicate the presence of the thyroid condition. In fact, there are antibodies for Hashimotos’ and the Graves’ disease. According to the study, 27% of the population in the USA (approximately 8.4 million) has the thyroid disease.
Furthermore, the condition is prevalent in women because for every man with a diagnosis of thyroid condition; there are 5-8 women with the disease. During pregnancy, perimenopause, and puberty, women are more likely to have a new thyroid condition, showing the role of hormones in triggering the Graves’ disease and Hashimotos’
An autoimmune condition commonly manifest if the person is predisposed genetically, has a leaky gut, and has intestinal permeability. Furthermore, when there is an environmental trigger an autoimmune condition also manifest. Therefore, to stabilize the condition and to reverse the autoimmune process, the person must eliminate the triggers and heal the leaky gut. In most cases, the triggers include, nutrient depletions, the impaired ability of the body to handle stress, the inability of the body to detox and the various infections occurring inside or outside the gut. The genetic aspect that leads to autoimmune manifestation is beyond the person’s control because he or she cannot change how the genes operate.
When everything from the triggers to the other factors that can cause the autoimmune condition are under control, then the reversal of the autoimmune disease can take place, which is quite satisfying.